Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has a problem with his much-discussed product, virtual reality headset Rift. It makes him sick.
Speaking today at the Gaming Insiders conference in San Francisco, he admitted that he can't play games on Oculus Rift without suffering from motion sickness, a common criticism leveled at early demos that have come with developer kits.
But, he said that new prototypes are coming that eliminate "simulation sickness."
"I've gotten sick every time I've tried it. Every time until recently," he said. "In the last few weeks, I stayed in it for 45 minute sessions and I did not get sick with the new prototype. We are at the edge of bringing you no motion sickness content."
Iribe compared Oculus Rift to technology catalysts of the past, like John Carmack's attempt at 3D gaming with the original Doom, saying that they augured great leaps forward, but did not emerge perfectly.
"We are figuring out things like simulator sickness," he said, listing the hardware and game design challenges ahead.
Those hardware challenges include needed advancements in resolution, latency, persistence and judder, field of view and more. Content challenges VR faces includes adapting user interface, player cues, storytelling, 3D audio and locomotion to the format.
Iribe predicted that Oculus Rift would not only be used for immersive experiences, but would also as an "IMAX viewer" for console games. "You will be playing 2D games with a great IMAX screen. You can play Xbox One or PlayStation 4 games," he said. "There's going to be this mix of existing content on the screen.
"This is day zero. We are at the very beginning of VR," he added. "This is the future of gaming as we see it. Hardware drives content innovation. A new platform offers new abilities that developers use to create content which in turn sells hardware."
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