If you didn’t know virtual reality is becoming more and more popular. Virtual reality aims to put “you” in the game itself. Instead of looking at it from a 2D point of view, you will be looking at all angles and can experience the full immersion of gaming. Virtual reality sensors track your head and hand movement and can also do full body tracking if you buy the correct accessories for the platform you have chosen to use. There are many VR (virtual reality) platforms out there by the most popular 3 are Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PSVR (PlayStation virtual reality).
Description of the Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift is a small and compact headset which fits snug on your head and face. This headset also blocks out all light from entering, thus making the experience more real. This can be a game changer as light leaking in can remove you from the in-game immersion which can make your experience less exciting. It has multiple points on which you can adjust the headset which is held in place by Velcro. While they are held in place by Velcro you are able to pull on the headset to get that little bit of extra room to put your head in. Once your head is in you can let go and it will return to its original state and sit comfortably on your head. The Oculus Rift has two 1080p x 1200p OLED screens which are clocked at 90Hz a second. This means the only time you get frame stuttering is if your GPU or CPU is fast enough. This can cause your VR experience to go downhill as you can get motion sickness while playing if you are not used to VR. The Oculus Rift can provide full room scale support with 2 sensors but if you can get a 3rd sensor it will make your experience more real as you will have less tracking issues. Also, it comes with its own headphones straight out of the box which of course you can remove and use your own headset.
Pros and Cons of Oculus
- 90Hz refresh rate
- Easy set-up
- Xbox One controller support
- Suitable for sitting, standing and room scale experiences
- Comfortable to wear for long periods
- Tracking can be an issue as the sensors have to be less than 2 meters apart
- Requires extension cables for room scale VR as they can fall a bit short
- No outside cameras so you will have to take off headset to see what’s around you
- Simplistic overall look
Since I bought my Oculus Rift I have enjoyed every moment of it. Of course, it has its ups and downs due to my small room but all in all it was worth the money. I managed to get mine for around £310 which was a good bargain compared to the others that are out there at the moment. I find the sensors track perfectly even in a small environment making this ideal to use in small areas. When you first obtain your Oculus Rift you will get 1 headset, 2 sensors, 2 touch controllers and the cleaning cloth for the lenses. If you have enough USB 3.0 ports on your PC or laptop then use the 2 sensors otherwise you will have a lot of tracking issues, which ruins your experience. The setup process is easy however the only thing I would change in the set up is being told where to place your sensors. I would place them 1.5m or more apart and pointing towards the middle to get optimal tracking. The first game I played was Robot Recall and I recommend it to anyone who is just starting to get into VR as it will get you to use your controllers a lot and gets you used to the virtual world. It is also an arcade shoot them up kind of game so what can possibly be bad about it.
The price of the Oculus Rift currently sits at £399 (12/12/2018) but may drop or be discontinued in the future if they decide to release something better than the current version. However, they do have a few bundles that happen and sales that go on throughout the year. Such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It may go on sale just after Christmas with the Boxing Day sales.
Would I recommend?
Yes, I would definitely recommend the Oculus Rift to people. This, in my opinion, is the best headset for price per performance you can buy at this point in time. I have used both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift and in my opinion, the Rift is better due to the lightweight and functional headset. The only downside is you have to take off your headset if you want to grab something from your room or space like a drink. Other than that you can’t go wrong for £399 compared to the HTC Vive at £499.