Oculus Rift: the Next Generation of VR Headsets
In the world of virtual reality headsets, one device stands alone in superiority to the rest. Oculus is now offering the most technologically advanced VR headset to date. The Rift headset puts all the current headache inducing VR headsets in the past and leaves them there forever. From the minute a player straps on the Rift, he is surrounded by a stereoscopic 3D world.
The Rift not only gives the player incredible resolution, 720p or 1280×8 (soon to be improved for consumers), but it allows a view of 110 degrees diagonally, compared to most VR headsets that only allow up to 40 degrees diagonally. This far surpasses the effect that most VR headsets have of feeling as though you are watching a small TV right in front of you. Now a player can experience total 3D immersion in the game.
Oculus has risen above the common problems of VR headsets: glitches, horrible 70’s graphics, the feeling of having a tiny TV strapped to your head, and the delay between when a player moves his head and the screen has to catch up. In fact, Oculus addressed this delay with the addition of a real-time head tracker, keeping the movements of the screen in time with the player’s head movement.
Most VR headsets do not provide the same experience as a player gets when looking at the near photo qualities of today’s games, PCs and consoles, so this is somewhat uncharted territory. Until now, quality VR setups were military and scientific grade only, carrying prices nearly $100,000; this is probably not on most people’s Christmas list.
Many well-known developers have backed the Rift; Doom’s creator John Carmack who raved about the product and assures that his next release of Doom will be the very first to be played on the Rift, Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski who was excitedly thinking of how to integrate the Unreal Engine to the Rift, and Valve’s Gabe Newell who was asking for support for the Kickstarter campaign, personally.
Rift users claim that the device is more accurate than a mouse, since you move your head to look at targets to take aim as you would if you were in the real world—this is as natural as it gets.
Even though the Rift is currently only compatible for PCs, the company is planning to make adaptations that will enable it to work with game consoles and mobile programs and devices.
The Oculus Rift is already complete, but the company is working on designing a more consumer friendly version. Oculus has released its Kickstarter campaign in order to get its development kits to all game developers in as little time as possible. After the Rift met its goal to raise $250,000 in one day, Oculus has gone on to raise over one million dollars in additional funding for the Rift to date.
Oculus is offering its backers posters and tee shirts for small pledges, while offering its bigger backers copies of Doom 3 BFG and early developer kits.