Oculus Rift Big Screen – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset finally showed up in 2016, after multiple advancement kits and numerous years of work. Since then, the excellent Oculus Touch movement controllers have been added to the Rift as a single $598 bundle, slashing $100 each from the initial rate of both the headset and the controllers. The Oculus Rift remains practical and immersive, if you have a computer system that can handle it. With the addition of the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift is more enticing than the now practically identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of usage as well as lower cost.Oculus Rift Big Screen

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

 

What You Need

Official requirements for the Rift$ 399.00 at Amazon are almost 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, a minimum of 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 extra sensing unit of the Oculus Touch controller, and you can establish the Rift itself with just two 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 understated. It’s a plain black rectangle-shaped visor with rounded edges and little visual style. The front panel is totally 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 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 cushioned triangle in the back. The straps are held in place with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be quickly adjusted. A set of on-ear headphones sit on the arms, able to separately pivot and turn up and down to correctly 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 checking the headset, which helped make sure 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 capability to wear the headset for extended periods of time.

The headset connects to your PC directly through a lengthy cable that divides off near completion into HDMI and USB 3.0 adapters. The cable unwind the left strap prior to running clear of the headset. It’s a little bit more uncomfortable than the over-the-top-of-the-head cable of the HTC Vive, and I discovered myself having a hard time to find a comfortable position where the cable television didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. However it’s not almost as big an issue in usage as the HTC Vive’s cable television, since the Vive is designed to work when you’re walking around a set location.

The Rift on its own uses a single external sensing unit, a black cylinder that sits on a nine-inch-tall metal desktop stand. The sensor can tilt up and down, and need to be put where it can maintain a clear view of the headset when in usage. A 2nd, similar sensor tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the 2 sensors work in tandem to improve tracking for all of the devices and cover a larger area than the stationary position just one sensing unit enables.

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

 

Controls

The Oculus Touch movement controllers originally launched as an optional addition, but have given that been added to the $598 Rift package. They aren’t the only control choices consisted of in package, 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 includes a lanyard to keep it connected to your wrist when you’re using the Rift. The Rift also consists of an Xbox One wireless controller and a Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows with which you can utilize it, which is handy for VR video games that utilize standard, non-motion-based control plans.

With the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift’s controls reach parity with the HTC Vive’s, which has included motion manages from the box because its launch. We enter into more detail in our evaluation of the Oculus Touch, but it’s a very comfy, natural-feeling control plan with responsive physical components like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to movement tracking.Oculus Rift Big Screen

 

Setup

Setting up the Rift is simple. You need to download the Oculus setup software application on your PC, which will then stroll you through the relatively few steps needed to get going. First, plug the headset and sensing units into your computer system, using an HDMI and three USB 3.0 ports. Second, sync the remote by pulling out the battery tab and pushing a button. Finally (and additionally), plug the Xbox One receiver into a USB 2.0 port and set the gamepad with it. Once these steps are total, you can slip the headset on and jump into the Oculus software.

At this moment in the setup process, you can play any software application readily available on the Oculus Store, however you can go further with fairly little hassle. By setting the Oculus software application to load apps from unknown sources, you can get the headset to deal with SteamVR, much like the HTC Vive utilizes. The launch of Oculus Touch means you can now utilize all SteamVR video 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 video games.

While the Rift now has movement controls, it does not quite support the exact same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can utilize it while sitting, standing, or within a location defined by the 2 sensing units consisted of with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller area than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensors do, but this is a small sacrifice; since the HTC Vive is tethered to your linked computer system with a cable much like the Rift, actually walking around with the headset on needs you to be extremely careful not to trip over the dragging wire. It’s an immersion-breaker that harms the experience of otherwise complimentary motion in VR. The Rift’s head tracking, along with Touch controller tracking, work very well within the space the sensing units permit.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the very same resolution and refresh rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is very similar in between the 2. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp picture with smooth movement and head tracking. In testing, the 3D result of the stereoscopic images really provided me the sense that the virtual objects I was staring 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 and elegance of the software application. In regards to hardware, however, the Rift produces a compelling virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a few VR titles offered on the Oculus shop, consisting of EVE: Valkyrie, Farlands, and Lucky’s Tale. I likewise attempted Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games and Virtual Desktop, introduced 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 out 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 relatively deep flight video game.

The format is best for utilizing the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your selected space fighter, and you can freely take a look around it while staying in place. 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 aspect of the game is unnecessary; the experience is actually similar to playing a dogfighting video game on a normal screen, just with the ability to look easily around your cockpit (which doesn’t offer any considerable tactical benefit). However, the immersiveness the Rift offers in totally engulfing you in this cockpit perspective really makes the game feel more engaging and tense.

It isn’t really an intricate financial MMO like EVE itself, and the style of fight is a bit arcade-like in how ships fly and fire, however it’s pleasurable to fly around in area, shooting at people while they contend 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 world, looking for new life types. You can scan different creatures by staring at them, and improve your understanding of them by feeding them foods they desire. It has a really mellow quality, searching for alien animals and seeing them eat to gradually and steadily unlock brand-new environments to check out. While the idea seems perfect for movement controls, it was easy to play with a conventional gamepad, using a reticle in the center of your view to highlight objects and move.Oculus Rift Big Screen

Lucky’s Tale is a basic cartoony third-person platformer where you control an animation fox as he runs through various levels trying to save his pet pig. It’s an attractive experience that doesn’t really require VR at all. Utilizing the Rift in a game like this lets you take a look around easily from your above-the-action point of view. However, you can’t readily move the camera to get a better view of a provided position relative to the character you’re managing, which showed to be very frustrating when trying to get Lucky to gather lines of coins set in specific arcs in 3D space; without the ability to pan around Lucky, I couldn’t quickly align my jumps.

Our review of the Oculus Touch goes into detail of exactly what Oculus Rift video games that support Touch are like, but to summarize the experience, the optional Touch controllers make things like spray-painting walls, intending weapons, and utilizing 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 efficiently as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t the Rift’s native platform, it showed the interface and loaded the game completely, and I found it was simply as smooth and immersive as it is on the Vive (however, like with Lucky’s Tale, the actual value of playing said third-person platformer in VR is still doubtful).

I also tried Virtual Desktop, a program that predicts your computer’s screen in front of you in virtual area. It was just as functional and interesting as it was with the HTC Vive, revealing my screen as a giant, curved display around me. The software application can likewise generate a flat screen, as well as reveal your desktop view as a television mounted on the wall of a house theater. It’s a handy method to make VR beneficial, even without VR-specific software application. If you want to enjoy a video and it’s not readily available 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. Considering that the Rift reveals a 1,080-by-1,200 image 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 fuzzy and grainy unless you find a sweet area from which to look at the screen, and reading can trigger eye strain. That stated, seeing video on Hulu and Netflix is extremely cool.

 

Final Thoughts

The Oculus Rift comfortably produces an immersive, crisp virtual reality experience that will continue to improve with the advancement of new software application, which has been gradually coming out on both the Oculus shop and SteamVR. The release of the Oculus Touch controllers and the addition of them to the $600 headset plan even more adds to the worth, though the HTC Vive’s current cut to $599 puts them on equivalent footing in rate and features. Both are technically impressive, effective VR headsets, but 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 attempt virtual reality, but you don’t want to spend at least $400, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are solid options. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that offer a few of the very best mobile VR experiences you can presently get for around $100. However, you require a suitable phone to use them.Oculus Rift Big Screen