Over on Steam, Valve Software reports that the Source SDK 2013 release now supports the Oculus Rift VR specs and mod developers on Mac OS X and Linux machines. The company is also now using Github to host the source code which is located here, and providing a new license, posted here, that allows mod authors to share their changes to the SDK more easily.
"The other change with the Source SDK is that now Hammer and the other mod tools ship with their respective games instead of as part of the SDK Launcher," Valve said. "The launcher itself is being phased out, so it will disappear from your Tools list."
Information about how to run the tools from the games can be found here.
According to the release notes, running a compatible mod with -vr on the command line will run the mod in stereo and enable head tracking on the Oculus Rift. Playing Source-based games through Rift is as awesome as you would imagine it, with characters standing next to you as if they're really there in physical space. At this point, Rift provides near-perfect immersion, and a must-have for any FPS fan once it finally goes retail in 2014.
The release notes also report that Steam Pipe (the new Steam content delivery system) is supported by the sample mods, and existing mods can change their gameinfo.txt to match the new format and gain Steam Pipe support. Games also now build and run clients on Windows, OSX, and Linux, Valve said, adding that dedicated servers are supported on Windows and Linux.
PC gaming developers can find instructions on getting started with the new Source SDK 2013 on the Valve Developer Community wiki.
As much as I would like to see a version 1.0 of some new hardware released on-time, and bug-free... it is abnormal to have it occur in the PC industry. Oculus would be the exception, a welcome one, but still an exception.
It's all hype until it ships.
I think the most positive thing so far is that Oculus just received about $16 million in funding, and the founders of the company have been fairly strait forward that the retail version is still a work in progress and that they would rather wait and release it with a good library of games to support it.
I think it has a good likely hood that the game library will exist, just because they have had very good feedback from the industry not just interested consumers. Valve has ported half-life 2, team fortress 2 and now added further support to the Source SDK. Unity 3D the game development platform has added support for the Rift, as well as the Unreal Development Kit and support for the Unreal Engine 4.
They appear to be getting industry support, that is a good first step. Only time will tell, but they have started on a good path.
Maybe its just me, but a good (and i mean a DAMN GOOD) Virtual Reality can multiply sales on PC by 50. Can you imagine walking in the Citadel in mass effect? (Not to mention Miranda, in the engine room; Liara, etc).
Or beeing in a tropical island while wearing a nanosuit? Assuming it can run Crysis.
Or playing Splinters cell and following your target with your head in the dark (eye tracking will probably be required here).
And how about mirrors Edge ?
So many posibilities :D.
I would only like this product if I can aim the crosshair with the mouse, independently from where I look.