Elite Dangerous is an open-world game with MMO elements that puts you in the cockpit of your own spacecraft as you set out to explore, trade, and tangle with enemy ships. The reception has been very positive, particularly towards the game’s immersive nature, which has players tuning out the outside world as they explore the galaxy. So it should come as no surprise that developer Frontier Development is embracing virtual reality to bring players even closer to the Elite Dangerous universe.
Oculus recently blogged about the news on its official website. Frontier, an early Kickstarter pioneer, developed Elite Dangerous knowing that it will be eventually be playable in VR. Now, support for the final version of the Rift is official.
SteamVR support has been available for Elite when combined with Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) and HTC Vive/Vive Pre headsets. However, it hasn’t been a simple plug-and-play matter, as players have had to struggle to make it work properly. With this new announcement, we now know that the Oculus Rift store will be offering Elite as a launch title, and it will include native support for the Rift via the 1.0 runtime and software development kit (SDK). Rift support will also be made available to current customers.
Current Elite Dangerous players, as well as holders of the Horizons season pass, which gives access to five expansions through fall 2016 and beyond, can get the Oculus version of the game for free.
In a Skype interview with Ars Technica, Frontier founder and CEO David Braben said that he has “been itching to announce” the news, but he was waiting for Oculus to make its own announcement first.
“We’re going to be on the Oculus store,” Braben said. “We’re supporting [the Oculus Rift runtime] one point naught and the consumer release at launch, which is March 28.”
On March 28, you will have your choice of three storefronts from which to purchase the game — via the Oculus store, Frontier’s site, or Steam. You also have a choice of headets, including the Oculus Rift and Vive, which already has native SteamVR support.