Inventor Predicts Maybe 5 Years Before Oculus Rift Goes Mainstream

| 10 Sep 2014 18:32
Oculus Rift PAX Prime 2014

The inventor of the Oculus Rift and founder of Oculus VR believes his product will go mainstream, but it may take a number of years before this is possible.

Last month Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey revealed just how optimistic he was about his product when he stated he saw an Oculus Rift in every home. In an interview with GamesIndustry International Luckey has gone on to clarify this sentiment that he understands it can take a couple of years before the virtual reality headset goes mainstream.

"Maybe VR doesn't really take off for consumers for some time," Luckey explains, guessing that "it might be next year, it might be five years from now." However, "The good news at having such a big backer behind us [Facebook] is that we can now afford to play that long game. Rather than having to make money now or we stop existing and someone else takes over, we can think about the best thing to do for the long-term of virtual reality."

Luckey also acknowledges a key component that will help the Oculus Rift survive in the market once a retail version launches for the public is content, and they're working hard to make sure that business is operational by working with video game developers as well as exploring other mediums like movies and television. Oculus has just launched a program called Share, where developers can try out project ideas they have and receive feedback.

"With publishing, it's not just about what shows off the tech; it's about what is actually going to make people go out and buy a Rift. And that's been one of the gating factors to the consumer version, in the sense that a lot of people would buy the DK2 right now. But if you did that you would have no games to play. We need to help seed the ecosystem and remove that risk for developers. Super important."

Source: GameSpot

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Emanuele Ciriachi:

Lightknight:
Thankfully, phones are generally a sunk cost. Now the question is phone compatibility.

Gear VR will ONLY be compatible with the Galaxy Note 4.

Damn, not a sunk cost then. I think we have a note 10.1. Oh well.

Lightknight:
From what I understand, the smallness of a 1080p phone screen makes 1080p seem a hell of a lot more crisp than a 1080p TV due to the PPI ratio. Because of the pixel density, a 4k screen resolution should be indistinguishable from a 2k resolution or perhaps even a 1080p. But we have heard people express the ability to see pixels at the 1080p so maybe the 2k resolution will do the trick? Hmm...

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/4k-phone-screens-madness-or-clearly-the-next-big-thing--1260691

I would be surprised if 4k screens haven't already been developed and there just hasn't been a need for them when battery life is so important.

He! His holyness Michael Abrash said that in order to reach the same perception of detail of a full-HD screen in front of us we would need at least 16k. Per eye. Good luck with that..!

Did he account for the variances in PPI which are much higher on cell phones than TVs?

What we have here are experts contradicting each other. Not sure why I'd particularly go with Abrash as this isn't his particular field.

A 4k screen has around 110 PPI (Pixels Per Inch or Pixel Density) compared to 2k camera screens that have 490 PPI. Now, apparently the human eye can only resolve around 300 PPI from 10-12 inches away if Apple is to be trusted.

However, in researching the subject in response to you (thank you for following me down this rabbit hole), I've found someone do some actual math on the subject that discredits Apple:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2364871,00.asp

That's one of the articles referring to Raymond Soneira showing how math shows that Apple is wrong. They actually put 480 PPI at the 10 inch mark.

However, a Discover Magazine blogger put out an article explaining why Soneira's data is misleading. Soneira uses better than 20/20 vision for the numbers he ran. He used .60 arcmin which isn't isn't 20/20, 1 arcmin is. So if you have better than average eyesight you'll need higher resolution to suit you if you're also a graphiophile.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/06/10/resolving-the-iphone-resolution/#.VCF1GBaLCJR

So, for the average human eye the PPI of 300 for a phone being held around 10 inches away is indistinguishable from 600 PPI.

However, you and I are talking about the PPI of a screen that's only inches away from your face... So Abrash may not be wrong with 16k resolution being necessary. However, I don't know the exact distance the screen is from the eye. 1 or 2 inches off is a huge difference.

Also, we aren't focusing on the screen itself so much as focusing on the projected distant objects. This means that if we were to focus on the screen specifically we would see the pixels a little more clearly. However, the Rift seperates the eyes in a way that makes it impossible to focus on the screen but capable of focusing on the image it produces in the distance.

So there's got to be some special math done to figure out the science of humans looking at an object ultra close and how it relates to a 6 inch 1080p screen. I assume that it's noticeable but maybe it resting 2 inches or 1 inch in front of your face is actually less resolvable by the human eye than it resting 5 inches or 7 inches away?

