As someone who devours way too much science fiction, I’ve always secretly believed that I’ll be wearing giant VR goggles at some point in the future. (I’m patiently waiting for my jetpack, too.) Now it looks like I might not be crazy after all — Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus, is hoping to take VR goggles out of the lab and put them into the hands of gamers at an affordable price.
The company held a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign for its Oculus Rift headset last year, raising $2.4 million (nearly 10 times the original goal) from 9,522 backers. The company plans to ship its first developer kits in a couple of months, and Luckey dropped by the TechCrunch booth at the Consumer Electronics Show with an early version of the goggles.
He compared the experience to “having an enormous screen suspended in front of you,” which is true enough, but doesn’t quite do justice to what it’s like to put the headset on, watch the game respond to your movements, and feel like you’re moving through a real space. I’m eager to try it out in a real game, but it sounds like I might still have a while to wait on that front.
“It wouldn’t be really responsible for us to go out and say, ‘This is when we think it’s going to be done,’ when we haven’t gotten any developer feedback on what they think should be in the consumer version,” Luckey said.
The developer kits are still available for pre-order for a price of $300 on the Oculus site. When the consumer version is released, Luckey said he’s aiming to deliver it at the same price or lower.