Oculus Rift Cover – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail variation of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset lastly showed up in 2016, after multiple development kits and numerous years of work. Ever since, the excellent Oculus Touch motion controllers have been contributed to the Rift as a single $598 bundle, slashing $100 each from the initial price of both the headset and the controllers. The Oculus Rift remains functional 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 practically identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of usage as well as lower rate.Oculus Rift Cover

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

 

What You Need

Official requirements for the Rift$ 399.00 at Amazon are nearly identical 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 much better video card, at least 8GB of RAM, an HDMI 1.3 output, three USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port. Among those ports is for the additional sensing unit of the Oculus Touch controller, and you can establish the Rift itself with simply 2 USB 3.0 ports: one for the headset and one for the external sensor. 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 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 entirely flat, significant just with an Oculus logo design. The sides of the visor are likewise flat, and connect 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 third 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 easily changed. A set of on-ear earphones sit on the arms, able to independently pivot and flip up and down to correctly fit on your ears.

On its own, the headset is fairly light and comfortable. You can use glasses with the Rift, however it will make the fit a bit tighter. I utilized my glasses when checking the headset, which helped ensure that I saw crisp and precise visuals. But it also made putting the Rift on and taking it off a bit uncomfortable, and depending upon the size of your frames, they could harm your ability to wear the headset for long periods of time.

The headset links to your PC directly through a prolonged cable television that divides off near completion into HDMI and USB 3.0 adapters. The cable television winds down the left strap before running clear of the headset. It’s a bit more uncomfortable than the over-the-top-of-the-head cable television 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, since the Vive is created to work when you’re walking around a set area.

The Rift by itself usages a single external sensor, a black cylinder that rests on a nine-inch-tall metal desktop stand. The sensor can tilt up and down, and should be positioned where it can maintain a clear view of the headset when in use. A second, similar sensing unit tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the 2 sensing units work in tandem to enhance tracking for all the devices and cover a larger location than the fixed position just one sensing unit enables.

When you’re up and running, a 2,160-by-1,200 OLED panel is utilized to produce a 1,080-by-1,200 picture for each eye, separated by the lenses in the headset (just like 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 motion controllers originally released as an optional addition, however have actually since been contributed to the $598 Rift package. They aren’t the only control options consisted of in the box, though. The Oculus Remote is a little, rounded bar with a large, circular navigation pad and Back, Menu, and Up/Down buttons. The remote helpfully features a lanyard to keep it connected to your wrist when you’re utilizing the Rift. The Rift also consists of 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 video games that utilize conventional, non-motion-based control schemes.

With the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift’s controls reach parity with the HTC Vive’s, which has consisted of motion manages out of package since its launch. We go into more information in our evaluation of the Oculus Touch, however it’s a very comfy, natural-feeling control plan with responsive physical parts like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to motion tracking.Oculus Rift Cover

 

Setup

Setting up the Rift is basic. You have to download the Oculus setup software on your PC, which will then stroll you through the reasonably few steps needed to obtain going. Initially, plug the headset and sensing units into your computer, utilizing an HDMI and three USB 3.0 ports. Second, sync the remote by pulling out the battery tab and pressing a button. Lastly (and additionally), plug the Xbox One receiver into a USB 2.0 port and pair the gamepad with it. Once these steps 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 available on the Oculus Store, however you can go further with fairly little trouble. By setting the Oculus software application to load apps from unknown sources, you can get the headset to work with SteamVR, similar to 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 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 motion controls, it does not rather support the very same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can use it while sitting, standing, or within an area specified by the two sensing units included with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller sized area than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensors do, but this is a little sacrifice; because the HTC Vive is tethered to your linked computer with a cable similar to the Rift, actually walking around with the headset on requires you to be really careful 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, together with Touch controller tracking, work effectively within the area the sensors enable.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the very same resolution and refresh rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is really similar in between the 2. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp picture with smooth motion and head tracking. In screening, the 3D impact of the stereoscopic images actually provided me the sense that the virtual items I was staring at were in fact in front of me. Ultimately, the Rift headset is a display, so smoothness and visual fidelity will depend upon the power of your computer and elegance of the software application. In regards to hardware, though, the Rift produces an engaging virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a couple of 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, launched through SteamVR

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

The format is best for utilizing the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your selected area fighter, and you can easily browse it while staying in location. The 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 aspect of the game is unneeded; the experience is in fact much like playing a dogfighting video game on a normal display, just with the ability to look easily around your cockpit (which does not use any considerable tactical advantage). Nevertheless, the immersiveness the Rift uses in completely engulfing you in this cockpit point of view truly makes the game feel more appealing and tense.

It isn’t a complicated economic MMO like EVE itself, and the style of combat is a bit arcade-like in how ships fly and fire, however it’s pleasurable to fly around in space, shooting at people while they shoot at you. It feels like one of the most complete games made particularly with VR in mind.

Farlands is a xenobiological playground. You play a scientist on an alien planet, searching for brand-new life types. You can scan different animals by looking at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they want. It has an extremely mellow quality, looking for alien animals and enjoying them consume to gradually and gradually unlock new environments to explore. While the principle seems perfect for motion controls, it was basic to have fun with a traditional gamepad, utilizing a reticle in the center of your view to highlight items and walk around.Oculus Rift Cover

Lucky’s Tale is a basic cartoony third-person platformer where you control a cartoon fox as he goes through different levels aiming to rescue his family pet pig. It’s a captivating experience that doesn’t actually require VR at all. Using the Rift in a video game like this lets you look around easily from your above-the-action point of view. Nevertheless, you can’t easily move the camera to obtain a much better view of a provided position relative to the character you’re managing, which proved to be very discouraging when trying to get Lucky to gather lines of coins embeded in particular arcs in 3D space; without the ability to pan around Lucky, I couldn’t quickly align my dives.

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

I likewise 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 appealing as it was with the HTC Vive, revealing my screen as a giant, curved display screen around me. The software application can likewise produce a flat screen, and even show your desktop deem a television mounted on the wall of a home theater. It’s an useful method to make VR beneficial, even without VR-specific software application. If you wish to enjoy a video and it’s not offered on a customer for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can just pack it with Virtual Desktop.

The only downside is the resolution of the screen. Since the Rift reveals a 1,080-by-1,200 photo to each eye, and the virtual screen looks like a drifting object, it’s actually smaller than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That means text can appear blurry and grainy unless you discover a sweet area from which to take a look at the screen, and reading can cause eye strain. That said, viewing video on Hulu and Netflix is very 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, which has actually been progressively 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 adds to the worth, though the HTC Vive’s current cut to $599 puts them on equal footing in price and functions. Both are technically outstanding, powerful VR headsets, but our Editors’ Choice stays 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, but you don’t wish to spend a minimum of $400, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are strong choices. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that use some of the best mobile VR experiences you can currently get for around $100. However, you need a suitable phone to use them.Oculus Rift Cover