Quake Oculus Rift – 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 advancement packages and numerous years of work. Ever since, the outstanding Oculus Touch movement controllers have been added to the Rift as a single $598 bundle, slashing $100 each from the initial price of both the headset and the controllers. The Oculus Rift stays 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 enticing than the now almost identically priced HTC Vive, though the Sony PlayStation VR is our Editors’ Choice for its ease of use as well as lower price.Quake Oculus Rift

Prior to we get started, just a note that you can discover the headset by itself for around $499, though we highly suggest getting it with the Oculus Touch controllers. The controllers are available by themselves for $99.

 

What You Need

Official requirements for the Rift$ 399.00 at Amazon are almost identical to the requirements for the HTC Vive. Oculus recommends 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, 3 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 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 Style

The Oculus Rift headset is easy 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 link 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 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 held in place with hook-and-loop fasteners, and can be quickly adjusted. A set of on-ear headphones sit on the arms, able to separately pivot and turn up and down to properly fit on your ears.

By itself, the headset is fairly light and comfortable. You can wear glasses with the Rift, however it will make the fit a bit tighter. I used my glasses when evaluating the headset, which helped guarantee that I saw crisp and accurate visuals. However it also made putting the Rift on and taking it off a bit uncomfortable, and depending on the size of your frames, they could harm your ability to use the headset for long periods of time.

The headset links to your PC directly through a lengthy cable television that divides off near completion into HDMI and USB 3.0 adapters. The cable television unwind 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 found myself struggling to find a comfy 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, because the Vive is created to work when you’re walking a set area.

The Rift by itself uses a single external sensor, a black cylinder that sits on a nine-inch-tall metal desktop stand. The sensing unit can tilt up and down, and need to be positioned where it can keep a clear view of the headset when in usage. A 2nd, similar sensing unit tracks the Oculus Touch controllers, and the 2 sensors work in tandem to improve tracking for all the gadgets and cover a larger area than the fixed position simply one sensing unit allows.

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 changed utilizing a little lever on the right underside of the visor. More on the visual themselves in a bit.

 

Controls

The Oculus Touch movement controllers initially launched as an optional addition, but have actually considering that been added to the $598 Rift plan. They aren’t the only control options 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 use it, which comes in handy for VR 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 consisted of movement controls from the box given that its launch. We go into more detail in our evaluation of the Oculus Touch, but it’s an extremely comfy, natural-feeling control scheme with responsive physical components like analog sticks and face buttons in addition to motion tracking.Quake Oculus Rift

 

Setup

Establishing the Rift is easy. You have to download the Oculus setup software application on your PC, which will then walk you through the relatively few actions required to get going. Initially, plug the headset and sensing units into your computer, utilizing an HDMI and 3 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. Once these steps are complete, you can slip the headset on and delve into the Oculus software application.

At this moment in the setup procedure, you can play any software offered on the Oculus Store, but you can go further with relatively little hassle. By setting the Oculus software to load apps from unidentified sources, you can get the headset to deal with SteamVR, similar to the HTC Vive uses. The launch of Oculus Touch means you can now use all SteamVR video games that support motion controls with the Rift. They sign up as HTC Vive movement 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 exact same whole-room VR as the Vive. You can use it while sitting, standing, or within a location specified by the two sensing units included 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; given that the HTC Vive is tethered to your linked computer system with a cable much like the Rift, in fact walking with the headset on requires you to be very cautious not to journey over the dragging wire. It’s an immersion-breaker that injures the experience of otherwise complimentary motion in VR. The Rift’s head tracking, together with Touch controller tracking, work effectively within the space the sensing units enable.

 

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 image with smooth movement and head tracking. In testing, the 3D impact of the stereoscopic images actually gave me the sense that the virtual things I was looking at were in fact in front of me. Ultimately, the Rift headset is a display screen, so smoothness and visual fidelity will depend upon the power of your computer system and elegance 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 readily 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, 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 squad versus other, comparable teams. It comes down to the space variation of group deathmatch in any first-person shooter, but it’s an appealing and fairly deep flight video game.

The format is ideal for using the Rift while sitting. The view puts you in the cockpit of your chosen area fighter, and you can freely browse it while remaining in location. The video 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 element of the game is unnecessary; the experience is in fact similar to playing a dogfighting video game on a regular screen, just with the ability to look freely around your cockpit (which doesn’t offer any considerable tactical benefit). However, the immersiveness the Rift provides in entirely engulfing you in this cockpit viewpoint actually makes the game feel more engaging and tense.

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

Farlands is a xenobiological play ground. You play a researcher on an alien world, searching for new life forms. You can scan different animals by looking at them, and enhance your understanding of them by feeding them foods they want. It has a very mellow quality, looking for alien animals and seeing them eat to gradually and steadily unlock brand-new environments to explore. While the principle seems ideal for motion controls, it was basic to play with a conventional gamepad, utilizing a reticle in the center of your view to highlight objects and move.Quake Oculus Rift

Lucky’s Tale is a basic cartoony third-person platformer where you control a cartoon fox as he runs through various levels trying to rescue his family pet pig. It’s a distinctive experience that doesn’t really require VR at all. Using the Rift in a video game like this lets you browse quickly from your above-the-action perspective. However, you cannot readily move the video camera to obtain a much better view of a provided position relative to the character you’re managing, which proved to be extremely aggravating when aiming to get Lucky to collect 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 review of the Oculus Touch explains of what Oculus Rift video games that support Touch resemble, but to summarize the experience, the optional Touch controllers make things like spray-painting walls, intending guns, and using telekinetic powers feel really natural.

 

SteamVR

I ran Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games (ATMMHG) on SteamVR to see if the Rift might handle it as efficiently as the Vive does. While SteamVR isn’t really the Rift’s native platform, it displayed the interface and loaded the video game completely, and I found it was simply as smooth and immersive as it is on the Vive (however, like with Lucky’s Tale, the actual worth of playing stated third-person platformer in VR is still doubtful).

I also tried Virtual Desktop, a program that projects your computer system’s screen in front of you in virtual area. It was simply as functional and intriguing as it was with the HTC Vive, showing my display as a giant, curved display screen around me. The software application can likewise produce a flat screen, and even show your desktop view 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 wish to watch a video and it’s not offered on a customer for the Oculus Rift or on SteamVR, you can simply fill it with Virtual Desktop.

The only drawback is the resolution of the display screen. Given that the Rift shows a 1,080-by-1,200 image to each eye, and the virtual screen appears as a floating item, it’s really smaller than the headset’s per-eye resolution. That indicates text can appear blurry and grainy unless you discover a sweet spot from which to look at the screen, and reading can trigger eye pressure. 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 improve with the advancement of new software application, 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 bundle further contributes to the value, though the HTC Vive’s recent cut to $599 puts them on equivalent footing in price and functions. Both are technically outstanding, powerful VR headsets, but our Editors’ Choice remains the PlayStation VR for its lower cost and ease of usage (though it just works with the PlayStation 4, rather than 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 strong options. They’re smartphone-based VR headsets that use some of the best mobile VR experiences you can presently get for around $100. However, you need a suitable phone to use them.Quake Oculus Rift