Both of HTC Vive’s VR competitors have now said they will also offer room-scale virtual reality.
HTC Vive is the only virtual reality headset that will ship with room-scale support. It uses two wall-mounted emitters that allow the headset to track a user as they walk around a designated play space.
Sony engineers have said that PlayStation VR will support this in the future, and now Oculus has said its headset can most definitely do the same.
"Some people will really want room scale," Oculus’ head of worldwide studios Jason Rubin told Polygon. "It’s definitely cool. We have the tech ability to provide room scale. Our tech doesn’t preclude that. At some point we’ll demo that."
He did add, however, that "we don’t believe that the consumer has the space in general” needed to make the tech work.
At launch, Oculus will ship with one sensor that will only track head and upper body movement. Its Oculus Touch controllers will not arrive alongside the headset this month, either, and are due for release in the second half of the year. They will be bundled with a second sensor, opening up the door to movement-based gaming.
Again, HTC Vive ships with two wireless controllers at launch.
Oculus is probably right in saying that demand for room-scale will be limited as it, more than any other feature, makes the largest demands of the user – they need to have a clear and sufficiently large space in which to play.
There are also questions about how Sony intends to offer this with PlayStation VR, as it only uses a single camera, meaning signals from the headset or Move controllers could easily be blocked by a player’s body.