Oculus Rift Killing Floor – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail variation of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset finally arrived in 2016, after several advancement sets and a number of years of work. Ever since, the outstanding Oculus Touch movement controllers have been contributed to the Rift as a single $598 package, slashing $100 each from the initial price 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 enticing than the now almost identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of usage as well as lower price.Oculus Rift Killing Floor

Before we start, simply a note that you can discover the headset by itself for around $499, though we strongly advise getting it with the Oculus Touch controllers. The controllers are readily available 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 advises an Intel i5-4590 or much better CPU, an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or much 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. Among those ports is for the additional sensor of the Oculus Touch controller, and you can set up the Rift itself with just two USB 3.0 ports: one for the headset and one for the external sensor. I checked 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 understated. It’s a plain black rectangular visor with rounded edges and little visual flair. The front panel is completely flat, significant just with an Oculus logo. The sides of the visor are similarly flat, and link 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 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 location with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be quickly adjusted. A set of on-ear earphones rest on the arms, able to individually pivot and flip up and down to effectively fit on your ears.

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

The headset links to your PC directly through a lengthy cable that divides off near completion into HDMI and USB 3.0 adapters. The cable television winds down the left strap prior to 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 find a comfy position where the cable didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. But it’s not almost as huge an issue in use 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 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 2nd, identical sensor tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the 2 sensing units work in tandem to enhance tracking for all of the gadgets and cover a bigger location than the stationary position just one sensor permits.

When you’re up and running, 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 (similar to the Vive). The lenses can be changed utilizing a small lever on the right underside of the visor. More on the visual themselves in a bit.

 

Controls

The Oculus Touch motion controllers originally introduced as an optional addition, but have because been contributed to the $598 Rift bundle. They aren’t the only control options consisted of 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 includes 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 use 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 actually consisted of motion controls from the box because its launch. We enter into more detail in our evaluation of the Oculus Touch, however it’s a really comfy, natural-feeling control plan with responsive physical elements like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to motion tracking.Oculus Rift Killing Floor

 

Setup

Establishing the Rift is basic. You have to download the Oculus setup software on your PC, which will then stroll you through the relatively couple of steps required to obtain going. Initially, plug the headset and sensors into your computer, using an HDMI and three USB 3.0 ports. Second, sync the remote by pulling 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. Once these actions are complete, 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 available on the Oculus Store, but you can go even more with relatively 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 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 motion controls, it does not rather support the exact same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can use 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 space than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensing units do, however this is a little sacrifice; given that the HTC Vive is tethered to your connected computer system with a cable just like the Rift, really walking with the headset on requires 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 exact same resolution and refresh rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is very comparable in between the two. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp image with smooth movement and head tracking. In testing, the 3D result of the stereoscopic images really offered me the sense that the virtual items I was looking at were in fact in front of me. Ultimately, the Rift headset is a display, so smoothness and graphical fidelity will depend on the power of your computer system and elegance of the software application. In terms of hardware, however, the Rift produces a compelling virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a couple of VR titles offered on the Oculus shop, including EVE: Valkyrie, Farlands, and Lucky’s Tale. I likewise tried 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 team against other, similar squads. It boils down to the space variation of group deathmatch in any first-person shooter, but it’s an appealing and fairly deep flight game.

The format is perfect for using the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your picked space fighter, and you can easily 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. Basically, the VR element of the video game is unneeded; the experience is really similar to playing a dogfighting video game on a normal screen, just with the ability to look easily around your cockpit (which does not provide any considerable tactical benefit). Nevertheless, the immersiveness the Rift offers in totally engulfing you in this cockpit point of view really makes the game feel more interesting and tense.

It isn’t really a complicated economic MMO like EVE itself, and the design of battle is a bit arcade-like in how ships fly and fire, but it’s enjoyable to fly around in area, shooting at individuals while they contend you. It seems like among the most complete video games made particularly with VR in mind.

Farlands is a xenobiological playground. You play a researcher on an alien planet, trying to find new life forms. You can scan various creatures by staring at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they want. It has a very mellow quality, searching for alien animals and enjoying them eat to gradually and steadily open brand-new environments to check out. While the principle appears perfect for movement controls, it was simple to play with a standard gamepad, utilizing a reticle in the center of your view to highlight objects and move around.Oculus Rift Killing Floor

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 animal pig. It’s a captivating experience that does not really 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. However, you can’t easily move the electronic camera to obtain a much better view of a given position relative to the character you’re managing, which showed to be very aggravating when aiming 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 easily align my jumps.

Our evaluation of the Oculus Touch goes into detail of exactly what Oculus Rift games that support Touch are like, however to sum up the experience, the optional Touch controllers make things like spray-painting walls, intending weapons, 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 could manage it as efficiently as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t really the Rift’s native platform, it showed the user interface and filled 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 real worth of playing stated third-person platformer in VR is still questionable).

I likewise tried Virtual Desktop, a program that forecasts your computer’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 monitor as a giant, curved screen around me. The software can likewise generate a flat screen, as well as show your desktop view as a television mounted on the wall of a house theater. It’s a handy method to make VR helpful, even without VR-specific software application. If you wish to view a video and it’s not 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 screen. Given that the Rift shows a 1,080-by-1,200 picture to each eye, and the virtual screen appears as a drifting item, it’s in fact smaller than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That suggests text can appear blurry and rough unless you find a sweet spot from which to take a look at the screen, and reading can cause eye strain. That stated, 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 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 adds to the value, though the HTC Vive’s recent cut to $599 puts them on equivalent footing in price and features. Both are technically impressive, powerful VR headsets, but our Editors’ Choice stays the PlayStation VR for its lower cost and ease of use (though it only deals with the PlayStation 4, instead of a PC).

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