Post by Dan @ 08:50am 02/08/12 | 4 Comments
Arriving a little later than it's late July target, the promised Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift is now under-way, offering tech enthusiasts the chance to fund the creation of, and get their hands on the promising head-mounted display.
The device raised a lot of interest from the gaming press at the E3 expo this year, when id Software veteran John Carmack demonstrated a prototype of the device with the hope of reviving the virtual reality gaming aspirations of the 80s and 90s.
The Kickstarter project makes it clear that this first revision of the Oculus RIFT is intended for developers, with the intention of creating a foundation of software support in preparation for a more fully featured, user friendly consumer quality revision.
Even though the consumer version of the Rift is still a ways down the road, the early developer kit’s hardware design is cutting edge, with technical specifications above and beyond other consumer headset available today.Rather amazingly, the pledge requirements to receive an actual developer kit Rift start at US$275 (plus $30 for int. shipping), and all models will come bundled with a copy of id Software's upcoming VR-ready Doom 3: BFG Edition, but if you want one that doesn't require hot glue gun self-assembly, you'll be looking at the US$300 base.
After less than a day, the project has already raised over US$500,000, more than double it's US$250,000 goal from over 2000 backers.
In addition to id Software's John Carmack, the Kickstarter page boasts endorsements from Valve's Mike Abrash and Gabe Newell, Epic's Cliff Blezsinski and Unity's David Helgason, and notes that native support is planned for both Unity and the Unreal Engine, with a robust SDK in the pipeline to assist integration with other products.
Watch the pitch video below and head over to the Kickstarter page to see what the future of virtual reality might look like. For our own take on things, you can check out AusGamers' interview with John Carmack from E3 2012, which includes Steve's heads-on impressions with the Rift prototype.