We’ve been waiting for decades for the future of virtual reality to arrive. Thanks to the Oculus Rift VR gaming headset, I think the future finally decided to show up.
Anytime virtual reality goggles have been attempted in the past, they’ve been horrible. But it looks like the hardware has caught up with the VR of our dreams, at last. Indie hardware developer Oculus is attracting a ton of attention for its “Rift” headset, garnering the praise and support of superstars like John Carmack (Id Software), Gabe Newell (Valve), and Cliff Bleszinski (Epic Games). All of whom, by the way, have promised to take advantage of the Rift headset in future releases.
The Rift was dreamed up by one Palmer Luckey (a name that could have jumped right out of a literary novel), who has created a Kickstarter project to raise the funds he and his team need to complete the project. (All the best gaming innovations are happening on Kickstarter these days, don’t you know.) Oculus’ goal was set at $250,000; based on the strength of Luckey’s presentation, not to mention all those glowing endorsements from gaming royalty, the Rift got pledges for its needed funds in just 24 hours. (At the time of this writing, the Rift is nearing the $1 million mark in pledges. It will easily surpass that and keep climbing, with almost a full month to go in its campaign.)
With a high-def, wrap-around screen that reportedly immerses you inside of your game like never before, a featherweight design that totals less than half a pound, and both HDMI and USB inputs, the Rift looks like a force to be reckoned with. Oculus isn’t saying what they’re hoping to sell the finished product for, but they’re committed to producing a consumer-friendly product that’s affordable for all kinds of gamers.