Much has happened since the Oculus Rift Head Mounted Display / VR headset started picking up steam in May. Palmer Luckey has been teasing that he was in discussion with some big names in gaming, and today he’s ready to do some name-dropping. Can such strategic partnerships lead to high-speced Oculus Rift 2.0 in 2013 as Luckey says?
According to an update today over at MTBS3D forums, Luckey says he’s talking to the following about the Oculus Rift and VR gaming:
- Valve (Half Life, Team Fortress, etc., Source Engine)
- iD/Zenimax/Bethesda (Doom, Oblivion, Skyrim, etc.)
- Epic (Gears of War, Ureal, Infinity Blade, etc., Unreal Engine)
- Crytek (Far Cry, Crysis, etc., CryEngine)
- Unity (Engine)
- “several other development companies”
The last bullet is apparently stuff he can’t talk about quite yet, but above that is beyond exciting for any serious gamer reading this. Luckey says about the companies above, “The extent of their relationships with Oculus varies, but I can promise at least a few partnerships.” These are some of the biggest names in gaming… not just companies, but game engines used to create games by other companies. The Source Engine alone has at least 30 titles under its belt and countless more third-party modifications like Gary’s Mod.
If even a few of these companies support the Oculus Rift VR headset with their games, there will be hundreds of hours of quality virtual reality gaming to be had.
Furthermore, Luckey says, “I am working with hardware engineers who have designed some extremely well known gaming peripherals, software developers with very extensive middleware integration and partnership experience, and a small amount of funding from people who really, really want VR to happen.”
I’ll be keeping a close eye on these partnerships, stay tuned.
Perhaps yet more exciting is Luckey’s tease about what could be the Oculus Rift 2.0. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that the Oculus Rift is a DIY enthusiasts kit (some assembly required). Luckey says that in 2013, we could see a vastly improved device with “native integration with some (if not all) of the major game engines”. In his full words:
I hate to succumb to hype, but in an attempt to keep people from being to upset about the delay: Imagine an HMD with a massive field of view and more pixels than 1080p per eye, wireless PC link, built in absolute head and hand/weapon/wand positioning, and native integration with some (if not all) of the major game engines, all for less than $1,000 USD. That can happen in 2013!
Yes, $1000 is expensive, but it’s at least reasonable, unlike the high performance HMDs of the past which were usually built for military purposes and could cost ~$20,000.
This is far more exciting news than what was heard out of E3 this year. The Oculus Rift VR headset could fundamentally change gaming as we know it… and soon! Luckey also notes that, “Oculus is going forward in a big way, but a way that still lets me focus on the community first, and not sell out to a large company.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about the future of gaming, I hope you are too.