One of the most surprising announcements at Oculus VR’s pre-E3 show last week was the reveal of a relationship with Microsoft. The latter’s popular controller for the Xbox One and PC will be packaged in with the consumer Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) when it launches in Q1 2016, and the Windows 10 operating system (OS) will also allow players to stream Xbox One titles into a virtual cinema in the kit. But the relationship doesn’t stop there, as Oculus VR founder and Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey recently explained.
Speaking to IGN at E3 this week, Luckey detailed how close collaboration with the company on Windows 10 was ensuring that the Oculus Rift itself is a better overall product and that the OS is more capable of running VR experiences. “By working with Microsoft we’re able to get under the OS in a way that lets us reduce latency, and make sure that the Rift just works when you plug in, and that’s really critical,” he told the site.
“It also means that we can help them improve Direct X for VR so we can get all kinds of optimisations that are not necessarily parallel to the kind of optimisations you would make for a traditional 2D game. Like, for VR, you don’t want to have any buffered frames. You don’t want to render ahead. You want absolute minimal latency, almost at the expense of all other factors. And that’s something that we’ve been able to work with Microsoft to make happen for the Rift.”
Pricing for the Oculus Rift is yet to be revealed although Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe has previously suggested that an ‘all-in’ price that includes a PC to run the device would total around $1,500 USD. The pre-E3 show also played host to the reveal of Oculus VR’s input solution, Oculus Touch, which is at the show in Los Angeles, California, though not being shown on the consumer version of the Oculus Rift.
VRFocus will continue to follow the relationship between Microsoft and Oculus closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.