Announced at Oculus Connect 4 in October 2017, Rift Core 2.0 is a large software overhaul that will change how we use the Oculus Rift system. The original Rift Core, which was designed before Oculus Touch controllers were around, is a workable system but needs to remain relevant as the demands of VR users become more clear and as hardware advances. Here's everything we know so far about Rift Core 2.0.
What's new with Rift Core 2.0?
In a tweet December 2, Oculus announced that the Rift Core 2.0 beta update is officially coming December 6.
How to get Rift Core 2.0
Rift Core 2.0 will eventually be available for everyone as a standard software update, but during the beta testing that starts December 6, you must be enrolled in the Oculus public test channel.
What is Rift Core 2.0?
Rift Core 2.0 is a software update being designed from the ground up as a new way to interact with the virtual world while in VR, specifically while using Oculus Home. Oculus Touch controllers have changed how we use our Rift, and the interface should reflect those changes.
Oculus wants Rift Core 2.0 to allow people to use their PC's full potential while in VR, effectively helping eliminate the need to use a standard monitor and keyboard/mouse combination.
Can my PC run Rift Core 2.0?
Rift Core 2.0 will let you use Windows 7 and Windows 8 to enjoy the core features, but for full functionality — including being able to use Oculus Desktop — you'll want to upgrade to Windows 10.
System requirements should stay mostly the same, although some of the new Dash's features will suck up a lot of resources. Be sure to update your graphics card drivers before using Rift Core 2.0.
Does Rift Core 2.0 cost anything?
No, this update does not cost anything. Anyone who opts into the public test channel within the Oculus app can experience Core 2.0 before the official release.
How will my Oculus Rift experience change?
Rift Core 2.0 is all about making Touch controllers feel as natural as possible, so get ready to primarily use them while interacting in VR. You will still be able to use a gamepad in some areas, but Touch controllers are absolutely required for other areas, like Home customization.
What are the major changes expected with Rift Core 2.0?
Along with the VR interface, the Oculus desktop app is receiving some tweaks with Rift Core 2.0. You'll now be able to create wishlists full of games and experiences and be notified when sales are happening, you'll be able to see what games your friends are playing (or have played), and you'll have quick-launch options for your most-played titles.
These are all welcome changes and will make the Oculus desktop app feel a lot friendlier and streamlined, but the real meaty changes lie in what you see and experience when you put on the Rift headset.
One of the best features a platform can add is an in-game overlay, which is essentially Dash. This new interface combines all the old menus into one streamlined menu that can be accessed at any time. Your Touch controllers can be used to scroll through an infinite loop of apps, which can in turn be launched with a tap.
You can quickly switch between any apps on your PC, and the new desktop viewer feature means you can have multiple apps running in multiple windows all at once. This is an in-house equivalent of great desktop apps like Bigscreen and Virtual Desktop, and is a giant step on the way to exclusive VR use anytime you use your PC.
Oculus wants Touch controllers to feel as natural as possible, and it seems like Dash is a big step in the right direction.
Oculus Home, the place you see first when you put on the Rift headset, is now customizable and interactive. Everything from furniture to gadgets and toys to artwork will be accessible, allowing you to decorate your Home as you see fit. You'll also be able to choose from a number of landscapes that will greet you when looking outside.
There will be minigames to enjoy here, and instead of launching games from a menu, there will be retro cartridges that you can plug into a console. If you enjoyed First Contact, you should also get a kick out of this feature.
Oculus wants to make their platform as social as possible, so you'll be able to visit your friends' Homes, and they'll be able to visit yours. Don't forget to create a showcase to display your in-game achievements!
Will Rift games run differently?
Your Oculus Rift games and experiences will continue to run the same way they did before, but you'll now be able to switch between apps and changes setting all from the Dash, and you'll be greeted by a personal space when you jump back to Home.
When can I start using Rift Core 2.0?
Enroll in the Oculus public test channel and get beta access to Rift Core 2.0 starting December 6, 2017!
What do you think?
Are you excited to see Rift Core 2.0 in action? What are you most looking forward to? Be sure to let us know in the comments section!
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