Today Oculus had a special presentation with the latest news regarding their Rift Virtual Reality head set.
The commercial version will be available in the first quarter of 2016.
The design is pretty impressive, small and smooth, wearable like a baseball cap.
It comes with integrated 360 degrees special audio and headphones, but these can easily be removed if you prefer to use your own.
Comes with X-box 1 controller.
It will also work with a sensor you will place on your desk, not sure if this will just help locate which way you’re looking at, standing or sitting or if it will also be able to track gestures, like the leap motion.
It looks like this;
Here is the official Oculus introduction video;
At launch you will be able to experience a few games straight out the box.
Eve Valkyrie, a space ship shooting game, sounds interesting but I always wonder why anyone would want to do some science fiction space flying if you could also be flying a Spitfire!
Nevertheless, this looks very exciting and I can imagine that such a game is perfect for the VR experience as you’re sitting in a seat in RL and VR, looking all around you.
I can’t wait till I can defend London during a dogfight in 1940, suddenly being shot af from behind and as you try to look over your shoulder to see who is shooting at you, you see a Messerschmitt pass over your cockpit.
Anyway, a good game for the Rift either way.
Another game coming, ready for the Rift, is Chronos.
Doesn’t look very impressive and again, it is a fantasy theme, I’m allergic to those.
But technically it is all about a labyrinth, a RPG, again a rather good test case for the Rift.
‘Edge of nowhere’ is the next VR Rift made game, this again, sigh, is a fantasy theme, but it takes place somewhere in the Antarctic.
So atmosphere wise it is very nice and cold.
Other games are a shooter, a sports game, a kids puzzle game, etc.
To me this illustrates perfectly why Second Life is the best VR tool there is, none of these games or experiences are appealing to me.
I want to see some of the things I’ve seen in SL or even better yet, create my own VR experiences.
It is such a shame Sansar is not at that level yet to be part of this Rift deal, part of the package that is ready for VR users who have just bought the brand new Rift.
Lets hope Sansar is ready next year when the Rift hits the market anyway, although I think that is too soon.
Oculus has also developed ‘Oculus Home’, the virtual ‘desk top’ sort of library where you’ll have access to all your Oculus ready software or game.
You’ll see what your friends are playing, you can buy a game, manage downloads, join games, etc, without removing your headset.
But it is nowhere near a virtual world, so there is at least one company not developing a virtual world… yet.
I was quite amused when one of the chaps said that with VR we’re able to watch movies in a virtual cinema and that one day we could even do that with friends…
I’m pretty sure some of the VR cinema demo’s already have that but either way, we’ve been doing that in Second Life for over a decade…
The next, quite big news was the revealing of their secret project; Oculus Touch.
It is, according to Palmer Luckey himself, the best way to interact inside VR.
In short it is a sort of joystick or controller you wear in each hand and that allows you to, for instance, pick up things, shoot a gun, give a thumbs up, etc.
It looks interesting and it is smart, even impressive to come with a whole new way of controlling a game inworld.
But I can’t help wondering why they didn’t just go with an improved version of the good old VR glove.
Or improve their table sensor with something like Leap Motion technology.
People want to wear less stuff while in VR, not more.
It was not mentioned if these came with the Oculus Rift when bought, so I assume you have to buy them separately.
It seems like the Rift is going to be quite the expensive toy and although lots of rumours about how much it will eventually cost have been going around, we still don’t know how much money we’ll have to spend and it wasn’t announced during this presentation either.
Tech specifications were also not released.