Palmer Luckey -- the designer behind the protoype Head-mounted Display that id Software tech luminary John Carmack has been demonstrating and promoting
in recent weeks -- has revealed that the promised Kickstarter project for the so-called Oculus RIFT device kits is now due to launch on or around July 19th 2012.
In a post
on the Virtual Reality enthusiast forums at Meant to be Seen, Luckey explains that as a result of the recent publicity, the launch of the crowd-funding drive has been delayed a little longer (originally scheduled for June), but that the additional support has afforded the project to be much more ambitious. The delay will also mean even more publicity, with Luckey confirming that the RIFT is intended to be further demoed at both the upcoming GamesCom and QuakeCon events.
The Oculus RIFT Kickstarter drive is expected to offer backers the promise of a kit version of the device for around US$500, that is targeted at tinkerers and enthusiasts and not a consumer-friendly HMD. The specifications are presumed to be similar to those demonstrated by John Carmack, with a 90 degree field of view and rapid response times, but the lower-than-optimal screen resolution of 1280x800 (which offers 640x800 to each eye).
Getting a little ahead of himself, Luckey shares his longer-term vision for later iterations of the RIFT:
Imagine an HMD with a massive field of view and more pixels than 1080p per eye, wireless PC link, built in absolute head and hand/weapon/wand positioning, and native integration with some (if not all) of the major game engines, all for less than $1,000 USD. That can happen in 2013!
Lastly, the post also confirms that Luckey is in active talks with not only id Software and Bethesda, but also, Valve, Epic, Crytek and Unity as well as "hardware engineers who have designed some extremely well known gaming peripherals", which covers the game-engines that drive a wide array of games and offers some good hope that we might see support for the displays in more than just the upcoming Doom 3 re-release.
AusGamers was fortunate enough to check out the Oculus RIFT demo in person at E3 last month, so stay tuned for our own heads-on impressions (and more of Carmack's words of wisdom) shortly.