Oculus Rift News, Price, Release Date, Games And PC Specs

Peter and Justin tried the latest version of the oculus rift at CES 2016 the same day the price was announced. Fresh from a demo, they discuss if the Oculus Rift will find mainstream success.

Oculus Rift is coming in Q1 2016 and it will cost you a whopping $599 or £499 (without shipping costs). The company hasn’t released any more details on an exact release date just yet, but pre-orders have just gone live with an expected shipping date of March 28th 2016. There’s a limit of one per customer, too (UPDATE: in the 80 minutes since pre-orders went live, the estimated shipping price has now slipped to May).

Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset. Pop it in front of your eyes and it can be used to transport you to fantastical game worlds, distant real world locations, or even just for watching films. To help immerse you in games or a bit of virtual tourism, it uses a dual OLED display with a 2,160×1,200 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate and tracks the position of your head to provide accurate low-latency movements. Thanks to an external sensor which connects to your PC, it can track infrared LEDs on the front of the headset to translate your movements into your new virtual environment.360 degree video camera oculus rift

Oculus has been keen to stress how light the headset is. You can apparently hold it in one hand, and Oculus is hoping that once you put the headset on, you’ll forget it’s there – almost like a baseball cap, Oculus said at its E3 press conference. Wrapped in fabric, the headset rests on your brow, and Oculus said that the balance and ergonomics have been finetuned so it doesn’t feel like there’s a huge weight on your forehead.

Each headset will come bundled with a wireless Xbox One controller at launch. A great coup for Microsoft, the Oculus Rift will work natively with Windows 10 and let you stream Xbox One games directly to your Oculus Rift headset. It won’t be a complete VR experience, though, as games will only appear in a kind of virtual cinema room, appearing on a large screen in front of you rather than a full 360 degree gaming experience. You’ll still be able to look around your virtual room, but the games themselves will only appear directly in front of you on the virtual wall.

Each controller has a traditional analogue thumbstick, two buttons and an analogue trigger. However, they also have what Oculus is calling a ‘hand trigger’, which is built into the hand grip and sits underneath your middle finger. This allows you to pick up objects, such as a gun, for example, and then virtual reality shoot it with your index finger on the trigger. They also include haptics, so you can feel the objects you’re touching. Most importantly, Touch has a matrix of sensors mounted around the inside of the device to detect natural hand poses and gestures, such as pointing, waving, or giving a thumbs up.

Oculus Rift News, Price, Release Date, Games And PC Specs

Oculus Rift Games

Virtual reality is arguably the most exciting tech development in recent years, and everyone wants a piece of the action. Sony’s developing its PlayStation VR , Valve is working with HTC on its Vive headset , but the one that started it all is the Oculus Rift.

I wasn’t able to upload many photos because most of them were blurry messes. The games I played had me moving around too much for the demo giver to take a solid picture. While it’s unfortunate there aren’t more pictures of me oculus looking silly, it should tell you just how fun the games are. In comparison to Toybox which was basically a teaser of Touch’s abilities, these games were action packed and very well made – though still not exactly ready.oculus rift 360 degree video

The first one I played was Dead & Buried which was developed by the Oculus Studio Team. It’s a wild west shooting gallery that progressively gets more difficult as you go. After pulling a lever on the right with your Oculus Touch hand, a cowboy ghost pops up to give a tutorial. A six shooter then appears holstered on your right hip. I had a hard time unholstering it because the controller wouldn’t register what I was trying to grab. The further I turned to look with the Rift, the further away the gun appeared. I felt like a dog chasing its tail in circles, unable to catch it.

After this awkward moment passed and I finally made contact with the gun, the rest of the game went pretty smoothly. You end up with two guns – both six shooters that need to be reloaded by flicking your wrist vr headset to empty the chambers, then flicking back again for bullets. There are stationary targets and moving targets to shoot with the last bit of the demo providing a speeding train with targets to shoot at.

What Oculus didn’t mention during its keynote is that Medium is a social experience. Two people can hang out and build something together – at least that’s what I was told during my demo. This was similar to my Toybox experience where two people with Rifts could hang out in VR together. With Medium though, you can create something amazing with another person, reinforcing another concept Oculus is trying to emphasize: that virtual reality doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor.

Invented by 23-year-old Palmer Luckey and bought by Facebook for $2 billion in March 2014, Oculus Rift has huge potential, whether it’s being immersed in your favourite video games or visting places around the world from the comfort of your own living room. The headset has gone through several iterations since it was first announced in 2012, but now the final consumer version is in sight, so we’ve gathered together everything you need to know about the Oculus Rift you’ll be buying next year, including the price, release date and PC specifications you’ll need to run it.

Oculus Rift Games

Is The Oculus Rift Price Too High?

