If John Carmack isn't the biggest proponent of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, he's definitely the most proactive. In addition to backing the display technology at E3 2012 and lending his endorsement to the Oculus Rift Kickstarter page, the co-founder of id Software has led the charge in gaming support, integrating the hardware with the upcoming Doom 3: BFG Edition re-release.
Other developers like Epic Games and Mojang have since pledged future Oculus support of their own, but Carmack has once again aligned himself even tighter: He announced during a Quakecon 2012 interview that Doom 4 - whenever it might release - will be fully incorporated with the VR headsets.
The slowly-developing scion of the id Tech 5 engine, Doom 4 is widely believed to be headed for a next-generation release. Whether or not consoles will be able to support the Oculus Rift by then is uncertain - console functionality is part of the manufacturer's plan, though as of now the headsets only work on PC and mobile platforms - but according to The Verge, Carmack can't wait to submerse his next shooter into virtual reality:
"I'm excited for once Doom 3 ships, and gets out there, I'll put all this stuff into the Doom 4 platform, which will be nice to take our current top-of-the-line stuff and have that in virtual reality. I'm looking forward to doing that.
"It's going to be a fully supported feature on there, because I think I could justify – based on the response that we got from our 8-year-old re-release title on here, when we finally do end up giving demos on Doom 4, we're gonna say, 'Okay, here's all this great stuff, run through all this stuff,' everybody has a great time, and then at the end you can play it in virtual reality, and that'll just put the stamp on everything. So I think I have good justification for my continued involvement in it."
While Carmack recently promised that Doom 4 would soon become id's sole focus, once clear of their Doom 3 re-release, nothing has been seen of the shooter outside of some leaked concept screenshots in February. The relevance of the images - any notion that they might be emblematic of the final game - was instantly repudiated by the developer, and fans have been on standby ever since.
But even the silence is significant.
There's a pattern evolving out of Carmack's Doom 4 demure, his hesitance with placing a deadline or a time stamp on a project that is already, at the very least, four years in production. Everything id is building into the game, be it the id Tech 5 engine or virtual reality, needs to be carefully assessed before getting the green light; games like Rage (which our Rob Keyes has described as an id Tech 5 tech demo) and Doom 3: BFG Edition (the first pioneer of Oculus Rift) have, as Carmack's recent interview suggests, provided that testing ground.
Doom 3 will re-release on October 16, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC - and perhaps its view under the Oculus Rift headset will impart more insight to the Doom 4 experience than anything we've seen yet.
Ranters, what do you think of John Carmack and Doom 4 embracing virtual reality technology?
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Source: The Verge