Last week saw Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) creator Oculus VR announce the launch date for the next version of its software development kit (SDK), 0.7. The update will be arriving on 20th August 2015, bringing a host of improvements with it. But, while features are being added, SDK 0.7 will also remove support for VR titles that have been developed using SDK 0.5 or earlier. Developers will need to update their titles to support version 0.6 or higher to continue to utilise the Oculus Rift. One studio that won’t be doing this is Elite: Dangerous creator, Frontier Developments.
The news was revealed on the title’s official forum. Frontier Developments urged those playing Elite: Dangerous with an Oculus Rift development kit to keep doing so with SDK 0.5, as upgrading to 0.7 would remove any such compatibility. “As long-time supporters of VR and early adopters of Oculus, we remain in close communication with them as they work towards a production version of their SDK, but want to be open that without that SDK in hand, we cannot guarantee future compatibility,” Community Manager Edward Lewis noted.
Elite: Dangerous launched in late 2014 and supported VR even before then in its Beta stages. Many consider it to be one of it not the first full-scale, AAA videogame to support the Oculus Rift.
An answer to this issue may not be far off, however. At the same time as announcing SDK 0.7, Oculus VR also confirmed that it was aiming to release the first full version of the toolkit, SDK 1.0, in November 2015. Don’t expect Elite: Dangerous to upgrade to versions 0.8 and 0.9 whenever they may release, then, but perhaps once the full kit is finally available the developer will make the jump to it. As one of the few AAA videogames to currently support the Oculus Rift, fans will certainly hope that the title is available at the launch of the consumer device next year.
Frontier Developments had its own announcements to make at Gamescom last week, including new content for its popular space simulation in the form of Elite: Dangerous Horizons.
VRFocus will continue to follow Elite: Dangerous and its VR support closely, reporting back with any further updates.