photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

Oculus Rift Boxing – 2017 Review

The retail version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset finally arrived in 2016, after multiple advancement packages and numerous years of work. Ever since, the exceptional Oculus Touch motion controllers have been contributed to the Rift as a single $598 bundle, slashing $100 each from the original rate of both the headset and the controllers. The Oculus Rift stays functional and immersive, if you have a computer that can handle it. With the addition of the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift is more attractive than the now almost identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of usage and even lower price.Oculus Rift Boxing

Prior to we get started, just a note that you can find the headset by itself for around $499, though we highly advise getting it with the Oculus Touch controllers. The controllers are offered by themselves for $99.

 

What You Need

Main requirements for the Rift$ 399.00 at Amazon are almost similar to the requirements for the HTC Vive. Oculus advises an Intel i5-4590 or better CPU, an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or better video card, a minimum of 8GB of RAM, an HDMI 1.3 output, three USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port. One of those ports is for the extra sensor of the Oculus Touch controller, and you can set up the Rift itself with simply two USB 3.0 ports: one for the headset and one for the external sensing unit. I checked it using the Origin EON17-X, which has a Core i7 6700K CPU overclocked to 4.5 GHz, an 8GB GeForce GTX 980M graphics card, and 16GB of RAM.

 

Oculus Rift Style

The Oculus Rift headset is basic and downplayed. It’s a plain black rectangular visor with rounded edges and little visual style. The front panel is completely flat, significant only with an Oculus logo design. The sides of the visor are likewise flat, and link to arms that pivot slightly up and down and connect to the three-strap harness for securing the device on your head.

A strap extends from each arm around the sides of your head, with a 3rd strap extending from the top of the visor over the top of your head, conference at a cushioned triangle in the back. The straps are held in location with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be quickly changed. A set of on-ear earphones rest on the arms, able to individually pivot and turn up and down to effectively fit on your ears.

By itself, the headset is relatively light and comfy. You can use glasses with the Rift, but it will make the fit a bit tighter. I used my glasses when evaluating the headset, which helped make sure that I saw crisp and accurate visuals. However it likewise made putting the Rift on and taking it off a bit uncomfortable, and depending on the size of your frames, they could harm your capability to wear the headset for long periods of time.

The headset links to your PC directly through a prolonged cable television that splits off near the end into HDMI and USB 3.0 adapters. The cable television winds down the left strap before running clear of the headset. It’s a little more uncomfortable than the over-the-top-of-the-head cable of the HTC Vive, and I found myself having a hard time to discover a comfy position where the cable television didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. However it’s not almost as big a concern in usage as the HTC Vive’s cable television, because the Vive is developed to work when you’re walking around a set location.

The Rift on its own uses a single external sensor, a black cylinder that sits on a nine-inch-tall metal desktop stand. The sensor can tilt up and down, and must be placed where it can keep a clear view of the headset when in usage. A 2nd, identical sensor tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the two sensing units operate in tandem to enhance tracking for all of the gadgets and cover a bigger location than the stationary position simply one sensor allows.

When you’re up and running, a 2,160-by-1,200 OLED panel is used to produce a 1,080-by-1,200 picture for each eye, separated by the lenses in the headset (similar to the Vive). The lenses can be adjusted using a little lever on the ideal underside of the visor. More on the visual themselves in a bit.

 

Controls

The Oculus Touch motion controllers originally released as an optional addition, but have because been added to the $598 Rift package. They aren’t the only control choices consisted of in the box, though. The Oculus Remote is a small, rounded bar with a big, circular navigation pad and Back, Menu, and Up/Down buttons. The remote helpfully features a lanyard to keep it attached to your wrist when you’re using the Rift. The Rift likewise consists of an Xbox One cordless controller and a Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows with which you can use it, which comes in handy for VR games that utilize traditional, non-motion-based control plans.

With the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift’s controls reach parity with the HTC Vive’s, which has consisted of movement manages out of the box given that its launch. We enter into more detail in our review of the Oculus Touch, however it’s a very comfortable, natural-feeling control plan with responsive physical elements like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to movement tracking.Oculus Rift Boxing

 

Setup

Setting up the Rift is basic. You have to download the Oculus setup software on your PC, which will then walk you through the fairly couple of steps needed to obtain going. First, plug the headset and sensors into your computer, using an HDMI and 3 USB 3.0 ports. Second, sync the remote by pulling out the battery tab and pushing a button. Lastly (and additionally), plug the Xbox One receiver into a USB 2.0 port and set the gamepad with it. As soon as these actions are total, you can slip the headset on and jump into the Oculus software application.

At this moment in the setup process, you can play any software application available on the Oculus Store, but you can go further with fairly little trouble. By setting the Oculus software application to load apps from unidentified sources, you can get the headset to deal with SteamVR, just like the HTC Vive uses. The launch of Oculus Touch indicates you can now utilize all SteamVR games that support motion controls with the Rift. They sign up as HTC Vive movement controllers when you set them up for Steam, and work perfectly with Vive-compatible games.

