This is Crescent Bay, the newest Oculus Rift and first with integrated audio

It's getting better, but not quite there yet

Oculus has unveiled the latest edition of its Rift VR headgear, called Crescent Bay.

The new Oculus Rift prototype, revealed during the Oculus Connect 2014 developer conference, is loaded with improvements and fresh features.

Chief among them is integrated audio, a first for Rift. With headphones attached to the headset (yet still optional) as opposed to requiring a separate peripheral, Oculus is moving one step closer to creating a complete VR experience ready for consumers.

Crescent Bay also features 360-degree head tracking and expanded positional tracking. We're still lacking specs, but this Rift is fitted with new display technology and is lighter and more ergonomic than any previous version.

Oculus Rift Crescent Bay front

Sleeker, lighter and now with integrated audio

Oculus claims Crescent Bay makes for "a level of presence" unachievable with DK2, the Rift prototype that came before it. Crescent Bay certainly has a more edited, streamlined look, and the enhancement of sound and improvements to positional tracking should help users get lost in a 3D world.

To help demonstrate Crescent Bay's prowess, the Oculus content team developed original demos to show where VR is going in gaming, film and other mediums. Notice how Oculus isn't concerned with only gaming?

Though Crescent Bay prototypes may be "the best virtual reality headsets" Oculus has built to date, the company warned there's still a ways to go before the consumer Rift is ready.

Oculus Rift

Take that, DK2

Sound machine

Oculus didn't stop with strapping headphones to Rift in its efforts to improve the headset's sound quality.

The company also announced it's concentrating on building software and hardware to help developers create high-fidelity Oculus audio, and emphasized the importance of 3D audio to the headgear moving forward.

As part of its push to have users' ears as immersed in a VR world as their eyes, Oculus licensed audio tech from RealSpace3D.

Oculus teased there's more on the audio front to be announced "in the coming months."

The Facebook-owned firm also announced a new Epic Games demo, Showdown, that Oculus Connect attendees can try out on Crescent Bay.

Finally, Oculus revealed a partnership with Unity that makes Oculus an official platform and build target, a coupling that essentially provides developers with Unity tools to build games and experiences specifically for virtual reality.

  • Here's the other headset Oculus helped create - Gear VR


News Editor (US)

As the US News Editor, Michelle (Twitter, Google+) keeps her eye on all things tech with particular interest on phones, tablets and finding out who the people are behind the devices. Any phone that can survive a regular (accidental) drop has her vote for best handset. Michelle previously worked covering local news in the Bay Area and has been with TechRadar since July 2012.