Oculus Rift Mods – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset lastly arrived in 2016, after several development kits 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 bundle, slashing $100 each from the original cost of both the headset and the controllers. The Oculus Rift stays functional 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 almost 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 Mods

Prior to we get going, simply a note that you can discover the headset on its own for around $499, though we highly recommend 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 almost similar to the requirements for the HTC Vive. Oculus suggests an Intel i5-4590 or much 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, three USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port. Among those ports is for the extra sensor 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 sensing unit. I tested 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 rectangular visor with rounded edges and little visual flair. The front panel is entirely flat, marked just with an Oculus logo design. The sides of the visor are similarly flat, and link to arms that pivot a little 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, meeting at a padded 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 headphones sit on the arms, able to individually pivot and flip up and down to effectively fit on your ears.

On its own, the headset is relatively light and comfortable. 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 assisted guarantee that I saw crisp and precise visuals. However it also made putting the Rift on and taking it off a bit uncomfortable, and depending upon the size of your frames, they could hurt your capability to use the headset for long periods of time.

The headset links to your PC directly through a prolonged cable that divides off near completion into HDMI and USB 3.0 ports. The cable unwind 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 discover a comfortable position where the cable didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. But it’s not nearly as huge an issue in use as the HTC Vive’s cable television, given that the Vive is designed to work when you’re walking around a set location.

The Rift by itself uses a single external sensor, a black cylinder that rests on a nine-inch-tall metal desktop stand. The sensing unit 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 sensing unit tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the two sensors work in tandem to enhance tracking for all of the gadgets and cover a larger location than the stationary position just one sensor enables.

As soon as you’re working, 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 (just like the Vive). The lenses can be adjusted using 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 launched as an optional addition, however have since been contributed to the $598 Rift package. They aren’t the only control choices included 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 connected to your wrist when you’re using the Rift. The Rift also consists of an Xbox One cordless controller and a Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows with which you can utilize it, which comes in handy for VR games that use conventional, non-motion-based control schemes.

With the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift’s controls reach parity with the HTC Vive’s, which has included movement manages from the box considering that its launch. We enter into more information in our review of the Oculus Touch, however it’s an extremely comfy, natural-feeling control scheme with responsive physical parts like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to motion tracking.Oculus Rift Mods

 

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 few actions necessary to get going. First, 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 pressing 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 delve into the Oculus software application.

At this point in the setup procedure, you can play any software application available on the Oculus Store, however you can go further with fairly little trouble. By setting the Oculus software application to load apps from unidentified sources, you can get the headset to work with SteamVR, just like the HTC Vive utilizes. The launch of Oculus Touch means you can now use all SteamVR video games that support movement 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 same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can utilize it while sitting, standing, or within a location defined by the 2 sensing units included with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller area than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensors do, however this is a little sacrifice; considering that the HTC Vive is connected to your linked computer system with a cable similar to the Rift, in fact walking with the headset on needs you to be extremely mindful 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, in addition to Touch controller tracking, work extremely well within the space the sensors 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 between the two. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp photo with smooth motion and head tracking. In testing, the 3D effect of the stereoscopic images really gave me the sense that the virtual items I was looking at were actually in front of me. Ultimately, the Rift headset is a screen, so smoothness and graphical fidelity will depend on the power of your computer and sophistication of the software application. In regards to hardware, however, the Rift produces a compelling virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a couple of VR titles available on the Oculus store, including EVE: Valkyrie, Farlands, and Lucky’s Tale. I likewise 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 video game sent in the EVE universe. You play a cloned pilot who runs sorties with your team against other, similar teams. It boils down to the space version of team deathmatch in any first-person shooter, however it’s an appealing and relatively deep flight game.

The format is best for using 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 remaining 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. Essentially, the VR element of the video game is unneeded; the experience is really just like playing a dogfighting game on a typical screen, just with the capability to look easily around your cockpit (which doesn’t offer any considerable tactical advantage). Nevertheless, the immersiveness the Rift provides in totally engulfing you in this cockpit viewpoint truly makes the game feel more interesting and tense.

It isn’t really a complicated financial MMO like EVE itself, and the style of combat is a bit arcade-like in how ships fly and fire, however it’s enjoyable to fly around in space, shooting at individuals while they shoot at you. It seems like among the most complete video 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 types. You can scan different creatures by staring at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they desire. It has a really mellow quality, looking for alien animals and watching them consume to gradually and progressively unlock brand-new environments to check out. While the idea seems ideal for movement controls, it was basic to play with a standard gamepad, utilizing a reticle in the center of your view to highlight items and walk around.Oculus Rift Mods

Lucky’s Tale is a standard cartoony third-person platformer where you manage an animation fox as he goes through different levels aiming to rescue his family pet pig. It’s an attractive experience that doesn’t actually require VR at all. Using the Rift in a game like this lets you look around easily from your above-the-action perspective. However, you cannot readily move the cam to obtain a much better view of a given position relative to the character you’re managing, which showed to be really discouraging when attempting 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 dives.

Our evaluation of the Oculus Touch goes into detail of what Oculus Rift games that support Touch resemble, but to sum up 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 might manage it as efficiently as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t the Rift’s native platform, it displayed the user interface and filled the game completely, and I discovered it was just as smooth and immersive as it is on the Vive (though, like with Lucky’s Tale, the actual worth of playing said third-person platformer in VR is still questionable).

I likewise attempted Virtual Desktop, a program that predicts your computer system’s screen in front of you in virtual space. It was simply as functional and intriguing as it was with the HTC Vive, showing my screen as a giant, curved display screen around me. The software application can also produce a flat screen, as well as reveal your desktop consider as a television installed on the wall of a house theater. It’s a helpful way to make VR beneficial, even without VR-specific software application. If you wish to enjoy a video and it’s not readily available on a customer for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can just load it with Virtual Desktop.

The only disadvantage is the resolution of the display. Because the Rift reveals a 1,080-by-1,200 picture to each eye, and the virtual screen appears as a drifting item, it’s really smaller sized than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That suggests text can appear blurry and grainy unless you find a sweet area from which to take a look at the screen, and reading can trigger eye pressure. That stated, enjoying video on Hulu and Netflix is very cool.

 

Final Thoughts

The Oculus Rift conveniently produces an immersive, crisp virtual reality experience that will continue to improve with the advancement of brand-new software, which has actually been steadily 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 package even more 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 impressive, powerful VR headsets, however our Editors’ Choice stays the PlayStation VR for its lower rate and ease of usage (though it only deals with the PlayStation 4, rather than a PC).

If you want to attempt virtual reality, but you do not want to spend at least $400, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are strong choices. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that offer a few of the very best mobile VR experiences you can presently get for around $100. Nevertheless, you require a compatible phone to use them.Oculus Rift Mods