New and Improved Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 Revealed, Ships in July

The new headset has 1080p screens, low persistence OLED, and much more

A day after Sony revealed its Project Morpheus virtual reality headset, Oculus has countered with the Rift development kit 2, which includes all sorts of great new additions to the original dev kit for the Rift.

Oculus sparked a huge amount of hype around its Rift virtual reality headset through a really successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and it released the first prototype dev kit for the Oculus Rift last year.

Now, after hearing the first details about a true rival to the Rift, in the form of Sony's Project Morpheus, Oculus has countered with its own major reveal.

The company presented the Oculus Rift development kit 2 (DK2), which features a wide array of improvements over the standard Rift dev kit, much in the vein of the Crystal Cove prototype that was revealed at the beginning of the year at CES 2014.

While Oculus highlights that the dev kit 2 isn't identical to the future consumer version of the Rift, it has the fundamental building blocks for "great VR."

The Rift DK2 will use a low persistence OLED display so that motion blur and judder are completely eliminated, thereby reducing the motion and simulator sickness experienced by some Rift testers. The high-definition screen has a resolution of 960x1080 per eye display and reduces the so-called screen door effect, while improving clarity, color, and contrast.

The new dev kit for the Rift also comes with a special external camera that allows it to have precise, low latency positional head tracking, while enabling special motions like peering around corners, leaning in, or kicking back on a virtual beach, for example.

"We’ve also included updated orientation tracking, a built-in latency tester, an on-headset USB accessory port, new optics, elimination of the infamous control box, a redesigned SDK and further optimized Unity and Unreal Engine 4 integrations," Oculus added in the announcement on its official website.

The company emphasizes that DK2 represents a major step forward over the original dev kit and that the consumer edition of the Rift will make another set of improvements and ensure that regular players get the best virtual reality experience.

The Oculus Rift DK2 is already available for pre-order on the official website and costs $350 (€253). The estimated ship date is July and Oculus promises to ramp up production depending on demand, so that it won't encounter any problems with supply, like it did with the original Rift dev kit.

Check out the new Rift in action in the video above.

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