Posted Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM PDT by Brian Hoss
"The final piece of the puzzle fell into place on Tuesday."
The $2 billion acquisition of Oculus by Facebook has sent waves through the tech sector, not the least of which has involved the vocal community of former Oculus backers now seeing red. The latest move sees Michael Abrash, who has spent his career developing new software renderers at a cutting edge pace, leaving Valve to become Oculus Chief Scientist. Abrash had been leading VR development at Valve.
In a post on the Oculus blog, Abrash goes into some length regarding his belief in VR, Oculus and his recent move.
"I'm tremendously excited to join Oculus, and when I think back, it's astonishing how unlikely the path to this moment is... Quake was seminal and high-impact – it's amazing what a team of ten mostly untrained twenty-somethings in the Black Cube in Mesquite, Texas, managed to accomplish – but it wasn't the Metaverse. It was still, in the end, images on a screen... Fast-forward fourteen years. I'm at Valve – which started its existence by licensing the Quake source code – looking for the next big platform shift, and I conclude that it's augmented reality..."
"In the space of two years, a relative handful of people at two companies, none of them VR experts at the start, somehow managed to resurrect VR from the trash heap of technologies-that-never-were and make it the most exciting technology around... That wouldn't have happened if Palmer hadn't developed his prototype. If John (Carmack) hadn't been investigating VR at the right time. If they hadn't run into each other..."
"We're on the cusp of what I think is not The Next Big Platform, but rather simply The Final Platform – the platform to end all platforms – and the path here has been so improbable that I can only shake my head."
"The final piece of the puzzle fell into place on Tuesday. A lot of what it will take to make VR great is well understood at this point, so it's engineering, not research; hard engineering, to be sure, but clearly within reach. For example, there are half a dozen things that could be done to display panels that would make them better for VR, none of them pie in the sky. However, it's expensive engineering..."
"That worry is now gone. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR – and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can."
Here's Abrash speaking for Valve just last month:
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