The age of virtual reality is finally within grasp. We are but a few months away from the first commercial release of an affordable, high-quality VR device — but just like a bus, you wait for ages, then three come along all at once.oculus rift 360 degree video

We went hands-on with the very first version of free Oculus Rift back in April. It’s since been superceded by the DK2 model and the final consumer version outlined above, but the underlying experience is still largely the same. Our first experience with Oculus Rift saw us taken on a deep sea diving expedition. The unit itself was comfortable to wear and surprisingly lightweight, but it did take a bit of adjustment before it fully encompassed our eyes.

With it attached to our face and a pair of headphones on our ears, the world around us disappeared and was replaced by a murky, wholly believable underwater world. The graphics were more PS2 than PS4, but this was merely a demonstration of what the technology is capable of. Our chirpy guide explained that we could look left, right, up and down. We followed his instructions while air bubbles streamed past our eyes and tiny fish arrowed about in motes of sunlight coming down from the surface. The combination of sound and a wholly immersive world is impressive and Oculus Rift was responsive to every twitch and movement we made.

Admittedly, virtual reality has come a long way since the diabolical Virtual Boy, but Oculus Rift will still live and die by the same measure: games. It’s comfortable to wear, it takes you away from reality, and it is only set to get better, but it needs content and support from top developers if it is to be a success. Sony’s PlayStation VR will hopefully have a big impact on how seriously game developers take virtual reality, but only time will tell if it can really change gaming.

There’s a big list of games that currently have Oculus support or are being planned for vr headset here , but the big hitters right now are Elite Dangerous, EVE Valkyrie, Grid Autosport, Half Life and Half Life 2, Minecraft, Project Cars, Star Citizen, Team Fortress 2, The Witness, Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2, the standalone verison of DayZ and Dying Light. More are sure to follow, but it’s likely we’ll see a greater surge in support titles after the headset has been released.oculus rift 360 degree video

According to Oculus, your PC will need to have either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card or above, an Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater, and at least 8GB of RAM. It will also require you to be running Windows 7 SP1 or later, have two US3 ports, and an HDMI 1.3 video output that can support a clock speed of 297MHz via a direct output architecture. This will rule out some discrete laptop GPUs, says Oculus, as most drive their video output via indirect mechanisms, but the it’s working on compiling a complete list of compatible systems to make it a bit easier for consumers to see whether Rift will work with their chosen system.

Is The Oculus Rift Price Too High?

Oculus Rift Vs. HTC Vive Vs. Playstation VR

The headset still isn’t wireless, unfortunately—you’ll need to drape a cable over your shoulder, and Oculus still recommends you enjoy virtual reality while seated instead of walking around. And in case you didn’t hear , the Oculus Rift will require you to plug that cable into a reasonably powerful gaming PC, too.

At the moment, this issue with laptop GPUs is rather a moot point, as most current chips aren’t powerful enough to support it anyway. However, those after a Rift-compatible PC are in luck, as Oculus has created a new Oculus Ready PC program to help identify support systems. Starting early next year, you’ll soon start win a free Oculus Rift seeing ‘Oculus Ready’ stickers appearing on Dell, Asus and Alienware machines that meet the recommended specification, with more partners being announced in the coming year. Oculus says these systems won’t cost the earth either, as (in the US, at least) many of these PCs will allegedly be available for under $1,000.

A mistake you say? Surely not. Something that really should have been considered was a bundle without the controller and two games. Many people have Xbox 360 controllers that they could use for their PC, or could find a good deal an Xbox One controller if they wanted one. The same argument could be made for the games as well. PC games are notorious for going on sale. Many games can be found for 10% to 20% off MSRP at launch with just a little effort.

But I want all those things,” you exclaim. And if that’s the case, you could likely still get a better deal on all three by doing some shopping around. If you don’t want all those things, it seems like a bit of a waste to spend extra money on two games and a controller that you are not interested in. This would theoretically push the price up or offset it, let’s estimate $100 to $150. Even launching at $499.99 or $449.99 could make a major psychological difference.oculus rift 360 degree video

Why does the price matter? Install base. And while it’s important to Oculus, it’s also important to gamers interested in VR A bigger install base pushes developers to make more VR games or at least games that support VR. This opens the door for both HTC Vive and the Playstation VR The more gamers developers have to sell to the more likely VR will be a success instead of being left behind like stereoscopic 3D games.360 degree video oculus

If Valve and HTC can come in with quality similar to or better than the Rift and do so at a lower price, that could give SteamVR quite a boost. While Playstation VR will not directly compete with the Rift, many gamers will likely only be buying one VR device for at least a while if not altogether. Sony has no variation in system specifications and will have less demanding requirements. However it will also come with some extra horsepower for the PS4, which could bring the price higher than one may expect.

Oculus Rift Vs. HTC Vive Vs. Playstation VR