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The First Look at the New Oculus VR Prototype

•, By Peter Rubin
 Last January, Oculus arrived at its first CES with a degree of uncertainty. It hadn’t yet released the developer-only Rift headset it Kickstarted in the previous fall. In fact, few outside the company had even seen it. Programmer John Carmack had brought an early prototype to videogame show E3 that summer, but since then there’d been radio silence as Oculus’ bare-bones staff worked heads-down on the developer unit. Last year’s CES was in many ways Oculus’ coming-out party. As it turned out, plenty of people attended: the Rift snagged “Best of CES” awards from everyone and their mother (including WIRED, though our mothers weren’t involved in the voting).

Since then, Oculus has continually improved and refined the Rift en route to a consumer release later this year. The display has been kicked up to 1080p; the form factor has become sleeker. Perhaps most importantly for adoption, potential latency has been greatly reduced, alleviating much of the “simulator sickness” that can accompany wearing VR headsets. And now, with another CES upon us, others are getting in on the act; Sony announced a new head-mounted display for movie viewing and games. It should be noted, though, that this is unlikely to be a direct competitor to the Rift — Sony’s unit gives wearers a 45-degree field of vision, compared to the Rift’s staggering 110 degrees.

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