If It’s Any Consolation, Oculus Rift Will Stay PC-Only

By Nathan Grayson on November 14th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

An additional version will also be made exclusively for tiny action figures.

We have entered a two-week maelstrom of “next-gen” (heh) console-mania, and after only a few days, I am fully prepared to give it RPS’ official Golden Hangnail Of Extreme Dedication To Tireless Tedium. Two eerily similar hyper-proprietary boxes that everyone can’t stop arguing over for incredibly petty, inconsequential reasons? Gee, we’ve never been here before. But hey, on the upside, this increasingly spotty, irrelevant console launch also gives us a chance to be thankful for PC gaming’s bounteous wonderments. For example, we’ve got The Future – aka, Oculus Rift – in our corner, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

The man, the myth, the possible leprechaun Palmer Luckey explained why Oculus is a PC-only device to Techradar:

“Consoles are too limited for what we want to do. ”The problem with consoles in general is that once they come out they’re locked to a certain spec for a long, long time. Look at the PCs that existed eight years ago. There have been so many huge advances since then. Now look at the VR hardware of today. I think the jump we’re going to see in the next four or five years is going to be massive, and already VR is a very intensive thing, it requires rendering at high resolutions at over 60 frames a second in 3D.”

“We’re seeing games that are already saying they’re gonna run in 720p on next gen so they can barely hit 60 in 2D. It’s hard to imagine them running a VR experience that’s on par with PC. And certainly five years from now the experiences and the technology for virtual reality that will be available on PC is going to be be so far beyond anything that a console can provide.”

When pressed, he did however chuckle out that Oculus is “great friends” with Valve, suggesting that something Steam-Machine-related isn’t off the table.

But that’s just a PC wearing console pants, so we win again. Now if only I could enter a virtual reality world where everyone isn’t incessantly bickering over next-gen consoles right this very second. And then never leave. Come on, The Future. Get here faster.

__________________

« | »

, , , .

82 Comments »

  1. Didden says:

    So in other words Polygon will review it and score it around 5-7.5? :)

  2. Viroso says:

    I don’t know that’s not necessarily good and being all like “yay we got oculus and you don’t” is kinda the same as ps4 x x1. More people using it I think means potentialy more developers will adopt it. On the other hand they have a reason to stick to PC, as they explained there, so like, pros and cons. But definitely not “ha, we won!”

  3. BTAxis says:

    Careful what you wish for, once the future is here we’ll all be OLD! Well, older.

  4. WinTurkey says:

    Why do they call PC the mustard race? Because consoles can’t ketchup

  5. Cigol says:

    Pretty sure sony, who have expressed interest in the occulus rift previously are planning their own VR headset. They are hardware manufacturers after all, and they released a headmounted display already if I’m not mistaken.

    …and lets stop with the ‘next-gen’ nonsense, ribbing or not, the games are what matter, and Sony’s first party studios are going to be creating some awesome exclusives regardless.

    • Cinek says:

      We don’t know anything about Sony VR. It might be simply limited to 720p30.

      As for exclusives – so they are made for PC. Actually – as Kinkstarter shown – most of the truly interesting and innovative games are here, on a PC. Supported by players and made for players. Not just pure money-grabbing. (though obviously blockbuster titles are here too – and with new consoles we’ll get more of these than ever, as they’re pretty much closed-spec PCs).

    • jellydonut says:

      The acclaimed PS3 exclusives are all either pseudo-game animated movies, or Gran Turismo. Not a big loss.

      • Buffer117 says:

        I’m a die hard PC gamer but I bought a PS3 to Play Red Dead Redemption (worth it itself), Uncharted and The Last of Us.

        Believe me we are missing out by not getting them on PC. The sooner exclusive games disappear the better.

      • GameCat says:

        If Demon’s Souls is pseudo-game animated movie then games doesn’t exist at all.

      • klmx says:

        Team Ico? :(

        • Amnesiac says:

          The biggest tragedy of this generation of consoles is the apparent cave in of Team Ico.

