The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has generated a lot of positive buzz lately, but a bit of news that came in at the end of last week has generated some troubled discussion. According to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, the headset is primarily intended for PC and smartphones, but not consoles.
“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,” Iribe told Edge. “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.”
The Oculus Rift, which was funded for nearly $2,500,000 via Kickstarter (quite a jump from its original goal of $250,000), won’t be on the market until 2014 at the earliest. The decision not to support consoles is an odd one, given the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are brand-spankin’-new and on the cusp of a release.
If you’re irritated about consoles being excluded from Oculus’s grand plan, consider making your own VR headset. Iribe welcomes the proposition, and believes virtual reality technology is set to evolve at breakneck speed.
“There’ll be other people that end up doing VR, it’s not like Oculus is going to be the only VR provider – and I think there is a lot of innovation still to come,” he said. “This is one year in, right? Imagine where we go in the next eight to ten years.”