Fascinating stuff. I wish we had an expert to have a quick conversation about this with.

Lightknight:
Thankfully, phones are generally a sunk cost. Now the question is phone compatibility.

Gear VR will ONLY be compatible with the Galaxy Note 4.

Lightknight:
From what I understand, the smallness of a 1080p phone screen makes 1080p seem a hell of a lot more crisp than a 1080p TV due to the PPI ratio. Because of the pixel density, a 4k screen resolution should be indistinguishable from a 2k resolution or perhaps even a 1080p. But we have heard people express the ability to see pixels at the 1080p so maybe the 2k resolution will do the trick? Hmm...

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/4k-phone-screens-madness-or-clearly-the-next-big-thing--1260691

I would be surprised if 4k screens haven't already been developed and there just hasn't been a need for them when battery life is so important.

He! His holyness Michael Abrash said that in order to reach the same perception of detail of a full-HD screen in front of us we would need at least 16k. Per eye. Good luck with that..!

Emanuele Ciriachi:

Lightknight:
FYI, the consumer Galaxy Rift Headset will be $200. That's far cheaper than I thought.

That is without the phone, of course.

Thankfully, phones are generally a sunk cost. Now the question is phone compatibility.

Lightknight:
Well, I keep hearing in my head Luckey saying that the consumer specs will get a "significant increase" than the current 1080p.

1440p is just the standard one step above. Significant implies more. Why do you think that's all it's going to be?

Because as mentioned earlier in the thread, a 4k panel with the requirements that Oculus needs doesn't exist yet, not even at the prototype stage. Not to mention the rendering power to make VR run at that resolution.

From what I understand, the smallness of a 1080p phone screen makes 1080p seem a hell of a lot more crisp than a 1080p TV due to the PPI ratio. Because of the pixel density, a 4k screen resolution should be indistinguishable from a 2k resolution or perhaps even a 1080p. But we have heard people express the ability to see pixels at the 1080p so maybe the 2k resolution will do the trick? Hmm...

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/4k-phone-screens-madness-or-clearly-the-next-big-thing--1260691

I would be surprised if 4k screens haven't already been developed and there just hasn't been a need for them when battery life is so important.

Lightknight:
FYI, the consumer Galaxy Rift Headset will be $200. That's far cheaper than I thought.

That is without the phone, of course.

Lightknight:
Well, I keep hearing in my head Luckey saying that the consumer specs will get a "significant increase" than the current 1080p.

1440p is just the standard one step above. Significant implies more. Why do you think that's all it's going to be?

Because as mentioned earlier in the thread, a 4k panel with the requirements that Oculus needs doesn't exist yet, not even at the prototype stage. Not to mention the rendering power to make VR run at that resolution.

FYI, the consumer Galaxy Rift Headset will be $200. That's far cheaper than I thought.

Emanuele Ciriachi:

Lightknight:
Ah, well then, that's the hardest answer.

But at least it sounds like things like exploration games and movie viewers will be nice.

Have you used the Movie Theater Demo yourself? Is it worthwhile?

I tried RiftMax, among the others - it works really well!
Of course to properly enjoy movie, you need a much higher resolution than 1080p. Not even 1440p will be enough for this goal.

Well, I keep hearing in my head Luckey saying that the consumer specs will get a "significant increase" than the current 1080p.

1440p is just the standard one step above. Significant implies more. Why do you think that's all it's going to be?

Lightknight:
Ah, well then, that's the hardest answer.

But at least it sounds like things like exploration games and movie viewers will be nice.

Have you used the Movie Theater Demo yourself? Is it worthwhile?

I tried RiftMax, among the others - it works really well!
Of course to properly enjoy movie, you need a much higher resolution than 1080p. Not even 1440p will be enough for this goal.

Emanuele Ciriachi:

Lightknight:
Thanks!

Would you recommend getting the DK2 as a consumer or waiting? I've always held off on pulling the trigger but it seems like the people who own it are having fun with it now.

Depends. For once, you need a powerful gaming hardware to render stereoscopic 3D at 2364x1461 resolution and constant 75FPS with vsync, and the hardware itself is fiddly and requires some messing around to make it work right.
Having said that, the experience that the DK2 delivers once properly setup is astounding, immersive beyond anything I tried in my life - and the resolution is good enough to actually enjoy games.
If you have $350 of disposable income and a high-end PC to match it, I recommend it without reserve.

