Oculus Rift Video Game – 2017 Review

photo of Oculus Rift VR headset

The retail variation of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset finally arrived in 2016, after multiple development packages and several years of work. Ever since, the outstanding Oculus Touch movement controllers have actually been contributed to the Rift as a single $598 package, slashing $100 each from the original price of both the headset and the controllers. The Oculus Rift stays practical 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 use and even lower price.Oculus Rift Video Game

Prior to we get started, just a note that you can discover the headset on its own for around $499, though we highly advise getting it with the Oculus Touch controllers. The controllers are readily available by themselves 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 advises 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, 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 simply 2 USB 3.0 ports: one for the headset and one for the external sensor. I evaluated 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 Style

The Oculus Rift headset is simple and downplayed. 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 likewise flat, and connect to arms that pivot slightly up and down and connect 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 third 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 location with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be easily adjusted. A set of on-ear headphones sit on the arms, able to independently pivot and turn up and down to appropriately fit on your ears.

On its own, the headset is fairly light and comfy. You can wear glasses with the Rift, but it will make the fit a bit tighter. I used my glasses when checking the headset, which helped make sure that I saw crisp and accurate 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 hurt your ability to use the headset for extended periods of time.

The headset links to your PC straight through a prolonged cable that splits off near completion into HDMI and USB 3.0 ports. The cable television winds down the left strap before running clear of the headset. It’s a little bit more awkward than the over-the-top-of-the-head cable television of the HTC Vive, and I discovered myself struggling to discover 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, considering that the Vive is designed to work when you’re walking around a set location.

The Rift on its own usages 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 placed where it can preserve a clear view of the headset when in usage. A second, identical sensor tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the two sensors operate in tandem to improve tracking for all of the gadgets and cover a larger area than the fixed position just one sensing unit permits.

When you’re up and running, a 2,160-by-1,200 OLED panel is used to produce a 1,080-by-1,200 picture for each eye, separated by the lenses in the headset (much like the Vive). The lenses can be adjusted using a little lever on the right underside of the visor. More on the visual themselves in a bit.

 

Controls

The Oculus Touch motion controllers initially launched as an optional addition, however have given that been added to the $598 Rift plan. They aren’t the only control options 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 consists of an Xbox One wireless controller and a Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows with which you can utilize it, which comes in handy for VR games that use 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 included movement controls out of package given that its launch. We go into more information in our review of the Oculus Touch, however it’s an extremely comfy, natural-feeling control plan with responsive physical components like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to motion tracking.Oculus Rift Video Game

 

Setup

Setting up the Rift is simple. You need to download the Oculus setup software on your PC, which will then stroll you through the fairly few steps required to get going. First, plug the headset and sensors into your computer system, using an HDMI and 3 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 pair the gamepad with it. Once these steps are complete, you can slip the headset on and delve into the Oculus software.

At this moment in the setup process, you can play any software application offered on the Oculus Store, however you can go further with relatively little trouble. By setting the Oculus software application to load apps from unidentified sources, you can get the headset to deal with SteamVR, just like the HTC Vive uses. The launch of Oculus Touch means you can now use all SteamVR 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 games.

While the Rift now has motion controls, it does not quite 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 sensing units consisted of with the Rift and Touch. It supports a smaller area than the Vive’s wall-mountable sensors do, however this is a little sacrifice; because the HTC Vive is connected to your connected computer system with a cable television just like the Rift, actually walking around with the headset on needs you to be very cautious not to journey over the dragging wire. It’s an immersion-breaker that hurts the experience of otherwise totally free motion in VR. The Rift’s head tracking, along with Touch controller tracking, work extremely well within the area the sensing units allow.

 

The Oculus Experience

The Rift shares the very same resolution and revitalize rate as the Vive, and as such the experience is very comparable between the 2. Like the Vive, the Rift produces a crisp picture with smooth movement and head tracking. In screening, the 3D result of the stereoscopic images truly gave me the sense that the virtual items I was staring at were really in front of me. Ultimately, the Rift headset is a screen, so smoothness and graphical fidelity will depend upon the power of your computer system and elegance of the software. In regards to hardware, though, the Rift produces an engaging virtual experience for the eyes.

I played a couple of VR titles readily 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 area dogfighting game sent out in the EVE universe. You play a cloned pilot who runs sorties with your squad versus other, comparable teams. It comes down to the space version of team deathmatch in any first-person shooter, but it’s an engaging and relatively deep flight video game.

The format is perfect for utilizing the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your chosen space fighter, and you can easily take a look around it while staying in location. The video game itself is controlled 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 unnecessary; the experience is in fact similar to playing a dogfighting video game on a typical screen, simply with the capability to look easily around your cockpit (which doesn’t use any significant tactical benefit). Nevertheless, the immersiveness the Rift provides in completely engulfing you in this cockpit perspective truly makes the video game feel more engaging 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 contend you. It feels like one of the most complete video games made specifically with VR in mind.

Farlands is a xenobiological playground. You play a scientist on an alien world, looking for new life forms. You can scan different creatures by staring at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they desire. It has an extremely mellow quality, searching for alien animals and watching them eat to gradually and steadily unlock brand-new environments to explore. While the concept appears perfect for motion controls, it was simple to have fun with a traditional gamepad, using a reticle in the center of your view to highlight items and move around.Oculus Rift Video Game

Lucky’s Tale is a basic cartoony third-person platformer where you control a cartoon fox as he goes through various levels aiming to rescue his animal pig. It’s a captivating experience that doesn’t actually need VR at all. Utilizing the Rift in a video game like this lets you look around quickly from your above-the-action point of view. Nevertheless, you cannot easily move the cam to get a much better view of an offered position relative to the character you’re managing, which showed to be extremely aggravating when attempting to get Lucky to gather lines of coins set in particular arcs in 3D area; without the ability to pan around Lucky, I couldn’t quickly align my jumps.

Our review of the Oculus Touch explains of exactly what Oculus Rift video games that support Touch are like, however to sum up the experience, the optional Touch controllers make things like spray-painting walls, aiming guns, and utilizing telekinetic powers feel really 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 interface and loaded the game perfectly, and I found it was simply as smooth and immersive as it is on the Vive (though, like with Lucky’s Tale, the actual worth of playing stated third-person platformer in VR is still questionable).

I also tried Virtual Desktop, a program that forecasts your computer system’s screen in front of you in virtual space. It was simply as practical and interesting as it was with the HTC Vive, revealing my screen as a giant, curved display around me. The software can also create a flat screen, as well as show your desktop consider as a television installed on the wall of a home theater. It’s a handy 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 client for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can simply pack it with Virtual Desktop.

The only downside is the resolution of the screen. Given that the Rift reveals a 1,080-by-1,200 photo to each eye, and the virtual screen looks like a floating item, it’s really smaller than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That indicates text can appear blurred and rough unless you discover a sweet spot 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 conveniently produces an immersive, crisp virtual reality experience that will continue to improve with the development of new software, which has actually 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 bundle further adds to the value, though the HTC Vive’s current cut to $599 puts them on equal footing in cost and functions. Both are technically outstanding, powerful VR headsets, however our Editors’ Choice remains the PlayStation VR for its lower price and ease of usage (though it just works with the PlayStation 4, instead of a PC).

If you wish to try virtual reality, however you don’t want to spend at least $400, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are solid options. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that use some of the very best mobile VR experiences you can currently get for around $100. Nevertheless, you need a suitable phone to use them.Oculus Rift Video Game