Oculus Rift Update: New 'Crescent Bay' Model Includes Built-In Headphones And Improved Head Tracking, Unity Partnership Announced

By Connor Sears , Updated Sep 21, 2014 01:13 PM EDT
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This weekend Oculus VR held its Oculus Connect developer conference, and they used this gathering to announce couple pieces of news, including a new and improved Rift prototype and a partnership with the Unity game engine.

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The new prototype, called Crescent Bay, adds a handful of new features in addition to some improvements in the graphics and wearability departments. Crescent Bay includes full 360-degree head tracking and integrated audio, which in layman's terms means it's got a pair of headphones attached.

The update from Oculus revealed that audio is actually a significant area of focus for development. With this new integrated audio, the developers need to work on providing a top-notch VR experience for the audio as well as the visual aspects. To this end, Oculus has licensed speciality audio software developed at the University of Maryland that allows the Rift to provide immersive, dynamically changing audio as well as video.

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Oculus also announced that a new partnership between the VR company and the Unity game engine has allowed the Oculus Rift to be a full development target for the engine. With a special add-on, available for both the free and paid versions of Unity, developers can now build games for the Rift in the engine that already supports almost every platform under the sun.

Though the Rift used to be the first name in VR, different tech giants like Sony and Samsung have been working to get their own projects out and supported. The progress Oculus has made in development is impressive, but they'll need to start getting units out to consumers soon if they want to remain leaders in the market.

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