We’re thrilled to welcome nearly 1,000 developers from around the world to Oculus Connect, our first developer conference.
If you’re not at the event, you can join us for the remaining keynotes live on www.twitch.tv/oculus. Michael Abrash will be speaking next starting at 10:30am PST, and John Carmack will follow him at 11:30 PST. You can see the full show schedule at www1.oculus.com/connect.
Crescent Bay Prototype
We’re really excited to introduce a new feature prototype, Crescent Bay.
Crescent Bay is the latest prototype headset on the path to the consumer version of the Rift. Crescent Bay features new display technology, 360° head tracking, expanded positional tracking volume, dramatically improved weight and ergonomics, and high-quality integrated audio.
These enhancements allow for a level of presence that’s impossible to achieve with DK2. If you’re here at Oculus Connect, you’ll be able to try Crescent Bay today.
Along with the new hardware, we’ve created original demo content, which we’re calling the “Crescent Bay Experiences,” developed in-house by our content team specifically for Oculus Connect.
The Oculus Content team in Seattle, not shown: Seneca, Tom, Kenneth, and Tyler.
The demo is designed to demonstrate the power of presence and give you a glimpse into the level of VR experience you can expect to see come to life in gaming, film, and beyond.
This is still incredibly early hardware. There are plenty of technical challenges left to solve for the consumer Rift, but Crescent Bay is truly the best virtual reality headset we’ve ever built.
Unreal Engine 4 & VR
Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) continues to be one of the best engines for virtual reality development. Epic has dedicated huge resources to optimizing UE4 for the Rift and making it incredibly easy to build awe-inspiring VR experiences.
Almost every major Oculus prototype announcement has been accompanied by a new Unreal Engine demo, like Elemental VR, Strategy VR, and Couch Knights. For Crescent Bay, Epic put together an brand new experience called Showdown.
Everyone at Oculus Connect will be able to try Showdown running on Crescent Bay. Nick Whiting and Nick Donaldson, who both worked on all of the VR demos at Epic, will also be giving a talk later this afternoon at 3:30 PST entitled Learnings from UE4 Engine Integration and Demos
Oculus & Unity Partnership
Unity has one of the most active developer communities building for the Rift, and today we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Unity to make Oculus an official platform and build target.
This means that Unity will now fully support Oculus and the Rift with a dedicated add-on that includes stereo imaging optimizations, 3D audio support, and other features specifically for virtual reality.
Best of all, Oculus will be now be supported in both the Free and Pro versions of Unity.
We’ve seen a huge amount of incredible content built with Unity and Oculus over the last two years, including ground-breaking projects like Lucky’s Tale, Titans of Space, SUPERHOT, and DarkNet. We hope the partnership enables more developers to leverage Unity’s toolset to build the next generation of virtual reality games and experiences.
Audio is essential for delivering immersive virtual reality. Along with the integrated audio in Crescent Bay, we’re working to build the hardware and software that developers need to create high-fidelity VR audio experiences for the Rift.
People locate objects in the world using cues that arise from the interaction of sound with the scene, combined with the body of the listener (HRTFs) and head tracking. A great audio engine for VR has to reproduce these cues to fully convince the human perceptual system.
As part of our audio initiative, we’ve licensed RealSpace3D’s audio technology, a software stack developed over 10 years based on technology from the University of Maryland. RealSpace3D’s tech enables high-fidelity VR audio with a combination of HRTF spatialization and integrated reverberation algorithms.
If you’re at Oculus Connect, Brian Hook, our lead audio engineer will be discussing the unique challenges presented by audio in virtual reality, including achieving presence in sound design and performing 3D audio spatialization. RealSpace3D’s team will also be present to answer questions on their technology.
We’ll have more news around audio in the coming months. Stay tuned!
We have a whole day of developer sessions lined up from the Oculus team and some of the brightest minds in the industry. If you’re at the show, you can view the entire schedule here: www1.oculus.com/connect. We’ll be posting the developer sessions online after the event, and we’ll let you know as soon as they’re online.
Thanks again for making this possible.
— The Oculus Team