Oculus VR Crescent Bay prototype boasts 360-degree tracking and faster refresh rate: Consumer version coming


Oculus VR has announced its third major revision of the popular Oculus Rift virtual-reality development kit, called Crescent Bay.

The device includes improved optics, 360-degree motion tracking and it is also lighter. Integrated audio is now an optional feature on the device and users can also move the headphones to use their own.

"None of this is perfect yet, but it's much, much better," said Oculus VR chief executive officer Brendan Iribe at the Oculus Connect conference in Hollywood. "It's in a state that we are prepared to show you today."

Tech specs on the new device have yet to be revealed, however Iribe did say that the jump from version two to three is around as big as the jump that was made from one to two.

"When you put these together, and you get it right, and you get the content right, suddenly you're there," Iribe continued in his presentation.

Iribe also highlighted what would be needed for a consumer version of the Oculus Rift to be released, including six degrees of freedom, 360 degree tracking, sub-millimeter accuracy, sub-20 milliseconds of latency between head movement and the last photon hitting the eye of the wearer, a 90 hertz refresh rate and a minimum of 1,000 x 1,000 pixel display resolution per eye. A comfortable eyebox and no visible pixels would also be necessary.

Iribe then went into how Oculus plans to include both mobile and PC gaming from now on.

"Today on PC you get high fidelity and a sense of presence, which is the magic of VR," he said. "With mobile the magic is accessibility, affordability, and portability."

The new device marks a big step for Oculus, which was bought by Facebook in March for $2 billion, towards a consumer version of the Oculus Rift. Despite this, there is certainly competition for the company. Sony announced that its PlayStation division had created a virtual reality device called "Project Morpheus." Other companies, including Google, are making their own products.

"There's a full-on race to establish the next platform," said Oculus' chief scientist Michael Abrash.

However, it's not just a race for the next product. Even when a full-scale consumer version of the device is released, it will still need content such as games, movies and so on. In order for the Oculus Rift to be a success, developers will need to create content for the device.

Oculus VR also announced that since being acquired by Facebook in March, it has brought on over 100 new engineers to work on the product. 

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