Well then, Check and Check.

I'd always wondered if the whole "if you're not a dev, don't buy" thing really applied to people who were tech savy and enthusiasts. Hmm. Thanks.

The only thing that can make a difference, beside technical competence and adequate hardware, is game design - regardless of the implementation, perceived "virtual" acceleration without corresponding acceleration will make you dizzy, period - unless your brain will justify it somehow, such as while driving something. Or you have actually lived through enough VR that you have become immune to it.

Ah, well then, that's the hardest answer.

But at least it sounds like things like exploration games and movie viewers will be nice.

Have you used the Movie Theater Demo yourself? Is it worthwhile?

Lightknight:
Thanks!

Would you recommend getting the DK2 as a consumer or waiting? I've always held off on pulling the trigger but it seems like the people who own it are having fun with it now.

Depends. For once, you need a powerful gaming hardware to render stereoscopic 3D at 2364x1461 resolution and constant 75FPS with vsync, and the hardware itself is fiddly and requires some messing around to make it work right.
Having said that, the experience that the DK2 delivers once properly setup is astounding, immersive beyond anything I tried in my life - and the resolution is good enough to actually enjoy games.
If you have $350 of disposable income and a high-end PC to match it, I recommend it without reserve.

Lightknight:
Hmm, they said significantly higher resolution... Oh well, PR is what it is.

What do you think would make the biggest difference in motion sickness going forward?

The only thing that can make a difference, beside technical competence and adequate hardware, is game design - regardless of the implementation, perceived "virtual" acceleration without corresponding acceleration will make you dizzy, period - unless your brain will justify it somehow, such as while driving something. Or you have actually lived through enough VR that you have become immune to it.

Emanuele Ciriachi:

Lightknight:
1. Is the DK2 a significant improvement over the DK1? How long can you play before getting nauseated? I'd heard that the inclusion of LEAP tech almost entirely resolved the motion sickness issue but from what you're saying that's not entirely true.
2. Does the motion sickness apply to things like the movie viewer demo?
3. The consumer version is going to have 90 FPS and a "significantly higher resolution" than the 1080p which I assume means a 4k setup since 4k is a range that isn't too hard to reach. Do you feel like that will cross the final bridge? Which do you think is more important? Resolution or FPS?

1) Never had a DK1, but the specs speak louder than words and pretty much everyone agrees on this - except for the fact the FOV is slightly less in the DK2;
2) It applies mostly to scenarios where you are "on foot". If your avatar is in a cockpit or has any other fixed reference system that turns around with you, the effect is much less prominent. Also the faster your avatar moves, the worse the effect feels, Quake 2 being the worst offender (since your character runs at something like 40 Kph);

Thanks!

Would you recommend getting the DK2 as a consumer or waiting? I've always held off on pulling the trigger but it seems like the people who own it are having fun with it now.

3) Actually, pretty much everyone agrees that CV1 is going to be 1440p - a 4k panel with the requirements that Oculus needs doesn't exist yet, even at the prototype stage. Personally I don't think that resolution is too important for immersion, but it may be a necessity for things like flight simulators - of course, the higher the better.

Hmm, they said significantly higher resolution... Oh well, PR is what it is.

What do you think would make the biggest difference in motion sickness going forward?

Lightknight:
1. Is the DK2 a significant improvement over the DK1? How long can you play before getting nauseated? I'd heard that the inclusion of LEAP tech almost entirely resolved the motion sickness issue but from what you're saying that's not entirely true.
2. Does the motion sickness apply to things like the movie viewer demo?
3. The consumer version is going to have 90 FPS and a "significantly higher resolution" than the 1080p which I assume means a 4k setup since 4k is a range that isn't too hard to reach. Do you feel like that will cross the final bridge? Which do you think is more important? Resolution or FPS?

1) Never had a DK1, but the specs speak louder than words and pretty much everyone agrees on this - except for the fact the FOV is slightly less in the DK2;
2) It applies mostly to scenarios where you are "on foot". If your avatar is in a cockpit or has any other fixed reference system that turns around with you, the effect is much less prominent. Also the faster your avatar moves, the worse the effect feels, Quake 2 being the worst offender (since your character runs at something like 40 Kph);
3) Actually, pretty much everyone agrees that CV1 is going to be 1440p - a 4k panel with the requirements that Oculus needs doesn't exist yet, even at the prototype stage. Personally I don't think that resolution is too important for immersion, but it may be a necessity for things like flight simulators - of course, the higher the better.

