It’s not anywhere near mainstream yet and is not even available to buy, but in the video game community, “Oculus Rift” is building buzz as a potential future for the medium.
Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset being developed after a successful Kickstarter campaign last year raised more than $2.4 million for the project. The headset includes two high-resolution video screens meant to display a wide field of view. It can also track head movement as a player looks around and moves within a virtual world. While VR might seem like a failed relic from the 1990s, technology might have finally caught up to the concept.
The project has received attention lately as $300 kits aimed at video-game makers and other developers have been shipped. Some developers, like Gabe Newell at Valve and John Carmack of id Software, have expressed enthusiasm for VR and are experimenting with adapting games for Oculus Rift. One set of developers has even created a treadmill-like prototype that would work with the headset. A video of a 90-year-old grandmother trying the headset for the first time recently delighted YouTube viewers. How soon before it’s on sale? The company behind it, Oculus VR. Inc., hasn’t said but promises on its website that it will be affordable and will have many improvements over the current developer-only version when it arrives.
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