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PAX Prime 2012: Oculus Rift VR Headset Hands-on

Oculus Rift is a virtual reality, head tracking, and stereoscopic 3D headset that allows a gamer to literally turn their head and look where they want to inside of a compatible virtual environment. We were able to go hands-on at PAX 2012 and play DOOM 3 BFG and the experience blew us away. The complete integration of head tracking and stereoscopic 3D creates an almost surreal experience. Being able to aim at a target literally by looking at it is an amazing feeling, and the complete immersion experience is well beyond any other existing experience on the market today.

The Oculus Rift has been receiving outstanding support through its Kickstarter page since its inception. Official recognition coming from developers such as John Carmack, Gabe Newell, and Cliff Bleszinski shows a promising future for the virtual reality headset. As an avid gaming enthusiast with a triple-monitor surround, Track IR, and AmBX ambient lighting setup at home I have to say that it doesn't even compare to the Oculus Rift.

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Oculus Prototype Running on Windows

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Oculus Prototype Running on Windows

The project isn't without its challenges, there are a few technical issues that need to be revised for the consumer unit of the product. The issues appear to be limited to prototype-centric issues such as a low response time for the display panel -- something that the Oculus team is aware of and working to correct.

  • waxdart
    I want one. If it costs the same as the Sony HMZ-T1 . I can't afford one. It looks good.
    Reply
  • rgjhawkins
    This is going to be a complete game changer!
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Can you overclock it ?
    Reply
  • Pennanen
    rgjhawkinsThis is going to be a complete game changer!Oh this is one of those products. Like 3d, wii, touch screen and many others, this is going to change the way we play games! This is something that we never seen before!

    Yeah, no.
    Reply
  • reprotected
    PennanenOh this is one of those products. Like 3d, wii, touch screen and many others, this is going to change the way we play games! This is something that we never seen before!Yeah, no.Yeah, you know like analog sticks and microphone input? Like who needs em? We should just increase the graphics of every new game because graphics is 10 times more important than approaching new trends of gaming that could potentially be the future.
    Reply
  • freggo
    mayankleoboy1Can you overclock it ?
    Overclocking what is basically a 'screen' ?
    What do you mean by that ?
    If it shows 60 frames/s per eye that should do.
    Reply
  • Pennanen
    reprotectedYeah, you know like analog sticks and microphone input? Like who needs em? We should just increase the graphics of every new game because graphics is 10 times more important than approaching new trends of gaming that could potentially be the future.I think microphones existed way before gaming. Also analog sticks? Oh right, console people, luls :D
    Reply
  • Achoo22
    I don't understand why this is such a big deal. Similar devices existed, with nearly identical specifications, way back in the mid 1990s at prices around $500. NVidia didn't break any new ground w/ their LCD shutter glasses nor are these guys doing it now.
    Reply
  • indecom
    Achoo22I don't understand why this is such a big deal. Similar devices existed, with nearly identical specifications, way back in the mid 1990s at prices around $500. NVidia didn't break any new ground w/ their LCD shutter glasses nor are these guys doing it now.similar devices couldnt have existed back then because the hardware that's in the rift has been unavailable until recently. You really think that a 1200 by 800 lcd screen existed in the 90's? Or a gyroscope with a latency level this low existed back then? No, those older devices were like looking at a small screen off in the distance that would lag behind when you moved your head. The point of the rift is to totally encompass your entire field of view with the video game world and update it with your heads motion so quickly that you can't detect any latency. You don't think these guys are breaking new ground, well id Software, Epic Games, Valve, mojang, Wolfire, and about 10,000 other developers beg to differ, myself including.
    Reply
  • shin0bi272
    The concept of VR has been around for a while the cool factor has always been off the charts. The thing about the oculus is that it connects to your pc and plays regular games once support has been added for the hardware. So it enables you to play your favorite game with head tracking...

    The down side though is a) what's the price? b) how long can you play with 2 screens an inch from your eyes? and c) how many games will support it?

    So you get into a very limited market sort of like ageia physx except the physx software was given out for free and you had to buy an add on card to get it to work... and its only supported by a limited number of games. It was a disaster and no one bought them and that caused the company to get bought out by nvidia who wanted to put hardware accelerated gpu physics on their boards. The tech has had limited acceptance since the unreal engine uses it but outside of the 50-100 games that support it (and some like metro 2033 not very well) its not used at all.

    I fear that that's what will happen to this tech... at best it will get bought out by a company like nvidia for something like their 3d vision surround tech.
    Reply