Sorry console gamers, CEO Brendan Iribe of Oculus Rift says they’re looking to skip from PCs “right into next-gen smartphones.”
Just as we were starting to get our heads wrapped around the Oculus Rift, set to release next year, the company is already planning to bring the virtual reality headset to new platforms. Speaking with Edge, Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe said the company has toyed with technologies like the Xbox 360 Kinect and Playstaion Move, but its current focus is bringing the headset to the PC as well as next-gen mobile devices.
“I love consoles but internally we’re a lot more excited about where mobile’s going to go, and being able to plug it right into a next-gen cellphone," Iribe said. "It's the innovation, and how fast cellphones are now improving - where we'll be with the next Galaxy or the next iPhone compared to where consoles are. Those things are almost doubling every year, compared to a console that's just stuck it out for eight years - it just makes us very excited. There’s a lot of improvements that can be made on the hardware side for VR that no-one's doing yet because it's a new thing. The mobile rate of innovation is going to be able to make a lot of those improvements."
Not that the gamer complaint of consoles not revving up their graphics enough from generation to generation needed any more support, but now next-gen consoles conservatism in graphic acceleration might deprive them of this really cool piece of technology.
There are still a few technological hiccups in Oculus Rift’s release plans. The so not definite date has been set for a 2014 projected date, and priced around $300.
"We don't want to announce any dates because frankly we just don't know when it's going to be really ready for the consumer market where everything is tied together," explained Iribe. "You have the form factor, HD, motion blur eliminated... so we don't know how long that will take, but it's close. We have internal prototypes which have a lot of each thing solved and it's such a magical experience when you see it all together."
The thought of people walking around will full HD virtual reality headsets interfaced somehow with Google Glass and projecting your favorite virtual friends walking around through the power of your smartphone is only slightly disturbing. Projected battery life for Oculus Rift enabled smartphone? 2 minutes.