Virtual reality is attracting a lot of real cash for the creators of Oculus Rift, a motion-tracking wearable display intended to get previously cost-prohibitive, high-end technology onto the heads of gamers and game creators of everywhere. The project's Kickstarter has already collected more than $400,000 in its first day, handily surpassing its $250,000 goal.
The Oculus Rift is a 3D virtual reality headset, with screens for each eye offering large viewing angles. The headset's sensors support low-latency head tracking, allowing users to move their heads to actually look around the game's world with supposedly little in-game delay. Oculus' stated goal is to make the VR technology both lightweight and high-quality, a combination which would previously be far too expensive for most consumers.
The undertaking comes with the seal of approval of several notable PC gaming figures, including id's John Carmack, Valve's Gabe Newell, and Epic Game's Cliff Bleszinski. "It looks incredibly exciting, if anybody’s going to tackle this set of hard problems, we think that [Oculus founder Palmer Luckey] is going to do it," Newell said in a promotional video for the project. Carmack, himself a 3D technology evangelist, ran a demo for the technology at the Electronics Entertainment Expo in June. While several working prototypes of the Oculus Rift already exist, the Kickstarter is intended to start mass production of developer kits for the system, which will integrate with both the Unity and Unreal engines out of the box.
The Kickstarter had attracted $411,103 with 1,668 backers as of publication time, setting the average backer pledge at about $250. This is close to the $300 minimum pledge required to receive an Oculus Rift and developer tools in December, as well as a copy of Doom 3: BFG Edition, the first game to be compatible with the system.