Elite: Dangerous dev Frontier focuses on SteamVR

As work continues on adding official Oculus Rift support.

UPDATE: Frontier community chief Zac Antonaci has issued a follow-up statement, and said the developer continues to work with Oculus on Elite Dangerous Rift support.

  • In case people are alarmed by the headline or confused on the details, we thought it best to reiterate what we've been saying since the release of the Oculus 0.6 SDK. As quoted in the story, we are actively working with Oculus and will keep the community updated as soon as we are able to do so.
  • We are keen to support VR in all its forms and we are proud to be leading the way in VR gaming.

In a post on the Elite Dangerous forum, Antonaci revealed Frontier's focus shifted to SteamVR in part because of an early delivery of a stable software development kit.

  • Valve released a stable driver before Oculus but we remain in close contact with Oculus.

ORIGINAL STORY: Frontier has confirmed Elite: Dangerous does not currently officially support virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.

The developer is focusing, instead, on SteamVR.

Eurogamer was tipped off to a potential drop of support for Oculus Rift by a source who pointed to the lack of mention of the headset on the Elite: Dangerous store.

When contacted about the change, Frontier confirmed its move to focus on SteamVR.

The obvious follow-up question was whether the move was prompted by Frontier signing an exclusivity deal to release Elite: Dangerous on the HTC Vive first, but the Cambridge developer insisted this was not the case.

Frontier issued Eurogamer the following statement:

  • We've supported VR for a few years now, and Elite Dangerous is arguably the world's leading VR-ready game. We want to give players the best possible VR experience however they play - it's something we talked about with Digital Foundry recently - and that means focusing our efforts. Right now, we've chosen to focus on SteamVR. We haven't cut an exclusivity deal with any VR manufacturer, and we're still working with Oculus on Rift support.

The news comes as some surprise, given Frontier has used Oculus Rift to demo Elite: Dangerous' virtual reality potential at a raft of events over the past two years.

Those within the game's community, however, might have seen this coming. Elite: Dangerous ceased to work with Oculus Rift builds post 0.6. Indeed the developer took to its own forum earlier this month to address concern about the headset ahead of pre-orders going live.

"With the news that Oculus are starting pre order of their consumer version tomorrow, I wanted to just make a quick post to confirm that we are still actively working with Oculus but currently the only SDK we are able to officially support is 0.6," community chief Zac Antonaci said.

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