March 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM ET
The impressive Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has gained another all-star game for its roster: Valve's "Team Fortress 2" will be coming to the experimental new hardware.
TF2 may be showing its age — it came out in 2007 — but hundreds of updates have kept it fresh over the years, and the move to being free to play brought a fresh batch of players in 2011. Adding a "VR mode" should provide yet more thrills, at least to the hardcore gamers who pick up an Oculus Rift headset.
The Oculus Rift has two displays, one for each eye, and by showing a slightly different perspective on each screen, a surprisingly convincing 3-D environment can be simulated. Sensors in the headset detect movement, so turning or raising your head will change the view accordingly.
NBC News got to test out a prototype at E3 2012 and an updated version at CES in January, and both times we were highly impressed at how immersive and natural it felt.
Valve told Engadget in an interview Monday that it has been an interesting collaboration, with both parties interested in advancing the state of virtual reality and non-traditional controls. "Team Fortress 2"was chosen because of its large player base, but also because it has been a test bed for other ideas before, like in-game purchases and rolling updates to content.
The Oculus Rift's Kickstarter campaign was a huge success — so much so that the project had to be delayed to accommodate all the extra orders and upgrades to the hardware. There's no ship date yet, but we expect news at or around June's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.