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VR Digest: Rift starts shipping to devs;
Consumer pre-orders soon

The week's top VR news brought to you
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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 47 – December 23, 2015

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

Finalized Rift is shipping to developers, consumer pre-orders soon

Oculus unexpectedly announced that it is shipping the finalized Rift hardware to developers who are building apps for the launch of the headset. The device will come with the 1.0 version of the PC software development kit, meaning the Oculus platform is essentially complete. Co-founder Palmer Luckey tweeted that “preorders are coming soon after new year” and they’ll warn potential buyers before putting it on sale.

Facebook’s VR company also started requiring that developers adopt the 1.0 Oculus SDK for mobile while adding screen recording as an optional feature for individual apps.

An analysis of the 63 games available on Gear VR from the Oculus store revealed 13 of them cost $10 or more, and only two of the apps featured multiplayer. The majority are rated “comfortable for most people” and can be played with either the touchpad or a bluetooth gamepad controller.
 

HTC Vive prototype images leak

Images of an improved Vive headset and controller leaked from the company’s website showing sleeker controllers and a headset with a single outward-facing camera, ahead of the January reveal of a second developer kit.

A 7-minute video of a Vive demo at a developer event in China shows finger tracking using Perception Neuron gloves combined with a SteamVR controller strapped awkwardly to the back of the hand.
 

Bits:

Mozilla launched an open source library called A-Frame to create VR websites very easily.

PBS documentary series FRONTLINE is partnering with VR journalism startup Emblematic Group to develop best practices for reporting using VR. The two organizations will collaborate on at least three projects over the next 18 months.

VR news and information site UploadVR raised $1.25 million and hired our writer Ian Hamilton as an editor.

A company called Retale that raised $10 million earlier this year is building a Rift VR app to simulate shopping at your favorite store.

The venture firm that heavily backed Oculus produced a 47-minute podcast diving deep into the technology and possibilities of VR.

A 20-minute Voices of VR podcast interviews Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney.
 

VR Digest™ is a Virtual Reality Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Wednesdays.
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