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.

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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.”

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It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about the future of gaming, I hope you are too.

  • The sony HMZ is avaliable today. Wide field of view, 720p and it’s well under 1000… (I paid $550 for mine).

    The sony HMZ of 2013? I don’t think 1080p would be that big a stretch, not to mention other improvements, possibly PS4 integration.

    I’m not saying competition is a bad thing, I’m saying that Oculus is late to the party, and for a wide FOV device it needs to be MUCH higher resolution…

    • Ben Lang

      The HMZ-T1 has a tiny FoV and no built in head tracking. It was designed as a ‘personal media viewer’ not a virtual reality device. Yes the 720p resolution is nice, but calling the Oculus Rift “late to the party” is a misunderstanding of the differences between the two. Not to to mention that the initial Oculus Rift is a developer device while the HMZ-T1 is
      aimed at consumers.

    • Dayset

      Where did you get HMZ for 550$ ?

      • Ben Lang

        Probably somewhere like eBay if I had to guess.

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  • 3D addict

    Another reason i can think of manufacturers not wanting to go along with VR is, because people wont have the need to buy extremely large overpriced HDTV’s anymore you’ll have all guests gamers visitors bring their own VR headband and ejoy quality entertainment time…

  • Manfred

    I have been wanting a real VR headset for years. I can’t wait for this puppy to come out. Palmer baby, my cash is ready!

  • Actimel

    I have been waiting for VR to get its act together since the 90s lol

    If the pixel density on the OC VR is low I may wait till V2.0 is released but I would like to see:

    – Low latency
    – Light weight
    – HD displays for each eye (OLED curved 1080p screens) – I wouldn’t be impressed to notice pixels or to have a screen resolution from the stone age.
    – A respectfully reality equivalent FOV
    – Surround sound (for rear creep ups etc)

    Game I would love to try this bad boy out on:

    – Planet Side 2
    – Guild Wars 2 / Warcraft
    – Project CARS / GRID 2 / GRID 1 / RACE 07 / FORZA
    – Battlefield 3
    – Unreal Tournament 3
    – Some high quality graphics golf game
    – Snooker / Pool game

    I wouldn’t like this for TV, I want to see the whole picture not have to look around.

  • Clorex Hax

    “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.”