Emanuele Ciriachi:
I think the main problem that will STRONGLY limit the Rift's adoption is the VR sickness. Even after a lifetime of playing FPS's, 75FPS in vsync and low persistance I keep feeling nausea when using the DK2.

Sure, the more I try the more I get resistant just like I had to do with the early FPS, but it certainly is a painful chore to slog through.

All right! Someone who has it here to answer questions! Fantastic.

1. Is the DK2 a significant improvement over the DK1? How long can you play before getting nauseated? I'd heard that the inclusion of LEAP tech almost entirely resolved the motion sickness issue but from what you're saying that's not entirely true.
2. Does the motion sickness apply to things like the movie viewer demo?
3. The consumer version is going to have 90 FPS and a "significantly higher resolution" than the 1080p which I assume means a 4k setup since 4k is a range that isn't too hard to reach. Do you feel like that will cross the final bridge? Which do you think is more important? Resolution or FPS?

I think the main problem that will STRONGLY limit the Rift's adoption is the VR sickness. Even after a lifetime of playing FPS's, 75FPS in vsync and low persistance I keep feeling nausea when using the DK2.

Sure, the more I try the more I get resistant just like I had to do with the early FPS, but it certainly is a painful chore to slog through.

I doubt it. Content aside, we don't know the long-term health impacts. VR would be confusing and pretty damn nauseating to a lot of people given the dissonance between their sitting still and their apparent motion. It's different when looking at monitors because we can see enough of the world to perceive a lack of motion.

Let me know when someone makes a game system one can play in the style of the Matrix/simulation from Saints Row 4. Then I'll be interested.

Korskarn:
Fine, okay, let's discuss YOUR own private home movie theater. An aside that no-one ever claimed was "the main prevailing comment" of your defensive self.

This is a difficult to parse sentence. Care to reword or explain what you're trying to say here? You "dismissed" my comment as if I was talking about literal VR movies where you could look around in. This isn't what people are talking about when they talk about using VR to watch movies. You made a strawman and then mocked people because of it. Sorry, but I'm going to call you out on it since you behaved as if we're all idiots who think that traditional movies work in 360 degrees.

A movie theater you can't share with anyone else, except in the most basic "featureless avatar representing another person in the virtual theater" way.

But... can I still touch the people sitting next to me? Are they still there or do I have to cup my hands in mid-air and pretend like I'm groping someone? [/joke]

Look, you just watch the same movie. Eventually they'll have avatars and everyone else as the technology evolves but the people you're sitting next to are still right there.

But what's more is maybe they don't want to watch your movie and maybe you don't want to watch theirs? Then you both get to enjoy movie theater quality movies while holding hands.

A movie theater where you can't see your drink - hello carpet stains!

This is currently a problem with real movie theaters too. So...

A movie theater where you have to disentangle/re-entangle yourself so you can grab another drink from the fridge, or even pass the bowl of chips.

Is it hard for you to take a pair of goggles off?

It's better than standing up and leaving the movie that no one is going to pause for you.

Have you seen how most people watch movies in the comfort of their own home? They don't sit still unless they absolutely have to - when my family gathers for the holidays, it's under 10 minutes before the first family member stands up and comes back to ask what they missed in the 2 minutes they were outside the room. The "mainstream" viewer is going to HATE being effectively tied to their seats, let alone families with fidgeting/weak bladder kids - it's the whole reason most chains these days charge a premium to provide seats where you can adjust your seat and have a desert or wine with your film, because people like to be able to still do stuff while they watch a movie.

Fortunately. My headset has surround sound so the family members who left the theater will have to suffer in silence (as far as I know) as punishment for not peeing before.

The "mainstream" does NOT sink $10k on their own private theater, they sink $400 (the price of one Oculus) on a decent size tv that over a dozen people can see at once. If you think the "mainstream" is going to blow over $1000 to have parties where everyone had to be fitted with a headset - headsets in fixed quantities that may not work with everyone, and where if you have a couple of extra people you're out of luck - we've seen EXACTLY how that panned out with Home 3D. And those people could actually still interact with each other!

Oh, if you can't afford the real deal, go cardboard: https://developers.google.com/cardboard/

ETA: Apparently the host computer system is currently only designed to work with 1 headset at a time, with a couple of people developing modifications to try and bump that up to 2. So you might require a leetle more hardware for proposed "Virtual Theater Parties" than just the headsets.

