Oculus Rift Addons – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail variation of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset lastly arrived in 2016, after several advancement packages and numerous years of work. Since then, the excellent Oculus Touch motion controllers have been contributed to the Rift as a single $598 package, slashing $100 each from the initial cost of both the headset and the controllers. The Oculus Rift remains practical and immersive, if you have a computer that can handle it. With the addition of the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift is more appealing than the now practically identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of use as well as lower cost.Oculus Rift Addons

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

 

What You Need

Main requirements for the Rift$ 399.00 at Amazon are nearly similar to the requirements for the HTC Vive. Oculus suggests 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. Among those ports is for the additional sensor of the Oculus Touch controller, and you can set up the Rift itself with just 2 USB 3.0 ports: one for the headset and one for the external sensor. I evaluated it utilizing 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 Design

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 entirely flat, marked only with an Oculus logo design. The sides of the visor are similarly flat, and link to arms that pivot slightly up and down and attach to the three-strap harness for securing the gadget 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 padded triangle in the back. The straps are held in location with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be easily changed. A set of on-ear headphones rest on the arms, able to individually pivot and turn up and down to correctly fit on your ears.

By itself, the headset is relatively light and comfy. You can wear glasses with the Rift, but it will make the fit a bit tighter. I used my glasses when checking the headset, which helped make sure that I saw crisp and accurate visuals. However it also made putting the Rift on and taking it off a bit awkward, and depending upon the size of your frames, they could hurt your ability to wear the headset for extended periods of time.

The headset links to your PC straight through a prolonged cable television that divides off near completion into HDMI and USB 3.0 connectors. The cable television winds down the left strap before running clear of the headset. It’s a little bit more awkward than the over-the-top-of-the-head cable of the HTC Vive, and I found myself struggling to discover a comfortable position where the cable didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. However it’s not nearly as big a concern in usage as the HTC Vive’s cable television, given that the Vive is designed to work when you’re walking a set location.

The Rift by itself uses a single external sensing unit, a black cylinder that rests on a nine-inch-tall metal desktop stand. The sensing unit can tilt up and down, and should be placed where it can keep a clear view of the headset when in usage. A 2nd, similar sensing unit tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the two sensors operate in tandem to improve tracking for all of the devices and cover a bigger location than the fixed position just one sensor permits.

As soon as you’re working, a 2,160-by-1,200 OLED panel is utilized to produce a 1,080-by-1,200 image for each eye, separated by the lenses in the headset (much like the Vive). The lenses can be changed utilizing a small lever on the best underside of the visor. More on the visual themselves in a bit.

 

Controls

The Oculus Touch motion controllers initially introduced as an optional addition, however have considering that been added to the $598 Rift package. They aren’t the only control options included in package, however. The Oculus Remote is a little, rounded bar with a big, circular navigation pad and Back, Menu, and Up/Down buttons. The remote helpfully includes a lanyard to keep it connected to your wrist when you’re utilizing the Rift. The Rift likewise includes an Xbox One wireless 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 included movement manages out of the box given that its launch. We go into more detail in our review of the Oculus Touch, however it’s a very comfy, natural-feeling control scheme with responsive physical parts like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to movement tracking.Oculus Rift Addons

 

Setup

Setting up the Rift is basic. You need to download the Oculus setup software on your PC, which will then walk you through the fairly few steps essential to get going. Initially, plug the headset and sensors into your computer, utilizing an HDMI and three 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 pair the gamepad with it. As soon as these actions are complete, you can slip the headset on and jump into the Oculus software application.

At this point in the setup procedure, you can play any software application offered on the Oculus Store, however you can go even more with relatively little hassle. By setting the Oculus software to load apps from unknown sources, you can get the headset to deal with SteamVR, just like the HTC Vive utilizes. The launch of Oculus Touch implies you can now use all SteamVR games that support movement controls with the Rift. They register as HTC Vive movement controllers when you set them up for Steam, and work perfectly with Vive-compatible video games.

