Los Angeles, CA -- The long-awaited goal of virtual reality (VR) for video games came a step closer today as Oculus, a developer of virtual reality technology, launched a Kickstarter campaign for its new headset—the “Oculus Rift.” The campaign aims to speed the distribution of early development kits to game developers and enthusiasts around the world. People can join the initiative by visiting the Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/MLCaEC .
Oculus, led by a number of successful video game veterans and virtual reality visionaries, has set the funding goal at $250,000 USD. A contribution of $300 or more gets the donor a Rift VR headset dev kit, access to the software development kit (SDK) and a copy of Doom 3 BFG, which has already been integrated with the headset. The package enables developers not only to experience VR gaming for the first time, but to easily integrate the Rift with their own games or 3D applications.
“All of us at Oculus are excited to bring truly immersive VR to people who love video games like we do,” said Palmer Luckey, Founder of Oculus. “Virtual reality has been the long sought after Holy Grail, which most people only ever dreamed of... until now. The Rift is a true game changer that will help make VR the standard for gameplay in the very near future.”
The Rift allows players to step into game. It produces a stereoscopic 3D experience with a huge field of view—110 degrees diagonally—so you don’t see the screen. It also overcomes the resolution and latency problems that have plagued previous VR headsets, where movement in the game lags behind movement of the head.
“We’ve already gotten great feedback from the press and buy-in from major game developers including id Software, Epic, Unity and Valve,” Luckey said. “We know the gaming community will be as excited as we all are when they get their hands on it.”
"I'm a believer,” said Cliff Bleszinski, design director at Epic Games. “We're extremely excited here at Epic Games to get the Unreal Engine integrated with Oculus!"
"I think this will be the coolest way to experience games in the future. It will simply be that big," offered David Helgason, CEO of Unity.
“It looks incredibly exciting. If anybody’s going to tackle this set of hard problems, we think that Palmer’s going to do it. So we’d strongly encourage gamers to support this Kickstarter,” said Gabe Newell, president and owner of Valve.
The developer kits acquired through Kickstarter will include access to the Oculus Developer Center, a community for Oculus developers. The Oculus Rift SDK will include code, samples, and documentation to facilitate integration with any new or existing games, initially on PCs and mobiles, with consoles to follow.
Oculus will be showcasing the Rift at a number of upcoming tradeshows, including Quakecon, Siggraph, GDC Europe, gamescom and Unite.