Oculus Rift's new Chief Technology Officer John Carmack says a new Oculus Rift dev kit is in the works and will arrive in developers' hands before the retail unit ships some time next year. In an interview with Engadget this morning, Carmack also spelled out what he sees as the future of the Rift's consumer model: an Android-powered standalone headset powered by an SoC. "The way I believe it's going to play out is you will eventually have a head-mounted display that probably runs Android, as a standalone system, that has a system-on-a-chip that's basically like what you have in mobile phones," Carmack said.
Echoing company founder Palmer Luckey, Carmack said that the Rift was born from mobile technology's constant push forward, bringing down the price of Rift's components and making it accessible to consumers. He expects mobile tech to reach 4K resolution in the not-so-distant future, making future models of the Rift much sharper visually. The bigger issue, though, is head-tracking -- something Carmack's actively concerned with and working to solve ahead of a retail release. "A lot of the work at Oculus has gone into working out better position tracking," he told us. "The tracking side is something that there hasn't been as much of a push for and we're frantically working on a lot of that, because that is one of the other really large issues. But we expect that the next developer kit will have higher resolution and position tracking addressing some of these significant issues."
As for how the Rift consumer version will launch, that's another question altogether -- he said that there are several camps within Oculus arguing for a retail release vs. direct-to-consumers vs. other options. Head below the break for the full video interview with much more from one of gaming's most famous faces.
Zach Honig contributed to this report.