Earlier this week VRFocus took a look at one of the first attempts to bring the popular kart racing videogame genre to virtual reality (VR) technology. VR Karts aims to bring Mario Kart-esque thrills to the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD), hoping to launch around the same time as the as-of-yet undated consumer version of the device. For those wanting to sample the experience before that release, UK-based developer Viewpoint Games has today released the first demo for VR Karts on PC.
The demo can currently be downloaded for free. It provides an early look at VR Karts‘ colourful brand of racing, in which players compete for first place in cartoon-themed worlds, using weapons and power ups to get ahead. Currently there’s just one track to race around, although other courses will sport different themes in the final release. The full version is also expected to include online multiplayer, character and kart customisation and support for steering wheel controllers.
In its preview, VRFocus noted that VR Karts still has some way to go to bring it up to release quality, but could well be an essential purchase by the time it gets there.
Note that VR Karts is still planning a launch through Steam’s Early Access system in the first quarter of 2015, meaning it should hopefully arrive in a matter of weeks. That said, it is yet to pass a Steam Greenlight campaign that will actually allow it to be sold through the digital store. For now the demo is optimised for both the Oculus Rift’s first and second development kits (DK1 and DK2). VRFocus will continue to follow VR Karts closely, reporting back with any further updates on the title’s progress.