Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Playing with the Oculus Rift

A couple days ago, we finally got our hands on an Oculus Rift dev kit. I'll admit I was cautiously optimistic. Virtual reality has been around my entire life and it has pretty much sucked my entire life. The Oculus Rift is supposed to change all of that. The word is that it actually works! However, before I could get too excited, a lot of reports began surfacing that the dev version of the Oculus caused severe motion sickness. The low resolution screen on the dev kit probably doesn't help (1280x800). We decided to become a developer and order one anyway. Better to try it out and see for ourselves. We had to wait a month for the kit to finally be delivered, since they weren't in stock when we applied.

Thankfully, once we received the kit, it only took a few mins to download the SDK and get everything setup within our build. I decided to test it with the hotel level first. I have to say, the hotel level has never looked so amazing! I was floored at how well the Oculus Rift immerses you into a 3D environment. You can pretty much look around at anything. I have to compare it to the feeling I get when I go scuba diving. You feel as if you are looking through a viewport into another world - a world that is very real.  For horror games, I think it adds a lot of exciting new options :).

As for the motion sickness, that is also true. After 15 mins of playing, I felt a bit nauseous. Not so much that I wanted to puke, but queasy nonetheless. I got more used to it the more I played and now I no longer feel nauseous so quickly.

Overall, I am completely sold on the Oculus Rift. I'm really looking forward to the 4k screen with less sensor lag. If they price and market it right, it will evolve gaming to a level that, until now, I've only been able to dream about.

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