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Oculus unwraps Rift VR headset, plans to ship it by March

Zach Miners | June 12, 2015
Oculus is also developing two ring-shaped controllers that let players interact with objects in games.

A range of games will be available for the Rift at launch. Three titles were demoed on Thursday: "Eve Valkyrie," a pilot dogfighting game set in outer space; "Chronos," an RPG set in a fantasy world that looked similar to the "Legend of Zelda"; and "Edge of Nowhere," a first person action adventure game.

Other available games will include "VR Sports Challenge," a football, baseball and hockey simulator; "Lucky's Tale," an exploratory adventure game; and "Esper," which will give players telekinetic powers.

Oculus is working with other developers and publishers including Playful and Harmonix to create more games.

A polished user interface for the Rift was also revealed. The main dashboard, called Oculus Home, will let users access their games and also buy them from an online store directly from Rift. The software will also let users see which of their friends are playing on Rift, and let them join their games.

Oculus Home will be accessible via the Rift and also from users' desktop computers.

Oculus owner Facebook has positioned virtual reality not just as a gaming technology, but as a new platform for communicating and connecting with friends and family. But Thursday's event was focused squarely on gaming.

Oculus is confident that the timing is right for Rift. "This isn't science fiction," said Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. "It's reality, and it's happening today."

Still, no firm launch date was announced, nor was a price. The company has previously estimated that the total price of Rift would be in the US$1,500 range, factoring in a Rift-compatible computer, which the company does not sell.

The company will begin taking pre-orders later this year.

Next week, attendees of the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles will be able to try out the latest version of Rift. Later on Thursday, people will be able to register for an E3 demo of the Rift through the Oculus mobile app.

 

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