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Oculus Rift could run Android, says chief tech boffin

The virtual reality headset could run Android, and effectively work as a standalone games console, according to its chief tech officer.

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset could one day run Android. That's according to Oculus VR's chief technology officer John Carmack.

"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," he told Engadget.

This would mean it'd effectively work as a standalone console, doing away with the need to be tethered to a PC. "Maybe that means you can only do Quake 3 or something inside there," Carmack said, acknowledging this would have its limitations. But "it does make a big difference not having a wire dragging off your shoulder," he added. "It's significant."

Though the Rift could still connect to your desktop if you'd like to play proper high-end games, Carmack said.

Carmack was the man behind legendary games series Doom and Quake when he was at Id Software, before he joined Oculus VR. So maybe he's just trying to get everyone to play his old games.

A new development kit is on the way too, Carmack added. The company is currently working on improving head tracking, because as it currently stands, "It's one of the easiest ways to make yourself sick," according to Carmack. "Look at the floor and sway side to side. It feels like the whole world is penduluming underneath you."

Though how much progress is made depends on advances within the mobile industry. "There are freight trains of technical innovation that happen in the mobile industry, and we're just hitching a ride along with that," he said. "The tracking side is something there hasn't been as much of a push for, and we're frantically working on a lot of that."

Let's hope it makes for a slightly less emetic experience when it finally hits shop shelves.

Are you looking forward to the Oculus Rift? Let me know in the comments, or on our virtual reality Facebook page.