In a rather candid interview with Tech Radar, Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey essentially confirmed that there's no place for Oculus Rift on consoles. "Too limited," are the exact words that Luckey uses, though the long form explanation has to do with the headset's planned evolution and console's lack thereof. While Luckey doesn't outright state that the Rift won't be functional in any way on next-gen consoles, we're probably safe assuming we shouldn't hold our breath.
As for the specific quote pertaining to next-gen, Luckey drops this bomb:
"Consoles are too limited for what we want to do. We're trying to make the best virtual reality device in the world and we want to continue to innovate and upgrade every year - continue making progress internally - and whenever we make big jumps we want to push that to the public
The problem with consoles in general is that once they come out they're locked to a certain spec for a long, long time. Look at the PCs that existed eight years ago. There have been so many huge advances since then. Now look at the VR hardware of today. I think the jump we're going to see in the next four or five years is going to be massive, and already VR is a very intensive thing, it requires rendering at high resolutions at over 60 frames a second in 3D."
Many gamers, with the best of intentions, have been hoping that the Oculus Rift would potentially become functional on next-gen consoles. In retrospect, that seems like a rather naive perspective, but one could always hope. Sony's PlayStation 4 seemed like the best bet, but rumors make it sound like Sony would rather develop their own headset rather than partner with Oculus.
In the long run, having the Oculus Rift stay PC-exclusive is certainly for the best, for as Luckey explains above evolution is key. Having the developers constantly focused on limiting the headset so as to run on console would be... devastating. Consoles hardly have the power to meet even the basic demands of VR, according to Luckey:
"We're seeing games that are already saying they're gonna run in 720p on next gen so they can barely hit 60 in 2D. It's hard to imagine them running a VR experience that's on par with PC. And certainly five years from now the experiences and the technology for virtual reality that will be available on PC is going to be be so far beyond anything that a console can provide.
What we're most excited about - really the core direction of our company - is trying to make something that works on platforms that are moving quickly and that are continuously getting more powerful, and consoles are not those."
Not all hope is lost, however, as their is one console coming in the future that may have the characteristics that Oculus is looking for in order to implement their headet: The Steam Machine. When asked what Luckey thought about Steam Machines, he said all too much in oh so little:
"We're good friends with Valve. We're great friends with them."
For the foreseeable future, Oculus will be focusing entirely on the PC. Technically, that doesn't mean it won't be coming to Steam Machines when it launches, but who knows. Let's just let the developers focus on releasing the first version of the dang headset so we can buy it already. Then after that we'll discover what the future has in store for the Oculus Rift. Just don't expect that future to include the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.