At E3 2014, Oculus VR debuts one of their biggest and most impressive booths yet. Stationed right near the big three (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo), Oculus’ booth is surrounded by fans hungry to get their heads into the latest VR demos. Within the booth, a mini-museum reveals never before seen Rift prototypes.

Chez Oculus, E3 2014

If you wanted to form a very quick graphic indication of how Oculus VR has grown as a company, simply take a look at their progressively extravagant (albeit always extremely practical) show stands over the last couple of years. At this year’s E3, the company behind the renaissance of virtual reality has once again upped its own ante and taken over a huge portion of the E3 show floor with a boutique show area.

The floor is split up into mini-lounges, complete with dedicated monitors with faux objet d’art dotted about the place. Its very retro-modern, chic, and yet suitably cosy. Anyway, as Road to VR tradition now dictates, we like to be able to give those unable to be at E3 2014 a feel of what it’s like to be there. Therefore, we’ve compiled a batch of snaps which we think captures the place well.

Below you can see the extent of the line that the Rift booth attracts:

The Oculus Rift Mini-museum

Oculus are unusual in the consumer technology or gaming hardware industry, they’re incredibly open to showing their significant leaps. In the last 2 years, press and public have been treated to numerous iterations on technology and design.

Well, as a testament to how far the Oculus Rift has some since its GDC 2012 public debut, and perhaps to emphasise to the impatient fans just how much work goes on behind the scenes, this year’s booth holds an integrated mini-museum of Oculus Rift prototypes. The small, curated collection gives a good overview of the transition from past to present although it’s by no means exhaustive. Talking to Road to VR’s Ben Lang, Palmer Luckey told him “It isn’t a comprehensive display… we had to be careful what prototypes we showed…”—giving a teasing insight into perhaps design and technologies not followed but potentially still valuable in the future or to others.

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For those of you who’ve been following the Oculus story from the beginning, you’ll likely recognise some of them. So here’s a challenge for you: Can you name when and where we saw each of the below devices first? Throw your answers in the comments below and we’ll see who gets the most.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Simon

    Wow that’s some line! Without meaning to be mean, it would have been interesting to the interview the bloke at the very end of the line to find out whether he’s ever tried a rift and what’s motivating him to stand in line for what looks like it’s going to be very long time….

    With people asking what to do with their DK1’s now that DK2 is coming, I wonder if it will turn up to be a ‘Lassiter’ in the future?

    • Ben Lang

      That’s a great idea. Will keep it in mind!

    • monographix

      I wish people would sell their DK1’s. They won’t be using it much when DK2 is out and reselling it at a lower price would allow thousands other people, who couldn’t afford buying it during kickstarter and later, to finally try it and show it to their friends.

      Instead, I’ve just found used OR’s for more than 300GBP (500 USD) which, considering average wages in my country, would be an equivalent of ~1000 USD in US. That is just plain ridiculous.

      • Sven Viking

        There’ll probably be some cheaper DK1s selling once people actually receive their DK2s.

      • Kemic

        I think a great many of the indie dev’s and early adopters like myself will probably hold onto their dk1’s for a few reasons.
        1) Collector’s item (There were only 50-60k made I think)
        2) Use for a “where did this all start” moment years down the road
        3) Trying out the soon to arrive multiplayer VR experiences that people come up with
        4) Possibly if they want to do an indepth check on how well their software works with the difference versions of the rift

        • David Hothersall

          Where it all started wasn’t here, as Palmers collection of 40 odd HMD’s will testify (one of which I sent to him). Folk need to remember VR wasn’t invented two years ago……

  • Very nice gallery indeed! Seeing all of those prototypes, and being told they have many more, is very interesting. Some look like they could have been used during Quakecon 2012, or CES 2013, but other than that I’m not going to try :P I like the styrofoam box… I wonder just how early that prototype is, perhaps before the company started?

    They had two DK2s per TV? I guess they could just switch the input on the TV if they wanted to see what the other person was getting. Seems like they could swallow quite the number of people in any case.

    That line is crazy, and as Simon said, I almost expected you to talk to that last guy :D I’m not sure why, but I guess he was in a special place being at the end of the line! How quickly did the line move, how long do you get to stay in there? :o