Disclaimer: The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of http://www.allgames.com
First Look at the Oculus Rift
Impression of the Oculus Rift Experience
It would have been great if I had previous VR experiences to compare with the Oculus Rift, but that is not the case. Maybe that is why I was totally amazed at my VR experience. The game I played was “The Unspoken” which is an action/adventure video game complete with tall buildings, dragons and fireballs. Sounds exciting -- right? In fact once I put on the Oculus Rift headset complete with the wrist controllers, I felt like I was transported to another world. Instead of standing at a Best Buy demo desk, I was in a virtual adventure land, throwing fireballs and shielding myself from monster creatures as well as villains who jumped around from building to building, while I stood precariously on the edge of a round ledge, careful not to step forward or I would fall off. It was that real! Even though I was actually in a mundane Best Buy store, when I put on the Oculus Rift headset, I was immersed in a world of video game excitement. To me, this VR experience was more exciting than I expected and I was impressed by the whole experience. It’s unfortunate my excitement about the Oculus Rift took sort of took a nosedive once I did additional research on the system.
Oculus Rift Price and Essentials
The turn off for many interested VR customers may be the price of the Oculus Rift. Best Buy is selling their units for $599.99. The set includes the VR headset, a tracker and an Xbox One controller. At the time of the demo, I was unaware the wrist controllers I wore did not come with the Oculus Rift. They are called Oculus Touch and cost $199.99 for a set of two, one for each wrist. So if you add the price of both the Oculus Rift headset gear and the wrist controllers, you are up to a price of $709.98, which seems pricey to me.
I was told by the person facilitating the demo the system comes with about 100 games. Of course some games are free; however, others you must purchase. Now here’s the kicker. The Oculus Rift requires certain peripherals to work at its best. The additional requirements are a specific graphics card and a strong gaming PC capable of handling the Oculus Rift, including having adequate memory. The Oculus Rift runs on Windows 7 operating system or higher. Mac owners like myself cannot simply buy the unit, plug it in and expect it to work. I also have an Alienware gaming laptop computer which does not meet the specifications of the Oculus Rift. In summary, the Oculus Rift is useless without these additional requirements. This was an eye opener for me, because I was thinking I could purchase the boxed system and be ready to continue my enjoyment of my VR experience. Boy, was I wrong. In other words, the $599.99 price of the unit does not adequately reflect the full cost of what it takes for the Oculus Rift to work at its optimal performance.
Oculus Rift Full Disclosure
I think that withholding useful as well as what may be damaging cost and health information about a system is an indication the business is not being honest with customers. Using an Oculus Rift is not as simple as putting on a headset, choosing your video game and playing it. I initially thought all I needed was to purchase the system to be transported to the world of virtual reality. I found out differently. All demo presentations of the Oculus Rift are not alike; however, I think it would have been helpful to show the parts that make up the Oculus Rift, as well as the additional requirements of the unit. For instance, during the demo, I was advised the Oculus Rift needed a certain graphics card, but was not given any particulars. As mentioned above, I was also under the impression the wrist controllers came with the system. Maybe in the interest of getting more sales, information is not being disclosed but I think Facebook, the owner, needs to be upfront with customers regarding costs and requirements of the Oculus Rift -- including providing this information during the demos.
Assessment of Oculus Rift
Ratings of Oculus Rift
More work needs to be done on the Oculus Rift from a potential customer, user-friendly perspective as well as pricing. Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars with 5 stars being the highest, I rate the Oculus Rift 2 ½ stars.
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