Oculus Rift Original Price – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset finally got here in 2016, after several advancement kits and numerous years of work. Ever since, the exceptional Oculus Touch motion 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 remains functional 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 nearly identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of use and even lower cost.Oculus Rift Original Price

Before we start, just a note that you can discover the headset on its own for around $499, though we strongly suggest getting it with the Oculus Touch controllers. The controllers are offered on their own for $99.

 

What You Need

Main 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. 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 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 Style

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 totally flat, significant only with an Oculus logo. The sides of the visor are likewise flat, and link to arms that pivot somewhat up and down and attach to the three-strap harness for protecting 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 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 earphones rest on the arms, able to separately pivot and turn up and down to effectively fit on your ears.

By itself, the headset is fairly light and comfy. You can use glasses with the Rift, but it will make the fit a bit tighter. I utilized my glasses when testing the headset, which helped make sure that I saw crisp and precise visuals. However it also made putting the Rift on and taking it off a bit awkward, and depending upon the size of your frames, they could injure your ability to use the headset for long periods of time.

The headset connects to your PC straight through a lengthy cable that splits off near the end into HDMI and USB 3.0 connectors. The cable television 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 found myself struggling to find a comfortable position where the cable didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. But it’s not almost as big a concern in use as the HTC Vive’s cable television, given that the Vive is created to work when you’re walking a set area.

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 must be positioned where it can maintain a clear view of the headset when in use. A 2nd, identical sensing unit tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the two sensing units operate in tandem to improve tracking for all of the devices and cover a bigger location than the stationary position simply one sensing unit allows.

When you’re operating, a 2,160-by-1,200 OLED panel is used to produce a 1,080-by-1,200 photo 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 movement controllers originally launched as an optional addition, but have considering that been contributed to the $598 Rift bundle. They aren’t the only control choices consisted of in package, however. 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 using the Rift. The Rift likewise consists of an Xbox One cordless 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 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 manages from package considering that its launch. We go into more information in our review of the Oculus Touch, however it’s a very comfy, natural-feeling control scheme with responsive physical parts like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to motion tracking.Oculus Rift Original Price

 

Setup

Setting up the Rift is simple. You need to download the Oculus setup software on your PC, which will then walk you through the fairly few 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 taking out the battery tab and pressing a button. Finally (and optionally), plug the Xbox One receiver into a USB 2.0 port and set the gamepad with it. When these actions are total, you can slip the headset on and delve into the Oculus software.

At this point in the setup procedure, you can play any software application readily available on the Oculus Store, however you can go further with relatively little inconvenience. By setting the Oculus software 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 use all SteamVR video games that support movement controls with the Rift. They register as HTC Vive motion controllers when you set them up for Steam, and work perfectly with Vive-compatible video games.

While the Rift now has movement controls, it doesn’t quite support the exact same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can use it while sitting, standing, or within an area defined by the 2 sensing units included with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller sized area than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensing units do, however this is a little sacrifice; because the HTC Vive is connected to your linked computer system with a cable much like the Rift, really walking around with the headset on requires you to be extremely cautious not to journey over the dragging wire. It’s an immersion-breaker that hurts the experience of otherwise free motion in VR. The Rift’s head tracking, along with Touch controller tracking, work effectively within the space the sensors allow.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the exact same resolution and revitalize rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is extremely similar in between the 2. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp picture with smooth movement and head tracking. In screening, the 3D effect of the stereoscopic images actually gave me the sense that the virtual objects I was looking at were actually in front of me. Ultimately, the Rift headset is a display screen, so smoothness and visual fidelity will depend on the power of your computer system and elegance of the software. In terms of hardware, however, the Rift produces an engaging virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a few VR titles readily available 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 space dogfighting game sent out in the EVE universe. You play a cloned pilot who runs sorties with your squad against other, similar squads. It comes down to the space variation of group deathmatch in any first-person shooter, however it’s an engaging and fairly deep flight game.

The format is best for using the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your picked space fighter, and you can easily take a look around it while staying in place. The game itself is managed with the Xbox One gamepad, piloting the ship with the dual analog sticks and firing with the triggers. Fundamentally, the VR aspect of the game is unneeded; the experience is in fact much like playing a dogfighting video game on a normal display, simply with the ability to look freely around your cockpit (which doesn’t provide any substantial tactical advantage). However, the immersiveness the Rift provides in completely engulfing you in this cockpit viewpoint truly makes the video game feel more interesting and tense.

It isn’t really a complicated economic MMO like EVE itself, and the design of fight is a bit arcade-like in how ships fly and fire, however it’s pleasurable to fly around in space, shooting at individuals while they contend you. It seems like one of the most complete games made specifically with VR in mind.

Farlands is a xenobiological play ground. You play a scientist on an alien world, trying to find new life types. You can scan various animals by looking at them, and improve your understanding of them by feeding them foods they want. It has a really mellow quality, searching for alien animals and seeing them eat to gradually and steadily unlock new environments to explore. While the idea appears ideal for motion controls, it was basic to play with a conventional gamepad, using a reticle in the center of your view to highlight objects and move around.Oculus Rift Original Price

Lucky’s Tale is a standard cartoony third-person platformer where you control an animation fox as he runs through different levels aiming to rescue his animal pig. It’s an attractive experience that does not truly need VR at all. Using the Rift in a game like this lets you browse quickly from your above-the-action perspective. 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 showed to be very frustrating when attempting to get Lucky to gather lines of coins embeded in specific arcs in 3D area; without the ability to pan around Lucky, I couldn’t easily align my dives.

Our review of the Oculus Touch explains of what Oculus Rift games that support Touch resemble, however to sum up the experience, the optional Touch controllers make things like spray-painting walls, intending weapons, and using telekinetic powers feel very 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 the Rift’s native platform, it displayed the interface and packed 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 actual worth of playing said third-person platformer in VR is still doubtful).

I also tried Virtual Desktop, a program that forecasts 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 monitor as a giant, curved display around me. The software can also generate a flat screen, and even reveal your desktop view as 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 available on a customer for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can just pack it with Virtual Desktop.

The only drawback is the resolution of the screen. Considering that the Rift reveals a 1,080-by-1,200 image to each eye, and the virtual screen looks like a drifting object, it’s actually smaller sized 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 trigger eye stress. That said, watching 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 enhance 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 adds to the worth, though the HTC Vive’s current cut to $599 puts them on equivalent footing in price and functions. Both are technically excellent, powerful VR headsets, however our Editors’ Choice remains the PlayStation VR for its lower price and ease of usage (though it just deals with the PlayStation 4, instead of a PC).

If you wish to attempt virtual reality, however 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 a few of the very best mobile VR experiences you can currently get for around $100. Nevertheless, you require a compatible phone to use them.Oculus Rift Original Price