The Oculus Rift virtual gaming prototype we tried out with John Carmack has come to Kickstarter. Oculus, led by VR enthusiast Palmer Luckey, is building what it hopes will be one of the first feasible head-mounted VR displays for gaming; it's asking for at least $250,000 to perfect and ship developer versions of the device by December. The headset comes with a wide field of view, low-latency head tracking, and a "high resolution display" that we're hoping is clearer than the one we saw back in May. It will also ship with an SDK that developers can use to integrate their games with it, as well as a copy of Doom 3 BFG Edition. For now, the SDK only works for PC and mobile titles, but console support should follow.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) August 1, 2012
@sorethumb I stopped working on my own HMDs when I got the prototype Rift. 120hz is still important, but the wide FOV is more so.
To get one of the finished headsets, you'll need to put at least $300 towards the Kickstarter (an unassembled prototype version is offered in limited quantities for $275.) Although it's likely to get widespread attention, this version of the Rift is aimed at developers who will help add to its catalog, not consumers. The Rift prototype has already been shown off to AAA studios, with Cliff Bleszinski of Epic and Gabe Newell of Valve among its supporters, and Carmack himself has contributed code to optimize the head-mounted display.
Update: Added a tweet from John Carmack, who has again praised the Rift while reiterating that he's not directly involved with it.
Update 2: After a few hours, the project is fully funded, with all 100 prototype kits sold out. Around 700 people have ordered packages that include the developer version of the Oculus Rift.