Unless it’s a really interesting project, I try to avoid Kickstarter news articles. It got to the point where my inbox was being assaulted by at least half a dozen approaches every day to try and get us to publicise a kickstarted project. But sometimes, as with the Ouya project, something that has real potential to make an impact is posted on the crowdfunding website.
Oculus Rift is a VR headset being made by a guy called Palmer Luckey. So far, just about everyone who has seen it in prototype has been amazed with it. He’s had support from industry celeb developers like John Carmack and Cliff Bleszinski, Gabe Newell and Markus Persson.
The project went live yesterday and was aiming to achieve a target of $250,000 in order to take the prototype to devkit stage and get it out to developers so we can start seeing what they can do with it before the public availability of the device. A day later, it has more than tripled its target figure.
Rewards for backing this one are a little odd because it is aimed at getting the device out to developers. You won’t be able to throw a hundred dollars at it and get the device pre-ordered like the Ouya Kickstarter. There are posters and t-shirts at the lower end of the pledge spectrum with the first access to hardware coming at £275 – and then you have to construct it yourself from the basic parts! For a complete pre-built unit, you’ll have to pledge $300 and for that, you’ll get the devkit and a version of Doom 3 that works on the the Oculus.
Devkits are expected to ship in December 2012 so hopefully by next summer, we’ll have plenty of demonstrations of the magic developers can work with this sort of hardware and a better sense of how it will be made available to the general game-playing public.