Born out of a Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, and purchased by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014, Oculus Rift launched what Silicon Valley is hoping becomes a virtual reality boom in 2016. Sony and HTC (in partnership with video game company Valve) are releasing virtual-reality headsets later this year, but putting the Rift on sale today means it will be the first concrete look anyone’s had at how much virtual reality might cost the average consumer.
Buyers will require a powerful computer to run the headset. Graphics chip manufacturer Nvidia has suggested that only 13m PCs or less than 1% of the global PC market will be capable of running virtual reality applications on headsets like the Rift and Vive. A bundle that includes a computer capable of running the Rift will also be available for pre-order in February costing $1,499.
Other developers agree that it could be too expensive to attract a mass consumer audience. The price is a lot higher than we expected,” said Katie Goode whose studio Triangular Pixels specialises in VR experiences. Of course, we’re in two minds about it. From a developer view it’s very much a new platform, but for a lot of consumers, it’s still seen as a PC accessory and it’ll be hard to convince them otherwise.
DK2 isn’t identical to the consumer Rift, but the fundamental building blocks for great VR are there. All the content developed using DK2 will work with the consumer Rift. And while the overall experience still needs to improve before it’s consumer-ready, we’re getting closer everyday — DK2 is not the Holodeck yet, but it’s a major step in the right direction.
Like the Crystal Cove prototype, DK2 uses a low persistence OLED display to eliminate motion blur and judder, two of the biggest contributors to simulator sickness. Low persistence also makes the scene appear more visually stable, increasing the potential for presence. The high-definition 960×1080 per-eye display reduces the screen-door effect and improves clarity, color, and contrast.
On August 1, 2012, after generating some early hype at E3, enter our Oculus Reift giveaway lands on Kickstarter The project video, hosted by affable Rift creator Palmer Luckey, is filled with praise from the likes of Id Software’s John Carmack, Cliff Bleszinski and Valve Software head Gabe Newell. The Kickstarter promises a virtual reality experience unlike any other, with a wider field of view and better, low-latency head tracking. The Oculus exceeds its $250,000 funding goal within 24 hours , going on to raise over $2.4 million by the end of its Kickstarter drive.