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The Oculus Rift is the original VR headset responsible for the resurgence of virtual reality and its viability as a consumer product. The most polished consumer VR headset on the market, this device is the de facto gold standard when it comes to the VR experience.
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With the Rift, Oculus have provided not only the highest standard of hardware quality, but also a reliable and thoroughly-tested software experience. By funding the development of many different game, Oculus have ensured that there is a large pool of excellent VR games waiting to be played, and only by grabbing a Rift will you have access to all of them. If you're looking for something that looks and feels like a high-end product, and offers the most diverse selection of VR experiences, the Oculus Rift should be your first choice.
Beautifully crafted, the Rift’s light frame can be adjusted to fit you perfectly. Its rigid straps allow most of the weight to be balanced on top of the head, allowing the face-plate to rest securely against the face without applying any pressure to the skin itself.
The headset is covered in a soft, aesthetically-pleasing fabric that serves to keep condensation build-up to a minimum, whilst not blocking the infrared signals that are essential for head tracking.
A fashionable-looking headset is certainly not a top priority for most, but the Oculus Rift is undeniably good looking: its sleek, well-engineered appearance is the product of many years of obsessive design. It simply looks great sitting on your desk while you’re not wearing it.
Putting on the Rift is as easy as putting on a baseball cap, with its elastic arms that stretch as you pull it down over your face. Once on, its unique integrated headphones flip down over your ears, and can be freely adjusted to find the perfect fit.
On the subject of audio, this headset also has a very high quality microphone built-in. This allows you to easily communicate in virtual worlds without needing to fumble around with any additional peripherals, nor get tangled in multiple wires from different devices.
There’s also a small dial on the bottom of the headset that allows for the adjustment of the lenses’ interpupillary distance (IPD), essential for providing a clear image to suit each individual’s face.
The Rift uses bespoke-designed hyrbid Fresnel lenses that have become the absolute gold standard in consumer VR optics. Compared to alternative lenses, they provide a completely crisp view (where other lenses will blur outside of a central sweet spot) while also smoothing out the overall image, lending to more immersive, cleaner-looking graphics.
The screens themselves – one for each eye – are low-persistence AMOLED displays, with a native resolution of 1080×1200 each, at a 90Hz refresh rate.
Asynchronous Time Warp (ATW) technology makes the experience even smoother by eliminating the nausua-inducing sensation of experiencing low framerates in VR experiences. Rather than a low framerate causing the entire experience to stutter, ATW ensures that head motion always renders at a full 90fps, even if your graphics card is struggling!
The Oculus Touch controllers provide the most intuitive method of interacting with VR currently available. Moulded to fit a relaxed and comfortable grip, the motivation behind their design has been to make you feel like you aren’t holding anything at all. With the Touch controllers, you’ll feel like you’re truly using your hands to directly manipulate virtual objects, whether you’re holding a paintbrush, waving to a friend or shooting a gun.
Sensors across the device do more than just track the position of your hands: the location of each individual finger is also detected. In other words, your virtual hands map perfectly to your finger gestures, making the experience even more immersive.
Oculus Home provides an incredibly intuitive and immersive user experience. Sensors on the headset allows Home to automatically start up when it detects that you’ve strapped in. No fumbling about in the dark!
Besides being a platform from which to access all of your games, movies and other VR experiences, Oculus have dedicated a huge amount of resources towards funding VR content creation. This has resulted in the Rift having access to more content than any other headset, and lends itself to the headset’s reputation of being the most consumer-friendly virtual reality option.
The following PC specs are recommended for the full Rift experience:
|Video Card:||NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater.|
|CPU:||CPU Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater.|
|Video Output:||Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output.|
|USB Ports:||3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port.|
|OS:||Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer.|
This tiny remote lets you navigate menus and control VR media intuitively, without having to reach for your gamepad or keyboard.
They may not look like much, but these built-in headphones not only provide audiophile-approved sound quality, but beautiful functionality. They can be adjusted to sit perfectly over your ear, flipped up, and even detached completely.
The elegant positional sensor sits on your desk and captures your headset's position across a surprisingly large area. Multiple sensors can be combined to increase the tracking area, allowing for room-scale experiences.
Cutting-edge Touch controllers offer the most immersive VR interaction currently available. Featuring exclusive finger tracking and a tiny, light-weight form, these are the first of their kind, and will likely be the model that many future VR controllers are based upon.