Oculus Rift Gets A New $350 Developer Kit Which Improves On The Crystal Cove Prototype

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dk2

Oculus has unveiled a Rift development kit to replace the first-generation one it stopped selling just last week, and the $350 developer hardware ups the game considerably over its predecessor. The new system is up for pre-order on the Oculus website now, and it’s based on the Crystal Cove prototype shown off by the startup at CES earlier this year.

That means it adds a depth-sensing camera to the system to more accurately map real-world movement to in-game performance. It has HD resolution (960×1080 in each eye), also, and there’s a more consumer-friendly case design with hidden IR sensors, a power button and a single wire connection link which splits off into USB and HDMI end points. You can see the new system in action in a video demo recorded by our friend at Engadget below.

The coming of the new Oculus dev kit, called DK2 by the startup, isn’t a surprise; after it sold out of the old version it hinted there’d be news on this front soon, and of course the company needs to keep putting hardware in the hands of software developers to make sure the software library is good to go at launch. This version also improves the experience, so that game devs can work on making sure their software is taking advantage of everything the consumer version will have to offer.

There’s still no timeline on the consumer release, but this DK2 dev hardware should start shipping sometime in July to interested parties who pre-order now. It’s a shame we still don’t know exactly when this will arrive for us regular folks, since my boss just pointed out how incredibly awesome it would be if you could play Titanfall on this thing. That’s like inception level VR with the Titan in-game heads-up display, which blows my mind.

It’s a VR-heavy news week this week, too, with Sony announcing its Morpheus PS4 VR headset and startup Sulon unveiling their own Cortex AR gaming dev kit.