Christmas doesn’t come for another five months but if you were to take a look at the virtual reality (VR) community today you might think we had already arrived in December. After a just over four months since its announcement, the first shipments of the Oculus Rift VR head-mounted display’s (HMD) second development kit (DK2) have finally arrived for developers and enthusiasts alike. The day has seen a number of fans and teams excitedly posting images of their new kits all over the internet, while Oculus VR itself has released an update for its software development kit (SDK) and hurriedly corrected terms & conditions in the wake of the release.
But which developers have been lucky enough to have their headsets delivered on this first day? No doubt that there are countless teams still waiting on their headsets, while other more fortunate developers have already had their kits for some time, but a handful of teams did indeed receive their Oculus Rift DK2s in July 2014. VRFocus scoured the web to find out which teams got their presents (very) early.
First up is a developer that has been appearing regularly on VRFocus throughout the past couple of weeks, Tammeka Games. The developer, which is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for its upcoming virtual reality (VR) supported sci-fi racing title Radial-G, teased the arrival of its unit at the Brighton-based studio earlier this morning with the image seen below. “Oh look! What could be inside?” joked producer Sam Watts. The developer later revealed that it is in fact moving offices today, so won’t be able to dig into development until later on.
Tammeka Games’ tweet was quickly followed by a similar message from Opposable Games, which is currently working on its VR-compatible tactical videogame, Salvaged. A picture of one of team’s members wearing the kit can be seen below. The team is hosting the first South West VR meet up next week, so you can be sure to get a taste of the DK2 experience if you’re planning on attending.
Another tease came from Hypersloth Games co-founder Ashley Stancill, who posted an image of his DK2 (below) along with the message “Oh hello shiny”. Stancill and his team are currently working on the VR compatible first-person adventure title Dream, which is currently available in pre-release form. The developer has been working with the Oculus Rift DK1 for a long time and will no doubt be pleased to be able to work on the latest version of the hardware as it moves towards the full release of Dream.
Another developer lucky enough to get their hands on the kit was Samuele Panzeri, an engine programmer for Ubisoft Reflection. Sadly that doesn’t mean that Ubisoft is going back on its statements about VR development at the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC); Panzeri clarified to VRFocus that the kit was purely personal. He can be seen holding his new unit with pride below.
Of course these are far from the first developers to be receiving the DK2. A number of other teams received their kits early courtesy of Oculus VR. EVE: Valkyrie developer CCP Games Newcastle has been working with the tech in order to help demonstrate it at major industry events such as E3, as has the developer of the upcoming first-person shooter (FPS) SUPERHOT. Epic Games even helped Oculus VR reveal DK2 with a range of tech demos accompanying the kit at its GDC reveal. Loading Human developer Untold Games revealed that it had its kit a number of weeks ago, as did Lunar Flight VR developer Sean Edwards, though that didn’t stop him celebrating the kit’s arrival on Reddit today.
Granted that the developers listed here as receiving their kits today are all based in the UK, so we can expect updates from the US and beyond throughout the rest of the day and the weekend as more kits start reaching their destinations. It’s arrival signifies developers being able to start the next stage of VR development, adding positional tracking to their titles and enjoying the 1080p OLED display. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all developments surrounding the Oculus Rift going forward, reporting back with the latest.