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Palmer Luckey Discusses Oculus Rift

Palmer Luckey

The founder of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, Palmer Luckey, was found at Microsoft’s Windows 10 Showcase, which was held at the start of March 2016 in San Francisco.

At the event, Luckey discussed various aspects of the Oculus Rift, such as its pricing, features, content and more.

First Luckey spoke about the lack of a front-facing camera in the final design of the Rift headset. Luckey mentioned that there were some leaked renders of a design that featured such a camera, but then clarified that the decision to leave it out came down to a factor of whether the cost and the impact on the ergonomics and weight of the device was actually worth what could be done with it.

Although such a camera is not currently in the design of the Rift, Luckey revealed that it is a likely addition for the future. He mentioned that the current technology simply isn’t powerful enough to make a front-facing augmented reality camera worthwhile, although the designers at Oculus are excited about it for the future.

According to Luckey Apple Mac computers are not good enough to get paired with Rift. Luckey was asked why Oculus Rift doesn’t work with Macs, he replied that “That is up to Apple. If they ever release a good computer, we will do it.” Luckey clarified that his response was specifically relating to the high-end graphics cards which are necessary for running an Oculus Rift that Macs are lacking. He added: “You can buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with the top of the line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn’t match our recommended specs. So if they prioritise higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it.”

Oculus Rift 2

On the division of resources between the teams designing future iterations of the device and teams producing content for the Rift, Luckey said that the two have always been separate. He said that the teams have been allowed to work independently to allow the Rift to have a large and high quality lineup of content available at launch, while still keeping on with the future development of the headset.

Speaking about the main competitors in the VR market, Vive and Playstation VR, Luckey said that he is glad that his firm has to compete against other developers. He said that the fact that there are competitors gives him confidence in the consumer’s interest in virtual reality.

For the consumers who are unsure about the $600 price of the Rift headset, Luckey reassured them by affirming the high level quality of the mechanics, features and content of the VR gear. He also mentioned that as the technology and content develops, prices will go down while quality goes up.

Luckey revealed that he feels ‘very good’ about the state of Oculus Rift preorders, noting that all estimates have been exceeded and units are flying off the shelves. He also confirmed that Oculus is working on an unannounced game of its own, but remained tight-lipped.

Oculus Rift headsets are available for preorder now.

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