A virtual reality headset has been something that has been fantasized about, and promised, for years: the ability to put on some piece of technology that has the capability to trick (or at least hide) reality and substitute it with a game or some other program has been a goal that many have striven to achieve. Because of technological limits, however, there have always been problems in the implementation. Issues such as lag or low-resolution displays have always been present just enough to ruin the experience.
The Oculus Rift is currently being shown at CES, and The Verge had the following to say about the developer version (which isn’t even quite final):
Strapping on the Rift and stepping into that virtual, 3D world was a lot like seeing a 3D movie for the first time — it’s initially a shock to your system. The Oculus team says that lag and latency in the final dev kit will be improved over what I tried, and that’ll probably go a long way towards improving the experience. It certainly wasn’t bad, just rather jarring. Being able to turn completely around in 360-degrees was another surprise — and a delight. Of course, in most games, you won’t be looking all the way around, but the level of immersion is extremely high.
But the immersion trumps all, even despite the Rift’s relatively low resolution. Walking into a church after being out in the open sky felt claustrophobic and enclosing, and the feeling of looking around a vast outdoor world while in reality sitting at a desk was both jarring and fascinating.
The developer version’s displays are reportedly lower-resolution than that of the final product, but even the low-resolution displays reportedly provide a fantastic experience for those who use it. It will be interesting to see if the experience is too jarring for people: if it is, this may never reach the mainstream. But with the right price and a better design (the developer version reportedly feels and looks rather cheap), the Oculus Rift may be one of the more successful products shown off at CES 2013.
The Oculus Rift is supposedly going to be available later this year, though the price is currently unknown.