After the terrible news of Oculus VR co-founder Andrew Scott Reisse dying at the young age of 33 unexpectedly as a result of a cop car chase at the top of the month, the team behind the most advanced video game VR headset system has a lot to be proud of.
Thanks to the successful $2.4 million Kickstarter last August, the team behind the Oculus Rift was at E3 2013 happily seeing the new hotness as part of multiple demos, including the mindblowing EVE-VR concept by CCP Games. The good news for players eager to see what the future holds for the truly next-gen hardware is that it’ll be available to consumers next year.
When the Kickstarter first launched to develop the 3D virtual reality headgear into devkits, it was immediately backed by industry legends including id Software’s John Carmack, Valve’s Gabe Newell and at-the-time Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski, and as a result a plethora of developers jumped at the chance to integrate the peripheral into their own games. Hawken for example, supports it along with Portal 2. Doom 4 will launch with it, Minecraft will support it, and dozens of high profile teams have devkits and are adapting their games for it and these are just some of the examples from a very short time period.
With that in mind it’s no surprise that the Oculus team has secured an additional $16 million in financing from venture capitalists Spark Capital and Matrix Partners. Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus VR:
“What better way to mark our first anniversary than to announce our next phase of growth. There are still many challenging problems to solve, but with the support of these great investment partners, and our passionate community, we will continue to hire the brightest minds and stay laser focused on delivering the very best virtual reality platform possible.”
Oculus Rift inventory Palmer Luckey:
“Oculus began with a single mission: to put players inside the game. This investment allows us to deliver immersive and affordable virtual reality to players everywhere.”
CEO Brendan Iribe talks about what platforms the system will be built for:
“We’re always looking at other platforms – looking at consoles, we’re also looking at Android and the mobile side in a big way – but right now we really are focused on the PC platform.”
Iribe continues, in his chat with Engadget, to explain that the new cash will be used to hire the “best and brightest” people they find to help bolster the small Oculus team. Having tried the hardware myself last week, I can safely say that it offered the most impressive gaming experience of anything at E3. The industry has a lot to look forward to from Oculus Rift.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.