Oculus Rift System Requirements – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset lastly got here in 2016, after several development packages and a number of years of work. Ever since, the excellent Oculus Touch motion controllers have been added 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 practical and immersive, if you have a computer system that can handle it. With the addition of the Oculus Touch controllers, the Rift is more appealing than the now nearly identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of use as well as lower cost.Oculus Rift System Requirements

Prior to we get going, just a note that you can find the headset on its own for around $499, though we strongly advise 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 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 Design

The Oculus Rift headset is basic and downplayed. It’s a plain black rectangular visor with rounded edges and little visual style. 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 third 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 held in place with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be quickly adjusted. A set of on-ear earphones rest on the arms, able to independently pivot and turn 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 checking the headset, which assisted ensure that I saw crisp and precise visuals. But it likewise made putting the Rift on and taking it off a bit uncomfortable, and depending on the size of your frames, they could injure your capability to use the headset for long periods of time.

The headset links to your PC directly through a lengthy cable that divides off near the end into HDMI and USB 3.0 adapters. The cable unwind the left strap before 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 discovered myself having a hard time to find a comfortable position where the cable didn’t sit distractingly on my shoulder. However it’s not nearly as huge an issue in use as the HTC Vive’s cable, because the Vive is developed to work when you’re walking a set area.

The Rift on its own uses a single external sensing unit, a black cylinder that rests on a nine-inch-tall metal desktop stand. The sensor can tilt up and down, and should be placed where it can keep a clear view of the headset when in usage. A second, similar sensor tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the two sensing units work in tandem to improve tracking for all the devices and cover a bigger area than the fixed position simply one sensing unit enables.

When you’re up and running, 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 (much 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 introduced as an optional addition, however have actually because been added to the $598 Rift plan. They aren’t the only control choices consisted of in the box, however. The Oculus Remote is a little, rounded bar with a large, 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 also includes 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 video 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 actually consisted of movement manages out of the box considering that its launch. We go into more information in our review of the Oculus Touch, but it’s a very comfy, natural-feeling control plan with responsive physical components like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to movement tracking.Oculus Rift System Requirements

 

Setup

Establishing the Rift is easy. You need to download the Oculus setup software on your PC, which will then stroll you through the fairly couple of steps required to obtain going. First, plug the headset and sensing units into your computer system, using an HDMI and three USB 3.0 ports. Second, sync the remote by taking out the battery tab and pushing a button. Finally (and optionally), plug the Xbox One receiver into a USB 2.0 port and set the gamepad with it. When these steps are complete, you can slip the headset on and delve into the Oculus software application.

At this moment in the setup process, 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 deal with SteamVR, similar to the HTC Vive utilizes. The launch of Oculus Touch means you can now utilize 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 games.

While the Rift now has motion controls, it doesn’t 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 included with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller sized space than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensing units do, however this is a small sacrifice; considering that the HTC Vive is tethered to your connected computer system with a cable just like the Rift, really walking with the headset on needs you to be really cautious 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 extremely well within the space the sensors enable.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the same resolution and revitalize 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 motion and head tracking. In screening, the 3D effect of the stereoscopic images truly provided me the sense that the virtual things I was staring at were in fact in front of me. Eventually, the Rift headset is a screen, so smoothness and graphical fidelity will depend upon the power of your computer and elegance of the software. In terms of hardware, though, the Rift produces an engaging virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a few VR titles available on the Oculus shop, including EVE: Valkyrie, Farlands, and Lucky’s Tale. I also 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 area dogfighting game sent 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, however it’s an interesting and fairly deep flight game.

The format is ideal for utilizing the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your picked area fighter, and you can freely 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 shooting with the triggers. Basically, the VR aspect of the game is unnecessary; the experience is actually just like playing a dogfighting video game on a regular monitor, just with the capability to look freely around your cockpit (which does not offer any significant tactical benefit). However, the immersiveness the Rift uses in completely engulfing you in this cockpit viewpoint actually makes the game feel more appealing and tense.

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

Farlands is a xenobiological playground. You play a researcher on an alien planet, trying to find brand-new life types. You can scan various animals by staring at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they want. It has an extremely mellow quality, searching for alien animals and watching them eat to gradually and steadily open new environments to explore. While the principle appears ideal for motion controls, it was basic to play with a traditional gamepad, using a reticle in the center of your view to highlight items and move around.Oculus Rift System Requirements

Lucky’s Tale is a standard cartoony third-person platformer where you manage an animation fox as he runs through various levels aiming to save his animal pig. It’s an appealing experience that doesn’t actually require VR at all. Utilizing the Rift in a video game like this lets you browse easily from your above-the-action viewpoint. Nevertheless, you cannot readily move the video camera to obtain a better view of a provided position relative to the character you’re managing, which proved to be very frustrating when trying to get Lucky to gather lines of coins set in particular arcs in 3D area; without the ability to pan around Lucky, I could not easily align my jumps.

Our evaluation of the Oculus Touch explains 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, aiming 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 handle it as smoothly as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t really the Rift’s native platform, it showed the user interface and loaded the video game completely, and I found it was just as smooth and immersive as it is on the Vive (however, like with Lucky’s Tale, the real value of playing stated third-person platformer in VR is still doubtful).

I likewise tried Virtual Desktop, a program that predicts your computer system’s screen in front of you in virtual area. It was simply as functional and appealing as it was with the HTC Vive, showing my monitor as a giant, curved display screen around me. The software can also produce a flat screen, and even show your desktop consider as a tv mounted on the wall of a house theater. It’s a handy way to make VR useful, even without VR-specific software application. If you want to view a video and it’s not available on a customer for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can just load it with Virtual Desktop.

The only downside is the resolution of the display. Considering that the Rift shows a 1,080-by-1,200 image to each eye, and the virtual screen looks like a floating item, it’s in fact smaller than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That means text can appear blurry and rough unless you find a sweet area from which to take a look at the screen, and reading can cause eye stress. That said, watching 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 enhance with the advancement of brand-new software application, which has been gradually 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 recent cut to $599 puts them on equal footing in cost and features. Both are technically impressive, powerful VR headsets, but our Editors’ Choice remains the PlayStation VR for its lower rate and ease of usage (though it only deals with the PlayStation 4, instead of a PC).

If you wish to try virtual reality, however you don’t want to invest at least $400, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are strong choices. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that provide a few of the best mobile VR experiences you can currently get for around $100. Nevertheless, you require a compatible phone to use them.Oculus Rift System Requirements