This pretty much sums up how everyone in the VR community felt on Wednesday. Seeing an Oculus Kickstarter email arrive always makes my day. This time I knew it was going to be something special. I was thinking input, but better than that, an actual release date! Yes, finally a date – Q1 2016!
Ever since Oculus Connect last fall I have always been thinking of the amazing demos with Crescent Bay and how incredible those experiences were from a content standpoint and what that technology delivered. The improvement over the DK2 was phenomenal, and now I will finally be able to show something like that to the world, and really show people how groundbreaking this new technology is!
The whole industry is pulling this together from headsets and input systems, to graphics hardware and driver level improvements, to operating system and game engine support, and a new generation of 3d graphics APIs. It feels like the stars are aligning and we will soon be seeing many stealth titles being unveiled this summer and fall and an exploding amount of content as developers pile on the VR bandwagon.
So what will it take to drive this amazing HMD? The short answer is a powerful Windows desktop system running a high end GPU that will render nearly 5 million pixels 90 times per second. That is a pretty high bar to meet and has resulted in a set of minimum requirements directly from Oculus. The blog post Powering the Rift covers all of this in detail.
For developers, this is very important because we can focus on developing VR games and experiences that will run properly within this recommended hardware. Consumers will also not be disappointed with the experience that under-powered systems would cause. As we move through the initial year of VR, a new generation of graphics hardware and APIs will begin to provide the immense rendering power needed for high end VR experiences.
So where does this leave me? I am continuing my work on the Lost Loot alpha. I finally shifted to a real website which took a few weeks and I hope you are enjoying. With the switch to Unity 5 finished, I am now shifting back to working on the switch to the native Oculus integration coming in Unity 5.1. I will be doing more short posts about my efforts on the game in the coming weeks.
I now have a goal of getting Lost Loot ready by release time – early 2016. Hopefully a complete game, but a solid early release version at a bare minimum. VR is finally happening!