When it comes to VR, the Oculus Rift VR system is perhaps that with the most hype. It’s the closest thing to a ‘pure’ VR system out there, at least as far as purists are concerned. With a headset, a pair of controllers (sold separately, naturally) and a host of unique apps, it feels like it’s years ahead of most of its competition.
The real question is, though, whether or not the Oculus Rift is actually the next step in gaming. That’s what this Oculus Rift VR review hopes to discover.
So, it’s good to start with the hardware in a situation like this. Not to take anything away from the headset itself, but we haven’t quite reached that point of VR where everything you need is packed into one unit. With the Oculus Rift, you’ll need a fairly powerful computer to run the hardware. That’s one thing that throws the price of the entire unit into the stratosphere, but it’s also important to consider that most early adopters probably already have a rig capable of running the beast. In terms of pure power and processing, it’s still impressive.
The best thing about the Oculus Rift is that it’s incredibly immersive. Once you have the headset on, it’s hard not to get sucked into the various apps you use. The visuals are far from photorealistic, but that’s due to a number of factors that don’t just have to do with raw power. Photorealism in VR is a unsettling, and it’s easier for most players to get engaged in a game if things look a bit stylized. Perhaps the biggest graphical issue is the so-called “screen door effect”, where everything looks a bit like it’s viewed through the eponymous door. Again, this is a minor quibble – but it’s enough to keep players from feeling like they’re really in the game from time to time.
The only truly bad thing about the system are the Oculus Rift apps. While there are a handful of fantastic, ground-breaking games, most of what’s available seems to be in the form of half-baked demos. Most of the activities don’t last for more than a few minutes, and they’re certainly more in the vein of novelty acts than real games. The Oculus system might be fantastic, but the games that have been shoveled out thus far leave a lot to be desired.
So, what’s the verdict on the Oculus Rift? It’s certainly a step in the right direction, but there’s still a lot to iron out. It’s worth a purchase if you want to be on the bleeding edge of VR, but the things that will attract most customers are probably still years away.