First is John Carmack’s keynote which isn’t 100% about VR but there is 3 hours and 36 minutes of unfettered thoughts from the man himself. This one has a lot of technical talk and is not easily summarized. Carmack talks much about the issues regarding various VR technology and what challenges need to be overcome before the experience becomes perfect. There’s some talk about the Oculus Rift, but the presentation doesn’t focus exclusively on it. If you aren’t interested in the nitty gritty developer details, skip this one! I will however, leave you with a quote from Carmack during the keynote:
I do think this is happening right now. I think people are going to look back and say that the tail end of 2012 is when things took off, because it is now not something that you have to convince yourself is cool, like the previous generation of head mounted displays, this is actually neat to show people.
Next up is the ‘Virtual Insanity’ keynote featuring Michael Abrash of Valve, Palmer Luckey of Oculus (creator of the Oculus Rift), John Carmack of id, and moderated by id’s Todd Holldenshead. This one is much more accessible with less technical and more overview about the state of VR. There’s also lots of talk about the Oculus Rift Kickstarter and the unit itself. Michael mirrors Carmack’s words that I quoted above:
This is it. This is the seminal point where there’s a reasonable chance that out of this will explode all of the wearable-computing-gaming stuff that we’ve been treating as science-fiction for so many years.
He also clarifies his approach to the Oculus Rift and Valve support when asked whether or not Valve would be supporting the HMD:
It’s easy for me to talk about R&D and I can’t talk about products. What I can say is that I personally would like to get our games running on the Rift and make it a great experience and then ship it for that, I would like to do that. Whether that will be the case, whether we’ll be able to make it work that well and whether we’ll think the experience is that great , that’s not my decision.