Need proof the Palmer Luckey (AKA PalmerTech) wasn’t teasing when he said he was working on the Oculus Rift HMD with some big names in the game industry? Here’s Cliff Bleszinski (AKA CliffyB), checking out a prototype of the Oculus Rift.

If you don’t know the name Cliff Bleszinski off the top of your head, you’d be hard pressed to call yourself a gamer. CliffyB is the design director of Epic Games, the company responsible for Unreal Engine (upon which a number of games are built). Bleszinski was also hugely influential in Epic’s successful Gears of War franchise.

Bleszinski’s posted the above photo to twitter on Monday with the following caption:

Today I got to play with a prototype Oculus VR headset, exciting! VR is coming back! They’re Kickstartering soon, stay tuned.

Bleszinski also tweeted a photo of Lauren Berggren (AKA L337Lauren) checking out the same prototype with Xbox 360 controller in hand:

No details have been announced yet, but if Epic makes its Unreal Engine compatible with the Oculus Rift it would make a huge splash in the gaming world and be a confident step forward for VR gaming. Before I get too excited though I’ll try to keep my expectations in check and wait for more details when the Oculus Rift Kickstarter begins. Speaking of which…

The very latest we’ve heard from Luckey regarding the anticipated Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign is that it will go live on the “19th or so” of July. The Oculus Rift price will be $500 (includes the Rift head mounted display, head tracker, and a copy of Doom III). That makes tomorrow potentially the opening day for the campaign which I’m quite excited to watch develop.

Road to VR’s 2023 Game of the Year Awards

Today Luckey left a few more updates over at the MTSB3D forums:

Responding to a question about whether or not the Oculus Rift 2.0 (a higher quality consumer-oriented version of the Rift expected in 2013) would be dependent upon the success of the initial Oculus Rift Kickstarter, Luckey noted:

It goes ahead regardless : ). Showing support is still very, very important though. The profit margin on the Kickstarter is going to be practically non-existent, so I have little to gain myself, but a lot of Rifts sold = A lot of gamer interest = even more developer support!

That’s great news of course because even if for some reason the Oculus Rift 1.0 fails, the consumer 2.0 version is apparently already in the works.

And one more interesting snippet from Luckey’s latest updates:

android78 writes:
I’m actually quite surprised at how overwhelmingly positive the reaction to this has been. I don’t think I’ve see a single ‘bad’ review from those who have tried it out, and there seem to be at least as many positive comments on the articles I’ve read, compared to the negatives. This compares to what seemed to be about 90% negative responses to any article that mentioned 3D (mostly referring to TVs or movies) a couple of years ago.
Luckey Responds:
This is one of the best things about the Rift, IMO. In the past, cool looking and well marketed HMDs got a lot of hype, but the people who actually tried them usually came away unimpressed. In contrast, EVERYONE who has tried a Rift (One of the two prototypes currently in existence) has has a hugely positive response, even the several people with vision problems or a little dizziness when they unplug : D. The only people slamming it are people who had not had a chance to use it yet.

Very exciting and I can’t wait for more people to get their hands on the Rift at QuakeCon and GamesCon where we’ll be able to get some diversified reactions to the exciting HMD.

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I’m on high-alert for the launch of the Oculus Rift Kickstarter, I’ll be posting here as soon as it goes live, stay tuned!


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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."