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Oculus Rift: Launch stations

Creator Palmer Luckey prepares for lift off

According to Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey he has no idea what he's going to do on launch day. "I don't know, I actually don't know," he says.

"We're really busy, we're just focused on getting the Rift out there. We've just got a few weeks left until launch so everything is crazy, but in a good way."

Luckey is speaking at an Xbox press event, where the attendees are queuing up to try Minecraft on Oculus Rift. (It's a surprisingly intense experience, especially once you're faced with combat and explosions.)

Asked if he ever wishes if he could experience VR as just a fan, rather than a pioneer with all the meetings, emails and hard work that entails, his answer is emphatic.

"No, because then there's nothing I can do to make it happen faster. At least right now I can do a lot to feel like I'm making a difference," he explains. He wants to see that same passion from the first Oculus Rift consumers, too.

"Six months to a year just isn't long enough to see big demographic changes"

"I want them to spend all of their time using the Rift. Like I want people to open up the Rift, plug it in and get it running, and have a ton of stuff to play and to check out and experience to the point where hopefully they won't run out of content to play," he says.

"We've been working with developers to make games for years now, and there's going to be a lot for people to do when Rift launches and a lot in the pipeline for the rest of the year. That's my goal, to waste everyone's free time."

Despite his enthusiasm, Luckey is also a realist. He understands that change in the install base and in what Oculus is doing with virtual reality will be much slower than the growth of general interest in the technology.

"Six months to a year just isn't long enough to see big demographic changes. It's still going to be people that have a relatively high-end PC, it's still mostly going to be gaming content, so six months to a year out it's still going to be the same type of audience. It's looking a few years out that you start to see the costs go down, the quality go up, a much broader range of content that appeals to a wider audience start to actually become really significant."

So does the launch of Oculus Rift mean the virtual reality entrepreneur finally gets to take a holiday? Maybe.

"There's not really much to do that's more exciting than working on VR stuff. I was working on VR as a hobby before Oculus, and then it became my job, so it's not like I have many other hobbies that I fall back on," he says with a smile.

Oculus Rift officially launches on March 28.

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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