What computer system are you talking about? Be specific as I am a computer tech and can feed multiple volume sources through specific ports if I want to.

But I digress. You make the mistake of thinking I actually care about other people that much. Your complaints are all about social interactions rather than the ability to have an entire luxurious theater at your disposal to watch anything you have on it.

If I have to choose between physically seeing people and having my own private theater then, f-em. If you don't find the concept of being able to watch any movie or video in a theater you fully control then maybe it's not for you. But please don't impose your own taste on those of us who do.

Lightknight:
What I am talking about is your own private home movie theater for $200-$400. A theater you can throw anything you own into from you're old copy of The Great Escape that you'd never see in theaters because it's so old to newer movies that just came out and even TV shows. Now, I've personally always wanted a theater. I only just bought a house where this is finally possible. But now... I can sink $10k in a theater for a decent screen/projector combo (maybe more depending on how I'd want to do the seating) or I can buy a couple of these things in a year for less than $1k total and only consider building the theater if I just really really want to have movie-screen parties at my house which, again, ten of these sets would still be less than half of a theater at the maximum price range.

So maybe don't mock something someone says unless you actually know what they mean with their statement. This little device could be standard in home entertainment. I remember living in a shitty one bedroom apartment. This would have been amazing and within my range at the time with a few months of budgeting. But, it is funny that people actually thought the main prevailing comment of this being useful in movie watching. Glad that incorrect assumption is still a thing.

Fine, okay, let's discuss YOUR own private home movie theater. An aside that no-one ever claimed was "the main prevailing comment" of your defensive self. A movie theater you can't share with anyone else, except in the most basic "featureless avatar representing another person in the virtual theater" way. A movie theater where you can't see your drink - hello carpet stains! A movie theater where you have to disentangle/re-entangle yourself so you can grab another drink from the fridge, or even pass the bowl of chips.

Have you seen how most people watch movies in the comfort of their own home? They don't sit still unless they absolutely have to - when my family gathers for the holidays, it's under 10 minutes before the first family member stands up and comes back to ask what they missed in the 2 minutes they were outside the room. The "mainstream" viewer is going to HATE being effectively tied to their seats, let alone families with fidgeting/weak bladder kids - it's the whole reason most chains these days charge a premium to provide seats where you can adjust your seat and have a desert or wine with your film, because people like to be able to still do stuff while they watch a movie.

The "mainstream" does NOT sink $10k on their own private theater, they sink $400 (the price of one Oculus) on a decent size tv that over a dozen people can see at once. If you think the "mainstream" is going to blow over $1000 to have parties where everyone had to be fitted with a headset - headsets in fixed quantities that may not work with everyone, and where if you have a couple of extra people you're out of luck - we've seen EXACTLY how that panned out with Home 3D. And those people could actually still interact with each other!

ETA: Apparently the host computer system is currently only designed to work with 1 headset at a time, with a couple of people developing modifications to try and bump that up to 2. So you might require a leetle more hardware for proposed "Virtual Theater Parties" than just the headsets.

seris:

They announced that the consumer model is being upgraded from 75MHz to 90MHz. I doubt your phone is even necessarily 60MHz but I guess it could be.

what screen refreshes at 75MHz? thats 78,643,200 refreshes per second. i think you just mean 75Hz which is 75 refreshes per second, or FPS

Ineteresting, I wasn't paying attention and was just quoting them but you're definitely right, here's a copy paste with a hyperlink:

"The resolution will be significantly improved from the 1080p found in the DK2, Luckey promises, and the refresh rate will jump from 75MHz to 90MHz or more, which should help reduce eye strain and provide smoother visuals."?

Here's the original article and it gets it right:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-09-01-oculus-answers-the-big-rift-questions

The refresh rate will rise from 75Hz to 90Hz "or higher",

So good catch. They messed it up somehow.

They announced that the consumer model is being upgraded from 75MHz to 90MHz. I doubt your phone is even necessarily 60MHz but I guess it could be.

what screen refreshes at 75MHz? thats 78,643,200 refreshes per second. i think you just mean 75Hz which is 75 refreshes per second, or FPS

Got the opportunity to use one last weekend. Visual quality was poor, and it started bring on a headache in less than a couple of minutes. Disappointed isn't the word - I think we need to accept that highly lit screens near our faces don't work very well.

"Oculus has just launched a program called Share, where developers can try out project ideas they have and receive feedback."

If by "just launched" you mean August last year, then yep, they have.

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