Install Oculus Rift Dk2 – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset finally got here in 2016, after multiple development sets and numerous years of work. Since then, the excellent Oculus Touch movement controllers have actually been added to the Rift as a single $598 package, slashing $100 each from the original cost of both the headset and the controllers. The Oculus Rift stays practical and immersive, if you have a computer system that can manage it. With the addition of the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift is more appealing than the now almost identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of use as well as lower cost.Install Oculus Rift Dk2

Prior to we start, just a note that you can discover the headset by itself for around $499, though we highly advise getting it with the Oculus Touch controllers. The controllers are offered on their own for $99.

 

What You Need

Official requirements for the Rift$ 399.00 at Amazon are almost identical 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, at least 8GB of RAM, an HDMI 1.3 output, 3 USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port. One of those ports is for the additional sensing unit 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 simple and downplayed. It’s a plain black rectangle-shaped visor with rounded edges and little visual style. The front panel is totally flat, marked just with an Oculus logo. The sides of the visor are likewise flat, and link to arms that pivot a little 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, meeting at a cushioned triangle in the back. The straps are kept in place with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be quickly adjusted. A set of on-ear earphones sit on the arms, able to independently pivot and flip up and down to properly fit on your ears.

On its own, the headset is relatively light and comfortable. You can use glasses with the Rift, however it will make the fit a bit tighter. I utilized my glasses when testing the headset, which assisted guarantee that I saw crisp and precise 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 injure your ability to wear the headset for extended periods of time.

The headset connects to your PC straight through a lengthy cable television that divides off near the end into HDMI and USB 3.0 connectors. The cable unwind the left strap before running clear of the headset. It’s a bit more awkward than the over-the-top-of-the-head cable of the HTC Vive, and I found myself struggling to find a comfortable position where the cable television didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. But it’s not almost as big an issue in usage as the HTC Vive’s cable, since the Vive is designed to work when you’re walking around a set location.

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

Once you’re operating, a 2,160-by-1,200 OLED panel is utilized to produce a 1,080-by-1,200 photo for each eye, separated by the lenses in the headset (similar to the Vive). The lenses can be changed using a little lever on the best underside of the visor. More on the visual themselves in a bit.

 

Controls

The Oculus Touch movement controllers initially released as an optional addition, however have actually considering that been added to the $598 Rift plan. They aren’t the only control alternatives included in the box, though. The Oculus Remote is a little, 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 utilizing the Rift. The Rift also includes an Xbox One cordless controller and a Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows with which you can utilize it, which comes in handy for VR games that utilize conventional, non-motion-based control plans.

With the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift’s controls reach parity with the HTC Vive’s, which has actually consisted of movement manages out of the box considering that its launch. We enter into more information in our review of the Oculus Touch, however it’s a really comfy, natural-feeling control scheme with responsive physical parts like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to motion tracking.Install Oculus Rift Dk2

 

Setup

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

At this point in the setup process, you can play any software readily available on the Oculus Store, however you can go further with relatively little inconvenience. By setting the Oculus software application to load apps from unidentified sources, you can get the headset to deal with SteamVR, much like the HTC Vive uses. The launch of Oculus Touch implies you can now use all SteamVR games that support motion controls with the Rift. They register as HTC Vive movement controllers when you set them up for Steam, and work flawlessly with Vive-compatible games.

While the Rift now has movement controls, it doesn’t rather support the same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can utilize it while sitting, standing, or within a location specified by the two sensing units included 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; considering that the HTC Vive is tethered to your connected computer system with a cable just like the Rift, in fact walking with the headset on needs you to be very cautious not to trip over the dragging wire. It’s an immersion-breaker that hurts the experience of otherwise free movement in VR. The Rift’s head tracking, in addition to Touch controller tracking, work extremely well within the area the sensors allow.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the exact same resolution and revitalize rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is very similar between the two. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp photo with smooth motion and head tracking. In testing, the 3D impact of the stereoscopic images really offered me the sense that the virtual objects I was looking at were really in front of me. Ultimately, the Rift headset is a screen, so smoothness and graphical fidelity will depend on the power of your computer system and elegance of the software application. In regards to hardware, however, the Rift produces an engaging virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a couple of VR titles offered on the Oculus store, consisting of EVE: Valkyrie, Farlands, and Lucky’s Tale. I also tried 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 space dogfighting game sent out in the EVE universe. You play a cloned pilot who runs sorties with your team against other, comparable teams. It boils down to the space variation of group deathmatch in any first-person shooter, however it’s an appealing and fairly deep flight video game.

The format is ideal for using the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your picked area fighter, and you can easily 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. Basically, the VR element of the game is unneeded; the experience is really similar to playing a dogfighting game on a regular monitor, simply with the capability to look easily around your cockpit (which doesn’t provide any significant tactical benefit). However, the immersiveness the Rift offers in entirely engulfing you in this cockpit perspective actually makes the game feel more engaging and tense.

It isn’t a complicated economic 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 individuals while they shoot at you. It seems like one of the most total games made particularly with VR in mind.

Farlands is a xenobiological play ground. You play a researcher on an alien world, searching for new life types. You can scan different animals by looking at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they desire. It has a very mellow quality, trying to find alien animals and watching them eat to gradually and steadily open brand-new environments to check out. While the concept seems ideal for motion controls, it was basic to have fun with a standard gamepad, using a reticle in the center of your view to highlight things and move around.Install Oculus Rift Dk2

Lucky’s Tale is a standard cartoony third-person platformer where you manage a cartoon fox as he goes through various levels aiming to rescue his animal pig. It’s a distinctive experience that doesn’t truly require VR at all. Using the Rift in a video game like this lets you look around quickly from your above-the-action point of view. Nevertheless, you can’t readily move the camera to get a better view of an offered position relative to the character you’re managing, which showed to be extremely frustrating when aiming to get Lucky to gather lines of coins set in particular arcs in 3D space; without the ability to pan around Lucky, I could not easily align my jumps.

Our evaluation of the Oculus Touch goes into detail of exactly what Oculus Rift games that support Touch resemble, but to sum up the experience, the optional Touch controllers make things like spray-painting walls, aiming guns, and using telekinetic powers feel really natural.

 

SteamVR

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

I also attempted Virtual Desktop, a program that forecasts your computer’s screen in front of you in virtual space. It was simply as functional and appealing as it was with the HTC Vive, revealing my display as a giant, curved screen around me. The software can likewise generate a flat screen, as well as show your desktop deem a tv mounted on the wall of a house theater. It’s an useful way to make VR useful, even without VR-specific software application. If you wish to view a video and it’s not offered on a customer for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can simply fill it with Virtual Desktop.

The only disadvantage is the resolution of the screen. Since the Rift shows a 1,080-by-1,200 picture to each eye, and the virtual screen appears as a floating item, it’s in fact smaller sized than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That means text can appear blurry and rough unless you find a sweet spot from which to look at the screen, and reading can cause eye pressure. That said, viewing 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 improve with the advancement of new software, 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 plan further contributes to the worth, though the HTC Vive’s current cut to $599 puts them on equivalent footing in price and features. Both are technically excellent, powerful VR headsets, however our Editors’ Choice stays the PlayStation VR for its lower price and ease of usage (though it only works with the PlayStation 4, rather than a PC).

If you wish to attempt virtual reality, but you don’t wish to invest at least $400, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are strong options. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that use some of the best mobile VR experiences you can currently get for around $100. Nevertheless, you need a compatible phone to utilize them.Install Oculus Rift Dk2