5 important things we learned at Oculus Connect 2

by Ian Hamilton • October 1st, 2015

We thought it would be helpful to wrap up everything important we learned at Oculus Connect 2 into a single post broken down into five key categories: Platform, Games, Gear VR, Rift and Medium.

Platform

Oculus secures Netflix, Minecraft and other partners for platform

Oculus already has Netflix in its store and will be getting Minecraft for both the Gear VR and Rift. John Carmack made both efforts happen and the entertainment platforms join a slew of content partnerships coming to Oculus VR including Hulu, Vimeo, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Twitch and Tivo. Oculus Cinema is becoming Oculus Video with the new content.

Oculus revealed it is now targeting December for the 1.0 version of its Rift SDK with features like in-app purchases, friend lists, achievements and analytics in the works. Apps built for version 1.0 will see ongoing support going forward. Oculus Share is being rebranded as Oculus Concepts for content that is still early in development, launching first with the Gear VR.

Games

Touch controllers talk directly with the Rift

The Oculus Touch controllers will launch closer to the middle of 2016 with a second camera for tracking hands in VR. The controllers will communicate directly with the Rift headset so there won’t be any need to get a USB dongle for your PC. Among the games supporting Touch on Rift will be Nimbus Knights, I Expect You To Die, Moon Strike, Surgeon Simulator, Job Simulator, Pulsar Arena, Final Approach and Dead & Buried. Bullet Train from Epic Games is a cool tech demo that shows off the power of Unreal Engine when combined with Touch controllers.

Later this year the Gear VR also gets Oculus Arcade, an app which lets you play classic video games from Sega, Midway and Namco. Initial titles include Pac-Man, Joust, Sonic The Hedgehog, Defender, Spy Hunter, Streets of Rage and other games.

Gear VR

Redesigned Gear VR is $100, positional tracking takes too much power

A redesigned Gear VR costing around $100 will be 22 percent lighter. It will launch before Black Friday in November. The single headset will work with the Note 5, S6 Edge+, S6 and S6 Edge.

An impromptu session from John Carmack revealed that positional tracking on a mobile headset is a difficult problem that seems to require too much power, so walking around untethered to a PC is something Oculus won’t be able to pull off for a while.

Rift

Oculus ready PCs will start under $1,000

Asus, Dell and Alienware will slap ‘Oculus Ready’ stickers onto PCs early next year powered by NVIDIA, AMD and Intel at price points starting under $1,000. The sticker will indicate to consumers the hardware meets the minimum specifications to drive the Rift.

Medium

The Oculus art app is social

More than a year of work by Oculus engineers was revealed with the announcement of Oculus Medium, a multi-user VR app that allows you to sculpt objects using the Oculus Touch handheld controllers. “Every great platform has to have a ‘paint’ app and this is gonna be our ‘paint’ app,” Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said.

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