The earliest versions of the Oculus Rift – even the ones John Carmack would evangelise for use with Doom 3 back when he was at id – were Frankenstein-ian prototypes, held together by sheer enthusiasm and copious amounts of duct tape.
How far we’ve come. Last night, Oculus offered the first look at the consumer version of the Rift – out in the first few months of 2016.
This will be the first edition of the Rift that Oculus will actually encourage you to buy – as opposed to the developer kits lay users were warned off. To that end, they’re coming to E3 to show it off – putting paid to any suggestion they’re no longer a gaming-focused company under Facebook.
The finished model builds on the “presence, immersion and comfort” of the Crescent Bay prototype – boasting “more natural” ergonomics, refined industrial design, and an improved tracking system that supports standing and seated play. That’s become a crucial differentiator since the Valve VR demo at GDC.
The coming weeks will see announcements about specifications, software, input – controllers and what else? – and some made-for-VR games we don’t know about.
“It’s a system designed by a team of extremely passionate gamers, developers, and engineers to reimagine what gaming can be,” said Oculus. “E3 is just around the corner – this is only the beginning.”
Perhaps they should have revealed the design on Star Wars Day – there’s a touch of Vader about it. Are you a fan?