As Oculus Touch celebrates its first anniversary, its creator has introduced a far-reaching update to the Rift. Core 2.0, now in beta, aims to provide a better link between the headset and your PC in order to get the best possible results out of both pieces of hardware.
Perhaps the most impactful functionality introduced as part of this update is Dash, which makes it easier to switch between apps and interact with friends without taking off your headset.
One intriguing component of Dash is Oculus Desktop, a feature that presents your standard Windows desktop and traditional apps in virtual reality. The Dash interface can be pulled up at any time, giving easy access to your friends list, frequently used apps, and other content.
Next, there’s Home, which has been rebuilt from the ground up. Users can now customize their virtual living space, adding decorative collectibles and even some interactive items.
There’s currently one room layout with a few hundred built-in items — a blog post announcing the Core 2.0 software update teased some “rare masterpieces” created by the Oculus Rex team, who were responsible for First Contact and Dreamdeck. Over time, these customization options will grow.
New items are unlocked by donning the Rift and spending time in VR, although there will be a limit on how many item packs users can earn during the beta. Trophies and game cartridges are tied to particular achievements and the games present in your library. Some upcoming additions will draw from community creations, and there will even be a way to decorate Home with sculptures from Oculus Medium.
Home will also let users hang out with one another in real time. Although this functionality won’t be ready for the beta, it’s said to be one of the team’s top priorities going forward – and you’ll still be able to visit other users’ spaces in the upcoming preview.
To opt into the Oculus Core 2.0 beta, Rift owners need to join the Public Test Channel. Testers are encouraged to provide detailed feedback so that the development team can address some of the ways its currently “rough around the edges,” and introduce new features in a timely manner.