Oculus Rift brings virtual reality to the masses. Initially started as a Kickstarter project, this products has since been promoted as the future of virtual reality.
With all of the compelling videos and news hitting headlines about this virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift very well may change the way that people view the world of gaming.
The History of Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift VR has been causing gamers to stay on their feet for just 2 years now. The project was first started by Palmer Luckey and is said to be made by gamers for gamers. The headset is an attempt to bring a head-mounted display to the market that would be affordable.
The headset was introduced at an expo in 2012 and seemed to really pick up in popularity when Doom 3 announced that their new version would be compatible with Oculus Rift.
The company has yet to introduce a consumer version of the product just yet, but they have made steady progress throughout their short, 2-year existence.
The Facebook Acquisition
Interestingly, Facebook saw great potential in the project and bought the company in March of 2014. The acquisition marked a turning point in the company’s future because it allows for amplified funding with an over $2 billion dollar pay day to the original founders.
Developer versions of the kit have been released since 2012 with the second kit being announced in 2014. The kit, dubbed Devkit2, is expected to be shipped in July of 2014 and has truly made a splash in the gaming world with hopes that the consumer version will be hitting the market soon.
The Consumer Version
For the non-developer, a consumer version of this product is truly all that matters. The company has announced that they are currently working on a consumer version and Business Insider states that the consumer version should be released in 2015.
It is important to note that the company states that they do not have a release date set just yet, although they have stated it would be a disappointment if the consumer version was not on shelves by 2016.
Headset Information and Specifications
Since the headset has yet to be announced for consumer release, the only information available pertains to the development version available.
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This leaves the consumer with a lot of doubts on what the final release will contain, but we do have some information available.
The price is a major concern for both consumers and the manufacturer. While the original Devkit was $300, the Devkit 2 costs $350. Rumors are all that we have to go off of with the current “rumored” price being less than $300 for the consumer.
The current hardware specifications seen in Devkit2 are:
- 960 x 1080 resolution for each eye
- Refresh rate of 60 – 75 Hz
- 100 degree field of view
- USB and HDMI inputs
- Gyroscope, Accelerometer and Magnetometer sensors
- .97 pound weight
The kit also comes with a lot of accessories that will help you get started. The accessories included are:
- Adapters for DC power and HDMI to DVI
- Cleaning cloth for the lens
- International power plugs (probably not included with the consumer version)
Not only are viewers welcomed into an immersive landscape with resolutions of 1920 x 2160, users are greeted by features that make gaming entirely new.
The latest Devkit 2 shows off just some of the features that the consumer can expect with the official release.
Some of the standout features include:
- Positional Tracking: Through advanced positional tracking, it is possible to track the user’s head movements with the utmost precision. Rift is able to track your head movements with accurate precision making gameplay fluid and realistic.
- Low Persistence OLED Display: The common motion sickness that virtual reality presents is lowered greatly through the OLED display. Using this display, it is possible to eliminate blurring and shuddering that are said to cause motion sickness. This allows games to be played without the fear of severe motion sickness moments later.
- Engine Integration: While not important to the end-user, Oculus Rift has allowed for many game engines to be used for development. Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 4 are the two game engines seen. This ensures gamers will be presented with the best gaming platforms when games are released.
While gamers do know the power of this virtual reality headset, the developers have not released any further information in regards to release features that will be seen, or features that will be different from the developer kit.
Oculus Rift may not have hit the stores yet, but the world is already hyping up the headset and has high hopes that Rift will be able to fill the void in virtual reality.
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With most fans having little to go off of besides videos, it is hard to tell just how well Rift will be received. As far as those that have tested out the headset, the following is said:
- An unreal experience.
- This is a game changer.
- It changed my life.
The headset has also won many awards and with the acquisition by Facebook, it is safe to say that the company has a very bright future ahead of them.
Videos to Hold You Over
While the world is waiting for Oculus Rift to finally be released, there are a few lucky people that have tried the headset for themselves. The following videos are a demonstration of the power this headset provides:
There are tons of video on YouTube that provide a look into Oculus Rift using the DK2 kit.
- The new $350 Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is now shipping – on ENGadget.com
- 3 Oculus Rift Apps That Prove Virtual Reality Goes Far Beyond Gaming – on Bloomberg.com
- Jamie Hyneman Tests the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Goggles – on YouTube.com
- WATCH: Dad’s hilarious reaction as he ‘rides’ a rollercoaster wearing his son’s virtual reality headset – on DailymMail.co.uk
- Oculus warns Sony to solve motion sickness before launching a VR headset – on TheGuardian.com