Today at Oculus Connect, Oculus’ Head of Rift, Nate Mitchell, announced the ‘Core 2.0’ update coming to Rift on PC which brings Oculus Dash, a total overhaul to the store and library experience on Rift, which also allows you to use desktop PC apps inside of VR on virtual monitors.
Oculus Home and the Universal Menu were originally designed for gamepad controllers; once Touch came onto the scene, the motion controllers were simply made into laser pointers as a stop gap to getting the interface to work.
Now Oculus has announced the ‘Core 2.0’ update, coming to the Rift in beta this December. The update will bring a total overhaul to Oculus Home and the Universal Menu, one that’s designed specially for motion input. Specifically, the Core 2.0 update will condense the existing functionality of Oculus Home and the Universal Menu into a new interface that’s accessible anywhere called Oculus Dash.
Oculus Dash can be called up anywhere, just like the former Universal Menu. From the Dash you can access the Oculus Store, your game library, friends list, and critically, you can launch traditional PC desktop apps—like Chrome, Spotify, and Netflix—right inside of VR. PC apps are represented in their own floating windows, which Oculus says are treated deep at the operating system level as true virtual monitors. You’ll even be able to ‘pin’ PC apps from the dash so that they stay floating in view while you’re in a VR game.
On stage, Oculus’ Head of Rift, Nate Mitchell said that the company had thought a lot about how to optimize PC app windows for VR. He claims Dash will offer “best in class performance and visual quality,” for PC apps in VR, setting the platform “on a path to replacing real monitors entirely.”
Because the new Oculus Dash combines Oculus Home and the Universal Menu functionality, Mitchell says that Oculus Home has been freed up to become more personal, social, and customizable. We’ll have more on the company’s new plans for Home soon.