If you play PC games, or any games for that matter you are watching CES closely today. The first day of the show has had some really great announcements. Unless you are Michael Bay who walked off the stage yesterday, there is a lot to talk about. The Oculus Rift makes our Story of the Day today with the announcement of “Crystal Cove” their new prototype.
Crystal Cove brings two new features to the virtual reality headset. The first is Positional Tracking. This will allow the player wearing the headset to move, duck, dodge etc. as a small camera picks up dots on the Rift system itself. Now players can move their heads in the 3D space. The best part is the price will not be increased significantly and it will be included in the Oculus hardware package. The demo at CES today was done using the Unreal Engine 4 to show off the features.
The next feature on the Crystal Cove is the OLED panel. This prototype basically blinks the pixels onto the screen at very high speeds. This creates a term called “low persistence” which drastically cuts down on motion blur. The 3D world soon seems much more real.
These two elements may not be some great MMO design mechanic, but what they do is to continue to push the bounds of virtual reality for video games. With CCP working on Valkyrie using the Oculus system and Rift mods popping up all over for games like Skyrim, there will be a lot to look forward too. Of all the announcements coming out of CES this one got our attention quickly. The main reason is that many games will be making the leap to VR in the near future and Oculus does a lot to support developers with their product. We demoed the Rift last year at GDC and E3 and loved what we saw. Now it is just a matter of putting it all together.
The good news is that this amazing piece of hardware will hopefully arrive by the end of 2014. Yes Please! If anything we should have a lot more hands on and coverage coming up this year at GDC, PAX, and E3.