Carmack 'Not Excited' By Next-Gen, Thinks VR Headsets Are The Future

Tom Hopkins

Sony could feasibly bring John Carmack's virtual reality headset to consumers within a year, the id Software guru suggests.

Published on Jun 20, 2012

Rage, Doom and Quake programming legend John Carmack is less interested in next-gen consoles than he is by the notion of a head-mounted virtual reality system - shown off with Doom 3 BFG Edition during E3 - which the developer describes as "almost perfect".

While Microsoft has yet to show any interest, Carmack is in talks with both Valve (which is already working on wearable computing) and Sony (which already has headset displays on the market) regarding the head-mounted, motion-tracking display.

"Sony and Microsoft are going to fight over gigaflops and teraflops and GPUs and all this," Carmack said to of the next-gen race.

"In the end, it won't make that much difference. When you get to this, it makes a really big difference in the experience. Nintendo went and brought motion into the gaming sphere and while only having a tenth of the processing power was able to outsell all of them in all of these ways. I think someone has an opportunity to do this here. It takes a whole ecosystem though, but it is almost perfect."

The prototype headset received hugely positive praise at E3, and Carmack revealed that a finished device for consumers (look out for a Kickstarter from collaborator Palmer Luckey offering kits in the next few weeks) could be with us in less than 12 months courtesy of a company such as Sony.

"As a fully consumer thing, it is hard to imagine that happening in less than a year. Sony is already interested in this thing, and they are interested in seeing how they want to follow this up. I can easily imagine something like that. Sony conceivably could have a product out in the next year. I have no inkling on internal plans, but as a company I think they can do it," Carmack concluded.

Exciting stuff. Doom 3 BFG Edition hits consoles and PC in mid-October.



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