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Oculus Rift gaming headset likely to come to market running Android


Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift

The consumer version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming headset is likely to run off Google's Android operating system, according to the company's Chief Technology Officer.

Legendary games developer John Carmack, who is heading up the device, said the headset will probably take the form of a standalone Android system that boasts a smartphone-like processor.

In an interview with Engadget the man responsible for Doom, Quake, Rage, Wolfenstein 3D and others said: "The way I believe it's going to play out is you will eventually have a head-mounted display that probably runs Android, as a standalone system, that has a system-on-a-chip that's basically like what you have in mobile phones."

Carmack also confirmed that a new developer kit is under construction, which will make it to those keen to create immersive gaming experiences before the finished product goes on sale next year.

In a year where Microsoft and Sony are both launching next-generation consoles, the Oculus Rift has stood out as perhaps the most intriguing solution, due to its fully immersive, head-mounted display that appears to offer the best hope for the long-promised future of virtual reality gaming.

Those who've gone heads-on have overwhelmingly given Rift the thumbs up, but the device isn't quite ready for the big time just yet. It still has some kinks to work out, primarily the head tracking elements, according to Carmack.

He added: "A lot of the work at Oculus has gone into working out better position tracking. The tracking side is something that there hasn't been as much of a push for and we're frantically working on a lot of that, because that is one of the other really large issues. But we expect that the next developer kit will have higher resolution and position tracking addressing some of these significant issues."

The company is yet to announce its retail strategy for getting the headset upon the bonces of eager gamers, with Carmack saying there is debate within Oculus regarding how to handle it.

Head over to the source for the full video inteview. Also, check out our own hands on Oculus Rift review.


October 19, 2013, 12:52 pm

Dude, your title is so misleading.
"The way I believe it's going to play out is you will EVENTUALLY have a head-mounted display that PROBABLY runs Android, as a standalone system,"
It's clear from the interview that John is not talking about the first consumer version of the Rift, yet you portray exactly the opposite with your title.
The only things that he confirms a commitment to is more focus on high resolution head tracking, an improved dev kit prior to release and the advent of 4K and a self-contained android version somewhere down the line.


October 19, 2013, 2:37 pm

Really? How many iterations do you think there will be before retail? Makes me kind of hopeful for a hi-res devkit, even though PL said that wouldn't happen.


October 27, 2013, 9:41 pm

Palmer has confirmed Carmack's statement that there will be a new dev kit released prior to the release of the consumer version (I know that they said a few months back that this probably wasn't going to happen.)

DK2 will be released "shortly" before CK1 - how long "shortly" is was not defined. My guess is 2-3 months, just enough time to give devs to ensure proper integration and just short enough to dissuade the general public from buying one.

Another thing we know is that when asked about a release date for CK1 we were told to "measure in months not years" which you can take as a conformation that we'll almost certainly see a CK1 release in time for the holiday season next year.

That site I linked you to has top-notch coverage of VR. Check it out if you have more questions ;)

Oh, and sorry I only saw your question 8 days later. That's some serious latency! :P

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