oculus rift crystal cove prototype ces 2014 awardsOculus VR’s ‘Crystal Cove’ prototype is a huge step up from the Rift developer kit (DK1). Those who have tried the very latest prototype technology from Oculus VR say that it’s even better than Crystal Cove.

Cliff Bleszinski, best known as Lead Designer on the Gears of War franchise was an early investor in Oculus VR. Those of you who have been following along for as long as we have will remember Bleszinski from the Oculus Rift Kickstarter video.

Earlier this month, Bleszinski got his head in the latest in Oculus Rift tech, apparently a prototype even beyond the Crystal Cove prototype that impressed us last month at CES 2014.

What’s more, Bleszinski elaborated yesterday on his blog about his excitement for the Oculus Rift:

The effort of putting on the headset leads to an overwhelmingly fantastic result. When you put on the latest demo and you crouch and lean around the new world around you your brain adapts, adjusts, and you’re there. I have memories of the places I visited in the latest demos. I felt like I could have reached out and touched things. It was the most magical experience I’ve had with technology since the first time I saw an Atari 2600 joystick manipulate pixels on my friend’s TV in their basement many, many years ago and decided then that I wanted to make games.

I have a strange feeling that Bleszinski, who left Epic Games last year, may be working on a virtual reality / Oculus Rift project.

VR Horror 'HappyFunland' Coming to PSVR 2 & SteamVR This Month, Trailer Here

A few days after Bleszinski, Dave Oshry, Director of Marketing at Gunnar Optiks, also visited Oculus and was blown away by what he saw. He claims that the latest from Oculus is beyond the Crystal Cove prototype and even beyond Valve’s prototype VR headset that was shown at Steam Dev Days last month.

Oshry chimed in on a thread about his tweet on the Oculus subreddit and even confirms that he’s working on an Oculus Rift game:

I’m under NDA obviously, but the tech that Oculus is preparing for the final consumer version is the best VR I have ever seen. I wanted to stay in it and walk around, but the room was only so big and I only had so much time. Everything was perfect. The fidelity, the latency, the scale, the presence. It was the first time I truly felt like I was in VR.

Do I regret backing the Kickstarter or having multiple DK1s? Absolutely not. If anything, it’s amazing to see how far the technology has come since I first met Nate and Palmer in a room at Quake Con with duct tape and ski goggles.

If I’m allowed to say more, I always will. @DaveOshry is the best place to find me. I’m as excited as you guys are. Which is why I’m making an Oculus-ready game.

What could Oculus be showing that’s supposedly blowing the Crystal Cove prototype away… 4k resolution? Full body tracking? 180 degree field of view? At this point, your guess is as good as ours!

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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."
  • Don Gateley

    Yawn. Without any shipping product I’m losing interest at all these “developments.” All the cool stuff behind closed doors doesn’t really mean much. The proof is in the putting.

    • TFB

      > The proof is in the putting.

      I think you kinda botched that one, dude. It goes “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”, though I like the golf reference. ;-)

      • Don Gateley

        Not golf, as in putting it away. While I can no longer find it, long ago I ran across a scholarly article on the source of that phrase that insists, with good credentials as I remember, that it came instead from some medieval game where a stone was put somewhere by sliding it. Who knows. :-)

  • Alex


  • Tim

    I love stuff like this, and i can’t wait to see what comes next from oculus vr. I can feel it, the ocean is coming in, and soon we will all be in over our heads.

  • Mageoftheyear

    A 2560×1440 panel with 120 degree FOV – just that would be a dream come true.
    Wireless isn’t going to happen in CV1, but with all the other improvements they’ve made with latency and developing low persistence… the Rift is going to blow the world away I tell you.

  • Curtrock

    I am so glad that Oculus is taking their time, to get this right. Anyone who has the DK1, understands what’s at stake here. Kudos to Oculus for iterating, and iterating….Considering the DK1 blew my freakin mind even with its flaws, I can only salivate @ the thoughts of the HD, then Crystal Cove, and now beyond???? Waaaaaaaaa? Lol (great teaser story here, Ben) #hyped #psyched

    • Runewell

      Exactly how I feel. The DK1 is an excellent prototype, but the mainstream public would not accept that or anything close to it as a finished product. The current prototypes are inching closer to a final consumer device and I am extremely pleased that they have been able to reduce motion sickness which is the biggest concern.

      My guess is they are utilizing a 2k screen. Michael Abrash mentioned is his VR Steam talk that 2160p would be a huge step up in helping to create a sense of presence.

  • Leonardo

    Thanks to Samsung shortly Oculus will have access to 5.25 inch OLED display with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. And since the next Galaxy S5 will be equipped with these displays and will sell millions of units the price of these displays will be affordable!

  • John

    “What could Oculus be showing that’s supposedly blowing the Crystal Cove prototype away… 4k resolution? Full body tracking? 180 degree field of view? At this point, your guess is as good as ours!”

    This is sensationalistic wording, as I’m sure you’re well aware. 4K is currently not available anywhere, how about we get to QHD first? Oculus have said the CV1 won’t have full body tracking. In fact, it probably won’t even have hand tracking. 180 FoV is impossible with a flat display and the limited amount of optical tricks you can pull off in a such a small volume.

    • Branden Bates

      180 FoV is impossible with a flat screen, but I would not be surprised if CV1 used a curved screen. During a 2014 CES interview with Palmer and Brandon it was mentioned that with the recent large investments and hype even big display companies have started talking with Oculus.

      Samsung is pushing curved amoled screen in any market they can find. Curved screens have two big benefits for Oculus type HMDs.
      1. The FoV can be expanded.
      2. Different lenses can be used which do not stretch the center of the image more than the sides. Pixel density can remain fairly constant instead of the DK1 which has high pixel density around the edges and low pixel density around the center of the view.

      When I move my head slowly using the DK1, my eyes immediately detect the discontinuity in pixel density.

      Since your eyes tend to focus on the center of the image, reducing center stretching will have the same effect as increasing the resolution.

      • John

        “…I would not be surprised if CV1 used a curved screen.”

        Well, I would. I mean, the new optics were done for a flat screen. Things would need to be pretty much set in stone by now for even a possibility of a 2014 release. Sorry, but a curved screen in CV1 is just too far-fetched.

  • Pontianak

    I also think the 4K resolution is probably not there yet… don’t think the avg graphics card has the horsepower to push that pixels at a high enough frame rate to combat simulator sickness… but I say that with a “Yet”. With Nvidia and AMD both wanting to be at the top of the 4K gaming pile, I’m hoping we will get there soon.

  • Chris Given

    Don’t be surprised when the Rift is better then what Valve showed because they are working together and valve is sharing everything they have learned about VR with Oculus… So whatever you saw that was so impressive in the valve prototype will eventually be put into the Rift… I have no doubt that there are some surprises left to be revealed this year… I just hope they can get it all done and put to market by the end of this year but I think more realistically it will be 2015 sometime.