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Get your face ready: a consumer beta for the Oculus Rift could kick off as early as next April

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Get your face ready: a consumer beta for the Oculus Rift could kick off as early as next April

Oculus VR has yet to spill the beans on its plans for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift, and when we’ll actually be able to slap the headset on our eager faces. However, a public beta of the consumer version may kick off as early as April, 2015. 

That’s less than a year away, so start moisturising your face now.

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The finished Oculus Rift will cost less than £250

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The finished Oculus Rift will cost less than £250

Right now, you can order an Oculus Rift dev kit 2 for $350, or about £215. But if you’re not a developer you absolutely mustn’t, say Oculus. The dev kit isn’t for you. Instead, you must queue up at conventions, or wait for the headset’s consumer version.

There’s still no word on when we’re getting that - but we do know how much it’ll cost. No more than $400, or a little over £245. And that’s the upper end of the price scale Luckey and co. are looking at.

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Oculus and Samsung announce the Gear VR headset for smartphones

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Oculus and Samsung announce the Gear VR headset for smartphones

That rumoured Oculus and Samsung-developed Gear VR headset has become a real, tangible device you’ll be able to plonk on your noggin in the Autumn.

Strap an empty Gear VR to your face and you’ll simply look a bit like Watchmen’s Owlman. But slide a Galaxy Note 4 into the side and you’ll be subject to a virtual reality experience not entirely unfamiliar to Oculus Rift dev kit owners.

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Oculus VR "could" become a Sony or Microsoft, but "don't want to"

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Oculus VR "could" become a Sony or Microsoft, but "don't want to"

Oculus have found themselves in a curious position. With the backing of Facebook, they’re not only able to produce the hardware to push VR into the mainstream, but the platform to sell its games.

They’re not interested in locking down VR development, though. Oculus might have the tools to become a Sony or Microsoft - but “that’s not what we’re gonna do".

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Notch is back aboard the VR train: "I'm over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus"

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Notch is back aboard the VR train: "I'm over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus"

Mojang were in talks with Oculus to build a version of Minecraft for the Rift - right up until the VR company announced their acquisition by Facebook, and Notch publicly pulled the plug.

“I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook," explained the Mojang founder. “Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to me."

Given a few months’ distance and an unending stream of brilliant VR demos, however, Notch has started to come around.

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Begin your Jedi training with the Sixense STEM System and Oculus Rift DK2

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Begin your Jedi training with the Sixense STEM System and Oculus Rift DK2

When I was a smaller human being, I used to pretend to be a Jedi by deflecting tennis balls with a plastic lightsaber. One day the tennis ball won, and my seemingly indestructible lightsaber snapped in half. My path to become a real Jedi was over…

That was until as of five minutes ago, when I saw this tech demo for the Oculus Rift DK2. A company called Sixense Entertainment have tinkered away at a new peripheral that works in tandem with the Oculus Rift DK2 to enable full position and orientation tracking for both the user’s head and hands.

Technical lingo aside, all you need to know is that it works. See for yourself in the video below.

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Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot let Comic-Con attendees battle kaiju with the Oculus Rift

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Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot let Comic-Con attendees battle kaiju with the Oculus Rift

Legendary, ReelFX and Oculus VR have put together a VR “experience" based on kaiju-bashing action flick, Pacific Rim. It was at Comic-Con last week, and sounds exactly like the sort of awesome multi-media projects I hope more companies use VR to make. 

Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot is a combat simulator that uses Industrial Light and Magic assets from the Guillermo del Toro movie developed using Unreal engine 4. Unfortunately the trailer below just shows a few clips from the film, so if you weren’t at Comic-Con, you’ll just have to use your imagination. 

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Alien: Isolation's Oculus Rift demo: "it's just a prototype"

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Alien: Isolation's Oculus Rift demo: "it's just a prototype"

Alien: Isolation on the Oculus Rift is a horrifying but exciting prospect. And with it being shown off at E3 last month, it didn’t seem like there was any question of the game dipping into VR, even if it wouldn’t be until after launch. 

Hopes have now been dashed, as Creative Assembly and Sega have clarified that a version of the game that supports the Oculus Rift is not in development. 

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Oculus VR announces Oculus Connect, its very own developer conference

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Oculus VR announces Oculus Connect, its very own developer conference

Oculus VR, despite not having released a commercial product, has grown into something rather huge. From Facebook’s acquisition of the developer to the company snatching up talented designers, managers and engineers from all over the industry, it won’t stop expanding. So it only makes sense that it would have its own conference. 

Oculus Connect is that conference, and its kicking off in California on September 19th, concluding the next day. From July 10th, attendee applications will be made available on the Oculus Connect website

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Oculus Rift pre-orders stopped in China due to "extreme reseller purchases"

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Oculus Rift pre-orders stopped in China due to "extreme reseller purchases"

The Oculus Rift isn’t a commercial product yet, with the Dev Kit 2 being designed for developers who want to get a headstart on designing VR games, but that hasn’t stopped unscrupulous resellers in China from flipping them for a tidy profit. 

