He said that in the near future, he expects that people will be able to look around corners or reach down and touch the floor, but the technology as it stands now is worth getting out to developers right now because "it crosses the threshold of useful coolness" that its important for developers to be playing around with.
With that, he picked up the device and placed it on my head. It felt like a snorkel mask, with that slight pinch around the nose, but any feelings of discomfort quickly dissolved as I realized I was inside Doom 3 BFG. I could turn my head and see the walls, ceiling and floor. I could even look behind. I did notice a slight bit of lag, but nothing to the extent that dampened the experience.
What did make me nervous was that the demo was set up to use an Xbox controller, and I suck at the dual sticks and all the extra buttons. I am a keyboard and mouse guy, but I soon found that I was actually more functional with a controller than I ever had been because of the headset. The inherent nature of the game pad makes the dual sticks a bit less accurate when aiming and moving, but the headset allowed me to refine those movements with almost mouse-like accuracy just by slightly turning my head to look at what I wanted to attack. The targeting reticule had been replaced by a laser sight, making the head motions for lining up a shot a needed refinement for my clumsiness with a controller.
Carmack actually made the experience a bit easier as he held all the various cables coming out of the unit to keep me from getting tangled as I bobbed and weaved trying to dodge fireballs ("I'm an expensive coat hanger," he joked). He said Luckey is working on using some very lightweight HDMI cables to lighten the headset a bit. Carmack also said he has toyed with the idea of adding some small speakers to the headset to play up positional sound to increase the level of immersion.
The prototype unit was held together with duct tape and hot glue.
Carmack said that programming for VR is only a slight step up from programming in 3D, which he had already done for Doom 3 BFG, so adding a VR component to the a game is not
The finished Oculus Rift VR goggles should be much more visually appealing than the prototype.