John Carmack On Oculus Rift: 'One Of Those Critical Moments In History'

Exciting words from legendary game programmer John Carmack, who joined Oculus VR as full time Chief Technology Officer back in August. Kotaku Australia recently caught up with the Doom co-creator and quizzed him on camera about the future of Oculus VR. Watch...

A few things to listen out for… Firstly, apologies about the clinking of cutlery and what not in the background — sometimes you just have to seize the opportunity to speak with gaming royalty wherever you can. Otherwise, what I really came away with is a sense of just how much Carmack and co are determined to not rush development; to ‘get it right.’

I’m curious what his ‘secret project’ research entails, and how it may build on work he does preview: higher resolutions, lower persistence, adding position tracking, improving things in the SDK for better latency management.

Off camera, I couldn’t help but ask Carmack about his Jiu Jitsu. Turns out he hasn’t rolled since his youngest son was born, but he plans to hit the mats again as his kids get older. Of course, Oculus VR is also taking up a substantial amount of his time these days — to the point where Carmack revealed that’s now where he spends most of his time (versus id Software).

"There are lots of challenges. But it’s coming together, and it’s going to be great.” We’ve tried the Rift ourselves here at Kotaku, and in Carmack’s hands, we can’t wait to see what lies in store for next year’s consumer version.


    I'm excited for this sort of advancement, especially considering Sony is working on a similar product (and has been for a while). More than one player means the concept will take off.

    Kind of like Google Glass and MS's alternative. Two big corps chasing tech will make it happen.

    Rift dev kit is already more fun than most people seem to assume. Everyone expects a screen infront of their eyes, they're always blown away by the 3D perception.

    Cinemas are going to die, I can guarantee that. =)

      The Rift is incredible.

      The developer kit is sooooo shitty compared to the potential of this technology, it's just awful in so many ways: low resolution, movement blurring, no translational tracking, and even with all of those terrible handicaps, it's such an amazing, immersive experience. It doesn't take much imagination to realise how game-changing this technology will become eventually, especially with minds like Carmack pushing it forward.

        tested the 1080p prototype at PAX, was so damn good

          Really, I thought it was pretty crappy at PAX, the resolution still looked awful, the headset was uncomfortable after a surprisingly short period of time. The immersion/3D is really good, but the overall experience is still incredibly clunky.

    John carmack is the best thing. Good to know he's involved

    We are at a critical moment in history where you too can look like a moron with half a tv strapped to your head.

      but are you still a moron if everyone's doing it?

      forgetting the fact that this tech is awesome, if I cant get it beamed into my brain then bring on the miniaturisation till theyre contact lenses!

        I dunno about contacts, I don't like putting them in, but normal type glasses would be absurdly cool.

      It's a good thing I don't try to pickup when I'm gaming then. It's almost like I'm alone in the same room I masturbate and generally stand/sit around naked in.

      If you care what you look like when you're in your own private space. Well. I can't help you I'm sorry.

        Hahaha. Well people visit sometimes...

        and my family is around constantly. Like my wife and 3 kids. So sue me that I don't want to look like a gimp in the corner.

        Until they engineer the size of the thing WAY down, for me this is a device that I would only use alone. And in the dark. But probably with pants on. Probably.

    That was my first thought too...and the fact I can remember him looking a lot younger makes me feel old. D-oh!

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