          Its looking less and less likely that I’m ever going to see another game from the creators of my favourite game, Shadow of the Colossus :(

          Although if Team Ico falling apart meant Fumito Ueda formed and indy studio to publish games on PC I’d feel a little better.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yes, it’s possible that the console companies will want to make a platform-locked version of their own. Certainly I don’t buy that consoles can’t do VR for technical reasons, especially the upcoming generation of consoles.

    • Tams80 says:

      Sony have been in the VR headset business for quite a while, probably before Oculus was even considered a feasible enterprise.

      There were two problems with their last one. It was very expensive and the FOV was rather rubbish. Actually, add in that it was apparently not that comfortable.

      • Geebs says:

        Also it wasn’t VR, just 3D

        And yes, next gen consoles should be able I manage VR…. As long as you don’t mind everything looking like minecraft at 20fps

      • Gap Gen says:

        So what’s different about Oculus Rift? Why are people excited about it if everything else that tried VR was dead in the water?

        • Hypocee says:

          Uh. Because they’re the first to (believably) make it actually work? With acceptable resolution, lag, FOV and a consumer price?

          (Although think the later CastAR’s much more exciting overall.)

  6. karthink says:

    Any “consolation”, heh.

  7. Screamer says:

    I bet you they would have liked to get on the console bandwagon though.

  8. golem09 says:

    I’m not a fan of any kind of exclusivity, not with games or with hardware, so this isn’t any reason for me to rejoice.
    In addition to that, Oculus being on console would be great, because a lot more game would be made with VR support then.

    • Volcanu says:

      Exactly this.

      When many publishers can’t even be bothered to do properly optimised PC ports, don’t hold your breath for ‘Oculus’ supported games that aren’t PC exclusive.

      • Cinek says:

        By many you mean EA and it’s friends? ;) There’s relatively few devs who release garbage. Most either got decent ports or native PC games.

        • Volcanu says:

          EA are notable offenders. As are Activision. I suppose you might say, no big loss. But even some genuine console gems have had pretty shoddy treatment on porting- Dark Souls for instance. Now in fairness to From Software, they did do a bare bones port in response to an internet campaign and they will in all likelihood do a better job with Dark Souls II.

          The fact remains that your being rather optimistic if you think that big, multi-platform games will bother with OR support for a comparatively small PC market. Something like the next Elder Scrolls has the potential to be amazing on OR, but despite it’s PC origins I simply cant see Bethesda justifying the time, effort and expense involved in adding OR support when the massive success of Skyrim was largely from console sales of the game.

  9. Jesus_Phish says:

    Exclusive hardware doesn’t tend to do very well. The OR would’ve benefit from being supported on consoles. Having it as a PC exclusive just means less publishers are going to bother with investing time in it.

    See also:
    The Wii-U
    The Playstation Move
    The Playstation Eye
    X-Box Kinect

  10. Knightley4 says:

    Yes, but weren’t there rumours about Sony making their own VR-device?

  11. philosoma says:

    Arrrgghhhh, everytime I see a Oculus Rift post I am hoping it will have at least a release date! Am excited and sad at the same time.

  12. Turkey says:

    If VR becomes a thing on consoles, they’ll probably develop it internally anyway. Getting involved with the Oculus Rift team at this point would probably be a huge legal headache.

  13. Shooop says:

    This can end up hurting the device because it means a significantly smaller audience who’ll be interested in using it and that means fewer incentives for developers to develop for it.

    Hopefully this won’t be a big problem for it, but it’s not a good sign.

  14. luieburger says:

    “But that’s just a PC wearing console pants, so we win again.”

    We always win… it’s starting to get dull. This gen of consoles is barely even trying to compete with us. They’re slowly being assimilated, really.

    Did you see that tutorial for how to install a better hard drive in the PS4? Yeah… That’s PC Gaming 101. SteamBox will be the next step. Then… THE WORLD!!!!

  15. migueluli says:

    Next-gen is not powerful enough to offer a worthwhile VR experience yet they announce Android support?

