Taking a look through the Oculus Rift

Taking a look through the Oculus Rift

You’ve heard about it in several sites, you’ve seen it reviewed but didn’t really read it…. Because we were there when the Virtual Boy crashed and burned! But this seems different, and we want to know more, so read on to find out what exactly is this “Oculus Rift” you may or may not have been hearing about?

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that can display stereoscopic 3D and offer head tracking to let you look around inside virtual worlds! In other words it’s like putting yourself inside of a game. The display output for the developer Oculus Rift is 1280 x 800, but this is required at a minimum 60 FPS with v-sync enabled; the consumer version will be even more demanding. Right now, you’ll need a high end graphics card to run most games – there isn’t much overhead added by the Rift itself, but running games in 3D simply requires a decent rig. Next Gen consoles are already confirmed to have support for Oculus Rift games so you won’t be missing out on anything, Console Players! Sound too good to be true? Here’s a few videos of people using the developer version of the Oculus Rift.

Pros and Cons

The resolution for the developer’s Oculus Rift is 1080p. There are rumours going around that the consumer’s Oculus Rift for next gen consoles will be 4000p. If you don’t know what 4000p is, then just imagine real life and there you have it, you have successfully seen 4000p. In all seriousness the Oculus Rift is going to be a revolutionary device that I think will change gaming forever, however there are it’s downsides.

  • It will be pretty pricey, right now the Developer Kit for the Oculus Rift is 300$ in the US, Which is cheap for a developer’s kit of something like this, but I don’t think that the Consumer Version will be any cheaper.
  • People who have easy motion sickness will have trouble using the device.
  • Only a small selection of games are Oculus compatible right now, but that won’t be a problem unless you’re planning on getting the Developer’s Oculus Rift kit. Some of these are the current games that are supported by the Rift: Half-Life 2, Dear Esther, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mirror’s Edge, and Team Fortress 2.

Now, I know you people with glasses are probably still stressing out, thinking you won’t be able use the Oculus comfortably or properly and miss out on the experience. But don’t fret, the consumer Oculus Rift will have and adjustable lens, like the ones you see in binoculars. It will be custom for you so you won’t even need to wear your glasses, You won’t be missing out on anything.

Should I get the Oculus Rift Dev Kit?

Since it’s a development kit, I can’t fairly evaluate the Oculus Rift as a product or give it a score. I can, however, tentatively recommend it to gadget fanatics who want to try out virtual reality. It’s $300, which is dirt-cheap for a future-tech developer’s kit, and there are enough tech demos to offer you and your friends a fascinating, immersive experience.

For a developer’s kit, the Oculus Rift is surprisingly easy to get working with little to no programming knowledge whatsoever. It’s nearly plug-and-play, and if you can follow simple instructions you can get it running with Team Fortress 2 and a few other games, and play with plenty of tech demos. I was surprised to see how simple the installation process was after ‘borrowing’ a friend’s Oculus, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find the setup for any consumer Oculus Rift to be similar to this one’s process.

Oculus VR is staying on the down-low on the prospect of a consumer Oculus Rift, and while dozens of developers are promising future native Oculus Rift support for previously released games we’ve heard very little on the progress for that support on basically every game besides Team Fortress 2. More importantly, it’s clear that even with native graphical and tracking support, games need redesigned user interface that better work with the Oculus Rift, based on the drastically different field of vision the Rift offers.

Oculus VR is trying to catch up to its long list of of orders for the developer’s kit, and consumer adoption is a long way off, but if you’re a tinkerer or extreme early adopter, the Oculus Rift could be a great project for you. For the price, it could be one of the most frustrating and rewarding tech toys you’ll pick up this year.

Image Credit to the following site(s): www.oculusvr.com | pcmag.com | makeuseof.com

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6 comments on “Taking a look through the Oculus Rift”

  1. Youhacked says:

    Interesting but even if we buy the Occulus Rift, How often to will we use it? will we use it seriously? or we will use it just to show to our friends or just having some occasional fun? and how many game’s will it probably support enough to be worth the money?

    1. Fex says:

      There is always that question: will this be another gimmick or will it actively enhance our experience and become an intrinsic part of gaming? I am very interested in the answer to this as I am torn between wanting to participate in virtual reality (Soul Art Online anyone?) and being aware that “real” reality would be dangerous whilst playing.

  2. Ahhotep1 says:

    Very interesting and well written Wilks!
    VR tech has been around for a while now. It’s about time that it is starting to make in-roads into the general consumer gaming world even if only a dev kit with limited games. It will catch on. Watch Nintendo take it up a notch! 😀

    Thanks for the news and do keep us posted on it’s development.

  3. There’s zero chance that this is better than a Virtual Boy. Any argument to the contrary will have me angry enough to see red. Like the Virtual Boy.

  4. Meyer says:

    This thing is going to change everything. Not just gaming, but all forms of “on-screen” entertainment, on into education. This is going to do for entertainment and education what TV did.
    The development of the uses for this thing are just getting started. We won’t be watching the Late Show on a 2d screen in our living rooms much longer. We’ll be “in” the audience, looking around at other people that are experiencing the same thing, coupled with “Kinect” type visual sensors. Duncan Trussell is currently spearheading a project for podcasters that put the host, the guest, and all other listeners with an Oculus Rift in a virtual space where they can all watch the podcast host and guest as if they were all in a room, or the desert, or on Mars, or whatever-the-hell-have-you.
    Now pair this thing up with a Kinect type visual sensor and a 3D printer. Already we have developers creating object through the Oculus Rift in 3D space with digital tools, honing them into perfection and printing them out directly into reality with a 3D printer.
    Education? Holy Hell… Fly through the solar system at the speed of light looking at planets and moons up close in 3D? (Program for Oculus Rift already exists). Float around in the bloodstream and watch giant white blood cells attack foreign bodies larger than life, solidifying your fascination with biology so much more than the old drab professor rambling on about hemoglobin and antibodies ever could hope to.
    When this thing goes live, everything is going to change. I’ve had to talk myself out of buying the dev kit about 8 times now.

  5. Emergence says:

    I love this and the potential it has and am excited to see its full capabilities explored.

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