Mic WrightReporter, TNW
Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.
Oculus VR CEO, Brendan Iribe, told the audience at Web Summit 2014 in Dublin, that a consumer-version of the company’s Rift VR headset is “close”. While he understandably declined to offer a timetable for launch, he says the latest version of the headset, Crescent Bay, is “largely finalized for a consumer product.”
But while the headset may be ready, the full consumer package is still a way off. Iribe says: “We’re all hungry for it to happen. We’re getting very close. It’s months, not years away, but many months.”
The big challenge remains developing an effective input device. Iribe says keyboards, mice and gamepads aren’t up to the job and neither is gesture-control at this point. Oculus acquired Carbon Design, the designers of the Xbox 360 controller in March.
Iribe says the company has changed significantly since it was acquired by Facebook in March. Operating as an independent subsidiary, Oculus has grown from 75 people to over 200 employees and now operates a separate R&D division.
Asked about the threat of rival VR products, Iribe said his main concern is shoddy implementation: “We’re a little worried about bigger companies putting out products that aren’t ready. Disorientation and motion sickness is the elephant in the room. We’re encouraging big companies not to put out a product before it’s ready.”
So when will Oculus feel that it’s ready to launch to consumers? “We’ve gone out there and set this bar and said, ‘We want to get it right,'” Iribe says, “We don’t want it to be four or five years. We’re eager for this to happen.”
Image credit: Oculus
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