Unreal. Transformative. Amazing. All of these words describe the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, but one thing that still bothers us is its "low-res" display. The pixels are so large that it breaks the illusion of virtual reality.
Current developer kits uses a 720p resolution display and as we reported at E3, an Oculus Rift with an 1080p HD display is also in development. The higher-res HD Oculus Rift is better, but the pixels are still big enough to be distracting. You just can't help but stare at the pixels and remember that you're wearing a headset, staring at a screen strapped to your face. It's like looking at an old LED billboard where you can see every single dot.
According to Polygon, Brandon Iribe, CEO of Oculus VR, a new version with a 4K display is on the company's to-do list. Whether that's going to be what the retail version ships with is unclear. Back in June, Oculus reps told us it was hard to lock down specific hardware specs since better components are always dropping in price.
The team at Oculus VR is also working on ways to eliminate the motion sickness that many have experienced with the Oculus Rift. We'll hold Iribe to his claims:
"I've gotten sick every time I've tried it. Every time until recently. In the last few weeks, I stayed in it for 45 minute sessions and I did not get sick with the new prototype. We are at the edge of bringing you no motion sickness content."
Without any proper launch date outside of "soon" next year, we have no way of knowing how much more an Oculus Rift with a 4K display will cost. Oculus VR currently sells the 720p resolution developer kit Oculus Rift developer kit for $300.
A 4K model is still great news, though. I can definitely see Oculus Rift benefitting from a 4K display upgrade. I used to despise all kinds of 3D, but then I saw 3D on a 4K TV and the difference in clarity was night and day compared to a 1080p and 720p display running 3D. I expect the jump from 1080p to 4K to produce even more life-like VR worlds and believable immersive experiences.