Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe had a surprise in store for the gaming world as well as the Android community at his GamesBeat 2013 keynote last Tuesday. The company is planning to launch a mobile version of its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset at the same time as the original PC version. And it will be exclusive to Android devices only.

Oculus Rift captured interest and headlines, not to mention money, when it launched a Kickstarter campaign last year. Asking for only $250,000, the campaign was able to bag $2.5 million, becoming one of the first success stories of the nascent crowdfunding scene. Since then, the virtual reality headset has routinely made appearances in gaming and technology news and has recently added game development luminary John Carmack of id and Doom fame to its team. The company has previously been teasing support for smartphones, but apparently it has even bigger ambitions for mobile.

The fact that a dedicated mobile version of the Oculus Rift will be produced and released for mobile gaming is probably not much of a shock. The real surprise, is that, unlike what you’d probably expect when it comes to games and gaming peripherals, the Oculus Rift will be supporting Android only. As the headset will be offloading its activities to the smartphone’s hardware resources, Oculus VR probably needs a platform that will easily let it do so without much fuss. Apparently, that is no easy task on iOS, causing support for the Apple mobile platform to be problematic and delayed indefinitely.

The mobile version of the Oculus Rift is said to be much lighter than the PC variant, which is a reasonable requirement for something that’s meant to be very portable. It will be interesting to see what Oculus VR has planned to make a virtual reality headset practical and usable in a mobile gaming scenario.

SOURCE: Venture Beat