While the Rift now has motion controls, it does not quite support the very same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can use it while sitting, standing, or within a location defined by the two sensors consisted of with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller sized area than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensors do, but this is a small sacrifice; because the HTC Vive is connected to your connected computer system with a cable just like the Rift, actually walking with the headset on requires you to be extremely mindful 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 very well within the area the sensors permit.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the very same resolution and revitalize rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is really similar between the two. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp image with smooth movement and head tracking. In screening, the 3D impact of the stereoscopic images really provided me the sense that the virtual things I was looking at were really in front of me. Ultimately, the Rift headset is a screen, so smoothness and visual fidelity will depend on the power of your computer system and sophistication of the software. In terms of hardware, however, the Rift produces a compelling virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a few VR titles readily available 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 video game sent out in the EVE universe. You play a cloned pilot who runs sorties with your team against other, similar teams. It comes down to the area variation of group deathmatch in any first-person shooter, however it’s an interesting and fairly deep flight video game.

The format is ideal for utilizing the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your selected space fighter, and you can freely look around it while staying in location. The video game itself is managed with the Xbox One gamepad, piloting the ship with the double analog sticks and shooting with the triggers. Essentially, the VR element of the game is unnecessary; the experience is in fact similar to playing a dogfighting video game on a typical display, simply with the capability to look easily around your cockpit (which does not provide any considerable tactical benefit). However, the immersiveness the Rift uses in totally engulfing you in this cockpit point of view really makes the video game feel more appealing and tense.

It isn’t a complicated financial MMO like EVE itself, and the style of fight is a bit arcade-like in how ships fly and fire, however it’s enjoyable to fly around in area, shooting at individuals while they shoot at you. It feels like one of the most complete games made specifically with VR in mind.

Farlands is a xenobiological play area. You play a researcher on an alien world, trying to find new life forms. You can scan various creatures by looking at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they desire. It has a really mellow quality, trying to find alien animals and seeing them consume to slowly and progressively unlock brand-new environments to check out. While the principle appears ideal for motion controls, it was basic to play with a traditional gamepad, using a reticle in the center of your view to highlight objects and walk around.Oculus Rift Addons

Lucky’s Tale is a standard cartoony third-person platformer where you control an animation fox as he goes through various levels trying to save his pet pig. It’s an attractive experience that doesn’t really require VR at all. Using the Rift in a game like this lets you browse quickly from your above-the-action perspective. However, you cannot easily move the video camera to obtain a much better view of a provided position relative to the character you’re controlling, which showed to be very discouraging when attempting to get Lucky to gather lines of coins embeded in specific arcs in 3D area; without the ability to pan around Lucky, I couldn’t easily align my dives.

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

 

SteamVR

I ran Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games (ATMMHG) on SteamVR to see if the Rift might manage it as smoothly as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t really the Rift’s native platform, it showed the interface and loaded the video game completely, and I discovered it was just as smooth and immersive as it is on the Vive (however, like with Lucky’s Tale, the actual worth of playing said 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 area. It was just as practical and intriguing as it was with the HTC Vive, revealing my display as a giant, curved display around me. The software application can likewise create a flat screen, as well as show your desktop deem a tv installed on the wall of a house theater. It’s a handy way to make VR helpful, even without VR-specific software application. If you wish to watch a video and it’s not available on a client for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can simply fill it with Virtual Desktop.

The only drawback is the resolution of the display screen. Given that the Rift reveals a 1,080-by-1,200 picture to each eye, and the virtual screen appears as a drifting object, 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 area from which to take a look at the screen, and reading can cause eye pressure. That said, enjoying video on Hulu and Netflix is extremely cool.

 

Final Thoughts

The Oculus Rift easily produces an immersive, crisp virtual reality experience that will continue to improve with the development of new software, which has been gradually 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 recent cut to $599 puts them on equal footing in rate and functions. Both are technically impressive, powerful VR headsets, but our Editors’ Choice remains the PlayStation VR for its lower price and ease of use (though it just works with the PlayStation 4, instead of a PC).

If you wish to attempt virtual reality, however you don’t wish to spend a minimum of $400, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are solid options. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that use a few of the best mobile VR experiences you can presently get for around $100. Nevertheless, you require a suitable phone to use them.Oculus Rift Addons