Someone just scraped some yummy tidbits off the Oculus site. In advance of their Thursday announcement, we got some tantalizing (test? old?) images from Oculus thanks to some CSS-scraping by the rather inquisitive inhabitants of /r/oculus. Note that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey immediately showed up on reddit and claimed the images are ‘ancient:’
“This is an old placeholder concept image that we accidentally leaked. Everything in it is ancient, certainly nowhere close to final (as evidenced by the GPU specs and the game named “war”) Enjoy checking it out, at this point, but don’t expect everything to carry through to the stream on the 11th.”
So, they do the scraping, we do the collating, hosting, and wild speculating. Let’s get started (especially with the wild speculation).
What are we looking at here, exactly? I have no idea. What we’re looking at approximately, speculatively, is a whole bunch of crazy. Let’s do it in a list, image-by-image:
Image 01: Looks like the home page or something. Note the above-the-line listing for the Gear VR; obviously the Samsung partnership is deep. Also a reference to ‘Skyline,’ which if I have my Terminator lore correct is something that will send killer robots after you. There’s also a ‘Creators’ page, which is presumably for devs / app / authors / video producers (I can see why they chose ‘creators’). And the logged-in user is apparently named ‘NAKKA.’ (The fact that this is extractable from CSS is weird, right? Are these images meant to show how the website will look?)
Also of note is the camera at the front of the headset, which wasn’t apparent in the images that Oculus released last month. My guess is this may have been a conceptualized pass through camera – as it is seemingly unlikely that Oculus would use a monocular solution for inside-out tracking on their HMD. The fact that the camera is missing from the images does not mean that the camera is missing from the headset (depending on what kind of camera it is) as it could be concealed by the plastic outer cover – similar to the positional tracking camera for the DK2 (remove that silver cover and there’s a lens behind it).
Image 02: a little magazine-y detail shot of the headset. Not much new here, though there is a reference to an ‘xxx field of view,’ so presumably they weren’t done mocking this up before it got scraped. Or it’s yet more information about the adult-oriented content in the Oculus Store. You decide which version you prefer to believe. (Truth is, I have to believe the FOV has been locked for a long while… which suggests these images are quite old.)
Image 03: An interesting exploded view of the headset below, and the alien from the Crescent Bay demo reel staring wistfully into space. The ergonomics of the headstrap look pretty wild, which is cool. But even with the new adjustments implied by this view — note the pivot / slide points on the webbing — I think it still won’t fit our green friend. Perhaps that’s why he’s so full of wist.
Image 04: This is the most provocative image, since it starts to reveal some interesting departures from previous models — or things the more-recent models have departed from? Let’s assume they’re new. From the upper left, we see what I presume is the head-tracking camera, which is now on a stand instead of clipped to a monitor. A nice change, though honestly it would slide around a lot on my desk, stacked on top of old paperwork and yesterday’s lunch dishes. Like the new headset styling, it’s a lot more Dieter Rams than the DK2, which felt more like late-90’s Logitech to me. Perhaps someone at Oculus got some design religion? (Or, if the images are old: lost it?)
The next detail shot is provocative (presumably the images would expand if you hit the little plus sign)… probably it’s just a fit adjustment, but I sort of hope it’s showing a pivot point on the headset that will allow it to flip up like a welding mask. Very useful if you need to squint into the real world for a brief, horrible second. Probably it’s just a fit adjustment, though.
The third sub-image is probably the ‘SID,’ or simple interface device. Because this industry is really lacking in acronyms, and ‘remote control’ sounds too 20th century. Sub-image four looks like a detail of the IPD adjustment (acronyms again!), which might not require tools. Unless those buttons actually operate wiper blades on the inside of the lenses to combat fogging (totally gets my vote).
The last sub-image is just a product shot, so presumably the interesting information was in the pop-out box that’s not visible to CSS-scraping. By the way, doesn’t Facebook have some kind of insane anti-hacker security provisions in place? Why can a bunch of reddit no-hat hackers pull this apparent leak out of simple html? Is it possible it was a deliberate leak, as some conspiracy-minded redditors might think? (A: I kind of hope not, because that imbues what we’re doing here with a little too much meaning… being the unpaid handmaidens of Oculus’s devious PR team.)
Image 07 is evidently part of the store interface, with some placeholder content. There is also a reference to a [vrOS], which I kind of hope is just a placeholder name. My right pinkie is really hoping they choose something without brackets, if I’m going to be typing that nonsense for the next couple years.
Image 08 is the spec sheet again, which is maybe the surest sign that something is rotten in Denmark… ain’t no way Hamlet is rolling with a Core 2 CPU on his Oculus rig. The specs here are simply different than the specs Oculus released only weeks ago – so maybe Luckey’s being honest when he’s saying these images are ancient. (The content in the store at least looks more recent than the processor specs… for what it’s worth.) Additionally if you read closely the image says to “check yo specs in shit” which was obviously placeholder language. This is obviously full of boilerplate, unless there really is a profiler called the ‘Testeroni 4000.’ And I do desperately hope that the launch page encourages you to ‘check yo specs n shit.’ There is also the listed partnership with NewEgg.com, which would make a lot of sense – NewEgg is a great place for computer parts and there will likely be a need for many people to upgrade some parts for VR’s arrival.
Finally, Image 09 shows how it may look in the box. Evidently it includes the SID, HMD, and gamepad (GMPD?), in addition to our desk lamp / head tracker thingie.
So, the $64,000 question: is this real, or really old? Guess we find out more on Thursday. NAKKA is dead. Long live NAKKA.