Developers working with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset now have a new tool at their disposal: the Developer's Kit 2. This updated version of the Oculus Rift developer's kit headset takes the best features of the Crystal Cove prototype and improves on them, for a $350 price tag.
At CES 2014 in January, Oculus Rift displayed the Crystal Cove as a forerunner to its next development kit. The DK2 incorporates many of the Crystal Cove's features — improved resolution, faster refresh rate, better head tracking — and presents them in a more comfortable package.
MORE: What Is the Oculus Rift?
The DK2 features a resolution of 960 x 1080 pixels per eye, giving the device a full HD display. Developers can also look forward to a 100-degree field of view, a 75 Hz optical refresh rate, a 1000-Hz update rate for inertial tracking and a 60-Hz update rate for positional tracking. In a nutshell, these updates will make games appear more realistic and motion feel more natural.
One sticking point may be the device's weight: 440 grams, or approximately one pound — without the required cables. Since the DK2 is aimed at developers, it's easy to see how wearing a one-pound device on your head for long periods of time while hammering out level design or QA testing could get exhausting quickly.
Although the DK2 boasts some impressive specs (and a high price to match), Oculus Rift has not yet given any indication how it will measure up to the consumer version. The consumer version of the Oculus Rift also has no set release date or price yet.
Developers (or enthusiasts who don't mind that there isn't much to play yet) can pre-order their DK2s from the Oculus Rift website. The general public will have to remain patient for now, and hope that the best part of the developer kits get integrated into the final consumer model.