Oculus creator dashes hopes that VR input will showcase at GDC

Have you been waiting for Oculus to release VR input? Well find a comfy chair, you'll be waiting for a while.

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If you’ve had your hopes up of seeing something substantial from the Oculus team concerning VR input as early as GDC2015, well it’s time to shackle and shelf that hope for another day. Palmer Luckey, the creator of Oculus Rift, took to the popular head-mounted-display’s subreddit just yesterday with confirmation that we won’t be seeing VR Input from the Oculus team for quite a while to come, much less as soon as GDC 2015.

For those not following the development of Virtual Reality, VR input will be a game changer. This technology, which is somewhat similar to the Xbox Kinect, will allow the players to engage with the virtual environment by allowing them to control their characters with their hands instead of a controller.  

It seems the technology is a bit tricky, and Luckey has commented that VR enthusiasts should not “… get too hyped on the possibility of seeing anything a GDC.” He went on further to say that “VR input is hard – in some ways, tracking hands well enough to maintain a sense of proprioceptive presence is even more technically challenging than getting perfect head tracking.”

If you’re looking at prototypes projects like the Sixense Stem, and other VR input setups, don’t worry Oculus isn’t giving up. Luckey also stated in his comment that “We will show something if and when we get it working well, but we have to avoid showing off prototypes that are not on a clear path to being shipped at the same or higher quality level. Throwing together very expensive or impossible to manufacture prototypes for internal R&D is one thing, using them to publicly set expectations around the near future is another.

Not naming anything specific here, but the history of technology is littered with the corpses of companies that overpromised and underdelivered by shipping real products with real limitations that were glossed over in promotional materials. Oculus can't afford to do that.”

Right now VR input still seems to be a thing of the future, but it is nice to know that Oculus is taking the next step into Virtual Reality as seriously as the consumers, and that they won’t be making anything public until it’s actually in a working, shippable state. 

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 23, 2015 1:00 PM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, Oculus creator dashes hopes that VR input will showcase at GDC

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      February 23, 2015 1:30 PM

      That Palmer Luckey is such a wet blanket.

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        February 23, 2015 1:38 PM

        yeah... but at least WHEN we do get VR input from Oculus it MIGHT just actually work as intended.

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          February 23, 2015 1:49 PM

          I'd rather they just focus on the rift for the short term. I see input as a distraction. They're the only one have all the right people to get the headset right. I understand why they did the samsung thing, if they didn't they wouldn't get access to their panels. But input seems like a lot of work. I guess with 2 billion you can afford to hire a few folks to work on other initiatives besides the headset. Besides, I think tech like STEM and Leap motion show promise. Even my borderline retarded razer hydra isn't terrible in TF2 (I get frustrated with the drift that seems to need to be calibrated all the time).

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            February 23, 2015 1:52 PM

            Oh I don't disagree with your argument by any means. The Rift should come first. Input can come later. But, it is nice to know that they won't be rushing it.

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        February 23, 2015 2:09 PM

        Eh as someone that's speculating about what oculus will show air announce at gdc I'm OK with this.

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      February 23, 2015 5:29 PM

      Steam VR Hardware! http://store.steampowered.com/universe

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      February 23, 2015 10:49 PM

      So far they've done a good job trying to manage the hype. This is one example where more transparency in the development process would be harmful. I'm sure they have some stupid-awesome prototypes floating around that aren't at all practical for production and would set unrealistic expectations. After they've shipped the consumer version and the tech matures, I'd love to see a documentary or book on the initial development process.

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        February 24, 2015 1:24 AM

        I was thinking about this the other day, what's really impressive for me is that of all the 'VR' companies in the starting blocks, Cast AR, Oculus, Magic Leap, MS Hololens, etc. , *only* Oculus have actually shipped a (decent) working product. This makes me think that they actually will produce something worth-while.
        For CastAR and Magic Leap I get a very strong snake oil/pipe dream vibe, maybe I'm wrong, I almost hope so, but doubtful, to much 'seed' money and overhead, nothing to show publicly... it is worrisome.

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          February 24, 2015 7:04 AM

          CastAR has shipped to their early backers.

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            February 24, 2015 7:53 AM

            yeah, but from what I've heard pretty substandard experience ( true DK1 was also barely 'ok') and also the few outside people who has tried Magic Leap, indicated that the fridge sized system was impressive but the semi-wearable was low res/greenish way way worse which make me think they are going to have big problems in shrinking/consumerizing their tech.