If you've been living in a cave on Mars with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears for the last year, here's some news for you: The Oculus Rift is amazing. Launched with an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset offers a full field or view VR experience that is to immersive it's scary just how real the feeling of immersion is.
Right now the Rift is available in a super-early kit focused at developers which works by plugging it in to a PC or Mac via HDMI with an additional USB cable to send all your head tracking data to whatever game you're playing. With the advent of the PS4 and XBone, the talk around the proverbial internet watercooler has been whether or not these consoles will support the Rift. However, per a recent interview with Edge and Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, it turns out the company is way more interested in mobile devices:
“I love consoles but internally we’re a lot more excited about where mobile’s going to go, and being able to plug it right into a next gen cellphone,” he told us. “It’s the innovation, and how fast cellphones are now improving – where we’ll be with the next Galaxy or the next iPhone compared to where consoles are. Those things are almost doubling every year, compared to a console that’s just stuck it out for eight years – it just makes us very excited. There’s a lot of improvements that can be made on the hardware side for VR that no-one’s doing yet because it’s a new thing. The mobile rate of innovation is going to be able to make a lot of those improvements.” ...Read More
When you stop and think about this, it makes a lot of sense. Smartphones now are totally capable of driving a display of the resolution of the Oculus Rift, and with upcoming iOS 7 controller support, why bother with all sorts of extra hardware when your phone is more than capable of doing all the heavy lifting?
There's still no hard release date for the Oculus Rift aside from a nebulous "2014," and they're aiming to keep the price around $300. Regardless, if smartphones are going to play a major part in the Oculus Rift ecosystem, things are going to get really interesting in mobile next year. When you think about it, the tech already sort of exists for this all to work wirelessly. Throw a battery into the mix on the Rift, send the head tracking data via Bluetooth and the video to the rift via AirPlay? Man, the future is an exciting place.