Oculus is preparing to launch the public beta of the Rift Core 2.0 update, which includes a new store layout, a new home environment, and multi-tasking features. The update will be available to everyone with a Rift, but Windows 10 users will get a better experience.
Oculus first teased the Oculus Rift Core 2.0 update at Oculus Connect 4 in October. Rift Core 2.0 is a complete overhaul of the existing Oculus Rift platform software, including the runtime software that operates the headset, and the virtual home environment that you spend your time in between experiences. Oculus also introduced Dash, an overlay menu that you can access at any time while wearing your rift, and Oculus Desktop, which lets you access 2D desktop applications in the virtual environment. Think of it as Virtual Desktop, but built right into Oculus’ VR platform.
Today, Oculus revealed that the Rift Core 2.0 Update would also include a redesigned Oculus desktop application. Oculus said that the new version of the desktop software should improve the user experience. In it, you’ll find a news feed with up-to-date information about promotions and updates, and an improved store experience with updates about the latest releases and features titles. The upcoming desktop app also includes a quick access menu to access your most recently played titles.
Oculus is also making it easier to connect with friends. The new desktop application will let you see the games that your friends own to make it easier to organize multiplayer matches. It also lets you see your friend’s friend lists, to promote meeting new people.
Touch Strongly Encouraged
When Oculus launched the Rift headset, the kits included an Xbox One controller to navigate menus and play games. These days, all Rift headsets include Oculus Touch motion controllers, and Oculus is tailoring the next home environment to motion controls. The new update supports gamepad navigation, however, some of the features, such as customizing your Home space, require Touch controllers.
Win 10 Recommended
If your PC is still running Windows 7 or Window 8, you may not see the value in updating early. Oculus said that the Oculus Desktop feature, which lets you access Windows apps in VR, is only available on Windows 10. The Oculus Dashboard menu also doesn’t work as an overlay on older operating systems. PCs with Windows 10 installed will need the latest GPU drivers to enable Oculus Dash’s overlay feature.
Oculus said the Rift Core 2.0 update would be available as a beta in December. The beta release is an optional update that you must elect to install. To access the beta, open the settings menu in the Oculus desktop software. Navigate to the beta tab, and flick the switch next to “Public Test Channel.”
Oculus warns that the Rift Core 2.0 Beta is not for everyone. The company said to expect bugs in the early release. If you demand a trouble-free experience, sit back and wait until Oculus is ready to roll Rift Core 2.0 to everyone.