news\ Aug 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Virtual reality 'Oculus Rift' 3D headset gains support from Valve, Epic Games, and more


Do you like virtual reality? Are you a fan of 3D? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you'll be pleased to know the future looks bright for both of those thanks to virtual reality technology developer Oculus, who recently launched a Kickstarter for its new headset - the "Oculus Rift".

What is this mysterious object seemingly from the future? The Rift allows you to "step into the game" by producing a stereoscopic 3D experience with a huge field of view - 110 degrees diagonally - so you don't see the screen. Unlike previous VR headsets, where movement in the game lags behind movement of the head, the Oculus Rift is said to to overcome the resolution and latency problems experience by other headsets.

Ladies and gentlemen, the future is now.

“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 campaign, which aims to speed the distribution of early development kits to game developers, has already gained support from some of the industry's top developers including id Software, Epic Games, Unity, and Valve.

Contributing $300 or more, to the funding goal of $250,000, will get you 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.

“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.”

And now for some testimonies from some of the industry's top developers:

"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. The Oculus Rift will be showcased at Quakecon, Siggraph, GDC Europe, gamescom, and Unite.

To help fund the Oculus Rift, visit the product's official Kickstart page.

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