Valves virtual-reality mastermind joins Facebooks Oculus VR

Just days after Facebook purchased Oculus VR for its groundbreaking Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, the startup picked up one of the biggest brains in the field: Valve Software‘s virtual-reality guru Michael Abrash. The long-time developer, who has previously worked at Microsoft, is now the chief scientist at Oculus VR.
He has spent the last several years developing VR technologies at Valve. “We’re on the cusp of what I think is not ‘The Next Big Platform,’ but rather simply ‘The Final Platform’, the platform to end all platforms,” Abrash wrote in a blog post on the Oculus website. “And the path here has been so improbable that I can only shake my head.”
Abrash reteams with his former id partner John Carmack, who joined Oculus VR last year as its chief technology officer. Abrash will continue the research that he performed at Valve now that he is at Oculus. In making his decision, he called Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus the “final piece of the puzzle.”
“A lot of what it will take to make VR great is well understood at this point, so it’s engineering, not research: hard engineering, to be sure, but clearly within reach,” he wrote. “For example, there are half a dozen things that could be done to display panels that would make them better for VR, none of them pie in the sky.
However, it’s expensive engineering. And, of course, there’s also a huge amount of research to do once we reach the limits of current technology, and that’s not only expensive, it also requires time and patience, fully tapping the potential of VR will take decades.