Oculus confirms Rift Crescent Bay edition packs two displays

Duo screen setup confirmed and HTC's 'no sickness' claims questioned at SXSW
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The Crescent Bay edition of Oculus Rift, the latest prototype of the VR headset, packs two displays. The much-murmured feature was confirmed by the company's VP Nate Mitchell during a panel at SXSW.

"Crescent Bay is a two screen headset, that's news," he stated. "It's been rumoured in the community for a long time. Early on we thought one screen was the way to go but ultimately we moved to a two-screen system."

"It's super obvious," added Palmer Luckey, Oculus founder. "There are pictures that show it, people just haven't been analysing it well enough."

Essential reading: Best games for Oculus Rift

On Rift Dev Kit 2 the display was one ripped from a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, with the 1920 x 1080 resolution split to 960×1080 per eye. A duo display setup should dramatically increase the pixel count, although the panel didn't discuss specifics.

What they did discuss was the Oculus Rift consumer launch date, with Luckey sitting on the fence as to whether his original plan for a 2015 release was likely.

"I did say that before we made a load of changes to our roadmap and we've expanded a lot of the ambition we had around the project," he said. "I can't comment on that date but I can't say that nothing is going horribly wrong, everything is going horribly right."

When questioned whether the Rift will be the best VR headset at any price, Luckey answered, "I still do believe that, I stand by it. I'm pretty confident it will be but that could change. And I'd love for it to change because that means there's something even better out there, but I think that's unlikely right now."

"We've been determined to launch consumer VR and deliver the best VR headset for a really long time," added Mitchell. "With the Rift, our team just wants to launch this thing as soon we possibly can but with no compromises. We're moving as fast as we can and we promise it will be worth the wait."

The panel addressed questions about the HTC Vive, the Steam VR headset that was recently unveiled, and were keen to dismiss Valve boss Gabe Newell's claims that "zero per cent of people get motion sick" while using the headset.

"I do not think that anyone can truly say that no one will get sick in a VR headset," said Luckey. "It doesn't matter how good you make the hardware. As long as you let developers make any kind of experiences, every VR headset will have people getting sick in it."

The Rift team claimed the Vive was good for business though and the VR industry would ultimately benefit from increased competition.

"A rising tide lifts all boats," said Mitchell. "As long as VR takes off, Oculus is in a great position and we're super excited about that. And congrats to the HTC and Valve team, and the Morpheus team on their announcements because they were awesome."

You can check out the ever increasing array of VR headsets in our comprehensive round-up and see how Oculus Rift compares to Sony's Project Morpheus right here.


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Wareable Media Group co-CEO Paul launched Wareable with James Stables in 2014, after working for a variety of the UK's biggest and best consumer tech publications including Pocket-lint, Forbes, Electric Pig, Tech Digest, What Laptop, T3 and has been a judge for the TechRadar Awards. 

Prior to founding Wareable, and subsequently The Ambient, he was the senior editor of MSN Tech and has written for a range of publications.

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