8 things you need to know about the Oculus Rift consumer VR headset

5. Oculus Home

Oculus already has experience creating a proper VR launcher, thanks to its collaboration with Samsung on the Gear VR, and now it will apply that knowledge to the Rift. Oculus Home serves as the jumping-off point for the headset: it's a dashboard that offers easy access to games and media, as well as your friends list and more.

And it'll work both in VR and on your computer screen, in case you'd rather navigate in 2D before jumping in. Home will also have free previews of VR games to try, so you don't have to take a stab on premium games without knowing how they'll feel in VR. That's important.

6. Exclusive games

Oculus showed off games like the stunning space shooter EVE Valkyrie and cartoonish platformer Lucky's Tale, but also spotlighted a couple of brand new exclusives: Chronos and Edge of Nowhere.

Chronos is an atmospheric action-RPG from former Darksiders developers at Gunfire Games, and it sends you into a dragon-housing labyrinth that only unlocks once per year. If you fail, you'll try again the following year, but a year older and wiser - and with new abilities that unlock over time. It looks really neat, and the aging mechanic could be a fantastic twist.

Edge of Nowhere, on the other hand, is a third-person adventure that finds you in arctic terrain, evading fantasy creatures while dealing with death-defying scenarios. It's from Ratchet & Clank creator Insomniac Games, which already has our attention, and looks like a potentially captivating affair. And yes, non-first-person games should still be amazing in VR.

Additionally, Oculus is committing US$10 million (£6.4 million) to indie developers who bring their games to the Rift, so that's a nice bit of incentive for any studios thinking about taking the VR plunge.

7. Oculus Touch

The Rift will launch with the Xbox One controller included, but Oculus has something else in mind - "next-generation inputs," as they described them. Oculus Touch comprises a pair of controllers that include traditional buttons and sticks, but also precisely tracked components.

They have an external ring of trackers that not only give you that feeling of presence in the world that Oculus is pushing, but also let you perform trackable hand gestures within the ring. Details are thin for now, but the version shown isn't final, and it sounds like they probably won't be available at launch. They will be playable at E3 next week, however.

8. When it's coming

Unfortunately, Oculus didn't note a price for the Rift at today's event - although we've heard that an investment of about US$1,500 (about £965) will be needed between the headset and a capable computer. Of course, if you already have a Windows PC that fits the bill, you'll pay much less for the headset alone.

We know that it's coming in the first quarter of 2016, however, so if you're eager to be on the bleeding edge of VR fun, start saving now: the Rift is mere months away from transforming your gaming experience.

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