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Oculus Rift: Changing The VR Landscape At CES 2013

Oculus Rift: Changing The VR Landscape At CES 2013
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The way we experience PC gaming hasn't really changed. Ever. Yes, the hardware is faster. New genres are available. And the screens we look at larger, thinner, and sometimes even able to facilitate stereoscopy. Regardless of your favorite title, you sit down in front of a monitor to play it.

For those of us who dream about the future of gaming and virtual reality, this is far from ideal. Don't get us wrong, we have plenty of fun gaming today. But many of us have waited for a more immersive experience for years. More than 25 years have passed since we first saw the holodeck on Star Trek, and the Matrix came out 13 years ago. It's nice that 3D-capable displays are mainstream now, but 3D is only one component of augmented reality.

In order to get virtual reality working, the technology needs to convince your senses that they're part of the game. Your field of vision needs to change with the orientation of your head, so impeccable tracking is a must. The display's edges can't be distracting, or the suspension of disbelief is shattered. The hardware can’t be too heavy; your body needs to support it without discomfort. And it all has to work without lag, perfectly. Otherwise, you'll never believe it and we'd end up looking forward to another generation, another day.

The Oculus Rift nails it, though. Despite the early status of the unit we previewed at CES 2013, it does everything right, and I never expected that. Until now, we’ve seen nothing but incremental improvements from virtual reality technology over the years. Given the modern virtual reality headsets that stumble under high prices and lackluster experiences, I previously believed, depressingly, that good consumer-grade VR was another 10 years off, at least. Oculus’ Rift gives me a very real hope that this technology will be available to gamers everywhere in two years or so, and at a reasonable price point.

I haven’t been this excited about a piece of hardware with the potential to change gaming since 3D hardware acceleration took off. And I believe this could even be bigger.

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  • 19 Hide
    army_ant7 , January 12, 2013 7:40 PM
    Now that's something that could use 440PPI (or more) screens! I don't really know if these smartphones coming out with 1080p screens would benefit from that kind of PPI, but since Occulus seems to have the screens way closer to your eyes. (Not sure if there are still lenses or something in there, but yeah, I'd really think super high PPI would be beneficial then.) :D 
  • 16 Hide
    cleeve , January 12, 2013 7:05 PM
    Obviously the tech has a lot more potential uses, but I believe that Gaming is the huge industry that will allow the Rift to achieve critical mass.

    Certainly after there's a large deployment of the tech, we'll see many interesting uses for the Rift headset that has nothing to do with games.
  • 15 Hide
    avjguy2362 , January 12, 2013 6:44 PM
    Why gaming only? Why not be your monitor for browsers and everything else you would use a monitor! Eyeball tracking would be easy and standard input devises would be usable too. They should also put a camera on the outside, so you could switch or overlay the outside with the inside to see your physical environment when needed so you don't have to take the headset off briefly to see where you put your drink or reach for anything else in you physical environment.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    avjguy2362 , January 12, 2013 6:44 PM
    Why gaming only? Why not be your monitor for browsers and everything else you would use a monitor! Eyeball tracking would be easy and standard input devises would be usable too. They should also put a camera on the outside, so you could switch or overlay the outside with the inside to see your physical environment when needed so you don't have to take the headset off briefly to see where you put your drink or reach for anything else in you physical environment.
  • 16 Hide
    cleeve , January 12, 2013 7:05 PM
    Obviously the tech has a lot more potential uses, but I believe that Gaming is the huge industry that will allow the Rift to achieve critical mass.

    Certainly after there's a large deployment of the tech, we'll see many interesting uses for the Rift headset that has nothing to do with games.
  • 11 Hide
    inscothen , January 12, 2013 7:32 PM
    Gaming will sell this. Other applications could include therapy, education, training, research and development.....
  • 19 Hide
    army_ant7 , January 12, 2013 7:40 PM
    Now that's something that could use 440PPI (or more) screens! I don't really know if these smartphones coming out with 1080p screens would benefit from that kind of PPI, but since Occulus seems to have the screens way closer to your eyes. (Not sure if there are still lenses or something in there, but yeah, I'd really think super high PPI would be beneficial then.) :D 
  • 11 Hide
    killerchickens , January 12, 2013 7:54 PM
    Drool :love:  :bounce:  :pt1cable:  :) 
  • 3 Hide
    Integr8d , January 12, 2013 8:32 PM
    Interestingly, super high resolution isn't as necessary in the 3D world. You can look at those stereographic images online (the ones where you have to relax your eyes till' they nearly cross). They're fairly low resolution images. What happens is that your brain takes that pixelated image, in the 3D space, and 'fills in' the missing data. It's pretty cool. You just 'understand' the data that should be there.