While the Rift now has motion controls, it does not rather support the same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can utilize it while sitting, standing, or within an area defined by the two sensors consisted of with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller space than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensing units do, however this is a little sacrifice; because the HTC Vive is connected to your linked computer system with a cable just like the Rift, actually walking around with the headset on needs you to be really cautious not to trip over the dragging wire. It’s an immersion-breaker that harms the experience of otherwise complimentary movement in VR. The Rift’s head tracking, together with Touch controller tracking, work effectively within the area the sensors permit.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the exact same resolution and refresh rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is extremely comparable in between the two. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp picture with smooth motion and head tracking. In screening, the 3D result of the stereoscopic images truly offered me the sense that the virtual items I was looking at were actually in front of me. Eventually, the Rift headset is a display screen, so smoothness and graphical fidelity will depend on the power of your computer and sophistication of the software application. In terms of hardware, however, the Rift produces a compelling virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a couple of VR titles readily available on the Oculus store, including EVE: Valkyrie, Farlands, and Lucky’s Tale. I also attempted Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games and Virtual Desktop, released through SteamVR

EVE: Valkyrie is the star of the launch titles for the Oculus Rift. It’s an online, multiplayer area dogfighting video game sent in the EVE universe. You play a cloned pilot who runs sorties with your squad against other, comparable squads. It boils down to the area version of group deathmatch in any first-person shooter, however it’s an engaging and fairly deep flight game.

The format is perfect for using the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your chosen space fighter, and you can freely take a look around it while remaining in location. The video game itself is controlled with the Xbox One gamepad, piloting the ship with the double analog sticks and firing with the triggers. Essentially, the VR aspect of the video game is unneeded; the experience is actually just like playing a dogfighting game on a normal screen, just with the capability to look freely around your cockpit (which does not provide any substantial tactical advantage). Nevertheless, the immersiveness the Rift uses in entirely engulfing you in this cockpit viewpoint really makes the video game feel more appealing and tense.

It isn’t really a complex financial MMO like EVE itself, and the design of fight is a bit arcade-like in how ships fly and fire, but it’s satisfying to fly around in area, shooting at people while they shoot at you. It feels like one of the most complete video games made particularly with VR in mind.

Farlands is a xenobiological play area. You play a researcher on an alien planet, searching for new life forms. You can scan various animals by staring at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they desire. It has an extremely mellow quality, looking for alien animals and seeing them consume to slowly and gradually unlock new environments to check out. While the principle appears perfect for movement controls, it was simple to play with a standard gamepad, using a reticle in the center of your view to highlight items and walk around.Oculus Rift Boxing

Lucky’s Tale is a basic cartoony third-person platformer where you manage a cartoon fox as he goes through different levels attempting to rescue his animal pig. It’s a captivating experience that doesn’t really require VR at all. Utilizing the Rift in a game like this lets you browse easily from your above-the-action perspective. However, you can’t easily move the video camera to get a better view of a given position relative to the character you’re managing, which showed to be really frustrating when trying to get Lucky to gather lines of coins set in specific arcs in 3D space; without the capability to pan around Lucky, I couldn’t quickly align my dives.

Our evaluation of the Oculus Touch explains of what Oculus Rift games that support Touch resemble, but to sum up the experience, the optional Touch controllers make things like spray-painting walls, intending guns, and using telekinetic powers feel extremely natural.

 

SteamVR

I ran Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games (ATMMHG) on SteamVR to see if the Rift could handle it as smoothly as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t the Rift’s native platform, it showed the user interface and loaded the video game perfectly, and I found it was just as smooth and immersive as it is on the Vive (however, like with Lucky’s Tale, the actual worth of playing stated third-person platformer in VR is still questionable).

I also tried Virtual Desktop, a program that predicts your computer system’s screen in front of you in virtual space. It was just as practical and interesting as it was with the HTC Vive, showing my display as a giant, curved display screen around me. The software application can also produce a flat screen, and even show your desktop deem a tv mounted on the wall of a house theater. It’s a handy method to make VR beneficial, even without VR-specific software. If you want to view a video and it’s not offered on a client for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can just load it with Virtual Desktop.

The only drawback is the resolution of the display. Because the Rift reveals a 1,080-by-1,200 photo to each eye, and the virtual screen looks like a drifting things, it’s actually smaller than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That means text can appear blurred and rough unless you find a sweet spot from which to take a look at the screen, and reading can trigger eye stress. That stated, watching video on Hulu and Netflix is very cool.

 

Final Thoughts

The Oculus Rift easily produces an immersive, crisp virtual reality experience that will continue to enhance with the development of new software application, which has been steadily coming out on both the Oculus store and SteamVR. The release of the Oculus Touch controllers and the addition of them to the $600 headset bundle even more contributes to the value, though the HTC Vive’s recent cut to $599 puts them on equivalent footing in price and functions. Both are technically excellent, powerful VR headsets, however our Editors’ Choice remains the PlayStation VR for its lower rate and ease of usage (though it only works with the PlayStation 4, rather than a PC).

If you want to try virtual reality, however you do not want to spend a minimum of $400, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are solid choices. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that use some of the best mobile VR experiences you can presently get for around $100. However, you need a suitable phone to utilize them.Oculus Rift Boxing