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Oculus Rift Crescent Bay prototype lands with integrated audio

Luke Johnson


Oculus Rift Crescent Bay

A new Oculus Rift prototype has been unveiled, with the latest model – dubbed Crescent Bay – landing with integrated audio.

Showcased during the company’s Oculus Connect 2014 developer conference, the Crescent Bay virtual reality prototype features a number of improvements and additions over preceding models.

Lighter and with a more ergonomic fit than past efforts, the latest Rift is the first to feature inbuilt audio options.

"Starting today, we are working on audio as aggressively as we are on the vision side," Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said in unveiling the device.

Crescent Bay offers audio through a pair of integrated headphones. Sound is also set to be improved through new software and hardware tools which will allow developers to make use of high-fidelity 3D audio. This should help create an even more immersive virtual gaming experience.

Although exact specs are still lacking, Oculus has promised further details on the headset’s audio abilities “in the coming months”.

What we do already know, however, is that in a big to bring more ‘presence’ to the virtual experience, the Facebook-owned Oculus has licensed custom audio software from RealSpace3D.

As well as giving the headset a more streamlined, refined look, the Crescent Bay prototype has improved visuals. Unfortunately it is currently unclear the exact changes made to the device’s display.

In a bid to reduce motion sickness complaints made by many to use Rift headsets, Oculus has bestowed the Crescent Bay model with an array of tracking LEDs to help reduce disorientation.

While the manufacturer is dubbing the latest prototype as “the best virtual reality headset” to date, don’t expect to see it on store shelves anytime soon. A consumer release is still a long way off for Rift.

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