Our friends at The Verge managed to get their hands on a new 1080P Oculus Rift protoype at E3! With a resolution of 960 X 1080 pixels per eye, the new optics solve the “screen door” effect caused by the low resolution of its predecessor. Getting the prototype together was a rush job because according to Oculus, they only got things working shortly before E3. So while this is likely a precursor of things to come, this reveal appears to be more of a “look what we can do” rather than an announcement of a new SDK around the bend.
This is definitely a step in the right direction, though we don’t yet know if the refresh rate is also improved because they are still using mobile display panels. If the motion blur hasn’t been solved (and we don’t know if it has or hasn’t yet), the solution is going to be finding high refresh rate panels in a mobile form factor. We are just taking an educated guess, but this could be more challenging than just increasing resolution. Why?
Mid to large screen display panels are easy because the 3D industry created a standardized demand for 120Hz units in TVs and monitors so they can work with shutter glasses. In contrast, the mobile industry was never faced with the goal of working with shutter glasses, so the demand to create panels capable of really low latency was never there until now. Does Oculus have the leverage they need to affordably get the right display specs? Is it a small leap to get the 120Hz panels in smaller form factors? We’ll have to wait and see.
Until then, we too are looking forward to throwing fireballs in HD VR quality!