Virtual Reality is the current hot topic in gaming, thanks to the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus.
It’s been a week since the well-known and popular social media website, Facebook, purchased the Oculus Rift for $2 Billion.
What implications does this have for gaming and virtual reality?
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, posted an announcement about the buy out stating:
“Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.”
This is welcomed news for Oculus Rift fans. Zuckerberg is supporting and accelerating the progress of the device and keeping it independent of Facebook.
Zuckerberg elaborates on his vision with:
“But this is just the start. After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.
This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life.”
Although Zuckerberg makes it clear that gaming will be first priority, his true motives are making it into a social platform. This proves to be worrisome for Oculus supporters.
The Oculus Rift was originally founded by 21 year old Palmer Luckey. He had 2 goals in mind when developing the device. Firstly Luckey wanted to make a headset that was more efficient than the ones produced today and secondly focus on being inexpensive to the average gamer. He successfully crowd funded the project on Kickstarter. It was released in September 2012 with development kits costing around $300 – $350.
Famous names in the video game industry are giving it plenty of attention. For example John Carmack, legendary game designer, programmer and co-founder of Id Software. Carmack left Id Software to join in on the action with the Oculus team last year. Marcus Alexej Pearson, or also known as ‘Notch’, creator of Minecraft, and founder of Mojang, also had a hand in the Oculus Rift team. It is reported that a Minecraft Demo, would be used to promote Virtual Reality on the Oculus.
However, Notch disapproved of Facebook purchasing the Oculus Rift. Marcus’s main focus was on Virtual Reality in video games and not social media.
It’s a shame but Persson must have his reasons.
Its not all bad news, if you didn’t like the bulky, social media lathered headset of the Oculus Rift, then the newly announced Project Morpheus might be up your alley. Morpheus is another virtual reality headset, this time from Sony, for the Playstation 4, which was announced at last week’s GDC. If the hype is anything to believe, it seems to be on par with, if not better than the Oculus Rift.
Project Morpheus has a very low latency, to stop motion sickness, 2 1080p screens for each eyes; like the Oculus, LED trackers (front and back of the headset) tracked by the PS4 camera, giving the player 360 degree turns, Project Morpheus also utilises the PS4’s Camera, and the Dual shock 4 with motion controls built in will also immerse the player even more.
Sony representatives went on to say that they wanted this technology to be accessible to the average consumer, where you buy it from a retailer, get it home and be able to use it hassle free. Looking good and slick isn’t everything but Project Morpheous is also looking like a great piece of hardware.