This year’s Connect is the third time we’ve brought the VR developer community together, and it’s our largest event yet. There are nearly 3,000 people here today—and hundreds of thousands more joining online—all learning from engineers and designers on the bleeding edge of VR.
We just shared our latest developments in VR hardware, software, and content—including our investment in the standalone VR category.
You can pre-order Touch on October 10 for $199, and it ships December 6! All pre-orders come bundled with VR Sports Challenge and The Unspoken. Touch comes with an additional sensor and a connector for Rock Band VR.
If you pre-ordered and purchased Rift through Oculus.com, you’ve already reserved your place in line for Touch pre-orders. Simply order by October 27 at 11:59 p.m. PT using the same email address or from your Oculus account to claim your priority status.
We’ve also created a room-scale option with Touch, using a third sensor for those with enough space. Extra sensors will be available for purchase for $79 on Oculus.com at Touch launch.
The Touch launch lineup is incredible, with over 35 titles spanning multiple genres. Here’s a preview of what’s coming Dec 6:
We’re also massively increasing our investment in VR content with $250M invested already and a commitment to spend $250M more to jumpstart the VR content ecosystem. Today we revealed just a few of the new Touch titles coming to Rift next year, including:
- Arktika.1from 4A Games — Battle for survival in this shooter set in a frozen dystopian future.
- Lone Echofrom Ready at Dawn — A high-fidelity, pulse-pounding space saga.
- Robo Recallfrom Epic Games — Take down waves of robots gone rogue in this FPS with creative combat tactics.
Introducing the Santa Cruz Prototype
Today we unveiled the Santa Cruz, a Standalone feature prototype that demonstrates inside-out-tracking. We’ve made a ton of progress on the software for inside-out tracking that makes this whole category possible. Take a look:
Expanding mobile ecosystem
With over 400 apps available for Gear VR and many more on the way, mobile VR is an incredibly vibrant part of the broader ecosystem. Today, we announced several additions to our Mobile SDK, making it easier than ever for developers to bring their titles to Gear VR.
You can also start a Facebook Live broadcast from any Gear VR app using the Universal Menu. Share your VR experiences in real time, and see how many of your friends tuned in.
Personalized play: Oculus Avatars
We announced Oculus Avatars, a platform feature that lets you customize your VR identity for more memorable interactions. With more than one billion permutations available—from unique textures to clothing, accessories, and more—you can build something that truly represents your own style. Avatars will be available for Rift at Touch launch and for mobile in early 2017.
Join your friends in VR with Oculus Parties and Rooms
Part of VR’s magic lies in the ability to share and experience games and experiences with someone who isn’t physically there.
Today, we announced Oculus Parties, which lets you start a voice call with up to eight people from anywhere in VR. Just access the Home or Universal Menu, and with a few taps you’re connected and can swap stories from your VR exploits.
We also announced Oculus Rooms, where you can instantly meet up with your friends in VR to hang out, watch movies, or launch the same app simultaneously to explore the ecosystem together.
Both Parties and Rooms will ship for Gear VR in the coming weeks, with the Rift launch scheduled for early 2017.
Next level audio integration: Oculus Earphones for Rift
We have a new sound solution to satisfy even the most serious audiophiles.
Oculus Earphones for Rift offer solid bass response while maintaining excellent mid/high levels for a well-balanced sound signature. They also include passive noise isolation to help block out distractions from the outside world.
They’ll be available for pre-order October 10 on Oculus.com, cost $49, and start shipping December 6.
Asynchronous Spacewarp, min spec, and Oculus Ready laptops.
We also announced Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW), a technique that allows a game to run at half framerate and look nearly as good as native 90hz rendering. With ASW, we’re introducing a minimum spec for Rift that brings VR to an even bigger audience. With lower CPU and GPU requirements, people can get into VR at a lower cost with a wider range of hardware. And with this new min spec, we’re able to introduce an AMD-based machine from Cyberpower that can run Rift for $499!
The Oculus Ready family of PCs has grown to include laptops from ASUS, Gigabyte, Lenovo, and AORUS—all powered by NVIDIA. Oculus Ready recommended spec PCs and Laptops continue to provide the best VR experience.
VR virtuosos: Medium, Quill, and Kingspray
Today we announced that Medium will be released in tandem with Touch launch. Use your own hands to mold and manipulate digital clay into stunning virtual sculptures—or bring them into physical reality with 3D printing.
We also announced that Quill—Oculus Story Studio’s internal tool that made the illustrative look and feel of Dear Angelica possible—will be released on the Oculus Store later this year. Artists can use Quill to create static illustrations and paintings as well as animated experiences.
For those who prefer urban streets to gallery spaces, we also showcased multiplayer tagging in Kingspray—a co-op graffiti tool that lets you perfect your tags while manipulating colors, canisters, and even the time of day with a few taps.
Karaoke in VR: SingSpace from Harmonix
Step up to the mic in a loud and rowdy karaoke bar or take center stage in a packed stadium arena! Whether you prefer to warm up solo or dive into a shared experience with friends, SingSpace from Harmonix lets you belt out your favorite songs and rack up points in a global competition.
SingSpace is scheduled for release in Spring 2017.
Investing in the VR ecosystem
We also committed to continue pushing the VR ecosystem forward across all forms of entertainment and education. We’re collaborating with The Walt Disney Studios to create a series of VR experiences, working with Alcon Interactive to bring interactive VR vignettes based on the Blade Runner sequel to the Oculus platform, and even training astronauts in VR with NASA.
Oculus NextGen will bring Unity workshops and equipment from Samsung, AMD, and Oculus to top universities so they can launch their own content creation programs.
We’re also committing $10 million to fund diversity programs, continuing our investment in programs like Launch Pad, VR for Good, and Amplified New Voices as well as new programs like the Diverse Filmmakers Project, which launches today.
This new program will fund and support women and people from underrepresented groups to help accelerate production of their VR films—from 360 documentaries to interactive experiences made for Touch.
This next year is going to be huge for VR. There’s billions of dollars being invested and VR’s future has never been brighter. Together, we’re on a path to make VR the next great computing platform.