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Pax Prime 2012: Oculus Rift hands-on preview

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Posted by: Andrew Clouther

I’m not going to lie, I haven’t even thought of virtual reality since the Virtual Boy back in 1995 and that was… yeah.  In my simple world, virtual reality sort of just died off and I didn’t think it was a thing anymore.  When the Kickstarter for the Oculus Rift first opened up I watched the videos and remember being impressed but still sort of brushed it under the carpet.

The thing with virtual reality is that you really can’t get a feel for it until you try it out.  There is truly no way to put into words the experience of using the Oculus Rift.  I had the opportunity to try out one of three prototypes ever created on Friday, and let me tell you, what an amazing experience. 

With the Oculus, I played Doom 3 BFG Edition.  The laser scope on my gun was the center of my vision.  Where I looked, the laser followed.  This made aiming literally shooting where I looked.  Movement and firing was done with an Xbox 360 controller.  When I moved my head, the game moved perfectly with me, no delay.  I instantly got immersed within the game.  In Doom 3, that can be downright terrifying. 

The developer kits for the Oculus Rift are shipping out sometime in December.  Once programmers get their hands on this, the possibilities are truly endless.  The company’s philosophy is “quality over price” because they want the product to be as enjoyable as possible.  There is no date on the release of a consumer version but they plan on making it as affordable as possible.

If you’re wondering how you’ll use the Oculus with glasses, they have assured us there will be a solution; one of the possibilities was having adjustable lenses to fit you prescription needs.  Note that this solution is just theory and by no way the final solution.  It should also be noted that what we got our hands on was a prototype and that the final product will have cosmetic changes; there certainly won’t be a circuit board exposed on the front.

Check out our first impression video and keep up with the Oculus Rift.  If and when you get an opportunity to try this head mounted display out, do it.

Tags: PAX Prime, Oculus Rift

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