Benchmark software leader Futuremark today announced its plans for the development of a new software suite, the company said in a statement to the press. Futuremark is perhaps best-known to our readers for its development of 3DMark and subsequent Firestrike benchmarking utilities, software that resembles extreme game graphics scenarios for GPU testing. We've also covered the company for its API Overhead Benchmark, utilized in testing DirectX 11, 12, and Mantle API load on the CPU.

With Oculus Rift's pre-order date approaching nearing the year's end, Oculus VR has finally announced its official, in-house tested recommended system configuration. The Rift's GPU-intensive demands will work best with modern architectures that have specific VR-centric technologies in place, like recent advances made by AMD and nVidia to eliminate timewarp.

The recent announcement of the finalized version of Oculus Rift can be found here. Perhaps interesting to some, we also recently discussed the legitimacy of virtual reality -- under the belief that it is "here to stay," this time -- and talked VR design challenges with Epic Games.

The full system spec recommendations are below.

The long-awaited virtual reality headset made by Oculus VR, the Rift, has been announced for arrival in 1Q16. This will be the first full, consumer-ready product as shipped to Kickstarter backers and pre-ordering buyers. The Rift has thus far only been available as a development kit and has undergone several sweeping design changes since the first devkit (DK I), including resolution jumps to 1080p and latency reduction.

Oculus VR had this to say:

“There's a lot of focus on VR right now – a lot of people are pouring money and passion into it,” Epic Games' Chance Ivey told us in an interview, “it's getting rooted into the mainstream.”

Our last major virtual reality piece focused on the history of the technology, highlighting the profound advancement of this decade's sub-$1000 consumer-ready devices. VR has long faced location-based and monetary challenges, with original equipment costs ranking in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not more, in some military applications – and consuming entire rooms for setup. As Valve rolls-out its impressive full-room VR experience and as Oculus nears the launch of the Rift, developers face a slew of unseen (to the gamer) challenges of integration.

Three One Zero revealed new gameplay for its first-person space survival title Adr1ft at PAX East. I played through this never-before-seen demo, detailing my impressions of the game’s presentation, mechanics, and overall immersion.

Adr1ft puts players in the first-person perspective of an astronaut who wakes up following the destruction of her space station and the death of her crew. The game uses simple mechanics but challenges the player to wisely conserve oxygen and repair the astronaut’s suit to upgrade their health throughout the playthrough. Adr1ft debuts on PC this September and features Oculus Rift support, ranking it among the slew of impending “First-Person Experience” titles now trending.

The annual Game Developers Conference is this week, with PAX East overlapping the tail-end of the event. We’ll be at both GDC and PAX, followed by the GPU Technology Conference about two weeks later.

The Oculus Rift is one of the most anticipated PC peripherals in recent years. Oculus VR received $2 million in crowd funding for the virtual reality device during an initial pass of its Kickstarter campaign, overshadowed only by a multi-billion dollar acquisition by Facebook earlier this year. The virtual reality headset already has development kits in the hands of early supporters and game developers – the likes of Star Citizen included – though gamers have yet to hear potential release dates for the final product.

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The video games industry has regularly taken steps toward virtual reality and motion-controlled gameplay. Virtuix, developers of the Omni multidirectional treadmill, have furthered gameplay without the press of a button by uniting player-controlled motions and camera controls with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

virtuix-chivalryVideo after the jump.

Some of our readers out there have likely seen games like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Battlefield 4 being demoed on the Omni. This time, Virtuix has taken a Nintendo Wii Remote peripheral designed as a sword and shield, and they have mapped them to the Omni to enjoy a player-vs-player (PVP) experience with Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.

 

Mozilla is one of the software world's leading open source companies. The group has made recent technological strides to bring high-end gaming to browsers, including Unreal Engine 4, and aims to expand accessibility of games on various platforms. Much of this is done using WebGL and a subset of JavaScript, allowing for a wide spectrum of hardware compatibility on the majority of operating systems.

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Mozilla's newest experiment hopes to find ways to exploit Oculus Rift and other VR devices within a web browser, to include 3D gaming alongside more common tasks. Mozilla lists its initial steps for bringing VR to the web as:

Game industry visionary John Carmack, one of the founding developers of id Software, recent departed ZeniMax to work for Oculus VR on the Rift and other technology. Carmack's primary stated reason for his departure was a lack of support and interest on part of Zenimax in virtual reality technology. Last week, ZeniMax alleged that Carmack brought over internally-developed tech to the rising virtual reality giant, Oculus VR, recently acquired by Facebook.

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