Oculus Rift Foam – 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 numerous advancement packages and several years of work. Since then, the excellent Oculus Touch movement controllers have actually been added to the Rift as a single $598 bundle, slashing $100 each from the original price 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 attractive than the now nearly 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 Foam

Prior to we begin, 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 available by themselves for $99.

 

What You Need

Official requirements for the Rift$ 399.00 at Amazon are nearly similar to the requirements for the HTC Vive. Oculus recommends an Intel i5-4590 or much 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. One of those ports is for the extra sensing unit 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 sensing unit. I tested 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 easy and downplayed. It’s a plain black rectangular visor with rounded edges and little visual style. The front panel is completely flat, marked just with an Oculus logo. 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 protecting 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 padded triangle in the back. The straps are kept in location with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be quickly changed. 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.

On its own, the headset is fairly light and comfy. You can use glasses with the Rift, however it will make the fit a bit tighter. I used my glasses when evaluating the headset, which helped guarantee that I saw crisp and precise visuals. However it also made putting the Rift on and taking it off a bit awkward, and depending on the size of your frames, they could injure your ability to wear the headset for long periods of time.

The headset connects to your PC directly through a lengthy cable that divides off near the end into HDMI and USB 3.0 connectors. The cable 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 television of the HTC Vive, and I discovered myself having a hard time to discover a comfy position where the cable didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. However it’s not almost as big a concern in use 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 usages 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 need to be put where it can preserve a clear view of the headset when in use. A 2nd, identical sensor tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the two sensors work in tandem to enhance tracking for all of the devices and cover a larger location than the stationary position just one sensing unit permits.

Once you’re operating, 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 changed utilizing a little lever on the best underside of the visor. More on the visual themselves in a bit.

 

Controls

The Oculus Touch movement controllers originally released as an optional addition, but have considering that been added to the $598 Rift plan. They aren’t the only control alternatives consisted of in package, however. The Oculus Remote is a small, 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 also consists of an Xbox One wireless controller and a Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows with which you can use it, which is 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 motion manages out of the box given that its launch. We enter into more information in our evaluation of the Oculus Touch, however it’s a very comfortable, natural-feeling control scheme with responsive physical components like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to motion tracking.Oculus Rift Foam

 

Setup

Setting up the Rift is easy. You have to download the Oculus setup software on your PC, which will then walk you through the relatively couple of steps needed to get going. First, plug the headset and sensing units into your computer, using an HDMI and three USB 3.0 ports. Second, sync the remote by taking out the battery tab and pushing a button. Lastly (and additionally), plug the Xbox One receiver into a USB 2.0 port and pair the gamepad with it. Once these actions are total, 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, but you can go even more with reasonably 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 utilizes. 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 flawlessly with Vive-compatible video games.

While the Rift now has movement 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 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, however this is a small sacrifice; because the HTC Vive is connected to your connected computer system with a cable similar to the Rift, actually walking with the headset on needs you to be extremely careful not to trip over the dragging wire. It’s an immersion-breaker that injures the experience of otherwise complimentary movement in VR. The Rift’s head tracking, in addition to Touch controller tracking, work effectively within the space 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 extremely comparable in between the 2. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp image with smooth motion and head tracking. In testing, the 3D effect of the stereoscopic images really gave me the sense that the virtual things I was looking at were in fact in front of me. Eventually, the Rift headset is a display, so smoothness and visual fidelity will depend upon the power of your computer system 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, including EVE: Valkyrie, Farlands, and Lucky’s Tale. I likewise attempted 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 out in the EVE universe. You play a cloned pilot who runs sorties with your team against other, comparable squads. It comes down to the space version of group deathmatch in any first-person shooter, however it’s an interesting and fairly deep flight game.

The format is perfect for utilizing the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your chosen area fighter, and you can freely browse it while remaining in place. The game itself is controlled with the Xbox One gamepad, piloting the ship with the dual analog sticks and shooting with the triggers. Essentially, the VR element of the video game is unnecessary; the experience is actually similar to playing a dogfighting video game on a normal screen, simply with the ability to look easily around your cockpit (which does not provide any significant tactical benefit). However, the immersiveness the Rift offers in entirely engulfing you in this cockpit point of view actually makes the video game feel more interesting and tense.

It isn’t an intricate financial MMO like EVE itself, and the style of battle is a bit arcade-like in how ships fly and fire, but it’s enjoyable to fly around in area, shooting at people while they contend you. It seems like one of the most total video games made specifically with VR in mind.

Farlands is a xenobiological play ground. You play a scientist on an alien world, trying to find brand-new life forms. You can scan different animals by staring 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 eat to gradually and steadily unlock brand-new environments to check out. While the principle appears perfect for motion controls, it was easy to have fun with a conventional gamepad, utilizing a reticle in the center of your view to highlight items and walk around.Oculus Rift Foam

Lucky’s Tale is a basic cartoony third-person platformer where you manage a cartoon fox as he goes through various levels trying to rescue his family pet pig. It’s a captivating experience that does not actually require VR at all. Using the Rift in a video game like this lets you take a look around quickly from your above-the-action point of view. Nevertheless, you can’t readily move the camera to obtain a better view of a given position relative to the character you’re controlling, which showed to be very discouraging when aiming to get Lucky to collect lines of coins set in specific arcs in 3D area; without the capability to pan around Lucky, I couldn’t easily align my jumps.

Our evaluation of the Oculus Touch explains of what Oculus Rift games that support Touch resemble, however to summarize 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 might manage it as efficiently as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t the Rift’s native platform, it showed the interface and loaded the video game perfectly, and I discovered it was just as smooth and immersive as it is on the Vive (however, like with Lucky’s Tale, the real value of playing said third-person platformer in VR is still doubtful).

I also attempted Virtual Desktop, a program that projects your computer system’s screen in front of you in virtual area. It was simply as functional and interesting as it was with the HTC Vive, revealing my monitor as a giant, curved display screen around me. The software can likewise produce a flat screen, as well as reveal 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 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 screen. Since the Rift reveals a 1,080-by-1,200 image to each eye, and the virtual screen looks like a floating object, it’s really smaller than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That indicates text can appear blurry and rough unless you discover a sweet spot from which to take a look at the screen, and reading can cause eye strain. That stated, watching video on Hulu and Netflix is really cool.

 

Final Thoughts

The Oculus Rift comfortably produces an immersive, crisp virtual reality experience that will continue to improve with the advancement of brand-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 current cut to $599 puts them on equal footing in rate 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 deals with the PlayStation 4, instead of a PC).

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