Do You Want to Explore Second Life While Wearing an Oculus Rift VR Headset? I Actually Doubt Most Will
The Oculus Rift VR headset is a Kickstarter project that everyone who's a gamer seems to be talking about, and everyone who's at the very top of the 3D game development food chain (Gabe Newell, John Carmack, etc.) seems to be be endorsing in this video, so I really think you should watch it right now:
The Kickstarter exceeded its $250,000 goal in a matter of
days hours, so we're going to see this project get realized soon. Notably, over 2200 people have pledged enough money to get an advance copy of the headset with a devkit, which means a lot of people will be integrating the Oculus' VR tech into their various game projects.
For readers of this blog, of course, the main question is: Can this work with Second Life and OpenSim? Looking at the video, I don't see why not. The dev kit comes with Doom 3, which runs on OpenGL graphics, which is also the same graphics base that powers SL. (And if you pledged $300 for a dev kit, please discuss in Comments.)
That said, I seriously doubt this VR headset is going to become extremely pervasive in gaming or virtual worlds:
If it works as promised, it'll definitely generate a passionate following among the hardest of the hardcore FPS and MMO gamers, including SL users, but my guess is usage will cap out at 10% of the most avid power users. (I.E., a few million total.) The problem with immersive VR is it's so immersive, and is now running counter to every other major hardware trend happening right now -- portability, wireless, mobile and tablet computing, and so on. I'm also not convinced the headset, billed as being "light", is actually as comfortable over extended periods as promised. (People can get pretty exhausted just wearing 3D movie glasses for a couple hours.) None of this means Oculus Rift is a bad idea, and I can't wait to try it out myself -- while it'll definitely be a very interesting niche, I'm just skeptical it's going to transform gaming or virtual world technology as the video seems to promise.
My initial quick take -- what's yours?
Hat tip: Robert "Dizzy Banjo" Thomas and John "Pathfinder" Lester, who find this tech suitably stoke-worthy.