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Snazzy VR headset takes to Kickstarter with the Oculus Rift

UPDATE: John Carmack has nothing to do with it.

Update: We erroneously reported the Oculus Rift as John Carmack's headset, when it turns out he's simply endorsing it, but not "backing it."

Carmack issued the following tweet, "I should make it clear that I have no direct ties with Oculus; I endorse it is a wonderful advance in VR tech, but I'm not "backing it."

We apologise for misleading anyone. Clearly we were in our own VR world.

Original story: The insane vitual-reality headset we previewed at E3 has been suped up into a fancier model called the Oculus Rift, where it's taken to Kickstarter.

The crowdsourcing is to fund the production of more units and get them in the hands of developers as soon as possible. Creator Palmer Luckey aims to make it the first affordable "truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games."

So what makes the Oculus Rift more than another Virtual Boy? Besides the high-res display, it contains head-tracking technology so if you turn your noggin you'll be able to view your surroundings from another angle just like in real life. Sitting in front of a monitor we see about 40 degrees, but the Oculus Rift accounts for 110 degrees, so you'll be able to peak around naturally without bothering with a fiddly analogue stick.

Currently, the only Oculus-ready game is Doom 3 BFG Edition, which Oli previewed at E3 with a prototype of the then unnamed hardware demoed by John Carmack. He called it "beyond thrilling," and explained, "the head-tracking is something else. It's no exaggeration to say that it transforms the experience of playing a first-person video game."

Oli's not the only one touting its potential as a series of notable game developers are promoting the product, including Gabe Newell and Cliff Bleszinski.

Newell said, "It looks incredibly exciting, if anybody's going to tackle this set of hard problems, we think that Palmer's going to do it. So we'd strongly encourage you to support this Kickstarter."

Bleszinski added, "We're extremely excited here at Epic Games to get the Unreal Engine integrated with Oculus."

Those who pledge over $275 can get an unassembled Rift and a dev kit, while a $300 donation nets a more complete prototype. Currently the total pledges come to $140,941 out of a goal of $250,000. The Kickstarter end in 30 days on 1st September.

Check out what all the fuss is about in the promotional trailer below.

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Jeffrey Matulef


Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.


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