VR Headset ‘Oculus Rift’ Poised to Redefine Gaming

Aug 3, 2012 by  

It’s not often we get to talk about new, readily available hardware. While the gaming world holds its breath for the next iterations of the Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox consoles, a very fascinating project has found its place among the heated discussion on where we as gamers go from current-generation hardware. And, as if we couldn’t talk about E3 2012 enough, that’s exactly where the Oculus Rift made its debut – and has since been made a truly massive Kickstarter project, backed by some of the biggest names in gaming.

The Oculus Rift is a yet prototype virtual reality display with a whopping 100+ degree field of vision, which truly puts players into the world of the games they play. The small company was formed out of founder Palmer Luckey’s garage, with its flagship project demo unit being assembled with high density displays, smartphones, and a serious enthusiasm for practical VR interaction.

“Games are something I’m really passionate about, and even more than playing games, I’m passionate about bringing games to the next level.” – Palmer Luckey

That passion has caught the attention of some of the biggest names in the gaming industry. On the Kickstarter page dedicated to the Oculus Rift, a video sits at the header, containing statements from Id Software’s John Carmack, Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski, and several influential forces in gaming. These are also people who are famous for being intensely passionate for bringing gaming to the next level – so when they say it’s the real deal, we pretty much have no choice but to believe it.

Oculus Rift VR Headset

Id Software has already made the first move in making Doom 3 compatible with the Rift, with Epic Games following at a close second, integrating the hardware into their upcoming Unreal Engine successor. Even Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson says his indie development house Mojang will support it, and he pledged $10,000 to back it.

The hardware appears to be lightning fast, removing the element of latency between hardware and display as players turn and move their heads around within a virtual space. Demos of the technology can be seen, albeit briefly, utilizing Doom 3‘s control scheme, but altering it to allow for the Rift to do its handy work.

Oculus Rift VR Headset

Various attempts have been made at capturing the great unicorn that is truly interactive, virtual reality gaming – and, aside from the recent resurgence of 3D technology, they have all but failed. While there is certainly a cause for concern amongst those who have not yet had the chance to test out this prototype, everyone who has tried it has been nothing short of blown away.

So, what say you, ranters: are you anxious to take the plunge into a possible third dimension that completely envelops your field of view — or are you skeptical that the supposed future is already here today?

For more information on the Oculus Rift, including how to back the project, visit its Kickstarter page — which has already racked up more than a million dollars in less than a day! Their do-it-yourself prototype is expected to start shipping in November of this year, though currently slated for PC and mobile only.

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Follow me on Twitter @superkyol.

Source: Kickstarter

18 Comments

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  1. Badass.

    This > hands-free motion controls.

    • Eh, i think it would be epic with the move, first person boxing anyone?

  2. WOW.

  3. My questions are how much is the system going to costs? How powerful is it? How do we interact with the games?

    It would be neat if it used the Kinect or Move. Or give us a controller gun to play House of the Dead. I could defiantly see some awesome FPS games on this. Here’s to hoping this lives up to the hype.

    • While I haven’t tried the Kinect whatsoever, I feel like something like the move would work a Lot better. Plus for games WITH a sword or gun or something, It would be nice to feel that in your hand with a controller. I hope they incorporate some kind of motion controls.

  4. If I had the money, I’d pledge $300 to get an “Early Rift Developer Kit.” :P

    I’m not sure how I’d like using a controller to play the game. It seems like some other kind of controls should be used. Maybe motion controls? That’d make you feel like you’re interacting with the game world rather than just looking around at it and pressing buttons.

    • I would buy this if they made it for PS3 or Xbox. Dead Space or even Gears would be awesome.. not to mention games like skyrim and Batman

      • If it has the capabilities of PCs, then Skyrim would be the most amazing thing ever on this.

  5. This would be the first real answer to 3d gaming, but price could be an issue if they can keep it under $1000 I will be shocked

    • I remember reading someplace two days ago (not sure where) that this would be in the $300-$400 price range. Not sure how credible it is, but I think I read that on G4′s website.

    • ^.^ The dev units are 300$–albeit unassembled. Not the hardest to assemble that said.

  6. David Helgason was so excited for the Rift that his collar popped itself!

  7. It would be cool if it would actually see your hands in front of you too and be able to augment those into the games as well…

  8. I am very much looking forward to seeing this hit retail. I’m going to be watching this as it goes, I hope it works as well as they say it does.

  9. :o This sounds amazing!
    If the price is right and the tech doesn’t have any side effects (for example: causing headaches, nausea, etc.) then I’m definitely in.

  10. This concept was first shown in the movie “Hackers” in the 80′s and I thought it was incredibly cool then. I have wondered why with all our technological advances in gaming that have taken place why it took so long to get this same concept to reality.

    Having said that I would deffinately buy it even if it was just for the visual feature without the game controlling feature but my hope is that we are moving in a direction of full emersion gaming which would be awesome.

    Depending on

  11. First I am automatically being doubtful for the health risks. Then comes the cost. And then if I can see through it as I don’t want to be punching bystanders blindly, and lastly if this was with the PSMOVE that would be EPIC! Like some dude ^^^ up there said, Boxing Anyone? :D

  12. Gabe Newwel supports this? I’m in.

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