Consoles are 'too limited' for Oculus Rift's dreams

By Alice O'Connor, Nov 13, 2013 11:45am PST

Oculus Rift may be the latest 'future of gaming' for people who have money to spend on expensive peripherals (and whose eyes are fooled by fake 3D), but it doesn't seem very interested in consoles. That's because the quickly-developing nature of VR tech and the slowness of console generations means that "Consoles are too limited for what we want to do," Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey has said.

"We're trying to make the best virtual reality device in the world and we want to continue to innovate and upgrade every year - continue making progress internally - and whenever we make big jumps we want to push that to the public," Luckey told TechRadar.

"The problem with consoles in general is that once they come out they're locked to a certain spec for a long, long time. Look at the PCs that existed eight years ago. There have been so many huge advances since then. Now look at the VR hardware of today. I think the jump we're going to see in the next four or five years is going to be massive, and already VR is a very intensive thing, it requires rendering at high resolutions at over 60 frames a second in 3D."

Given that some first wave games are making resolution concessions to hit reliable FPS, they're not a good match for VR. Developers learn how to squeeze more power out of a console over its lifespan, of course, but it's hard to compete with new hardware.

And, you know, presumably console manufacturers would rather do their own thing rather rely upon Oculus VR. Sony has already filed patents showing that it's at least exploring VR headsets.

The pace of hardware improvements is also why Oculus is going mobile, though Luckey's planning to get processing power actually into the headsets. "It won't be too many years before you can get a much better experience than a console in a headset that has everything built into it and is still cheaper than a console," he said.

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