Oculus Rift: Changing The VR Landscape At CES 2013

Oculus Rift: The Ecosystem

How about the software side? Oculus’ strategy is relying on game developers to support its hardware directly. So, don’t expect a software wrapper like 3D Vision or TriDef 3D Ignition to provide aftermarket support for already-available titles. This creates a causality dilemma. Without the hardware, why would developers invest time into enabling the Rift? We've seen this stand-off kill too many promising products. But there is good reason to be optimistic about the Oculus’ future: developers appear to be chomping at the bit to implement it.

The company sought funding via Kickstarter with an original goal of $250,000, offering prototype development kits starting at $275. They received about $2.5 million dollars in one of the most successful Kickstarter projects ever. John Carmack is a big fan of the Oculus, actively lending guidance for SDK development, in addition to committing to support the Rift in Doom 3: BFG Edition. Chris Roberts is clearly excited about the Rift, announcing his intention to support the game in the upcoming Star Citizen. Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games was quoted saying the company will support Rift in the Unreal Engine. Official support was announced by the developers of Hawken, and even Valve's Gabe Newell has gone out of his way to support the Rift Kickstarter project.

Development kits are scheduled to ship in the first quarter of this year, and the company expects to supply about 10,000 of them by May. Of course, its too early to tell whether the Rift will get enough support to achieve critical mass, but it says something that high-profile personalities in the industry are getting excited about it. They want to play in virtual worlds as much as everyone else, and they're able to make this happen by adding support to their games. For Oculus' part, company reps made it clear to us that a robust SDK and strong developer support is a priority.

How much can you expect to pay for the Rift when it launches? Oculus’ goal is to drop the price relative to its $300 developer kit, or at least keep it in the ballpark. I thought the thing would sell for more than $1,000 after trying it out myself. Comparable, professional VR hardware is in the five-figure range. Even 3D-capable monitors cost more than $300. At the estimated price, I'd happily buy one for each member of my family.

Thanks to Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus and inventor of the Rift, our dreams of interacting with virtual space are closer now than ever before. His primary focus is clearly on pushing VR forward into the mainstream. Imagine the possibilities if a VR headset could be combined with something like Microsoft's Kinect for body tracking. Some of the science fiction ideas from The Matrix and Star Trek suddenly seem possible within the next couple of years.

In the future, gamers could end up being the most active and physically fit folks around. Sitting in the humble demo room with Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, and Nate Mitchell, I felt like I was present for the start of something bigger than anything in the flashiest, most colossal booths on the CES show floor. It was a privilege to see history in the making.

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  • Now that's something that could use 440PPI (or more) screens! I don't really know if these smartphones coming out with 1080p screens would benefit from that kind of PPI, but since Occulus seems to have the screens way closer to your eyes. (Not sure if there are still lenses or something in there, but yeah, I'd really think super high PPI would be beneficial then.) :D
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  • Obviously the tech has a lot more potential uses, but I believe that Gaming is the huge industry that will allow the Rift to achieve critical mass.

    Certainly after there's a large deployment of the tech, we'll see many interesting uses for the Rift headset that has nothing to do with games.
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  • Why gaming only? Why not be your monitor for browsers and everything else you would use a monitor! Eyeball tracking would be easy and standard input devises would be usable too. They should also put a camera on the outside, so you could switch or overlay the outside with the inside to see your physical environment when needed so you don't have to take the headset off briefly to see where you put your drink or reach for anything else in you physical environment.
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  • Other Comments
  • Why gaming only? Why not be your monitor for browsers and everything else you would use a monitor! Eyeball tracking would be easy and standard input devises would be usable too. They should also put a camera on the outside, so you could switch or overlay the outside with the inside to see your physical environment when needed so you don't have to take the headset off briefly to see where you put your drink or reach for anything else in you physical environment.
    15
  • Obviously the tech has a lot more potential uses, but I believe that Gaming is the huge industry that will allow the Rift to achieve critical mass.

    Certainly after there's a large deployment of the tech, we'll see many interesting uses for the Rift headset that has nothing to do with games.
    16
  • Gaming will sell this. Other applications could include therapy, education, training, research and development.....
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  • Now that's something that could use 440PPI (or more) screens! I don't really know if these smartphones coming out with 1080p screens would benefit from that kind of PPI, but since Occulus seems to have the screens way closer to your eyes. (Not sure if there are still lenses or something in there, but yeah, I'd really think super high PPI would be beneficial then.) :D
    19
  • Drool :love: :bounce: :pt1cable: :)
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  • Interestingly, super high resolution isn't as necessary in the 3D world. You can look at those stereographic images online (the ones where you have to relax your eyes till' they nearly cross). They're fairly low resolution images. What happens is that your brain takes that pixelated image, in the 3D space, and 'fills in' the missing data. It's pretty cool. You just 'understand' the data that should be there.

    FWIW, contrast is more, if not equally as, important than resolution. You can have all the resolution in the world. But if you don't have contrast, you'll never be able to perceive the resolution.
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  • FPS games will need to unassociate the crosshair and body turn with the screen. I don't want to aim and turn around with my head.
    11
  • good thing it's not like the VR I just watched in Sword Art Online!
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  • mcd023good thing it's not like the VR I just watched in Sword Art Online!


    lol Soo good but so slow much better than any of the hack series.
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  • mcd023good thing it's not like the VR I just watched in Sword Art Online!



    I hope we can start watching anime in virtual reality soon.
    4
  • I just made up my mind, I'm waiting at least three years before purchasing a new monitor - I may not need to
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  • I saw this earlier on IGN.

    I would love to play BF3 with it.
    But not Horror Games because that might Give a Heart Attack
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  • Somebody should start finding Kayaba Akihiko! Only 9 more years till the making of the NerveGear.

    Jokes aside, they should probably look at SAOs style for VR games.
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  • Now that you mention it sumuk I think horror games would be freaking awesome on this specially after taking some ambient lol. I remember playing RE 2 on that stuff o that was interesting.
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  • Cant wait. I wonder if it would work with smart phones too as an external monitor. It would be a great way to view a movie while traveling by bus/train/airplane...
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  • Part of your statement is false. I have both a Samsung Active 3D and a LG Cinema 3D. I can watch my LG Cinema 3D, in 3D from any angle and with my head tilted, and it remains 3D. The samsung, not so much. But 3D is amazing on the LG with 240hz. So you're broad statement of Polarized and existing 3D doesn't allow angle viewing, isn't 100% accurate.
    -2
  • Two questions:
    1. Does it avoid the discrepancy between the focus distance for the lenses of the eyes and the apparent distance based on binocular cues?
    2. Is it usable by someone who already has glasses?
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  • 220335 said:
    Part of your statement is false. I have both a Samsung Active 3D and a LG Cinema 3D. I can watch my LG Cinema 3D, in 3D from any angle and with my head tilted, and it remains 3D.


    Not possible by it's very nature. Some solutions are better than others, but if you tilt your head 90 degrees any 3D screen will fail.

    Not so with the Rift.
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  • CleeveNot possible by it's very nature. Some solutions are better than others, but if you tilt your head 90 degrees any 3D screen will fail.


    If you go all the way to 90 degrees, the 3d effect will look wrong (or the display might go completely dark with active shutter glasses), but minor tilts would only cause a problem with linearly polarized glasses. Some screens use circular polarization.
    -1
  • Though they already have lots of money, they could use some money to hire a professional industrial designer to reduce the weight, and add a external camera.
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