Some fifteen years later, my main PC is still without a virtuality reality headset, but John Carmack has one in his "mad scientist lair." The id Software programming guru has been working with an open-source VR system dubbed Occulus Rift. Support for head-mounted displays like the Rift has been incorporated into the new Doom 3 BFG Edition, and The Verge got to check out the experience in person.
The verdict? Immersive, but a little low-res. The Rift uses a single 1280x800 display that contains two 640x800 images—one for each eye. That's not a lot of pixels, especially for a head-mounted system that puts the screen so close to one's eyeballs. That said, the Rift's 90° viewing angle is wider than is typical for head-mounted displays. The Verge didn't encounter any frame rate or latency problems, either. Carmack has reportedly developed algorithms to help with the latency issue in particular.
The Ocolus Rift is heading to Kickstarter and may become available as a $500 DIY kit.