The Oculus rift, the newly kickstarted virtual reality headset that’s gotten the attention of Gabe Newell, John Carmack and other titans of the videogame development world excited actually looks like it could shake things up – more than say, powerful new graphics hardware would. It might be a gimmick – but it sells itself. One way to not sell it, would be to compare it to Kinect – which Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has just done.
“When we hear about next-gen consoles,” he enthused to GamesIndustry.biz “‘They’re gonna be 6 or 7 times faster’, great, another faster console. It’s gonna be amazing, it’ll have some better looking graphics, some better physics and more realistic AI, but what is that new experience? What’s that new sensation that you play with and go ‘Oh my god, this is incredible.’”
It’s not graphics, or AI or physics that’ll shape new experiences – but new ways of interacting with games, says Iribe. Much like Kinect.
“Microsoft is driving a lot of really cool innovation around Kinect, and that is bringing a new dimension to things. For me, when I tried Kinect, the hair on the back of my neck didn’t stand up. I thought, ‘This is cool, this will go somewhere, it’s kind of neat,’” he added. “When I put on the prototype of Rift, and I looked into the VR world, and I’m moving my head around, it’s perfectly tracking and I’m in this 3D world, that’s when I said ‘Oh my god, this is incredible, this is just gonna change everything.’”
Virtual Reality has been around in games in some for or another for decades – but has never quite caught on. Nintendo’s most notable failure was the not-quite-portable Virtual Boy gaming headset – which caused headaches, nausea, and a sinking sensation that you’d just wasted your money. Could the Oculus Rift change that? Iribe believes so.
“This is really going to create a lot of excitement in the game space. You don’t get somebody like Gabe Newell or Michael Abrash or John Carmack excited about too many things, and when you do you should definitely pay attention.”
Are YOU paying attention?
Last Updated: August 30, 2012