×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Magic Leap’s First Headset Is a ‘Tragic Heap,’ Says Oculus VR Founder

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey reviewed the Magic Leap One mixed reality headset on his personal website on Monday, and he didn’t sugar-coat his opinion. Magic Leap is a “tragic heap,” he said.

Luckey said he chose those words carefully. “I want what is best for VR and all other technologies on the Reality-Virtuality Continuum, Magic Leap included,” he said. “Unfortunately, their current offering is a tragedy in the classical sense, even more so when you consider how their massive funding and carefully crafted hype sucked all the air out of the room in the AR space. It is less of a functional developer kit and more of a flashy hype vehicle that almost nobody can actually use in a meaningful way, and many of their design decisions seem to be driven by that reality. It does not deliver on almost any of the promises that allowed them to monopolize funding in the AR investment community.”

The Magic Leap One launched in early August for $2,295. It’s available in two sizes and it comes with the Lightwear headset, the Lightpack computing pack, a handheld input device, a sizing kit, chargers, and a quick start guide.

So, what’s got Luckey so down about the Magic Leap One? The controller’s tracking is bad, for one.

“There is no other way to put it,” he said. “The controller is slow to respond, drifts all over the place, and becomes essentially unusable near large steel objects — fine if you want to use it in a house made of sticks, bad if you want to work in any kind of industrial environment. Magnetic tracking is hard to pull off in the best of cases, but this is probably the worst implementation I have seen released to the public.”

Meanwhile, he said the much-vaunted Lightwear headset, with its supposed “photonic lightfield chips” are really just the same technology everyone else has used for years, including the last-gen Microsoft HoloLens. But, he admitted other aspects of the headset are good, including the tracking and image quality.

He reserved his highest praise for the Lightpack, which he called “the guts of a tablet computer in an oversized hockey puck that you wear on your belt.”

“This is the best part of the device by far, A+!” he said. “I would have expected Magic Leap to do the fashionable thing and throw all their render hardware and battery power on the headset itself for looks, but some group of sane people appear to have recognized that putting your heaviest components on the most weight sensitive part of your body is a bad idea if you want people to actually wear your product for any period of time — this is a longer topic for another day, but the data shows that you need to be BRUTAL when it comes to reducing HMD weight. This approach also allows them to use much more powerful chips than they could feasibly cram into a head worn device.”

Ultimately, Luckey said Magic Leap needed to blow people away to justify its investment cost, but the product — while reasonably solid — is nowhere close to what the company originally hyped.

“It is slightly better than HoloLens in some ways, slightly worse in others, and generally a small step past what was state of the art three years ago — this is more Hololens 1.1 than Consumer AR 1.0,” he said. “Consumer AR can’t happen without advancement, and it seems those advancements will be coming from other companies.”

More Gaming

  • Tencent, Riot Games May Be Developing

    Tencent, Riot Games May Be Developing 'League of Legends' Mobile Game

    A mobile version of the massively popular “League of Legends” could be in development, three sources tell Reuters. “League of Legends” is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed and published by Riot Games for PC players. Tencent Holdings is China’s most powerful gaming company, and is behind “Honour of Kings,” a mobile game [...]

  • 'Mario Kart Tour' Looks Like it

    'Mario Kart Tour' Beta Locks Powerful 'Rare' Characters Behind Paywall

    “Mario Kart Tour” seems poised to have several monetization elements, including for-pay “rare characters,” based on leaked info from its current beta period in Japan, as shared on ResetEra. The mobile game will be free to play, so of course Nintendo needs to make money from “Mario Kart Tour” somehow. Still, some fans are concerned [...]

  • Why a Major Hollywood Talent Agency

    Why a Major Hollywood Talent Agency is Betting Big on Gaming Influencers

    The entertainment industry has changed a lot in the last few years. Newer mediums like esports, streaming channels, and influencer content are challenging more traditional outlets like film and TV for fans’ limited attention spans. Professional gamers are making millions while achieving levels of fame previously reserved for Hollywood celebrities — which means they also [...]

  • Activision Share Details on 'Call of

    Activision Share Details on 'Call of Duty: Mobile' Battle Royale Mode

    Activision just dropped a ton of details about the battle royale mode for its upcoming free-to-play iOS and Android game “Call of Duty: Mobile.”. Like “Black Ops 4’s” Blackout mode, it features iconic locations from the “Call of Duty” universe on one large map, the publisher said in a blog post on Tuesday. Those locations [...]

  • Ubisoft to Discuss 'The Division 2'

    Ubisoft to Discuss 'The Division 2' Plans Wednesday

    Ubisoft will spend some time outlining the current status and the future of its online shooter “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” during a State of the Game livestream on Wednesday, it announced on Twitter. The stream airs at 3 p.m. GMT/8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST. Ubisoft isn’t giving any details about what it will discuss. [...]

  • Just Cause

    'Just Cause' Video Game Getting Movie Adaptation From 'John Wick' Writer

    “Just Cause” is the latest video game getting the movie treatment. Germany’s Constantin Film has acquired movie rights to the “Just Cause” video game franchise and hired “John Wick” creator Derek Kolstad to write the script. Constantin Film’s Robert Kulzer and Prime Universe Films’ Adrian Askarieh will produce the pic with Kolstad, who has written [...]

  • Saint Louis, MO - April 13:

    State Farm Extends its 'League of Legends' Esports Sponsorship Through 2021

    Insurance company State Farm has opted to extend its sponsorship of multiple “League of Legends” esports properties through 2021, according to a press release. State Farm started its sponsorship in 2018, and will continue to support the North America League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), as well as three “League of Legends” esports events: the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content