GTC 2013: Oculus VR Reveals Future of Oculus Rift at ECS

Subject: General Tech | April 1, 2013 - 05:37 AM |
Tagged: virtual reality, oculus vr, oculus rift, GTC 2013, gaming

Update: Yesterday, an Oculus representative reached out to us in order to clarify that the information presented was forward looking and subject to change (naturally). Later in the day, the company also posted to its forum the following statement:

"The information from that presentation (dates, concepts, projections, etc...) represent our vision, ideas, and on-going research/exploration. None of it should be considered fact, though we'd love to have that projected revenue!"

You can find the full statement in this thread.

The original article text is below:

Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, took the stage at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference to talk about the state of its technology and where it is headed.

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Oculus VR is a relatively new company founded by Palmer Luckey and managed by CEO Brendan Iribe, who is the former CPO of cloud gaming company Gaikai. Currently, Oculus VR is developing a wearable, 3D, virtual reality headset called the Oculus Rift. Initially launched via Kickstarter, the Oculus Rift hardware is now shipping to developers as the rev 1 developer kit. Oculus VR will manufacture 10,000 developer kits and managed to raise $2.55 million in 2012.

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The developer kit has a resolution of 1280x800 and weighs 320g. It takes a digital video input via a DVI or HDMI cable (HDMI with an adapter). The goggles hold the display and internals, and a control box connects via a wire to provide power. It uses several pieces of hardware found in smartphones, and CEO Brendan Iribe even hinted that an ongoing theme at Oculus VR was that "if it's not in a cell phone, it's not in Oculus." It delivers a 3D experience with head tracking, but Iribe indicated that full motion VR is coming in the future. For now, it is head tracking that allows you to look around the game world, but "in five to seven or eight years" virtual reality setups that combine an Oculus Rift-like headset with a omni-directional treadmill would allow you to walk and run around the world in addition to simply looking around.

Beyond the immersion factor, a full motion VR setup would reduce (and possibly eliminate) the phenomena of VR sickness, where users using VR headsets for extended periods of time experience discomfort due to the disconnect between your perceived in-game movement and your (lack of) physical movement and inner-ear balance.

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After the first developer kit, Oculus is planning to release a revised version, and ultimately a consumer version. This consumer version is slated for a Q3 2014 launch. It will weigh significantly less (Oculus VR is aiming for around 200g), and will support 1080p 3D resolutions. The sales projections estimate 50,000 revision 2 developer kits in 2013 and at least 500,000 consumer versions of the Oculus Rift in 2014. Ambitious numbers, for sure, but if Oculus can nail down next-generation console support, reduce the weight of the headset, and increase the resolution it is not out of the question.

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With the consumer version, Oculus is hoping to offer both a base wired version and a higher-priced wireless Rift VR headset. Further, the company is working with game and professional 3D creation software developers to get software support for the VR headset. Team Fortress 2 support has been announced, for example (and there will even be an Oculus Rift hat, for gamers that are into hats). Additionally, Oculus is working to get support into the following software titles (among others):

  • AutoDesk 3D
  • TF2
  • DOTA 2
  • L4D
  • Half-Life
  • Warface
  • Minecraft
  • Fortnite
  • UT3
  • Hawken
  • Crysis

During the presentation Iribe stated that graphics cards (specifically he mentioned the GTX 680) are finally in a place to deliver 3D with smooth frame rates at high-enough resolutions for immersive virtual reality.

Left: potential games with Oculus VR support. Right: Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe at ECS during GTC 2013.

Pricing on the consumer version of the VR headset is still unkown, but developers can currently pre-order an Oculus Rift developer kit on the Oculus VR site. In the past, the company has stated that consumers should hold off on buying a developer kit and wait for the consumer version of the Rift in 2014. If the company is able to deliver on its claims of a lighter headset with higher resolution screen and adjustable 3D effects (like the 3DS, the level of stereo 3D can be adjusted, and even turned off), I think it will be worth the wait. The deciding factor will then be software support. Hopefully developers will take to the VR technology and offer up support for it in upcoming titles into the future.

Are you excited for the Oculus Rift?

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April 1, 2013 | 10:38 AM - Posted by Shawndell Rivers (not verified)

I Want This To Support PS4 And Next Xobox!

April 1, 2013 | 01:46 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I just want mine to show up!

April 1, 2013 | 01:47 PM - Posted by prodeous (not verified)

Me second.. But based on emails. Shipping started on Friday :) Here is to the first lucky 1000...

December 5, 2013 | 05:54 AM - Posted by Glorious PC Master Race (not verified)

haha. Glory for the pcmasterrace! I hope it never comes out for the consoles you filthy peasants!

October 11, 2014 | 08:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They simply wont till maybe 10 console generations later. Why? Because there is no way you can have a good experience with the console hardware specs.

April 1, 2013 | 02:28 PM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

Well the dev v.2 should be the Consumer v.1 they are going to lose the hype or worst someone else will deliver. Way to slow...

April 1, 2013 | 04:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It takes time to design a product you know. One year is actually pretty damn fast for something like this.

April 1, 2013 | 05:29 PM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

Q3-Q4 of 2014 is a year and a half from now and 2 from the Kickstarter...

April 1, 2013 | 06:01 PM - Posted by Shiva (not verified)

Then buy a god damn dev kit instead of moping around, jesus
How can people be so passive and negative at such an exciting time?
These guys REVOLUTIONIZED GAMING. Show some respect, or do it yourself if you think you can do it in less time

April 1, 2013 | 06:58 PM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

Really? They have been talking about consumer version end of this year. Now it will be a dev v2.0 and u are ok? A full extra year...

