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Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
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9,522 backers pledged $2,437,429 to help bring this project to life.

The Rift’s Recommended Spec, PC SDK 0.6 Released, and Mobile VR Jam Voting

The Rift’s Recommended Spec

Presence is the first level of magic for great VR experiences: the unmistakable feeling that you’ve been teleported somewhere new. Comfortable, sustained presence requires a combination of the proper VR hardware, the right content, and an appropriate system.

For the full Rift experience, we recommend the following system:  

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater 
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater 
  • 8GB+ RAM 
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output 
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports  
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration. Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR’s success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development.

All of the games and applications for the Rift created by Oculus will provide an incredible experience on this system.

Binstock, Oculus chief architect, wrote a detailed technical post outlining the recommended system specification and the reasoning behind it, along with more Rift details, here: “Powering the Rift”.

Oculus PC SDK 0.6.0 Released  

The Oculus PC SDK 0.6.0 is now available on the Oculus Developer Center. You can download it here

 0.6.0 includes the following major changes:

  • Compositor service 
  • Layers 
  • Removal of application-based distortion rendering 
  • Simplification of the API

The compositor service moves distortion rendering from the application to the OVRServer process. This is an architectural change that enables features like layers and other performance and quality improvements in the future.  

Layer support allows an application to send multiple independent render targets to the compositor. For example, you might render the heads-up display, background, and game space each to their own separate layer. Each layer can have a different size, resolution, and update rate, which can be used to improve performance and rendering quality, particularly around text.  

The API simplification is a major step toward v1.0 including removing support for application-based distortion rendering.  

You can read the full release notes for 0.6.0 here.

Mobile VR Jam 2015 – Community Voting Now Open

Over the last month, hundreds of teams from around the world have dedicated themselves to bringing their virtual reality ideas to life for the Mobile VR Jam 2015. On Monday, over 300 teams submitted their final build for Milestone 4. Now, these VR Jam games, applications, and experiences are ready for community voting!

If you have a Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, you can visit the ChallengePost submission pages, download the builds, and experience them for yourself. Let us know what you think by voting on your favorites!

If you’re interested in learning how to register to vote on ChallengePost, or next steps for VR Jam 2015, you can check out the latest update here

Oculus Dev Blog – Squeezing Performance Out of Your Unity Gear VR Game

Chris Pruett, Oculus partner relations engineer, discusses methods for optimizing game performance on Gear VR in his post, “Squeezing Performance out of your Unity Gear VR Game”.

A sample frame from Unity with about 30,000 polygons and requires 40 draw calls

In part 1, Chris covers details of Gear VR, the runtime environment, and rendering techniques to improve performance. Part 2 will discuss how to go about debugging real-world performance problems.

More news to come in the run-up to E3.

– The Oculus team

First Look at the Rift, Shipping Q1 2016

Since the earliest days of the Oculus Kickstarter, the Rift has been shaped by gamers, backers, developers, and enthusiasts around the world. Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce that the Oculus Rift will be shipping to consumers in Q1 2016, with pre-orders later this year.   

The Rift delivers on the dream of consumer VR with compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality. It’s a system designed by a team of extremely passionate gamers, developers, and engineers to reimagine what gaming can be.

 A first look at what the world can expect in Q1 2016.

The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as a highly refined industrial design, and updated ergonomics for a more natural fit.

A peek inside the Oculus Rift.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift. Next week, we’ll share more of the technical specifications here on the Oculus blog.

Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more. If you’re interested in building a next-generation VR game or application, everything you need to start developing for the Rift is available at the Oculus Developer Center

E3 is just around the corner -- this is only the beginning. 

 -- The Oculus Team

‘Render the Metaverse’, Mary Lou Jepsen, Anna Sweet, and International Commerce


Render the Metaverse with Oculus and OTOY

We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with OTOY to host Render the Metaverse, a virtual reality art competition with over $75,000 in prizes. You can enter the competition starting today by creating and submitting a 360º stereoscopic panorama created using OTOY’s Octane VR system via the Render the Metaverse website.

Render the Metaverse will run through May, June, and July. Each month the best, most breathtaking 360 stereo-panoramic submissions will be judged by legendary comic book artist Alex Ross, Oculus CTO John Carmack, and OTOY founder and CEO, Jules Urbach. All winners, including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place along with runner ups will be featured and showcased in Oculus 360 Photos on Gear VR Innovator Edition, and later on the consumer Rift. 

