When it comes to Virtual Reality in gaming, Oculus is the name that immediately comes to mind. They aren’t the only ones working on it, and they certainly weren’t the first. They are, however, the company with the most promising product at the moment – which could be threatened by other shoddy attempts from competitors.
Oculus Rift CEO Brendan Iribe expressed this fear during a Web Summit in Dublin, citing cheaper, less polished VR efforts as the main rival to the Rift. It’s not a case of being undercut from a pricing standpoint, but rather trying to compete in a market flooded by cheap, broken VR devices that taint the technology’s image.
“We’re a little worried about bigger companies putting out products that aren’t ready. Disorientation and motion sickness is the elephant in the room. We’re encouraging big companies not to put out a product before it’s ready.”
These are of course issues Oculus themselves are still trying to overcome. Their latest prototype, Crescent Bay, is apparently a massive step forward from the DK2, so Oculus is getting closer. In fact, Iribe is confident that their latest prototype is close to what the retail version will eventually be, stating that consumers only have “months” to wait.
“We’re all hungry for it to happen. We’re getting very close. It’s months, not years away, but many months.”
I gave the DK2 a shot a few months ago, and it was a massive improvement over the extreme motion sickness inducing first prototype. I still got sick eventually, and the device is still extremely uncomfortable to wear, but each prototype seems to be quantum leaps forward instead of baby steps.
So I can definitely see the Oculus Rift reaching shelves sometime next year, but I’m still sceptical about widespread adoption. There are still major issues with input that Oculus needs to deal with – a solution that not easy to find.
Last Updated: November 6, 2014