  16. ArmyMan says:

    Instead of supporting the OR, or in addition to supporting the OR, I wish developers would implement the simple ‘press and hold a certain keyto be able to look around’ as in the ARMA series and War Thunder. Are they just too lazy to do it, or is it actually difficult to implement?

  17. Rick Kolesar says:

    If it was me, I would have made the effort to put it on the consoles. The more platforms it works on, the better chance of it becoming the default standard. Once it because the default standard, more games made for it. Now they are forcing Sony and MS to look else where for a VR solution (and they don’t need kickstarter to fund their research).

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yes, the stance seems odd, unless they already tried and were hit by a wall of bureaucracy, and decided to blame it on the tech specs (and honestly, it scares me a little that the next gen consoles won’t be powerful enough to run it, and that they’re expecting some insane PC specs to run it well).

  18. melnificent says:

    The upcoming consoles don’t have the power to do much compelling with the rift. Look at the compromises that have been made to the launch titles just to get them at a playable framerate/resolution. It takes twice as much GPU power for the same image on the rift.
    That would mean something like dead rising 3 at either 720p/8-15fps or a sub-vga resolution (nHD) resolution but 16-30fps.

  19. edwardh says:

    “we win”

    What a mature point of view.
    I don’t see how anybody wins when a couple of subpar consoles are released that are crappier relative to current PC hardware compared to any console generation of the past.
    Millions of people will get ripped off and we will once again see many crappy ports and just a few decent original PC games.

  20. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    In Oculus’ shoes, I’d try to get the VR headset codes and standards implemented and help get them integrated into Unreal, Cryengine, Unity, Frostbite, and Source. That would make it much easier to get OR working with most games, and if it’s a small development investment, more companies are likely to do it.

  21. Lateris says:

    What will CCP do now?

    • Gap Gen says:

      Honestly I don’t see it being a problem plugging a Rift into anything with a USB port. The API is open and in C++, so plugging it into a console game shouldn’t be too tricky in principle.

  22. Clavus says:

    Headline isn’t entirely accurate: the Rift won’t come to the consoles, but it will come to mobile. They’re aiming to have a mobile SDK for Android when the consumer version releases. That’s what John Carmack is working on at the moment.

  23. Iain_1986 says:

    Brilliant.

    So now we get to look forward to each platform having their own “VR”, with quite probably their own visual output and user input API and standards, resulting in games/game developers having to either support multiple ones, or just pick one resulting in games working with 1 VR setup but not another.

    But hey, its ok because “hur-dur consoles sux, alll glory to the PC master race”…

    As you put it.. “But that’s just a PC wearing console pants, so we win again.”….”win”

  24. DrManhatten says:

    Who cares? Occula rift will be dead in a few years time as everybody realizes again that VR on HMD is actually a totally rubbish idea.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I’d like to think that this time it’s different – they seem to be enthusiastic about pushing it and it seems to be working so far, but you’re right that it seems a little too much like that plastic guitar you bought, used for about a year and then donated to the spiders in your attic. Then again, it’s possible to use it for any 3D game that supports it, so perhaps it’s more relevant than that, and is more like the xbox controller that you bring out for platformers and things (hilariously, ArmA supports the xbox controller, and obviously it’s terrible).

  25. Amnesiac says:

    why is everyone taking “we win” so seriously?

  26. hypercrisis says:

    Still needs a “killer app.”

    Right now it just looks like yet another expensive and cumbersome PC peripheral. Not to mention absolutely awful for your eyesight

  27. manny says:

    Everyones forgotten Euclideons Unlimited Detail tech, which will enable even iphones to have higher than photorealistic graphics. Should arrive in a couple of years, to every device.

  28. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    How is it positive that less people can experience something -with all obvious caveats- wonderful and compelling? I’ve been weaning myself off this site (and not so you can reflexively dismiss my complaint as being the transitive mask of some odious character failing, for your your stance on gender politics which I find uncontroversially agreeable) and I didn’t even want to comment, but the small-mindedness and pettiness in this post is astounding, whilst decrying no less, pettiness!

    But that’s just a PC wearing console pants, so we win again.” For the love of all fucking decency, heal thyself Mr. Grayson.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>