Openness Wins Again: Oculus Rift to Support Android, But Not iOS

oculus rift

When Android gave us the promise that it will be on “everything” in the future, from phones to smartwatches, to dish washers, little did we know that it may even up end in virtual reality headsets. But according to people behind Oculus Rift, there will be a more portable version of the Oculus Rift in the future that will run on Android.

Oculus Rift feels like it’s where the future of gaming will be, and that Oculus Rift games will be the truly next-gen games we’ll want to play. It’s not about the graphics anymore, although obviously the more graphics power you have the more realistic the virtual reality will look, and the higher resolution they can use. But what matters most is the much higher immersion you get with Oculus Rift versus playing a game on a flat screen in front of you.

Right now, Oculus Rift supports only PC’s, and they would like to support the new consoles, too, although they will focus first on bringing the support for Android. Why is Android so important to them? Because right now they are already using smartphone displays inside the Oculus Rift headset, and in the future they could just put a whole phone in there, or perhaps let you slide your own phone into the headset, while getting Android developers to support Oculus Rift in their games. Depending on which route they go, this version of Oculus Rift could either be cheaper or more expensive than the PC one. With graphics like Kepler and other similar mobile GPU’s will bring starting with next year, I think this can be doable.

They say they can only do this with Android, though, and even though earlier reports said Oculus Rift is coming to iOS, the founder has denied that rumor, and said that iOS is problematic because of its many restrictions, which make such integration a lot harder. This is another way in which Android’s more open and more flexible API’s are allowing mobile developers to do more with Android devices than they could do with iOS devices.

The 1080p consumer version of Oculus Rift is supposed to arrive in the first half of 2014, but no timeline for the Android version yet, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that one.