VR News: Oculus pre-E3 press conference is today and SteamVR dev kits are shipping

Leaked Oculus Rift image
Credit: Oculus

E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, doesn't start until next week but VR firm Oculus just can't wait. Later today (10 AM Pacific, 1 PM Eastern) they're holding a press conference and you can watch it on their Twitch channel or on their website.

They're being a little vague about content, saying only "We’ll be talking about the future of virtual reality, gaming, the Rift, and more."

Earlier this week some images of the Oculus Rift VR visor and accessories leaked, but Oculus's Palmer Luckey took to reddit to say:

This is an old placeholder concept image that we accidentally leaked. Everything in it is ancient, certainly nowhere close to final (as evidenced by the GPU specs and the game named "war")
Enjoy checking it out, at this point, but don't expect everything to carry through to the stream on the 11th.

With the consumer version of the Rift not shipping until 2016 it still seems early to see final production hardware but I guess we'll know more later today.

Meanwhile over in the SteamVR camp, the HTC Vive dev kits have started shipping out. While you had to be a developer to get the hardware, we can all read the manual and it sounds like setting this up is going to be quite a production. Aside from clearing space, you need to mount the two basestations above head height and with a maximum distance of 15' between them. This should cover an area of about 9' x 12'. Now that's the maximum size; I didn't see anything about minimum space. I suppose it's whatever space you feel comfortable walking around in while effectively blindfolded.

VertigoGames got a SteamVR dev kit and they were kind enough to do an unboxing video:

I am seriously dubious about SteamVR. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to go somewhere and try it out but I just don't know how many gamers have the kind of space that it seems to require. I suppose it'll also work with you just sitting in a chair but this feels like yet another factor for devs to account for. Will SteamVR experiences be divided into "chair VR" and "room VR"? I also wonder about walking around trailing those wires behind you. But I guess we'll see when the consumer version starts shipping this holiday.

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