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Oculus adds former Valve VR lead engineer as chief architect

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Atman Binstock, a lead engineer on Valve's virtual reality project, has joined Oculus VR as its new chief architect, the company announced today.

In his new role at Oculus, Binstock will head the Seattle-based Oculus R&D team and lead the search for "exceptional engineers to help research and develop the future of virtual reality," according to a post on the Oculus website. Those interesting in applying to work on Binstock's team can do so through the Oculus career page.

"Just over two years ago, [Valve's] Michael Abrash and I were sitting in a coffee shop in Kirkland," Binstock wrote. "He was trying to convince me to come work on AR and VR with him at Valve.

"Michael convinced me that this was basically the myth of technological inevitability: the idea that because technologies were possible, they would just naturally happen," he added. "Instead, the way technological revolutions actually happen involve smart people working hard on the right problems at the right time. And if I wanted a revolution, and I thought I was capable of contributing, I should be actively pushing it forward.

"Two years later, we've solved some of the basic problems, proven great VR is not only possible but truly magical, and now I want to bring it to the world. I'm incredibly excited and humbled by the opportunity — we're just scratching the surface of what's possible, and I can't wait to discover what's next!"

Prior to joining Valve, Binstock headed projects at several major companies including DICE, Intel and RAD Game Tools; he also served as lead designer on Q-Games' PixelJunk: Racers.

The post also reiterated an earlier announcement that Oculus is nearly sold out of its 60,000 Oculus Rift development kits and sales in most regions have ceased. Some of the Rift's hardware components are no longer being manufactured so Oculus has chosen to slow down production and distribution at this time. More news on production is forthcoming, according to the post.