Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous will be an Oculus Rift launch title. If the headline didn't quite give it away both Oculus and Frontier made it known on their own respective platforms that the game will natively support the Oculus Rift and that the game will be a launch title for the virtual reality headset, which is due to release on March 28.
The news was first made over on the official Oculus blog where they announced that a Rift-compatible version of Elite: Dangerous would be made available at launch, and that the Rift version would be cross-platform compatible with Mac, PC and console users.
The fact that the blog mentioned that the Rift version of Elite: Dangerous would be cross-platform compatible made some gamers worried that current owners would have to re-buy the game to gain access to native VR support for the Oculus Rift. Well, the wording was a little confusing in the blog and users in the comment section pointed to a post over on the official Elite: Dangerous forums by community manager Zac Antonaci who explained that the Rift version would be sold separately but given away free to current owners of the vanilla Elite: Dangerous and Elite: Dangerous Horizons...
Before the Oculus launch we will be releasing an updated Elite Dangerous build which will contains support for the latest Oculus SDK, available at no additional charge. All of the existing and future customers that have an Oculus Rift consumer headset will be able to use it.
That sent a sigh of relief through the hearts and minds of a lot of gamers.
Based on the wording in the original Oculus blog post, many owners of Elite: Dangerous thought that they would have to buy a separate Rift-compatible version or upgrade to Elite: Dangerous Horizons in order to play the game with a virtual reality headset.
Others were concerned about another issue that wasn't mentioned in the blog: will current owners of the Rift DK2 still be able to play the new Rift-compatible version of the space sim on their older Rift headsets?
Before worry set in there was already an answer to the question. Over on Ars Technica it was explained that current iterations of Elite: Dangerous do indeed work with the devkit renditions of the Oculus Rift, so it's possible to play the new VR-ready version of the game on the older DK2 versions of the Rift.
And finally, yes this game will also work with the HTC Vive... it's not just Rift exclusive. If you plan on getting the HTC Vive or the GearVR, the headsets should be compatible with Frontier Developments' space simulator.
The VR-ready version of Elite will be up and available on the Oculus store and will launch alongside the VR headset, which is due to drop on March 28th for $599.