This is bad news for legitimate developers in the region, because Oculus VR has ceased accepting pre-orders for the device in China, and has even cancelled some existing pre-orders. 

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Oculus VR files response to ZeniMax's claims of intellectual property theft; demands jury trial

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Oculus VR files response to ZeniMax's claims of intellectual property theft; demands jury trial

The legal scrap between Oculus VR and ZeniMax continues, with the VR company filing its response to the publisher’s allegations. These allegations include the claim that John Carmack stole technology from ZeniMax when he moved to Oculus. 

“ZeniMax's Complaint falsely claims ownership in Oculus VR technology in a transparent attempt to take advantage of the Oculus VR sale to Facebook," the defence begins. “By deliberately misstating some facts and omitting others, ZeniMax makes the incredible assertion that it, a video game software publishing company for personal computers and consoles like the Sony PlayStation, invented and developed a virtual reality hardware and software system. The truth is quite different" 

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Oculus VR snatches up makers of the Xbox 360 controller and Kinect

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Oculus VR snatches up makers of the Xbox 360 controller and Kinect

Oculus VR is done with acquiring individuals; now it’s gobbling up companies. The VR behemoth - while its yet to release a commercial product - is clearly attempting to devour the entire world. The company’s latest acquisition is the Carbon Design Group, otherwise known as the creators of the iconic Xbox 360 controller along with Kinect. 

The Carbon Design Group has actually been working with Oculus VR for a year, developing unannounced projects, the company revealed today. 

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David Braben prefers playing Elite: Dangerous with the Oculus Rift

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David Braben prefers playing Elite: Dangerous with the Oculus Rift

Countless developers have recognised a creative and commercial opportunity in the Oculus Rift - but how many don the goggles when they get home?

Frontier’s David Braben is one. He doesn’t get motion sick, and plays Elite: Dangerous with a 5.1 speaker set-up rather than headphones, because that way the sound rotates with your ship rather than “with your head".

“It does make a difference because you can hear the engines behind you and the guns going off," he told PCGamesN. “You can hear yourself being hit right across the canopy. It’s that sort of level of immersion which does make a difference."

That said, he isn’t sure the Rift is a mass market device.

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Hands-on with Fiona Bruce: BBC uploads the UK's favourite news personality to Oculus Rift

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Hands-on with Fiona Bruce: BBC uploads the UK's favourite news personality to Oculus Rift

The BBC has just developed and released a virtual reality tour of the BBC News studio, including a fully immersive Fiona Bruce experience in which the beloved Antiques Roadshow host, news presenter and national treasure can be witnessed delivering the news in a full three-hundred-and-sixty degree panoramic, Oculus Rift spectacle.

Of course, this isn't the first time British newscasting culture and bleeding edge technology have aligned. Let's take a look at the five most memorable advancements in taxpayer-funded broadcasting experiments that I definitely haven't just made up to bulk up an otherwise quite short article. Here we go.

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Alien: Isolation gets Oculus Rift support; it's like having a facehugger on you while you play

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Alien: Isolation gets Oculus Rift support; it's like having a facehugger on you while you play

Scary androids are almost as scary as scary xenomorphs. This is what the Alien: Isolation E3 trailer has taught me. The lifeless eyes and not-quite-human, expressionless face. Awful stuff. 

Creative Assembly’s put together a few clips of Amanda Ripley freaking out, breathing heavily and exploring the station she’s stuck on with the xenomorph, androids and men with guns. 

I’m sure that the recently revealed Oculus Rift support is going to make it a relaxing adventure. 

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Naughty Dog co-founder and ex-THQ president Jason Rubin joins Oculus VR

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Naughty Dog co-founder and ex-THQ president Jason Rubin joins Oculus VR

Palmer Luckey and Co really are building a super team over at Oculus VR. Soon, there won’t be anyone left for them to hire. It’ll get to the point where they’ll end up just picking people up off the street, bundling them into black vans and then putting them to work. 

Oculus VR’s latest hire is Jason Rubin, co-founder of Naughty Dog and THQ’s last president before the publisher went bankrupt. Rubin’s new position is as head of worldwide studios, leading the company’s first-party content initiatives. 

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Ex-Steam boss Jason Holtman joins Oculus VR as head of platform

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Ex-Steam boss Jason Holtman joins Oculus VR as head of platform

Jason Holtman, who previously headed up Steam as director of business development at Valve and more recently worked at Microsoft, is Oculus VR’s latest big hire. Holtman’s taking on the mantle of head of platform. 

“A driving force behind Steam since its earliest days, Jason brings incredible experience building entertainment platforms for both users and developers," says the VR developer. 

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ZeniMax's legal battle won't stop Bethesda from considering games for the Oculus Rift

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ZeniMax's legal battle won't stop Bethesda from considering games for the Oculus Rift

ZeniMax Media’s legal dispute with Oculus Rift developer, Oculus VR, won’t affect its subsidiary’s decision on whether or not to make VR games for the device, Bethesda told CVG.

Bethesda’s parent company claims that John Carmack took ZeniMax’s property and used it to assist in the development of the Oculus Rift, which the id co-founder has denied

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