The Truth About Oculus Rift
The Rift goes through its debut launch this week, Kickstarter funding members and anyone who got in an early bird order should have already received their order or will receive over the next couple of days. It’s already on backorder, and a lot of people will have to wait until June or July. The Rift headset costs just shy of six hundred dollars, which puts it in between its competitor’s price wise: More than the $500 PlayStation VR bundle that will eventually launch this autumn and less than the $800 HTC Vive, which will debut in a couple of weeks.
With that ticket you get an all in one box, the headset, a head-tracking sensor, a small remote control and a wireless Xbox One controller, and some free bundled software demos as well as the 3D platforming game that seems to tag along, Lucky’s Tale. The Rift will work with a pair of the interesting-sounding Oculus Touch controllers, ironically those aren’t out yet and will, without a doubt cost more on top of the headset’s price. By the time everything is said and done, I assume the complete Rift and the Vive (which already comes with special handheld VR controllers) will cost close to the same amount. I still won’t be jumping for joy for any of those price tickets, but of course it’s affordable to certain people.
The Rift comes in a awesome, sexy looking box. It’s the type of box you’d expect to see a $600 piece of electronic equipment come out of. If you want to see it in the box, I am sure there are probably already some unboxing videos on YouTube.
Let’s get this topic out of the way right now! The Oculus Rift is awesome, there is no doubt about it. At its best, it’s damn awesome! It mostly comes down to something the people at the Oculus headquarters call “presence,” which sounds like a distant buzzword but turns out to be quite a useful concept. Presence comes from some combination of optical fidelity, a top grade screen refresh rate, responsive head tracking, and a clean cut 3D effect. It’s something that I will work very hard to try to express with words, gifs and movie clips over the next few days, but in the end you need to see it for yourself.
The Rift does have plenty of issues as does anything that debuts, it may well be the precursor of a VR revolution, but it will not single-handedly take over the hearts and minds of its skeptics, which are plentiful. It requires a substantial physical and financial buy-in, and the majority of the individuals who will get the most out of it are probably the people who already preordered it and have the proper funding to do so.
But, if you’re already psyched about VR, you can safely get pretty psyched about this.
Virtual reality is supposed to offer an immersive experience that makes one feel as part of the scene, instead of being a detached viewer. The rift definitely makes you feel like you are a part of any particular scene that you take part in. The Rift is cool, but seems to need some tweaking before it can take over the world.