As we inch closer to a future where Virtual Reality is actually a reality, more tech is being revealed that make this an incredibly exciting platform. The Oculus Connect 2 keynote, a conference solely dedicated to showing the world what the future of VR from Oculus will look like, went down yesterday. We’re here to discuss the highlights of the second annual event. Let’s get right into it.
Gear VR ships this November for $99.
When originally announced, the Gear VR seemed like such a strange idea. Why do we need virtual reality for mobile platforms? Well, it was announced today that it will be launching this November for the general public at $99. Now it’s starting to make sense, at an incredibly affordable price, this item offers an easy way to get in on the fun. We already know that companies like Cartoon Network are already starting to venture into making mobile software, including games, so there’s already an audience that is enjoying this content. Those that are even slightly interested in experiencing this will easily get on board at $99. It’s also redesigned to be 20% lighter. I’m a big fan of allowing people to experience the magic at a reasonable price. Here are the phones that will be supported: Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy, and S6 Edge+.
Games, games, and more games, plus video for Gear VR.
I’ve discussed this plenty of times, and so have many of my colleagues, but the only way that any of this gear will become mainstream is with software. These awesomely engineered pieces of tech could have all the gizmos in the world, but what’s important is the entertainment we get from all of this. Oculus announced a partnership with Sega, Midway, and Bandai Namco, to help bring classic games to Oculus Arcade, including the likes of Pac-Man and more. It will also be compatible with video streaming services like Netflix and Twitch, which is great because there’s nothing like getting the feel of being in a theater from the comfort of your home.
An Oculus ready PC might be a bit more affordable than we originally thought.
Stressing about figuring out what PC will support Oculus? No worries, the company has announced a partnership with Dell, Asus, and Alienware for the Oculus Ready PC Program. PCs from these companies will have a logo on their hardware indicating that it meets the requirements for the Oculus Rift. Best of all, some of these machines will start at under $1,000. Yes, that’s still incredibly pricey, especially when you consider that you will still have to purchase the VR headset. But, it’s a start.
Oh yeah, games are coming for the Rift as well.
Obviously, games are coming to the Rift. An impressive amount of software was shown off, with a new shop, and a preview program mentioned as well. All of this showing the growth of the platform as an actual serious gaming rig. It will support different types of input, with the Xbox One controller being the primary input method because it will be included in the packaging. Oculus Touch is another form of input meant to give that natural touch feedback that we constantly use. Most exciting of all was the announcement of Minecraft making its way onto Rift. It’s weird that it will be on both the HoloLens and Rift, but I guess we will have to find out which platform provides the best building experience.
I have to say, this conference was a success. It answered a couple of key questions regarding affordability and software. Those who were excited about Oculus should be even more excited now, especially in the gaming realm. It’s still hard to imagine Rift taking off quickly with having to purchase both a PC rig and the headset, but Gear VR is excitingly accessible. How do you feel about these announcements? Did it sway you in any direction? Let us know in the comments below.
Image Credit: Oculus