Virtual Reality’s Bright Future

With so much happening across the industry, we wanted to take a moment and share some of the exciting VR-related news from the last few weeks!

Gaming Insiders Summit and NVIDIA Tech Event

Last week, the team attended the Gaming Insiders Summit, where Brendan gave a talk about the future of virtual reality, and the NVIDIA event in Montreal, where John Carmack participated in the announcement of their new G-Sync project (we’re very excited to see people getting serious about improving display performance in PC gaming).

John with Jen-Hsun Huang (NVIDIA), Tim Sweeney (Epic Games), and Johan Andersson (EA DICE).
Image courtesy of Engadget.

One of the key topics we discussed was the latest progress around reducing simulator sickness (akin to motion sickness).

We’ve said before that delivering the most comfortable VR experience is a key focus here at Oculus, and tech advancements are bringing us closer to the Holodeck. Luckily for us, Brendan has always been very sensitive to visual errors, which makes him an ideal subject for testing the latest demos. At Gaming Insiders, Brendan talked about using a new VR prototype at Valve, which combines ultra low latency, precise head and positional tracking with low-persistence visuals for one of the most immersive and comfortable experiences ever. We can't share all the details yet, but we're taking the insights we've learned from that demo and applying them to the development process to make the consumer Rift even better.

We’ve also talked about the potential for mobile VR, especially for experiences like VR Cinema and games with creative visuals that don’t require a high-end graphics card. John summed up our vision extremely well during his Engadget interview:

"The way I believe it's going to play out is you will eventually have a head-mounted display that probably runs Android, as a standalone system, that has a system-on-a-chip that's basically like what you have in mobile phones…

A standalone VR headset is the future of VR, especially as mobile computing continues to rapidly advance. Bringing VR to an open platform like Android will pave the way for completely new experiences. The Oculus Android SDK is up and running internally, and we’re working on core optimizations for mobile chipsets now.  Stay tuned for more news on this front!

Next-Gen Rift Dev Hardware

In John's interview with Engadget (which you can watch below), he mentions a second Rift development kit.


Video courtesy of Engadget.

To clarify: we’d like to ship a new development kit before the consumer version that provides near identical features that developers can build on and test against for the Rift’s launch. That said, we have no plans to announce a new development kit this year. The timing of a new dev kit is tied to the launch of the consumer Rift, and we’ll keep the community posted.

Also, we're working to ensure that content built using the current Rift development kit is compatible with new Oculus hardware, though there will be some integration required to take advantage of the new features, especially for the best experience. 

Marshall Cline Joins Oculus!

We’re excited to introduce Marshall Cline, our new VP of Platform. Marshall is a world renowned software architect, engineer, PhD., and author of the legendary C++ FAQ. His work was an early inspiration for Brendan and Michael when they started in the games industry. Marshall is heading up development of the Oculus platform, which means he’s responsible for all the web services powering your virtual reality experience. Please join us in welcoming him to the team!

Rift in the News

In case you missed it, the Rift was featured on the Today Show, where Matt Lauer tried the Unreal Engine 4 Elemental demo on the 1080p HD Prototype live on national television!

Images courtesy of TODAY.

The Rift also won a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award and a Golden Joystick Award for Innovation of the Year! It’s a huge honor — Thank you for making these possible!

Image courtesy of Popular Mechanics.

Finally, if you’re in the Boston area the weekend of Nov. 2nd, join us for a VR developer meetup! A few of us will be there talking about the Rift, virtual reality, and hardware development. You can find all the details here.

We hope to see you there!

– Palmer and the Oculus team

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