OculusSide-610x343If 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.

[via Edge]

  • LOLCAT

    Was anybody else in that Martian cave with me?

    • one.sixty.four

      Me. :face palm:

    • Chester_Copperpot

      Man, I knew I smelled something.

  • Zaraf

    This sounds awesome. I hope its better than the nauseating VR helmets of the 90s.

    • toxiccheese

      I've had a chance to use the Rift and I gotta say it can be disorienting. Jumping off a ledge can really mess with your balance. It's really amazing how immersive it is.

  • LOLCAT

    WOAH I JUST WATCHED THE VIDEO THAT THING LOOKS FREAKING AWESOME.

  • Adams Immersive

    Agreed: who needs a bulky display, or even a controller, when a screen that can double as a touchpad plus some goggles is going to be enough?

    My Rift dev kit is on order! For Mac/PC for now. iOS one day?

    But I fear that NEXT-GEN is the key phrase, at least when it comes to iOS: current video-out (even wired vie Lightning) has a bit of lag. New devices (or even Lightning cables with better onboard chip/software) will fix that eventually I'm sure. But on current hardware, I'd say it's a dealbreaker: any lag in an HMD ruins VR and even makes people ill. The world needs to "hold still" while you move your head, and that can't happen when lag makes it drift and wobble.

    • TheRealMarkusn

      agree. The accelerometer could make the phone an interesting controller (think sword fight). Plus what I see with the Rift, turning around to look back is as novel as cool. With such a setup a 360 turn wouldn't be limited by a cable anymore. We can finally play the Tron disc game :)

  • iOSPeace

    Lol they said Xbone. Lol. I so came up with that first lulz

    • wildperson

      No...no you didn't.

  • http://ask.fm/MidianGTX MidianGTX

    It still comes down to games for me. I can see Oculous Rift being great fun on any platform, but given the choice between Skyrim and an iOS RPG, I'm focusing on Skyrim without question. The biggest hurdle now is the same one that's always existed, getting developers interested in iOS.

    • iammane

      I hope with controller support the big devs will take more notice. I was thinking Deus Ex The Fall was a pretty ballsy move, I really hope it pays off and works.. They alienated a lot of fans perhaps but to me, it's friggin awesome :) sure wouldn't mind more studios setting up mobile divisions

    • B3nlok

      I think he implementation of Vr on mobile would be such an impressive achievement by itself that i wouldn't mind if all i have is a silly bowling game adapted to Oculous Rift where i can move around with my phone. The funny thing is i have always thought the VR concept as something that should be extremely demanding hardware-wise that would only be possible on ultra high end pcs 5-10 years from now, because of FOV and all. But then the Rift came and proved that gpu tech is not a obstacle as many believed when it was shown people totally immersed on EpicCitadel running on Rift.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Oh no! I agree!
      The Oculus Rift should work for both. I have no games on phone I'd like to have VR playability, but many on PC & console would be awesome.

  • Duuude

    With that ginger moron in the back, it felt like an episode of Funny or Die, only it was not funny ...

  • Karzay

    It's always more fun to watch people use VR headsets than to actually use one.

  • tech

    iOS? really? please guys. save us the jokey jokes.

    Apple can't even get gaming right on their full power MAC's, let alone their mobile counterparts.

    And when it comes down to it, everyone is going to choose SKYRIM over angry birds. Thats the fact of it.

    Android and WP8? Sure, they already have the xbox and nvidia streaming tech for it. But the apple guys will be left out in the cold - simply cause no one plays real games on apple products.

    I think focusing on consoles like the PS4 and Xbox will provide much better experiences than focusing on an iphone.

    • TheRealMarkusn

      yeah, the Skyrim merchandise at Walmart is really getting out of hand because everybody(!) chooses it over AB. That's the fact of it.

    • iammane

      I dunno I've been playing real games like XCOM and Deus Ex on my phone... I don't remember the last time I flung a bunch of birds around :)

      Also, in the coming years I think we're gonna see our mobile chipsets getting quite a bit beefier so that they will be able to contend with current gen consoles. The upcoming Tegra presentations have been pretty cool, and I am sure Apple (and all mobile chipset makers) will come out with products to contend.

    • Karzay

      Tech, you are in a bubble. Apple doesn't try to get gaming "right." Developers do. Not everyone likes Skyrim. I am willing to bet more people have played Angry Birds than Skyrim because Angry Birds is far cheaper, more widely available and less time consuming to play.

      To say that no one plays real games on Apple products is foolish. Even if you meant AAA games by that, you would still be wrong. There are AAA quality games on both iOS and Macs. Unless you own an Apple product, you may not know that yet. If you are new to iOS or TA, stick around, and we'll set you straight. :)

      • tech

        If you honestly think a mac or iphone is a gaming device, you guys are living in your own world.

        Please enlighten me with your E3 game critics awards for games exclusive to Mac and iphone. Please, show me your examples.

        ::rolleyes::

      • Rustrobot

        It may not seem like it now because the tech is a certainly behind current/next gen consoles but mobile hardware advances at a much more rapid pace. In 4 or 5 years it may not be odd to have some semblance of platform parody between mobile and consoles. Just look how far we've come since the first iPhone.