    FWIW, contrast is more, if not equally as, important than resolution. You can have all the resolution in the world. But if you don't have contrast, you'll never be able to perceive the resolution.

  • 11 Hide
    hixbot , January 12, 2013 8:50 PM
    FPS games will need to unassociate the crosshair and body turn with the screen. I don't want to aim and turn around with my head.
  • 3 Hide
    mcd023 , January 12, 2013 9:44 PM
    good thing it's not like the VR I just watched in Sword Art Online!
  • 0 Hide
    killerchickens , January 12, 2013 9:47 PM
    mcd023good thing it's not like the VR I just watched in Sword Art Online!


    lol Soo good but so slow much better than any of the hack series.
  • 4 Hide
    xpeh , January 12, 2013 9:49 PM
    mcd023good thing it's not like the VR I just watched in Sword Art Online!



    I hope we can start watching anime in virtual reality soon.
  • 4 Hide
    C12Friedman , January 12, 2013 11:20 PM
    I just made up my mind, I'm waiting at least three years before purchasing a new monitor - I may not need to
  • 15 Hide
    Sumukh_Bhagat , January 12, 2013 11:29 PM
    I saw this earlier on IGN.

    I would love to play BF3 with it.
    But not Horror Games because that might Give a Heart Attack
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 13, 2013 12:32 AM
    Somebody should start finding Kayaba Akihiko! Only 9 more years till the making of the NerveGear.

    Jokes aside, they should probably look at SAOs style for VR games.
  • 0 Hide
    kingnoobe , January 13, 2013 1:21 AM
    Now that you mention it sumuk I think horror games would be freaking awesome on this specially after taking some ambient lol. I remember playing RE 2 on that stuff o that was interesting.
  • 3 Hide
    eodeo , January 13, 2013 1:32 AM
    Cant wait. I wonder if it would work with smart phones too as an external monitor. It would be a great way to view a movie while traveling by bus/train/airplane...
  • -2 Hide
    gtracer93 , January 13, 2013 2:06 AM
    Part of your statement is false. I have both a Samsung Active 3D and a LG Cinema 3D. I can watch my LG Cinema 3D, in 3D from any angle and with my head tilted, and it remains 3D. The samsung, not so much. But 3D is amazing on the LG with 240hz. So you're broad statement of Polarized and existing 3D doesn't allow angle viewing, isn't 100% accurate.
  • 1 Hide
    MauveCloud , January 13, 2013 2:06 AM
    Two questions:
    1. Does it avoid the discrepancy between the focus distance for the lenses of the eyes and the apparent distance based on binocular cues?
    2. Is it usable by someone who already has glasses?
  • 4 Hide
    cleeve , January 13, 2013 2:24 AM
    Quote:
    Part of your statement is false. I have both a Samsung Active 3D and a LG Cinema 3D. I can watch my LG Cinema 3D, in 3D from any angle and with my head tilted, and it remains 3D.


    Not possible by it's very nature. Some solutions are better than others, but if you tilt your head 90 degrees any 3D screen will fail.

    Not so with the Rift.
  • -1 Hide
    MauveCloud , January 13, 2013 2:34 AM
    CleeveNot possible by it's very nature. Some solutions are better than others, but if you tilt your head 90 degrees any 3D screen will fail.


    If you go all the way to 90 degrees, the 3d effect will look wrong (or the display might go completely dark with active shutter glasses), but minor tilts would only cause a problem with linearly polarized glasses. Some screens use circular polarization.
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , January 13, 2013 3:03 AM
    Though they already have lots of money, they could use some money to hire a professional industrial designer to reduce the weight, and add a external camera.
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