Facebook announced during its F8 Developer Conference Thursday that the company’s first virtual reality gaming experience will be available in 2015.
Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer told a crowd gathered in San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center that users will be able to play VR games on “something” shipped by Oculus Rift “this year,” Mashable reports.
The social media giant acquired Oculus, one of the pioneers in virtual reality headsets and technology, one year ago with the intention of taking social interaction, entertainment and more into the virtual landscape. (RELATED: Facebook Buys Leading Virtual Reality Developer Oculus Rift)
“You’re going to be able to do it in something shipped by Oculus,” Schroepfer said. “This is going to be incredible.”
Schroepfer then showed gameplay footage from “EVE: Valkyrie,” which puts players in the cockpit of a spaceship.
The company declined to specify what that “something” might be, but it won’t be the long-awaited consumer version of the company’s latest “Crescent Bay” prototype, a spokesman later confirmed. The company’s proprietary headset has so far only been made available to developers.
Oculus has also partnered with Samsung to build a third-party “Oculus Powered” Samsung Gear VR headset, which is already available.
“What is ‘real’? How do you define ‘real’? If you are talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain,” Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash said, quoting Laurence Fishburne’s character “Morpheus” from the popular sci-fi trilogy “The Matrix” to describe the experience.
Abrash said the company was making “significant progress” toward convincing the human brain that virtual reality is actual reality, The Verge reports.
“Unlike Morpheus, I’m not offering you a choice today,” Abrash said. “No matter which pill you pick, we’re all headed down the rabbit hole together.”
Abrash said such realistic experiences are still “a year or two” away.