      • Karzay

        A gaming device is any device you play games on.

        There are plenty on games on both iOS and Mac that have won the E3 game critic award (Scribblenauts, Bastion, Limbo, XCOM, Civilzation V, etc.) Most games are released on multiple platforms and exclusivity isn't a prerequisite for quality. It actually means nothing in terms of quality.

        I take it you must be new to gaming? I think that would be a fair assumption based on the ignorance of your earlier comments. If that is the case, there are plenty of gamers and developers who visit this site and are willing to help you out with any question you may have on games. Most of us play games on multiple platforms. Good luck to you.

      • tech

        On the contrary, if you think a Mac or iphone is a gaming device, you sound more like a noob than I kind sir
        ;)

      • Karzay

        Macs and iPhones are devices and you can play video games on those devices. Put the two together. Don't make others do the thinking for you.

        There is an extensive amount of exclusive games for iOS. Whether or not they won any awards, I don't know nor do I care. Do the research yourself. You obviously have access to the internet. Make use of that "non-gaming device" you claim to have.

        Aslo look up "mini-game." You obviously don't know what that word means if you think all games on iOS are mini-games.

        Just curious, but did you skim a gaming article for keywords, thinking it was enough to post an argumentative comment on a gaming site? Read a few more articles and come back next month.

      • Rustrobot

        You realize that you're having a semantic argument right? If your definition of a gaming device is merely the amount of games it has or how many awards it wins with exclusives then by that standard when does the Xbox One or PS4 become one? At launch neither will have many games or any awards for exclusive titles. And arguments can be made whether their main purpose is to play games in the first place. A gaming device is merely something that plays games. You color that with your perspective and perception of it.

      • iammane

        Lord knows if I could sit around and play console games or PC games I would, but there just isn't enough time. The best alternative is something mobile, I already need to carry a phone and I'm sure as hell not carrying ANOTHER device (Vita, 3DS whatever)

        When you have a 9 hour work day, 3 hours of commuting, a seven and a half month old baby and need to get AT LEAST 5 hours of sleep there just isn't any time to veg in front of the TV or PC.

      • iammane

        Oh and by the by, five hours of sleep is real good with a baby because, lord knows, they don't always sleep great. So yeah, iOS gaming is my saving grace for now...

      • Chester_Copperpot

        Well put, sir.

  • bigitec

    As a developer I was waiting for this news... Anyone who doesn't get excited about the Oculus+iOS has just no idea and imagination. Just wait and see!

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      I wish I had more than one upvote to give this comment.

  • Greyskull

    Psssh. I had Sony Glasstrons in 2000. :P

  • Will

    "that is to immersive it's scary just how real the feeling of immersion is."

    (that is so immersive)

  • Benegesserit

    VR with Augmented Reality. Would require some sort of dual Glass setup, maybe.

    • Benegesserit

      Or reverse augment where you just use the existing OR and with an external camera bring real things into the game.

  • http://psneville.com/ PS Neville

    I'm a developer and rift owner who's possibly even more excited about this for non-game apps than for games. Imagine a classroom of iPads and headsets that teach WWII by immersing you in the events, putting you right there on the beach at Normandy, or teach you art and music by letting you collaborate in full theatrical 3D spaces, or teach mechanical physics with you flinging objects off of buildings... it may sound like a pipe dream you've heard a hundred times before, and it's not there yet by any means, but creating rift content in both Unity and UDK is already fairly straightforward (with a few gotchas) and I'd hate to bet against innovation.

  • Retroact1ve

    I like the idea for mobile. There are plenty of problems though. Currently cellphones are not capable enough yet. Yes the rift uses a cellphone screen but sending all data wirelessly and you increase the latency to such an extent it would break immersion.

    You'd move your head and it would take a noticeable length of time for the movement to occur in game. Which by itself would cause nausea or motion sickness.
    When that will be overcome you then have to worry about graphics support because to have the best experience you'll need close to current gaming standards, the better the graphics the larger the game. Storage in cells is very finite.

    Then we have to consider the types of games people will want to play, I'm sure a good percentage want to play online with others across the world, so then you have to consider carrier networks and their latency. The fact that carriers (except a few) all have done away with truly unlimited data plans, and the types of games we play today the amount of data transferred is so large at home on a normal ISP we transfer gigs of data a day.

    The one weakness lucky points out in consoles is they stick around for 8 years or so. I would argue that is a strength, not a weakness and an assets to the oculus team and its developers. You guys need a plan, and a deal. They need to strike while the iron is hot and finalize their specs and plans. Otherwise their buzz will be drowned out by other gaming innovations.

    I'm excited for it more than the ps4. Once the specs are finalized ill Order it just for pc alone but damn make up your minds on a plan. To me it seems like they almost finish then so oh but wait we could do this too, and this and this. I'm a patient man, but you have to consider the average attention span of your target audience. Good luck to Palmer and the rest of the crew at oculus I wish I could be a part of it, I believe in it and have the same passion for it that they do. Regards,
    T.L.