Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, has said that mobile virtual reality (VR) headsets are the future of the VR industry. Speaking at the South By South West (SXSW) Gaming festival, Luckey revealed his prediction that VR headsets that didn’t require any attachment to other hardware to run high-end videogames would be here ‘within the decade’.
“That is the future,” Luckey said when asked when mobile and VR technology would combined. “The future is going to be embedded chipsets embedded into the headset that don’t require a link to any kind of external hardware. And it’s going to become possible, I don’t know when, it’s hard to predict when.
“But mobile GPUs have been getting faster very, very quickly. Every year, huge increases. I’d say within the decade certainly there’s going to be mobile devices that are as powerful as the top of the line PCs today and if that happens we’re going to have some great VR experiences happening on mobile. Potentially even before then we’re going to see some basic functionality that’s enabled by mobile chipsets,” he suggested.
Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift VR headset currently works by hooking up to a PC or Mac and running titles off of that hardware. However, some mobile VR alternatives already exist, such as the in-development GameFace and the upcoming Altergaze headset, which straps smartphones to the headset itself.
“Maybe we’re not able to run top of the line games at the maximum graphical settings but you can do things like browse the internet or watch movies or play simplistic games or do communication,” Luckey continued. “Perhaps you can do things like run chat rooms and stuff like that on a lower-end mobile processor. That’s not going happen for the first consumer Rift, it’s not that close. It’s not that breakthrough.”
The Oculus Rift is currently prepparing to be shown off at the Game Developers Conference next week. Oculus VR will be hosting a presentation on Wednesday 19th March 2014 that teases ‘the future’ of the technology. VRFocus will be at the event to report on all the latest.