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  • A5 - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    I'll be surprised if the 1080p model is at retail next year. I'm thinking mid-2015 is more likely from what they've been saying. Reply
  • WhitneyLand - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    One interesting is how may non-gaming uses could be practical. I'd use one just to walk along a beach in Fiji and listen to the waves. Reply
  • Rezurecta - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    Kinda indicates how important audio implementation would be. Reply
  • todlerix - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    If they can do the audio right it will have a much more important role than audio does today. Virtual surround sound on headphones with the VR as well would be incredible. Hopefully they can pull it off. Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    You're very right about the audio being important.

    Even when playing games in a home theater, well done surround-sound leads to the greatest immersion. They'd do well to build surround-sound into the release version so people don't have to run an additional cable to their head for sound.
    Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    They should use whatever LG G2 is using for audio. That would be sweet. Reply
  • Dentons - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    Oculus needs to ship their consumer product, NOW.

    Not because I want one, but because the market does. The product is in huge demand. The developer models are clearly 'good enough'. The pricing is clearly 'close enough'. When each of those metrics line up, it is time to ship the damn product, no matter the imperfections.

    Clearly, those in charge at Oculus want the consumer model to be a more perfect product. That's a very bad mistake, one that has doomed countless tech companies before them. Perfect or not, if a product is functional at a reasonable price point, it's not time to wait for improvement's, it's time to ship.

    Oculus is hot now. They have mindshare today. Who knows what will have the public's interest in 6 months, let alone a year or 18 months. Not me, and certainly not them.

    Their iron is roasting hot, they need to strike.
    Reply
  • orionismud - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    I have a developer prototype, and I can assure you that it's not ready for prime time.

    The screen is too low res to be usable in all but the simplest games, but more importantly, the software support is lacking. As of now, you can play TF2 and HL2, but anything else requires a lot of painful setup time to get working at all.

    Another big problem is the immersion itself. It feels so real that you get motion sickness pretty quick, because what your eyes and ears are experiencing is very different from what your inner ear is experiencing. I can play games for hours and never get any motion sickness, but I could only handle about 5 minutes of the OR before feeling sick. I'm sure I'll get used to it over time, and I'm already up to about 15 minutes, but that's going to be tricky issue for them to deal with.

    That said, it's still awesome and I will definitely buy a higher res version for as much money as they want for it. It's like being in the future. If you've seen 3D TV and 3D monitors and been unimpressed, you'll still want to check out the Oculus Rift.
    Reply
  • psuedonymous - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    There are some essentially solved problem for Oculus: smearing on pans is solved with lightboost-style backlight pulsing. Oculus have a 1080p prototype model they've shown off a few times, so they've either found a supplier of HiDPI LVDS panels (or possibly eDP smaller than 10.1"), or made a DVI-MIPI controller. The remaining major issue is positional head-tracking (current tracking is orientation-only). Sixense's Hydra has seen a massive boost in popularity (think hundreds to thousands of percent depending on how big your moving average window is), and have shown mockups of a prototype 'Hydra 2' with an obvious spot for 1-2 clip-on tracking modules (think head and torso tracking).

    End if this year is possible for a second developer preview of a finalised first-gen product, with sometime mid 2014 for a consumer release not an unreasonable estimate. The first devkit was mainly delayed by supply issues (there simply weren't enough of the 5.6" panels in existence to fulfil all the orders they got).
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    My experience with my dev kit says they're VERY far from being good enough. It doesn't work properly for people with myopia, for example (swapping out lenses helps, it doesn't fix it), there's no consumer-ready software available, there are a ton of usability (and reliability, like the foam glue falling off) fixes needed to the physical design, the lack of positional tracking for head movements is an issue...

    If they shipped the dev kit as a consumer product today, it would be a disaster, and kill off VR for the next decade. The devkit is impressive for giving demos, not for everyday consumer use.
    Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    Kids, this is how you end up with an expensive, incompatible, buggy flop of a launch. Reply
  • Dentons - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    Alternatively, it's how you miss your market window entirely and fade into technology history.

    The tech industry is littered with products that 'could have been', if only they'd shipped in a reasonable time frame.
    Reply
  • Mondozai - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    Oh, I see the haters are out in force.

    Carmack has a very good reputation. He has consistently tried to avoid taking a specific deadline but his games usually ship within reasonable timespans.

    Interesting to see human psychology at work, some people immediatedly try to bring the OR VR down.
    Reply
  • Dentons - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    Most criticism is not hating. Oculus seems to be making some very bad decisions. The only question is, why?

