There is good news for gamers eagerly waiting to get their hands on the Oculus Rift. iFixit has taken apart the second development kit and gives it a 9 out of 10 on a repairability scale. That means if one of the components goes bad, it can be easily replaced. Oculus VR began taking $350 pre-orders for the second generation develop kit back in March.
"Given that the Rift is still a beta product, this is still a preliminary score—but things are looking good, and we hope the consumer version is just as repairable," iFixit said.
There are 24 steps in iFixit's teardown, including the headset itself and the positional tracker. The teardown reveals that Oculus VR is using the front panel of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone (Step 18). This AMOLED screen measures 5.7 inches and has a 1080p resolution. The Synaptics S5050A touchscreen controller remains intact, the teardown reveals, and it appears that Oculus VR is overclocking the Note 3 display from the stock 60Hz refresh rate to achieve smoother motion.
"This seems to make economical sense, since Oculus is working to ship something like 45,000 DK2s—a goodly number for a mid-development prototype, but certainly not enough to warrant a fully custom display. It looks like Oculus is already taking advantage of their partnership with Samsung," iFixit's report stated.
The teardown also reveals that the headset includes 40 infrared lights mounted on the inside of the front cover that are "artfully" connected by a ribbon cable. "With the DK2 fully hooked up and running its demo software, the positional tracking camera starts tracking—with the help of light totally invisible to our eyes, blasted through the black plastic of the front of the headset," iFixit's report added.
So far there is no word on when the Oculus Rift will land in consumer hands, although the headset is expected to arrive in 2015. The second developer kit finally began shipping earlier this month to developers in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Over 9,000 developer kits were expected to be in developers' hands as of the end of last week.
Oculus VR also updated the SDK to version 0.4.0, which adds low-latency 6DOF positional tracking. A display driver was also introduced.