“One of the rewards of years of technology development is seeing artists work on the canvases I have helped create, and I am always left amazed by the vision brought to bear. Stereoscopic panoramas are powerful, but they are a peculiar medium that is difficult to author for with conventional photography or rasterization based rendering. OTOY’s Octane VR makes it trivial to emit optimal media for today’s displays, as well as next generation formats for the future.” - John Carmack

We’ll have more news and updates on the contest in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can learn about OTOY and Octane VR at We’re looking forward to experiencing your visions in VR!

Mary Lou Jepsen and Anna Sweet Join Oculus

We’re very excited to announce that that Mary Lou Jepsen has joined Oculus Research. Mary Lou is one of the top display innovators in the world. Before Oculus, Mary Lou engineered the One Laptop Per Child $100 laptop, and later led “moonshot” display projects at Google.

“Virtual reality has been seen as a niche product for the wealthy. Like One Laptop Per Child’s vision of computers for the poorest children, we imagine VR as an enabling technology, a platform for mass adoption, for women and men, adults and children, rich and poor, everywhere.” – Mary Lou Jepsen

At Oculus, Mary Lou will be developing displays that will make it possible to push the boundaries of virtual reality technology.

We’re also thrilled to welcome Anna Sweet as Oculus’ new Head of Developer Strategy. Anna brings a wealth of industry experience from her time at Valve, where she led Steam software and hardware programs, working with partners around the world. At Oculus, she’ll be focused on building an ecosystem that rewards developers for creating and delivering the world’s best VR experiences.

"The first time I put on a VR headset, I knew it was the next thing I wanted to work on -- it was the same feeling I had when my parents bought me a Tandy when I was a kid. The ways in which VR can impact our lives is boundless, and I'm extremely excited to work with the world class team at Oculus to build the VR platforms and experiences that will shape the future of technology. I look forward to helping support and enable partners and developers across many industries to be a part of that." - Anna Sweet  

Please join us in welcoming Mary Lou and Anna to the team!

International Commerce Now Available on Gear VR

Since introducing commerce to the Oculus Store available on the Gear VR Innovator Edition, the team’s been working on expanding support to the rest of world. We’re excited to announce that as of 4/20, the global commerce rollout has begun. You can now buy and sell apps, games, and experiences on the Oculus Store in all countries where Gear VR is sold.

Viral by Fierce Kaiju, available on the Oculus Store for Gear VR Innovator Edition.

Full versions of games like Viral (“...the best $5 you can spend in virtual reality…” - Kotaku), Darknet by E McNeill ($9.99), Dreadhalls by White Door Games ($4.99) and Gunner by nDreams ($4.99) are now being sold to Gear VR Innovator Editions users worldwide. We’ll continue to add support and features for commerce in the months ahead -- Stay tuned!

Mobile VR Jam 2015 - Milestone 1 Complete

This week nearly 600 teams completed Mobile VR Jam 2015’s first development milestone, submitting ideas, pitches, and imagery from their project. You can check out the jam’s public submission gallery to share feedback, comments, suggestions, and questions directly with the teams.

Over the next few weeks, developers will continue to flesh out their submissions - providing screenshots by 4/27, videos by 5/3, and a final shareable build by 5/10. And most importantly, get ready to help us decide our “Community’s Choice” winners by voting on your favorites from 5/12 - 5/27.

It’s 6 weeks until E3 2015, and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the show!

-- The Oculus Team

Oculus @ GDC 2015

We're at GDC 2015 in San Francisco this week meeting with developers and showing off brand new content on the Crescent Bay prototype and Gear VR Innovator Edition. This is hands-down one of the biggest weeks for virtual reality in the history of the industry, and we’re excited to be a part of it.

Throughout the week, Oculus team members will be giving talks on the latest Oculus tech. John Carmack, CTO, kicked the show off this morning with his keynote, “The Dawn of Mobile VR”. You can watch the full video of John’s keynote on our Oculus Twitch channel.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we have two more engineering talks...

  • Brian Hook, head of audio, and Tom Smurdon, audio engineer, are talking about the new Oculus Audio SDK at 10:00am PT. Located in the West Hall, Room 2024. 
  • Anuj Gosalia, head of SDK, will be presenting on ‘Developing VR Games with Oculus SDK’ at 12:45pm PT. Located in the West Hall, Room 2024. 