    Their product is in tremendous demand. The manufacturer has already delivered over 10,000 developer versions. The existing product has received raves, not just from the specialist press, but the mainstream press. Developers who react to such fanfare by saying they 'hope' to release in a year or so are asking to be beaten to market by more nimble foes.

    At the very least, this indicates a real disconnect or lack of funding. Failures to deliver are storied in the tech industry. It's not enough to have a good idea, you have to deliver before your competition. Developers are often their own worst enemies. They want the product to be perfect. Saner heads often need to force developers to release a product they're not entirely happy with. That doesn't mean a buggy, terrible, product. It means when a product is 'good enough', it's time to release. If it's successful, there will be a 2nd gen, 3rd gen, and more.

    In truth, he who ships first often wins. If some Chinese company decides to reverse the existing dev model and sell it for $149, Oculus could die before they ship a single consumer unit, and it will be their own damn fault.
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    I'll believe a release when I see it. They've been making noise about releases for what? Years now? They're always "close" to release, but they never quite get there. They never QUITE have the tech they need. And they never have any software that's truly there for them that anyone truly wants to play.

    It's always tomorrow, tomorrow. I'm beginning to think this isn't going to ever come together the way they promised it would. I think the pricing is going to be absurdly higher than they promised and I think the software is going to be lacking. I mean, we all have these images in our head (of images on our eyes) of how it will be, but besides some E3's and some shows, what real proof is there they can get it out within the price point they claim with the functionality they claim?

    Next you'll have Gabe Newell releasing a version of Portal 2 specially built for this thing and you'll have fully Razer Wii-stick'ed it or Northwest Falcon (?) orb-thingy'ed it.

    I just don't buy it. They aren't moving like a company that's actually releasing something anywhere in the next two years. They're moving like a company searching for investors.
    Reply
  • Dentons - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    For whatever reasons, they clearly seem to be delaying a consumer product release.

    You may be right. They may not have enough funds to take the product to market.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    You can purchase a devkit right now for $300, though obviously it's more for developers than consumers at this stage. So $300 for a functional implementation is at least something reasonable. Give them the next 12 months and I suspect 1080p at a similar price point will be done. Reply
  • Mondozai - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    I think you're right. You can fix the audio problem with vibrations to the cheeckbones.

    What is harder to fix is getting that lag on the display down but even more so, motion sickness. Still, I find it hilarious that some people say that "this won't be hot in 3 years".

    Eh, yes it will. VR is such a huge step that in 3 or even 5 years from now, it will still crush the status quo. We'll still be playing smartphone games on a 5" screen with no or bad sound and/or playing on the PS4/Xbox One. That will never be able to outcompete a true VR experience.

    Carmack's philosophy has been to "ship when it's ready" like Blizzard. His game creations stalled in creativity(same old, same old) but he is renowned for his technical brilliance.

    The only question mark is how someone like Carmack, who likes running things, will handle the inevitable competition for power with the younger, more inexperienced CEO?
    Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    I don't think the motion sickness can be fixed with technology, unless you include drugs in technology. Some subset of the population just isn't capable of using HMDs without becoming sick. The O.R. team can't rewire the user's brain. Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    They're delaying a consumer product release because what they have now is nowhere near ready. I'm speaking from personal experience here. The dev kit is neat to play around with, and good enough for development work. It is also extremely flawed, because they still have a lot of issues to work out. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    What are you talking about? Every post I've read on the KS page has stated that they see themselves very far away from release. You are pulling stuff out of your other end, aren't you? Reply
  • Randomblame - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    The most important missing feature is (and you all know it) the groin attachment. :p Reply
  • SeannyB - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    For how Carmack has been focused on graphical immersion all these years, it makes sense that he joined Oculus. You don't need a John Carmack to make generic shooter games anymore.

    I think one of the major problems with the dev. Rift is how it makes you demand so much more from the VR experience. You want to stand up, walk around and feel things in the virtual world when you put it on. The low-hanging fruit of adding 6-DoF head tracking, better optics, and a higher-res panel isn't going to alleviate that frustration. But if you start getting bulky VR rigs involved, then it very quickly relegates itself to a niche.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Proper head tracking would actually go a long way towards delivering accurate surround audio from a pair of stereo headphones... That's the way the Smyth Realizer does it, it's a niche product because of cost and the fact that no one wants to wear an extra attachment on top of headphones, but if you're already donning headgear... This could be the biggest leap in gaming audio since the first surround cards came out 15 years ago (RIP Aureal). Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    And how many have died due to crappy buggy products? Add to that that there doesn't seem to be anything like OR (in the same price range) coming anytime soon, or at all, and I see no reason for them to rush to market. Personally I think you'd make a really bad CEO. Reply

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