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21st Century Elite remake to support Oculus Rift virtual reality rig

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Elite fans eagerly awaiting the completion of the classic space trading game’s 21st Century refit, Elite: Dangerous will be pleased to learn that it’ll support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset when it is completed next year.

“We’ve been playing with the Oculus Rift dev kits and are excited about the potential – just glancing around your cockpit or being totally immersed in a space battle,” enthused wizard programmer and Elite co-creator David Braben.

“Many of our backers have made it clear that they would like Oculus Rift support – and so do we! We’re very pleased with the results so far.”

Elite: Dangerous is set to debut 30 years after the original saw light of day. Braden and co-coder Ian Bell began work on Elite in 1982 – the game came out in September 1984. The new version was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in November 2012.

When the crowd-funding round came to an end in January this year, Braben’s firm, Frontier Developments, had won a fair bit more than the one-and-a-quarter million pounds it reckoned it needed to spend to bring the revival to market.

Braben describes the new version as “an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breath-taking scope, and also fully multi-player”. All that will clearly be enhanced with Oculus’ headset, an HDMI-driven gadget – also Kickstarter-funded – currently being made available to developers ahead of its eventual release as a product.

Oculus is notable not only for successfully raising huge amounts of cash from "the crowd" – not to mention some major games publishers – but also for hiring iD Software whiz John Carmack, he of Doom, Quake, Rage etc fame, and for bravely attempting to make the once much-derided VR headset cool. ®

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