Oculus’ inaugural, dedicated event aimed at bringing together the VR developer community in one place to teach, talk and try VR was by all accounts a great success. But for those of us unlucky enough not to be there (i.e. me) or those that were lucky enough but lacked the ability to clone themselves in order to catch the overlapping panels and talks, Oculus has begun releasing recordings of them all to its official YouTube channel.

Connect Compilation

Oculus Connect was an opportunity for the company credited with kickstarting (literally) the VR revolution to concentrate on encouraging the creation of great VR content and sharing what they’ve learned with those all important developers over the last 2 years since the company’s inception. It provided developers the opportunity to meet and quiz Oculus’ impressive line up of talent on a 1:1 basis. It was also the chance for Oculus to show off its latest and greatest hard with the Crescent Bay prototype breaking new ground for many who tried it. Finally, the event was host to a series of unmissable keynotes and panels.

We’ve embedded all the keynotes from the conference with links to our own related coverage as appropriate below. Of course, you can enjoy these over at Oculus’ official YouTube channel here.

Oculus Connect Intro

Before the keynotes began, attendees were shown a video which summarised Oculus’ journey thus far. The video features brief interviews with primary Oculus employees and is a nice potted summary that emphasises Oculus’ honest appreciation of the community that has built up around their innovation. It also includes leading lights of the development community sharing their thoughts and feeling about why they think virtual reality is so important.

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Oculus Connect Keynote: Brendan Iribe and Nate Mitchell

Oculus CEO, Brendan Iribe opened the 1st full day of Connect with a walk through Oculus’ history, how far they’ve come and what the company’s plans are for the future. Although some were disappointed in the lack of announcements regarding the consumer release of their virtual reality headset, Iribe did have a nice suprise in store when he announced that their latest advanced prototype would be available for attendees to demo. After Brendan, Oculus’ VP of Product Nate Mitchell took to the stage to speak about to re-emphasise Oculus’ commitment to virtual reality content and how they intend to encourage and distribute said content. He also introduced the Oculus Platform, a forward-thinking initiative to structure content delivery across multiple different portals and platforms.

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Oculus Connect Keynote: Michael Abrash

Oculus’ Chief Scientist Michael Abrash, formerly of id and Valve has become one of the leading thinkers and speakers on the subject of virtual reality. As one of the key minds behind Valve’s ground breaking VR research project which lead to the stunning Steam Dev Days headset demonstration, Abrash here shares his thoughts on why VR is important and why he believes it’s one of the most important technology innovations in his lifetime.

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Oculus Connect Keynote: John Carmack

Often cited as the catalyst for today’s VR revolution, John Carmack, now Oculus’ CTO, brought Palmer Luckey’s idea to the public stage when he demo’d an early Oculus Rift prototype sent to him by Luckey at CES 2012. There, with a customised version of id’s Doom 3 he blew the gaming media away with his enthusiasm and the Rift’s experience.

Here, he talks unscripted, unaided and often extremely candidly on his last year’s work building what became the Samsun Gear VR mobile VR headset. Extremely technical but always fascinating, John speaks for over 90 minutes before finally getting kicked off stage. I think he probably could have gone another few hours with no trouble at all.

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Oculus Keynote Panel: Future of VR

Oculus Connect keynote speakers John Carmack, Nate Mitchell and Michael Abrash join Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey and Chief Architect Atman Binstock for  a frank and fascinating discussion on VR spanning a wide variety of sub topics, including the interesting subject of the representation of Women in the VR industry and content which caused quite a storm amongst the community.

Oculus Connect was an incredible event for VR developers and enthusiasts alike that was executed brilliantly. It’s also a nice reminder of just how far this fledgling industry has come in the space of 2 short years. We can’t wait to see what the next year holds for VR and just what Oculus Connect 2 in 2015 holds for all of us. We’ll be there bringing you the coverage you need as always.

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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 RiftVR.com 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.
  • Mettanine

    That’s great. What about the talks from day 1? Will those be made available, too? Anybody knows? That talk about building the DK1 by Nirav Patel sounds interesting..

    • Paul James

      According to Oculus they’re also on the way. We’ll let you know once they’re live.