It’s been nearly a year since the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset made waves at E3 2012, later racking up nearly $2.5 million in Kickstarter funding. Since then, the upcoming consumer-level head-mounted display has received an abundance of support from the likes of id Software, Eve Online, and Minecraft creator Mojang. In addition, many of those who funded the project early-on have been uploading videos using the device with various software – everything from Skyrim to roller coaster simulations.

Valve is also jumping on board, with a beta update forĀ Half-Life 2 already available to players who have the Oculus SDK. By opting-in to beta releases through Steam‘s internal settings and appending “-vr” to the game’s launch parameters, Oculus users can experience the the acclaimed first-person shooter the way it was meant to be: in stereoscopic 3D across a 110-degree field of vision.

More info from Valve below on how to take advantage of the virtual headset SDK:

[The final version] should ship to everybody in a few weeks.

This port is a bit more raw than TF2 was when it shipped, so we would appreciate hearing about any bugs you find. Just like in TF2 this mode is experimental, so we really want to hear what you think.

A few known issues:

  • The zoom UI shows up in a quad in the middle of the screen instead of on the edges of the screen.
  • The HUD is dim and hard to read.

All of the convars are the same as they were in TF2 with two additions:
vr_viewmodel_offset_forward – Moves the viewmodel back so the elbows are harder to see and it feels more attached to your body.
vr_viewmodel_offset_forward_large – Same as vr_viewmodel_offset_forward, but for the Gravity Gun.

With so much support and countless demonstration videos popping up, the Oculus Rift should find success with the home market, and promises a new level of immersion for most consumers while retaining a low price point. Its effects have also been used in treating PTSD, and appears to be a smart new method of mental therapy.

While there is no set release date for the Oculus Rift, chances are we will hear more about it at this year’s E3.

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Source: Oculus VR Developer Forums