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New 1080p HD version of Oculus Rift shown at E3

Like Avatar and 3D technology, the Oculus Rift has got us all excited about virtual reality once again. It had its hey day in the early 90s with Lawnmower Man and again to some extent with the release of The Matrix, but like 3D, it’s never really been something that was within reach as a consumer tech or at least, wasn’t something done well enough to garner our full attention. Now though it’s gathering pace thanks to the Rift, with its low(ish) price and impressive application and now there’s a new version being shown off at E3, that supports 1080P HD resolutions.

It wasn’t a complicated changeup apparently, merely taking the sub-HD definition smartphone screen it used before and replacing it with a more contemporary version – but apparently it makes a big difference. TheVerge had a hands on experience with it and apparently it makes everything you see seem more immersive.

Add in an Omni treadmill and it’s a real first step towards The Matrix. 

Just to confirm however, this isn’t twin displays, but a single HD screen split between the two eyes, giving each of them 960 x 1080 pixels to work with. This is just one step though. As smartphone displays get better, the Rift should improve as well – though there’s surprisingly no word on whether Apple retina displays could be used.

One of the discussed experiences with the device, was sitting in a virtual cinema and watching a movie trailer. Apparently it was a very realistic experience, something that could perhaps reinvigorate some cinemas, maybe allowing people to sit in a theatre with real people that are their watching it, but do so virtually. But they won’t, because they’re antiquated and would rather raise ticket prices to ridiculous levels instead.

KitGuru Says: Ah the Rift, offering so much promise to many companies, so few of whom will take advantage. Now if only they’d send me one to play with…

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