Thursday, April 4, 2013

Behold the coming of the Oculi!

The bit of tech news that came out of GDC this year (that hasn't been related to PS4 or the next gen systems) is about the virtual reality peripheral known as the Oculus VR. To give the basics, this is a head mount visor that contains a 720p screen, the screen is housed behind lens to give the user a immersive 110 degree stereoscopic 3D field of vision. The head piece is also equipped with sensitive accelerometers for a snappy image tracking. What advancement in super science do we have to thank for this piece of tech? Cell phones. As far as cool things go, watch out sliced bread, cause the Oculus is coming for that ass.
Thus far Oculus is only offering pre-orders of their development kit, which does come with a nifty visor (though the one pictured about is only the prototype design), and access to their developer message boards. Though you can just toss in some bucks for their kickstarter if you feel generous, but they have over 2 million, soooo your not obligated.

I am pumped for this. Granted, the scent of new gadgetry always gets me hot and bothered; virtual reality being no exception, but a younger me thought this day was coming sooner. Since at one point  I thought the Virtual Boy was the true beginning of home 3D, not to mention the bee's knees too.

As well as...

If you couldn't tell, my excitement about the Oculus is flying high at the moment.  Having the chance to delve into a video game as fully as this company is suggesting, would able to thrilling (I salivate thinking of running through Tamriel, and shiver at the idea of prancing through Silent Hill), not to mention an intriguing format change the gaming landscape.  The best part of this contraption is the price, as it is expected to be more affordable ($200 or so) in comparison to similar products, when it is released.

A lot of serious folk are getting behind this device which may bode very well.  The first being John Carmack, but since then Cliffy B, and the folks over at Unreal, Valve, and Unity seem to be all up on. Doom 3 is already Oculus ready and Team Fortress 2 is going to make it's way into a pair of Oculi near you too.

The dev team at Oculus are already deciding how to make the system more intuitive. Currently you can only realistically use a controller since your regular vision is completely blocked. The idea that they have is adding a motion capture aspect, like the Kinect, so you can track a players limbs, and body movement into the game.If you have seen the recent installment Steel Battalion, it uses a very similar concept minus the visor.
Anyway keep an eye (see what I did there) out for this one kittens, and if you would like to send one the way of Loaded Dice we are more than willing to give it a test drive.

[At GDC the Oculus team demoed with HAWKEN, a mech battling game which is pretty good choice, since big freaking robots!]


  1. I want to wear this while playing Minecraft.

    1. Mmm... Smells like burning retina.

      Does this thing remind anyone else of Flight of the Navigator?

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