Oculus Rift latency won't be an issue at launch, says developer

Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey says company will solve latency issue for consumer launch next year "beyond the level of human perception."

When the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset becomes available to the public next year, latency won't be an issue, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey told Gamasutra in a new interview.

"The stuff that we're doing in the lab right now, we think that we've got latency basically solved," Luckey said. "We think that, for the consumer launch, we're going to be able to get latency to the point where it's not even an issue--it's a completely nonexistent issue, completely beyond the level of human perception."

Though Luckey said he is confident that the company can reduce latency to negligible levels, he said other issues will continue for developers.

"Where the difficulty is going to remain is with game developers, and how they do buffering in their engines, how they do vsync," Luckey said. "How their game engines handle rendering and whether they can stay at 60 or 90 or 120 frames per second. And that's going to be the difficulty. Because if we make perfect hardware, developers still have to make low-latency game loops."

In August, Doom studio id Software cofounder John Carmack joined Oculus VR as its chief technology officer. Luckey told Gamaustra that Carmack is "really focusing" on a number of different things, including improving the company's SDK and optimizing the virtual-reality technology for mobile.

The Oculus Rift is currently available to developers for $300. The consumer product is aiming for a similar price point, Luckey said.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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263 comments
Parn Claborn
Parn Claborn

when o when is this going to be retail .pc

tightwad34
tightwad34

I have a feeling this is going to be seen as more of a prototype. It's a huge step in terms of technology(I know things like this have been around a while, but no hint at any releases) and the public has never had the opportunity to own anything like this. It's definitely going to be a feel it out approach with feedback from consumers helping to evolve it. I'll just have to wait and see. I won't spend any money on this until it's established enough that it'll work properly and be awesome.  

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

One question I've been wondering is:

Will there be any real application to this outside of the FPS genre? 

I've been picture playing games on it and have so far concluded that outside FPS it wouldn't really add much, or may even detract.

Naylord
Naylord

@Buck_Swaggler Racing games are what I'm looking forward too most. Turning your head to check out a turn as you make it will feel super sick.

mucking_foron
mucking_foron

So which third world under-developed country will be producing these things?

ecurl143
ecurl143

Maybe it's me but I don't think a lot of people realise how important the development of the Oculus Rift is for game playing and multimedia generally, I think the movie industry will be filming in full 360 before long - only a matter of time before a visionary director taps into that - the tech is already there - just needs someone to realise the potential and bring the two together.


Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

@ecurl143 Picture that though.  It'd be so damn hard to engage people to the correct area of the screen where the main event is happening.


Plus how would seating work?

Not saying its a bad idea, just playing devil's advocate.

Rhys
Rhys

The Oculus Rift isn't gimmicky at all. My only issie is how confusing it will be to play some games, During some gameplay with it people would try and avoid things by tilting their head, forgetting that the game isn't real and that you won't move... Just waiting for Brain sensing ones where you input movement via electrons in your head.

nonknown
nonknown

What if the PC makes the game stutter ?? It would be real annoying then  !! :P

McGregor
McGregor

@nonknown This is true. I'm thinking that the resolution won't be a problem for Modern PC's though...The dev specs are 1280x800, my PC is a mid range machine, and nearly a year old, it would have no problems putting out 120 fps at that resolution.

McGregor
McGregor

This is probably the most exciting future gaming item to me. I may not get one on day one, but I'll be in line to pick up a 2nd gen for sure. I'd like to wait and see how the bugs get ironed out, and also what kind of dev support it will get. I would not be surprised if this becomes the "must have" item next year; at least in the gaming world. As a kid, I would have loved to have this item...My own TV, that doesn't take up my closet, or 1/3 of my room for a tv. And on top of that it's interactive! Yeah, very excited for this...pair it with Star Citizen, and I'm dead to the real world. 

Dresden05
Dresden05

@McGregor With the leading edge of the development this will tested to death before release. They won't want the bad PR of people being sick on their dev. 

So they can push back to media and game devs 

Are you sick when using our game 'No' then it's EA's fault

wyan_
wyan_

I was planning on having a huge projector home theater in my basement for games that I knew would cost thousands, (don't really give a damn about movies) but with the Oculus Rift I will save thousands and won't take up half my basement. I can hardly wait for it.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@wyan_It's also better to buy an Oculus rift than to buy "games that I knew would cost thousands" :P. Some F2P, MMO and toy-based (e.g. Skylanders) games comes to mind when talking about games that could cost thousands, heh.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Just another step on the journey to creating Sword Art Online

Adam Fitzgerald
Adam Fitzgerald

It's very impressive. The retail one will have much higher resolution also.

Adam Fitzgerald
Adam Fitzgerald

It's hardly an issue now. My Beta one isn't even that bad.

MidNightStrikes
MidNightStrikes

And after that, we need a way to play with VR without controllers! 

*cough

But either way this will pave the way for future VR tech, which will improve over time

Amit Kejriwal
Amit Kejriwal

It is for present for PC but they are looking forward at mobile phones and consoles too in the coming years.

rarson
rarson

This is really exciting. The Rift would be a purchase even at $500 if it's as good as they say it is, but a $300 price point would be even better, as it would assure better adoption which would equate to greater software support. I can't wait until this comes out. I'm buying one immediately!

Bo Boutwell
Bo Boutwell

VR is being copied?? I could have sworn OR wasn't the first to do it... Oh well.. Sheesh