Carmack VR headset Kickstarter kicking off soon

Remember that virtual reality headset that John Carmack demoed at E3 this year? It's called the Oculus, and according to a forum post spotted by Ausgamers from its designer, Palmer Luckey, a Kickstarter campaign will start very soon, giving early adopters a chance to snap up some of the first units.

The campaign was due to run in June, but the new date will mean the 30 day donation period will cover QuakeCon and Gamescom. The headset will be demoed at both. Luckey also mentions that he's speaking to Valve, id/Bethesda, Crytek, Epic and Unity about potential partnerships.

The prototype unit delivers a 640x480 feed to each eye, but offers a wide viewing angle and operates at a latency that makes the relationship between head and image movements feel more natural. "I am working with hardware engineers who have designed some extremely well known gaming peripherals, software developers with very extensive middleware integration and partnership experience, and a small amount of funding from people who really, really want VR to happen," he says, adding that he plans to upgrade the headset over the course of the coming year.

"Imagine an HMD with a massive field of view and more pixels than 1080p per eye, wireless PC link, built in absolute head and hand/weapon/wand positioning, and native integration with some (if not all) of the major game engines, all for less than $1,000 USD. That can happen in 2013!" he writes.

The Kickstarter drive will open around July 19 (next Friday). We tested it at E3, and were rather impressed. Hear Carmack talk about the project excitably at length in our E3 interview videos . The target price for the unit is $499, which includes "the HMD, the motion tracker, a copy of Doom 3 (Not donated, Carmack is only covering 100), and shipping." Would you be tempted?

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.