We also released two technical posts on VR rendering earlier this week: 

The Oculus Rift “Crescent Bay Experiences”

On top of the Crescent Bay demos and Epic’s Showdown with remixed 360 spatial audio, at the Oculus booth we’re showing a brand new experience created in collaboration between Epic Games, WETA Digital, NVIDIA, and Oculus, called “Thief in the Shadows.”


Running exclusively on Crescent Bay and debuting at GDC, viewers will find themselves face to face with Smaug, the legendary dragon from the Hobbit. Thief in the Shadows is built in Unreal Engine 4 and powered by NVIDIA’s new flagship GPU, TITAN X. The experience also leverages the Oculus Audio SDK for incredible, 3D VR spatialized audio.

You can find Crescent Bay prototypes all over the GDC Expo floor! Visit Crytek’s booth for a brand new “Back to Dinosaur Island” experience in CryEngine, pop by Unity’s booth to see a demonstration of the great new features in Unity 5 for Oculus developers or head over to Epic Games and NVIDIA’s booth to see the latest Showdown and Thief in the Shadows experiences running on NVIDIA’s new TITAN X GPU in UE4.

The Oculus booth is in the South Hall, Lower Level, #1224. You can schedule a demo of Crescent Bay and/or Gear VR Innovator Edition through the Oculus Live App, available for download for Android and iOS.

We’re also hosting private, technical sessions where developers can get help from Oculus engineers on VR performance and design challenges. You can sign up by emailing with your name, company, and contact information. Please include as much detail as possible in your initial email so we can make sure the right folks are available.

Oculus Audio SDK Preview Available Now!

A preview of the Oculus Audio SDK is now available for download on the Oculus Developer Center! This is the same technology that we announced at Oculus Connect and that powered the remixed demos and experiences we debuted at CES.

Great spatialized audio is a powerful amplifier for presence -- By providing 3D audio plugins for Unity3D, AudioKinetic Wwise, Firelight FMOD, and VST compatible digital audio workstations, the Oculus Audio SDK provides content creators the tools to immerse players sonically in a virtual world, surrounded by realistically spatialized sounds. 

Let us know what you think over on the Oculus Developer Center in the new Audio Development forum. We’ll also have Brian Hook and Tom Smurdon’s GDC talk on the Audio SDK available shortly after the show.

Unity and Mobile VR Jam 2015

We recently announced the Mobile VR Jam 2015, which invites developers to compete for $1,000,000 in prizes by creating the innovative, new VR content for Gear VR Innovator Edition.

Yesterday during the Unity 5 keynote, John Riccitiello, Unity CEO, and Palmer announced that Unity will be sponsoring this year’s Mobile VR Jam! Eligible developers participating in the Mobile VR Jam will receive a $50 credit towards the Unity Asset Store for assets they can use in the competition. You can find full details on the official Mobile VR Jam 2015 site. 

Thanks for an incredible kick-off to GDC 2015 -- We’re looking forward to connecting with you this week at the show! 

 -- The Oculus team

Oculus' Mobile Jam 2015


Oculus' Mobile VR Jam is set to begin on April 13, 2015 with over $1,000,000 in available prizes! 

In 2013, hundreds of teams came together over three weeks to compete in the first ever VR Jam. Diving headfirst into unknown territory, these developers pioneered hundreds of new VR experiences, including DarkNet, Dumpy, SightLine, and DreadHalls.

This year, participants are challenged to build groundbreaking new content with the Gear VR Innovator Edition. This is an opportunity to collaborate with fellow developers, with over $1,000,000 cash in awards and prizes for the best new VR games, apps, and experiences.

You can visit the our official Mobile VR Jam 2015 page on ChallengePost to sign up, find a team, discuss your ideas, and get started. For each weekly milestone, each entry - including yours - will have its progress available for view, so you’ll also be able to give and receive valuable feedback.

If you’re attending GDC this year, we’d like to invite you to our Mobile VR Jam 2015 kick-off event, where you can meet other participants. Full details here.

We’ll have more news on the Mobile VR Jam in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned. We’re looking forward to seeing what you create!

Let's Jam!  

--The Oculus Team