April 1, 2013 | 07:17 PM - Posted by Jason (not verified)

No, Oculus didn't they would release the consumer version at the end of this year. Internet blog/forum commenters are the ones who came up with that "estimate."

April 15, 2013 | 11:41 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wrong. They DID say it would be end of the year. Infact, Palmer himself said "If it's not by the beginning to next year, something is wrong."

April 1, 2013 | 07:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

God bless, what the hell is wrong with you? Having a bad day there? Everyone is just eager to get their hands on this new tech, including myself.

April 1, 2013 | 04:48 PM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

If this is a April Fools day, it's way elaborate...

April 1, 2013 | 05:10 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

No joke, we promise!  Just a delayed post from NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference.  :)

April 1, 2013 | 05:27 PM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

OK hopefully u will talk about it on TWiCH, I'm so pump for this but 2 more years of waiting is a bummer. If not Oculus I want someone to deliver now!!!

April 1, 2013 | 07:00 PM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

Will PcPer podcast cover this story?

April 1, 2013 | 05:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

so we buy again?

April 1, 2013 | 08:27 PM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

April 2, 2013 | 05:15 AM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

April 2, 2013 | 08:32 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Thank you for the link. I have added an update to the article with a link to that thread.

April 2, 2013 | 08:46 AM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

Your welcome and congratz on braking this story. U guys have a lot of new info!!!

April 2, 2013 | 09:30 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Keeping in mind that nothing is set in stone, and as I mentioned in the article, the expected units and games and such are just possibilities at this point, yeah. The presentation provided some interesting insight into what Oculus is thinking and where their mindset currently is as far as approaching, developing, and the future of, virtual reality.

I'm excited to see where they take VR technology and what they are able to do with it. For what it is worth as far as breaking the story, I did not break any NDAs to publish it, but it seems like Oculus wants to emphasize that the future-looking aspects are still subject to change. It is what they would like/are hoping to achieve right now though. And I hope they manage it. 

April 3, 2013 | 07:02 AM - Posted by Sendo (not verified)

"If the company is able to deliver on its claims of a lighter headset with higher resolution screen and adjustable 3D effects (like the 3DS, the level of stereo 3D can be adjusted, and even turned off), I think it will be worth the wait."

Just picked on this one point. Isn't the basis of Oculus the input of 2 images to each eye compared to 2 slightly interlacing images in current 3d?

What I assume is that in Oculus you can't "turn off" the 3d vision because it works similarly to your actual real vision.
Also meaning that it won't strain your eyes in the process as it's a natural thing to look at. Real depth vision is something I'm really excited about in Oculus.

Best Regards

April 2, 2013 | 07:09 AM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified) This is the whole VR idea integrated with the rift. kinect, positional tracking, etc... VERY impressive...

April 2, 2013 | 09:33 PM - Posted by No to VR, no to oculus rift (not verified)

Immersion comes at a price. I am more concerned about the health concerns of such a device. While swords art online was/is a fantabulous anime I would rather not immerse myself in anything outside of reality despite it being the ultimate gaming experience. I don't think that this device should be a consumer product. The more immersion the more nut jobs with a falsehood of reality itself, hence more massacres. The therapist surely will love this device. Even I can't believe that I'm saying this because I'm a semi-hardcore gamer but I'm blessed with foresight so I already foresee how socially damaging this device will be, especially for the week-minded.

April 3, 2013 | 08:08 AM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

Why is VR different than playing he Mage on a Tv or computer screen?

April 4, 2013 | 11:02 PM - Posted by Des (not verified)

I'm sure they will make some dress up doll games or something with the fairies to cater for all those 'week minded sorts'(as you put it)..

But no way should that get in the way of people who live for the thrill, want to do mind altering things or generally have a pair. Sorry, just my thought on that one.

April 18, 2013 | 07:16 PM - Posted by KingK76 (not verified)

Wow you are a total nut job! Thank god there aren't more people around like you. I seriously can't believe someone would post something so ridiculous. Get a life and don't try to tell me what I can do with mine!

April 3, 2013 | 04:35 AM - Posted by Tri Wahyudianto (not verified)

i'm really excited tim

so we can tell this product just compatible for FPS game ?

call me stupid if this is real stupid question, but i'm curious, how can we see the keyboard ?

April 3, 2013 | 08:08 AM - Posted by ShAdOwXPR (not verified)

April 4, 2013 | 10:53 PM - Posted by Des (not verified)

Been waiting for this for almost 20 years! Those ones in the 90's made us think about possibilities but fell well short of the mark because of technology and everything else in between hasn't been able to deliver.

Like the Oculus dev's say, technology is now here and it will only get better..

check this out

April 23, 2013 | 01:19 AM - Posted by Azurion (not verified)

I personally can not wait for this product, as an avid gamer, and a huge fan of the original VR sets you could play once a year during the local fairs that rolled through towns, I'm highly looking forward to this, especially if they have stereo cameras on the front so that you could switch from game view to reality view. My question is, can this be used in place of a desktop monitor, or would you still need a monitor with this as well?

October 22, 2013 | 10:31 AM - Posted by Dan The Man (not verified)

From what i saw in the concept pics, it looks like it has some cameras as well in the front?


Imagine what you can do with the proper augmented reality software and that helmet.. aw man..

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