Valve veteran joins Oculus Rift company, brings expertise in eliminating "simulator sickness"

Atman Binstock now working at Oculus VR as its Chief Architect.

Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift headset, today announced that it has hired Valve virtual reality veteran Atman Binstock to become its new Chief Architect. Binstock was a key player behind Valve's secret VR project, and helped create the company's "VR Room" demo that Steam Dev Days attendees got a chance to try out in January.

Atman Binstock

He is also credited with helping Valve's VR team prove that "simulator sickness" could be overcome and that users could attain a feeling of "presence" inside VR experiences.

Prior to joining Valve, Binstock worked at companies like RAD Game Tools, DICE, and Intel.

"I'm incredibly excited and humbled by the opportunity," Binstock said in a statement on the Oculus VR website. "We're just scratching the surface of what's possible, and I can't wait to discover what's next!"

Binstock will lead a new Oculus R&D team based in Seattle.

Finally, Oculus VR announced today that it will soon stop selling the original Oculus Rift development kits because some of the hardware components are no longer being manufactured. In total, Oculus VR has sold some 60,000 units at $300 each to developers.

There's no word yet on when Oculus Rift headsets will be available to consumers or how much they will sell for at launch. However, creator Palmer Luckey said this month that his aim for the final consumer version is to make it "affordable."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

40 comments
stalepie
stalepie

If you're feeling quesy just take off the goggles and use it as a bag 

Quarkzquarkz
Quarkzquarkz

So when will the HD consumer version come out? 2016? =(

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

I for one am also sick of all these crappy shovelware simulators coming out on Steam.

driftingsilvia
driftingsilvia

Not really sure how this can even be eliminated. Some people just get motion sickness and it's not something that can be fixed with technology.

adambomb007
adambomb007

I have one. I get sick from it. About 30-50% of people that use it get sick from it. Until this problem is fixed I do not see it really taking off. Its a pretty big drawback as the tech is awesome. Hopefully it gets resolved, I am just not sure its an actual latency issue as they suspect.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

This is one of those things that you just need to see to believe probably.

I haven't tried one and am totally dubious about it. It will have to be pretty god damn special to warrant me buying and using it over my existing screens anyway.

GarGx1
GarGx1

Good news, the more experience they can garner the better the final product will be

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

I thought they've already eliminated (or was it just minimized) simulator sickness in crystal cove.

Blumper
Blumper

I'd be a good test subject in the simulator sickness lab; I have a chronic inner ear issue that can really screw with my equilibrium, especially when I'm tired. I can do motion, 3D movies, FPS's and all that, and I like to ride the odd rollercoaster, etc. so I'm not a hopeless case, but the disparity between what my eyes see and what my equilibrium registers as motion can turn on the barf-hose in the blink of an eye if I'm not careful.


I'm really hoping they have someone like me testing it for them.

tomservo51
tomservo51

I never finished HL2 because the part with the ground pounders and bugs made me nauseous.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

I'm getting more excited about Oculus Lift every day. I really hope this thing delivers.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

'In total, Oculus VR has sold some 60,000 units at $300 each to developers.' Holy shit, isn't that about $18 million they've already made off it, despite it not even being officially released? Not bad. Also nice to hear another mind is behind the Oculus. I'm rather looking forward to it.

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

so lets make it straight, the genius teenegare built prototype using old crappy components which were probably not worth a lot and the final product will retail between 200-300 USDs. Nice margin.

wookiegr
wookiegr

I wish they would just release a base model that is the best they got now with the message that they plan to release a more advanced model at a later date. I want it NOW.

tranceology3
tranceology3

@kitmeep  I doubt they were making much of a profit off that.They kept the cost relatively low to give access to developers. 

tranceology3
tranceology3

@driftingsilvia  There is some truth to that. No matter how well the simulator works, a roller coaster, rocking boat, spinning space ship will still produce a nauseating feeling to those people that are susceptible. However, technology can fix the current simulation sickness that the dev kit produces. Just walking around and exploring in the dev kit gets many users sick, this is what will be fixed by technology. 

adambomb007
adambomb007

@driftingsilvia  the theory is latency is the problem, which is something that can be fixed. my theory is that our bodies need to believe they are moving, which is definitely not something that can be done yet.

Goddammitj
Goddammitj

@adambomb007  They know its more than just latency and theyve resolved much of it with higher resolution and full positional tracking. Along with a low persistence display (though you need very high fps for this to be truly beneficial). At least so Ive read.

Gears_0f_L0ve
Gears_0f_L0ve

@MateykoSlam  They cornered the market, and make tons off of micro transactions and game sales.  Far from it.  IF anything will have cornered the market for the future of video game industry in general... if the steambox does well.

Stiler
Stiler

@MateykoSlam Sinking? No , Steam will keep valve around for a long long long time.

It has millions upon millions of users and every single sell that goes through them they get a cut of. 

That's like saying when one of the top people leave Wal Mart that they are a "sinking ship."

cracka123
cracka123

@MateykoSlam  

This would be a big deal if Valve were attempting to create a consumer VR device of their own, but I highly doubt that. They are already overwhelmed with their push for Steam Machine/OS/Controller.

Hakkology
Hakkology

@MateykoSlam  I want to say Steam disagrees, but i get the feeling there is something i don't know behind these words.

Would love to hear some reasoning on this.

GarGx1
GarGx1

@Sl4cka Just the author trying to make this a bigger story than it is

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Blumper  I'd also hope they have showers, buckets and robber socks on hand as well for the staff.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@DamnILoveGames keep in mind that it costs Oculus to produce those dev kits, they might not be making a profit on each one

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@DamnILoveGames  A lot of those will be companies like Gamespot though. The ones who want to experience its development first hand. Who have cash set aside for just such items and who have no interest at all in using it for development.

I mean $300 is hardly a pile of gold to pay for a development kit.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@wookiegr They are planning on releasing an improved second devkit that will be as close as possible to the consumer verion.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@Spartan_418 Aren't the finished ones supposedly going to be around that price as well, though? If they are then they couldn't be, otherwise where would the profits come from?

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@Spartan_418 It does seem kind of strange to think they'd sell 60000 units all at a loss. Oh well, who knows. If it turns out as good as everyone who's used it says it is I'll be happy.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@DamnILoveGames my guess is that once they've nailed down the final hardware then they'll be able to streamline the manufacturing process and reduce costs.

i could be wrong, it's possible they're making some kind of profit from the dev kits

Gears_0f_L0ve
Gears_0f_L0ve

@DamnILoveGames @Dannystaples14  I know,  compare that to Google Glass prices