As the first preordered Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets begin shipping on March 28, some 30 new VR gaming titles will also become available to play on the new devices.
Oculus announced the first 30 titles in a March 16 post on the Oculus Blog, along with details about the latest improvements to the Oculus Home app that will make it easier for users to play, organize and find their games.
The 30 titles will be available as the company’s first preordered $599 Oculus Rift VR headsets start shipping to customers. More than 100 additional titles will also be released through the end of 2016, according to the company. Preorders for the Rift VR headsets began in January.
“This incredible lineup represents years of work from a global community of developers who are pioneering the future of VR,” the company said in the post. “These games take you to the outer reaches of space, mysterious labyrinths of wonder, and fantastic worlds of adventure. And they’re just the beginning.”
The first 30 game titles include Adr1ft, Adventure Time, AirMech: Command, Albino Lullaby, Audio Arena, Project CARS, Chronos, Darknet, Dead Secret, Defense Grid 2, Dreadhalls, Elite Dangerous, Esper 2, EVE Valkyrie Founder’s Pack, Fly to KUMA and EVE Gunjack.
Also slated for release are Herobound SC, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Lucky’s Tale, Omega Agent, Radial G, Rooms, Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe VR, Smashing the Battle, Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Vektron Revenge, VR Tennis Online, Pinball FX2 VR, BlazeRush and Windlands. Prices of the games range from $9.99 to $59.99.
Just before the first shipments of the Rift devices, the company also announced changes to its Oculus Home app, which was launched last fall along with the $100 Samsung Gear VR headset. The Samsung Gear VR is a consumer product that is built on Oculus technology. The Gear VR works in conjunction with a Samsung smartphone.
“We designed Home from the ground up for VR, and it’s evolved significantly since its launch on Gear VR,” the company said in its post. “Home is the best way to explore your library, discover new content, and connect with friends in VR.”
Rift users will also be able to explore their Rift home using an Oculus desktop app as well, which provides customization and content browsing in the Oculus Store. Monthly updates will be done to keep Rift users abreast of new innovations, games and features.
Oculus has been active lately in marketing its VR headsets in a variety of ways. In February, the company announced that its Rift virtual-reality headsets are being bundled with specially built PCs from several manufacturers to give VR fans the right gear to get started in the world of virtual reality.
The bundles, which will include an Oculus-ready PC and a Rift VR headset, are built around special PCs to be produced by Asus, Alienware and Dell. The PC and Rift bundles are available for preorder from Best Buy, Amazon and the Microsoft Store starting at $1,499. Each bundle includes an Oculus-certified PC and a Rift and its accessories, including a sensor, a remote, an Xbox One controller, and the EVE: Valkyrie Founder’s Pack and Lucky’s Tale games. The bundles are expected to ship in limited quantities to select countries and regions from retail partners starting in April, according to Oculus.
The Rift will be equipped with dual active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) displays that are designed to provide users with incredible visual clarity as they explore virtual worlds with the device. The Rift also uses an infrared LED constellation tracking system that provides precise, low-latency 360-degree orientation and position tracking for users for accurate and fluid control and operation when playing games and simulations.
Earlier in March, Oculus announced several new social media features for users of the Samsung Gear VR virtual-reality headset, including the ability to quickly find friends and fellow players through the headset’s app and a new Facebook Videos tab to share 360-degree videos and other content with others. The latest features, which were revealed in a recent eWEEK story, also include the availability of a new online “Oculus Social” room where people can gather virtually to watch Twitch or Vimeo streams together, as well as several new games that players can participate in online with others using their headsets.
Facebook acquired Oculus for $1.9 billion in March 2014 to expand its social media footprint in a new direction.