Pre-order for the Oculus Rift starts today at 17:00 CET. Will you do anything about it?
Where’s the "I don’t have the money to buy it, please redirect the donate button to my Paypal account" button?
When it comes to pre-orders of any product I pretty much share TB’s opinion:
Don’t buy into hypes, wait until the proper reviews are out. Saves you the money and forces developers to actually make a decent product instead of banking on the pre-order sales money bag.
(X) Can’t wait to wipe shit off my desk with a thing on my face
I’m seriously considering pre-ordering this one. My PC is ready to go except for my graphics card which is a GTX780. I’m pretty bad at getting hands on replacing parts of computers etc as I’m always afraid I’ll do something stupid and break the whole thing. So I may cautiously have a go (with one of you guys holding my hand as I do! lol).
Usually I agree with you Clarke as my pre-order experience with games is pretty bad these days (Arma is the only game I will pre-order). However this is hardware, so the VR should be no different regardless of how good the games are, unless you are talking specifically about the physical hardware Clarke in which case I can see your point. I have already seen reviews of the final product that seem positive so I may take a punt on this one.
Note that I’m saying this as someone who can afford it as I don’t splash my cash around very often and I’m feeling a little flush after Xmas. If I didn’t have the dosh so readily availble and screaming to be spent I would be much more cautious.
I’m actually afraid where this thing is going to take us. I’m pretty happy with present state of user interface devices at the moment. If I want to feel it more real, I’d go out and play football or something.
On the other hand imagine playing Arma when you genuinely have to run, crouch, go prone etc. It would definitely be a good exercise.
One big reason for me to not consider buying is the way of finding your controls in Arma. Double key binds will be hard to control for me, without seeing the keyboard. For gaming with a controler it may be a different situation.
I had the opportunity to test the DEV1 version, and, yes I had the WOW! effect back then. This is the first device of the first generation of this kind of devices (Ok, there have been a few ‘preview’ attempts with smart phones and Google cardboard , but that’s definitely gimmick). I am confident that those technologies will acquire full maturity in the next 5 years, but this product is still a pioneer. TL;DR at the end of the post.
My remarks are the following:
- Pricetag (I just read that for Continental Europe it’s 699 € + port, UK is 499 £ )
The first announced price tag for the retail version was around 350$ (or as stated back then in 2012, the price of a console). Then this year they confessed the price would be higher more like 450$, as they still wanted to compete in the mainstream market. Now 599$ and with a game and a controller I don’t even think about buying/playing…meh, sorry, that’s not mainstream. I am totally fine with some 350 euros toys, if they’re cool, but Oculus stretches it a bit here. That said, as always, if you think it’s too expensive… it’s probably not been made for you.
Don’t get me wrong, I would really want to like the product. Evolving in the 3D world as the Rift proposes it, is a revolution, a requirement I have to the game industry since the 80’s. The total immersion is awesome, which brings me to the following point:
- Usability in serious gaming
I was questioning the fact, if it is possible to have a 4 hours+ gaming session with only a few or no breaks, without any kind of side-effects, as the intensity of the action flowing in front of your eyes is really huge. I already, but this is my personal experience, had quite some annoying side-effects when having lengthy gaming sessions of intense playing with a monitor. Finishing a campaign in one or 2 goes, and going to bed, not being able to sleep, when I closed my eyes, the action was still playing inside my head for another hour. How bad will it be with this kind of device ? I admit, this is all up to the individuals, of course.
Taking breaks, drinking a sip of water, looking up a key on the keyboard, checking a website or a manual for info, being interrupted by your RL environment, all so many little things, where usability is not as with the regular hardware. All this requires taking helmet off , completely or partially peeking out of the bottom. Sounds all good for a casual game, but a serious session?
My point is that for that price, it should be a device I can use for >80% of my 3D gaming experience, means that I can consider a solid part of my gaming workflow, like for instance, TrackIR , which I can use in almost any 1st or 3rd person game.
- Performance and new hardware
That’s a bit of a splitter and I’ll try to be fair. I was also a bit baffled , reading the minimal specs. I too have a GTX 780 and on paper it stands the comparison with a GTX 970. Oculus didn’t bother to compare older hardware with the newer one, I noticed this by downloading the compatibility tool. My 2600K @4.5GHz also still competes with the minimal specs CPU, it will be important to see in details what the requirements on the hardware really are.
Now, out of fairness, the requirement have to be high. The rift runs at 2160 x 1200 resolution on 90Hz. I once read optimal experience would be with 4K panels, especially to solve the motion sickness problems, but I guess that would have pushed the hardware specs up to a 980 GTX and definitely would have made the product very exclusive. So this is already a compromise, but better the specs are high and promise a good experience, than an adjusted product which is only average (or worse , makes people sick) (like the 2 previous DEV versions).
I don’t know if in the meantime Oculus provides the needed drivers to transform any 3D game in a rift usable one, or you still have to buy a 3rd party driver, to be able to play actual games (which haven’t been programmed with the rift in mind), but basically this is what makes it possible to play A3 with the rift, for instance. Although at a required 90 frames per seconds… not sure it’s going to be more than just a nice experiment.
TL;DR: The Rift is a milestone in the virtual reality revolution. But the price tag and a whole bunch of other details render it quite unpractical for serious gaming sessions today, putting it back into the realm of expensive gimmicks. I definitely wait it out and eagerly look forward to that point, where those devices will have been tested, tweaked and integrated in serious gaming environments and proven usable during real gaming sessions.
I personally think of it as the new shiny thing.
Considering VR is the brand new thing on the market it’s also pretty expensive.
I don’t see myself playing 24/7 with it as well.
Well maybe I’ll think about it in about 5 year or so when it will be more developed, supported in every game and also more affordable.
But as it stands, pc gaming is that good old, mouse keyboard and screen to me and to be totally honest I’m a tiny bit afraid to see it evolve.
I found the EyeX new thingy super creepy for example.
It’s still too early, but it’s closer.
Since the inception of OLED displays, manufacturers have played with the idea of semi-transparent bendable displays for all kinds of usages - since the OLED layer can be incredibly thin, completely transparent and of any shape, you could slap it on the inner layer of sunglasses, car window, etc., for "enhanced reality". There was even a dumbphone (~2006?, before iPhone) covered entirely by an OLED layer, capable of displaying ie. fire texture on its body.
Similarly, the same displays have gotten much more dense, 8K smartphone displays are on the way for 2016/2017, 10K is on the horizon for 2017/2018, etc.
Graphic hardware will also skyrocket with the widespread of HBM chips, finally able to handle 4K/8K smoothly (hopefully), in 2016/2017.
All that with some pretty sensitive head tracking based on accelerometers that are getting smaller and more sensitive every year, control chips appearing in sizes that fit sunglass-sized glasses (Google Glass - Google Glass Teardown ), … and - most importantly - game developers not being alien to the idea of VR, thanks to Oculus.
It will still take some time, we need powerful 100+Hz 4-8K displays attached to a very light device that’s comfortable to wear / put on / take off, adjusts brightness/sharpness to retinal feedback, etc., however it’s important to start somewhere and I applaud Oculus for that.
We have also come a long way since VirtualBoy.