Published in Games

Carmack announces virtual reality glasses

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Working prototype on display

Hand in hand with the announcement of Doom 3 BFG Edition, id Software broke the news of an interesting peripheral they’re working an – a head mounted display, or virtual reality glasses if you will.

Dubbed the Oculus Rift, the device has a 1280x800 screen, or 640x800 per eye. Although these figures aren’t what we’d call impressive for today’s standards, the “immersion factor” is said to be great.

When it launches, Oculus Rift will bring a feature not found on currently available devices of the kind - 90 degree field of view. Despite still being in early prototype phase, the team made sure that the Rift is thin, light, delivers a steady 60fps rate and boasts excellent latency.

Head movement is tracked by a gyroscope and accelerometers. Note that weapons, movement and standard gamepad controls are still there, just independent of the view itself. The team also replaced crosshairs for a laser sight when in 3D.

Carmack said that the technology made the idea of virtual reality possible at quite a reasonable price. Although conceding that Oculus Rift is in early stage, he said he hopes it will be available as $500 build-it-yourself kit.

Although he mentioned a possibility of the Rift being bundled with Doom 3 BFG, which is slated for launch in fall, it’s not very likely. The game will include support for 3D TVs and other head mounted displays.

You can find out more and check out a quick video presentation here.

Last modified on 31 May 2012
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