Oculus Rift Brings Virtual Reality to the Masses

The first virtual reality (VR) headset for domestic use reached the public this week: the first generation of Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headsets are now in the hands of everyday users.

The Rift is focused on game applications for now, but experts expect VR will impact the worlds of travel, attractions, business, and entertainment eventually.

Until then, here’s what the reviews have to say about the Oculus Rift:

  • It’s an immersive experience… but not that immersive: The graphics and gameplay get high marks among early users, but the headgear still leaves gaps around the nose where light can come through and impact the sensory experience.
  • It comes with a headset, camera, and game controller: A motion-based controller is expected next year, but for now these peripherals should be connected to a powerful Windows PC equipped for gaming. The headset is tethered to the computer, so be ready for a somewhat restricted experience.
  • Setup takes more than hour: Setting up a smartphone this ain’t. Actually putting the device together and loading the software can take up to an hour, but reviewers found downloading games and apps took almost as much time. The heavy files could take around 30 minutes to download. Rift can’t run games while apps are downloading, so it feels like more lag every time you add a new app.
  • Ease into it: The graphics are great, but Rift recommends using the device only in 30-minute increments at first. Some reviewers developed eye strain and twitches from overuse.
  • The auditory and visual experience is fantastic: The headphones built into the headset received rave reviews for furthering the virtual world. The head-tracking technology was also highly lauded.
  • Maybe wait to buy: With cheaper VR headsets coming from Sony and others, plus Rift’s own motion-based controller in the works, critics recommend waiting a bit before purchasing your own headset.

By Prasana William

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