Oculus Rift 2: "Virtual reality competition good”

Oculus DK2 announced to rival PlayStation Project Morpheus

The Oculus Rift 2 virtual reality headset has been revealed following PlayStation’s VR prototype unveiling at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, yet consumer-focused VR devices still remain a way off.

Oculus’s new development kit for PC, codenamed ‘DK2’, is an updated version of the Crystal Cove iteration shown off at CES earlier this year.

It'll compete directly with PlayStation's Project Morpheus and Oculus has said pre-orders start today for an estimated July delivery at $350, slightly more expensive than the original Kickstartered device.

Yet the increased cost is reflected in the increased power of the tech inside, including the new positional-tracking external camera that allows you to move in 3D space, reducing nausea and increasing play time, plus the improved HD display and a far more professional build.

However, Oculus VR’s vice-president of product Nate Mitchell, formerly of the now Sony-owned Gaikai, told us that while this is a big leap from their last commercially available headset, it’s aimed at sparking further developer interest and the consumer version still needs work.

“Our ambition for consumers is total immersion, a world where you almost can’t tell the difference, and this isn’t quite that yet,” Mitchell told T3. “The consumer version will be a significant leap on again, in spec as well as design, and will have a launch line-up, too. We’re working on it.”

Valve just this week added a virtual reality mode to its Steam beta and now PlayStation’s much-publicised prototype has broken cover, all adding to the growing virtual reality buzz. This is a good thing, maintains Mitchell.

“We need big companies, be it Sony, Microsoft, Google or Apple, not to mention smaller ones, to join the party,” Mitchell continued. “The more that get involved in this space will help validate it.”

T3 got its hands and eyes on in San Francisco, including an updated Tuscany demo, a tower defence take on the Unreal Elemental engine and a riotous Smash Bros-esque two-player beat-em-up called Couch Knights. Read more in our hands-on review and watch the hands-on video below.