Oculus Rift Price History – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail variation of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset finally showed up in 2016, after multiple development kits and several years of work. Since then, the outstanding Oculus Touch movement controllers have actually been contributed to the Rift as a single $598 package, slashing $100 each from the original rate 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 practically identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of use and even lower rate.Oculus Rift Price History

Before we get going, simply 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 offered by themselves 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 suggests 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. 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 sensor. I evaluated 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 downplayed. It’s a plain black rectangular visor with rounded edges and little visual style. The front panel is entirely flat, significant only with an Oculus logo. The sides of the visor are similarly flat, and link to arms that pivot somewhat 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, conference 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 separately pivot and flip up and down to properly fit on your ears.

By itself, the headset is fairly light and comfy. You can wear glasses with the Rift, but it will make the fit a bit tighter. I utilized my glasses when evaluating the headset, which helped make sure that I saw crisp and accurate 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 might injure your ability to use the headset for long periods of time.

The headset connects to your PC straight through a prolonged cable television that divides off near completion into HDMI and USB 3.0 connectors. 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 of the HTC Vive, and I found myself having a hard time to discover a comfortable position where the cable television didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. However it’s not almost as big an issue in usage as the HTC Vive’s cable, considering that the Vive is developed to work when you’re walking 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 need to be positioned where it can maintain a clear view of the headset when in use. A second, similar sensor tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the two sensors work in tandem to improve tracking for all of the gadgets and cover a bigger area than the fixed position just one sensor enables.

Once you’re up and running, a 2,160-by-1,200 OLED panel is utilized to produce a 1,080-by-1,200 photo for each eye, separated by the lenses in the headset (similar to the Vive). The lenses can be changed utilizing a little lever on the right 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 given that been added to the $598 Rift bundle. They aren’t the only control options included in package, though. 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 attached 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 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 consisted of motion controls out of the box since its launch. We enter into more information in our evaluation of the Oculus Touch, but it’s an extremely comfortable, natural-feeling control scheme with responsive physical parts like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to movement tracking.Oculus Rift Price History

 

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 relatively few actions necessary to get going. First, plug the headset and sensors into your computer, using an HDMI and 3 USB 3.0 ports. Second, sync the remote by pulling out the battery tab and pushing a button. Finally (and additionally), plug the Xbox One receiver into a USB 2.0 port and pair the gamepad with it. As soon as these steps are total, you can slip the headset on and delve into the Oculus software application.

At this point in the setup process, you can play any software readily 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, just like the HTC Vive uses. The launch of Oculus Touch means you can now utilize all SteamVR video games that support motion 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 does not rather support the very same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can utilize it while sitting, standing, or within an area defined by the 2 sensors consisted of with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller sized space than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensors do, however this is a small sacrifice; since the HTC Vive is tethered to your connected computer system with a cable much like the Rift, really walking with the headset on needs you to be extremely cautious not to journey over the dragging wire. It’s an immersion-breaker that harms the experience of otherwise free motion in VR. The Rift’s head tracking, along with Touch controller tracking, work very well within the area the sensors allow.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the exact same resolution and refresh rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is extremely similar between the two. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp picture with smooth motion and head tracking. In screening, the 3D impact of the stereoscopic images truly gave me the sense that the virtual items I was staring at were really in front of me. Eventually, the Rift headset is a display, so smoothness and visual fidelity will depend upon the power of your computer and sophistication of the software. In terms of hardware, though, the Rift produces an engaging virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a couple of VR titles available on the Oculus shop, including EVE: Valkyrie, Farlands, and Lucky’s Tale. I likewise attempted Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games and Virtual Desktop, released 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, similar teams. It comes down to the space version of group deathmatch in any first-person shooter, however 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 chosen area fighter, and you can easily browse it while remaining in place. The game itself is managed with the Xbox One gamepad, piloting the ship with the double analog sticks and shooting with the triggers. Essentially, the VR element of the game is unnecessary; the experience is in fact just like playing a dogfighting video game on a regular display, just with the ability to look easily around your cockpit (which does not use any considerable tactical advantage). However, the immersiveness the Rift provides in totally engulfing you in this cockpit perspective actually makes the game feel more engaging and tense.

It isn’t really a complicated 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 space, shooting at people while they contend 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, looking for new life forms. You can scan different creatures by staring at them, and improve your understanding of them by feeding them foods they desire. It has an extremely mellow quality, looking for alien animals and enjoying them eat to gradually and gradually open new environments to explore. While the principle appears ideal for movement controls, it was basic to have fun with a standard gamepad, using a reticle in the center of your view to highlight things and move around.Oculus Rift Price History

Lucky’s Tale is a standard cartoony third-person platformer where you manage an animation fox as he goes through different levels trying to rescue his animal pig. It’s an appealing experience that does not truly need VR at all. Utilizing the Rift in a game like this lets you take a look around easily from your above-the-action point of view. Nevertheless, you can’t readily move the camera to obtain a much better view of an offered position relative to the character you’re managing, which showed to be extremely discouraging when aiming to get Lucky to collect lines of coins embeded in specific arcs in 3D area; without the ability to pan around Lucky, I could not 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 utilizing telekinetic powers feel very natural.

 

SteamVR

I ran Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games (ATMMHG) on SteamVR to see if the Rift might manage it as smoothly as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t really the Rift’s native platform, it showed the user interface and packed the game perfectly, and I found 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 tried Virtual Desktop, a program that projects your computer system’s screen in front of you in virtual space. It was simply as functional and appealing as it was with the HTC Vive, showing my monitor as a giant, curved display around me. The software application can also generate a flat screen, and even 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. If you want to enjoy a video and it’s not readily 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. Considering that the Rift shows a 1,080-by-1,200 photo to each eye, and the virtual screen appears as a drifting object, it’s in fact smaller than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That implies text can appear fuzzy and grainy unless you discover a sweet area from which to look at the screen, and reading can cause eye stress. That said, viewing video on Hulu and Netflix is really 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 shop and SteamVR. The release of the Oculus Touch controllers and the addition of them to the $600 headset bundle further adds to the value, though the HTC Vive’s current cut to $599 puts them on equal footing in cost and features. Both are technically outstanding, powerful VR headsets, but our Editors’ Choice stays the PlayStation VR for its lower rate and ease of use (though it only deals with the PlayStation 4, rather than a PC).

If you wish to try virtual reality, but you don’t wish to invest 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 presently get for around $100. Nevertheless, you require a compatible phone to use them.Oculus Rift Price History