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Oculus Rift Gets Crystal Cove Update

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Oculus VR shows off an updated version of its titular virtual reality headset at CES 2014-- a prototype dubbed "Crystal Cove" promising higher resolution video and reduced latency within a sleeker design.

Crystal CoveThe updated AMOLED display handle 1920x1080 resolution and features low persistence, a technology reducing the picture smear and motion blur causing motion sickness to at least some users. Meanwhile latency is down to around 30ms, meaning Oculus is getting closer to its aim of sub-20ms latencies.

A further addition to the headset is built-in positional tracking. An externally-mounted camera tracks a smattering of LEDs peppering the prototype's faceplate to add forward/backward, left/right and up/down tracking ability. In other words, users can move their head within a virtual space-- and the system translates such movements into actual motion within a virtual space.

In previous prototypes such capability is only possible by grafting a Razer Hydra motion controller to a Rift headset.

To show off the update Oculus has two new CES demos. One is an top-down tower defense game developed by Epic Games, with players controlling turrets in an immersive interactive environment. The other has the player control a spaceship from EVE: Valkyrie, a space dogfighting game from EVE: Online developers CCP.

It all sounds rather promising, but comes with at least one caveat-- the hardware is not finished yet. This means Oculus is still to commit to a shipping date, and a retail version might still be a long time coming. Until then, one has to make do with show demos.

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