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Oculus doubts commercial viability of room-scale VR -- for now

Oculus doubts commercial viability of room-scale VR -- for now

March 22, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

March 22, 2016 | By Alex Wawro
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More: VR, Design



"We don't believe that the consumer has the space....the commercial viable space of the 15-by-15 foot square."

- Jason Rubin, head of studios at Oculus VR.

While it's been clear for some time that the Oculus Rift could track players' movements while standing (this is how the Toybox demo it used last year to showcase its Touch controllers was played, for example) Polygon has now confirmed some of the tech requirements with Oculus' Jason Rubin.

In brief, the Rift headset can do room-scale tracking if a player owns both the base sensor that ships with the headset and a second sensor that ships with the Touch controllers later this year. Rubin pegs the trackable area at 5-feet-by-11-feet, which is smaller than the HTC Vive's 15-by-15-foot tracking zone.

Incidentally, a survey of over 2,000 VR enthusiasts conducted by Vive backer Valve late last year revealed that the average amount of space respondents were willing to clear for room-scale VR experiences was just 8.5-feet-by-9-feet. 

Now, Rubin tells Polygon that while "we have the tech ability to provide room scale [VR]," the company hasn't put a ton of effort into hyping this capability because "we don't believe that the consumer has the space....the commercial viable space of the 15-by-15 foot square."

It's something worth considering for VR devs, especially those curious about room-scale VR experience design. You can read Rubin's full comments (and get a little glimpse of what room-scale VR game Fantastic Contraption looks like on the Rift) over on Polygon.



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