Oculus unveils Rock Band VR, but not the price tag for its VR goggles

4 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Oculus Announces Rock Band VR For The Rift.

The developer revealed Rock Band VR today during The Game Awards, a version of the rhythm game for the virtual reality device Oculus Rift. The announcement wasn’t about when the Rift would be available (or how much it will cost), so we’re stuck with the “Q1 of 2016,” timeframe for now.In a race that fuses video-game technology and real world driving skill, two professional drivers, on two separate but identical tracks, have raced against each other while wearing virtual reality headsets attached to their crash helmets. There’s a few glimpses of the game in action, which — as you might expect — looks a whole lot like Rock Band played from a first-person perspective. The race, which took place on November 10 at Los Angeles’ Santa Anita track, saw the drivers looking not at the actual road in front of them, but at a virtual reality representation of the track, infused with smoke, fire, waterfalls, and boulders.

The drivers, one of whom drove a stunt car in the latest James Bond film ‘Spectre,’ hurtled around the circuit in two identical 2015 V8 Ford Mustangs, trusting that what they were seeing on their Oculus Rift DK2 VR headsets was a true, real-time representation of how their cars were performing on the actual track. “The main risk is, if I go blind and I can’t see where I’m going at 70 mph, I could thunder into a tree which would not feel very nice,” said U.K.-based stunt driver Ben Collins. To get the real-virtual mix right, technologists working for car oil company Castrol, which produced the event, mixed virtual reality with self-driving car technology. You’ll be experiencing playing an instrument from the perspective of a member of the band, but the few seconds of gameplay shown in the trailer look pretty damn awesome and immersive.

Also, DragonForce. “This brand new made-for-VR game inspired by the original Rock Band, from developer Harmonix, places you on a virtual stage living out the ultimate rock and roll fantasy, only for the Oculus Rift.” It looks strange and maybe uncomfortable, but I’m nevertheless intrigued. During his time on stage, Luckey said that the two teams worked on this for quite a while, and that there will be this and other titles available at Rift’s launch, whenever that might be. This was necessary so that an exact match could be achieved between what was happening on the physical track and its representation on the VR screens. To track the cars, a system frequently used to navigate robots around a space was used, integrating a combination of physical, optical, and laser sensors gauged the position of the cars at high speeds during the race.

The race comes as VR hardware and software is expected to hit the mainstream market in 2016, with companies like Facebook Inc. marketing the Oculus Rift VR headset and Sony Corp. promoting its PlayStation VR. More from WSJ.D: And make sure to visit WSJ.D for all of our news, personal tech coverage, analysis and more, and add our XML feed to your favorite reader.

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