At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade-show Oculus VR, a leading developer of virtual reality helmets for gaming, demonstrated its new Oculus Rift virtual reality helmet that now boasts with full-HD (1920*1080) resolution. The device exists only as a prototype and it is unclear when the development is completed and when the helmet might hit the market.
According to the company, raising the resolution for the consumer Rift has always been one of the highest priorities. The prototype’s 1080p display increases the number of visible pixels by more than two times from 800p, greatly reducing the screen-door effect seen in the original development kit. The brightness, contrast, and color are also improved. All of these changes come together to ratchet the sense of immersion to an entirely new level.
The Oculus Rift development kit with 1280*800 screen (640*800 resolution for each eye) has 1000Hz adjacent reality tracker, 3-axis gyros, accelerometers and magnetometers. Oculus did not reveal which sensors are installed into the 1080p prototype.
A screenshot of Epic Citadel (Unreal Engine 3) in the 720p development kit (left) and in the 1080p prototype (right).
Oculus VR admits that not only the 1080p prototype is not a product, but this is not necessarily the display (or even the resolution) that they will use for the consumer version; what they were showing at E3 was rather a technology demonstration, a taste of what is coming. Developers can continue building Oculus-ready content with the development kit; the Oculus SDK will automatically handle the resolution and distortion changes for the consumer version.
The company has shipped the majority of development kits to its Kickstarter supporters and currently is in the process of transitioning to post-Kickstarter pre-order fulfillment and on minimizing delivery charges. Oculus VR accepts pre-orders on the 720p Oculus Rift development kit.
It is expected that consumer version of Oculus Rift will emerge in 2014 – 2015 and will feature improved head tracking, weapon tracking, increased resolution, and wireless operation.