The Oculus Rift Review

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ingtar33

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My main concern about the Rift isn't addressed in this article. And that's if it will become Orphanware. You see, there is a fraction of the gaming public who has a computer able to play games on a Rift, and an even smaller number of those people who will spend $600 to buy a Rift.

This leaves the game manufacturers in a tough spot. They want to make and market games that will play on the most pcs possible. So my fear is that in 6-18mo we'll see the end of titles that will play on the rift, and nothing new in the pipeline as those titles will prove to be financial duds to the industry, thanks to the tiny install base.

And then the Rift will become Orphanware, a product without a market or market support.
 

Realist9

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I stopped reading in the "setup up the rift" when I saw:

1. "you're asked to set up an account..."
2. "you're prompted to configure a payment method..."

What am I setting up an account for, why do I have to 'sign in', and what am I setting up a payment for??
 

kcarbotte

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Time will be the ultimate test for the Rift, but I don't see that fate coming.
The companies working in the VR industry are incredibly excited about the prospect of this new medium. When the biggest companies in the world are pushing to bring something to market in the same way, it should be telling of the potential these companies see.

Facebook and Oculus have not been shy about saying that adoption will be slow. If developers haven't been paying attention to that, then they will surely fail. Most understand that the market will be small, but in the early days of VR the market share will be large, as most people buying in this early will have a hunger to try out as much of the content as possible.

I've also spoken with several VR developers in person about this issue. Most, if not all of them, are prepared for low volume sales. This is precicesly the reason why you won't see many AAA titles exclusively for VR for a while. The games will be shorter, and inexpensive to produce.
VR games are mostly being developed by indie shops that have little overhead, and few employees to pay. They are also mostly working for minimum wage, hoping to see bonuses at the end of the year from better than expected sales.

I don't think we have any chance of seeing the Rift, or the Vive, fall into the realm of abandonware. Tools are getting easier to use (VR editors), and cheaper to access (Unity, Unreal Engine, Cryengine are all free for individuals.) The resources for people to build for this medium are vast, and there's no better time to be an idie dev than now. VR is a new market, and anyone has as much chance as the next to make the next big killer app. It resets the industry and makes it easier to jump into.
VR will not be dominated by the likes of EA and Activision for some time now. It opens the door for anyone with a good idea to become the next powerhouse. That will be a very compelling prospect for many indipendant, and small development firms.


 

Clerk Max

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No mention of VR motion sickness or kinetosis in this conclusion ? This is a major showstopper, preventing more than a few minutes of immersion for most people.
 

kcarbotte

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If you kept reading you'd know the answer.
You are signing up for Oculus Home, the only way to access content for the Rift.
As soon as you put the headset on, the sensor inside it initializes Oculus Home. Without an account, you can't access any of the content. It's exactly like accessing content on Steam. You need to sign in.

That's the same reason you need a payment method. There's free games, so you can skip it, but you can't access any of the paid content without an Oculus Home account.
If SteamVR ends up supporting the final rift, then you may be able to play other games on it, but at this time, you need Oculus Home for everything on the Rift, including existing games like Project Cars.
 

Joe Black

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I get the sense that it is where 3D gaming was right after Windows95 and directX launched.

That's cool.Believe it or not you actually did need a relatively beefy PC for that back in the day. It was not for everybody yet.
 

kcarbotte

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Read page 8 if you want to know about my motion sickness experience. Only two games gave me any kind of trouble, and both of them were caused by first person experiences. Its well established that moving around in first person is not comfortable for many people. The motion messes with your brain because you aren't actually physically moving. actually sitting, while your character moves around isn't comfortable at all for me. Some people don't have trouble, but the comfort levels are there for a reason. Both of those games are listed as intense experiences, so even Oculus acknowleges that that some folks will get sick.

All of the 3rd person games that I tried, and the games with cockpits (Radial G, Project Cars, Eve: Valkyrie) are all very comfortable.

We'll talk more about motion sickness and effects of being in VR for extended periods over the coming weeks. So far, with the limited time we've had with it, I've only used it for less than 10 hours total. There's plenty of games that we've not even fired up yet, so a full discussion about getting motion sickness seesm premature.
 

kcarbotte

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That's a good comparison.
I like to use the first Atari console as a comparison. This is the dawn of a new medium that people don't yet understand. It will be expensive, and not for everyone in the early days, but look at where video games are today. If everyone had the same opinion about Atari back then, as many people seem to feel about VR, the entire video game industry wouldn't have existed as we see it today.
VR will be similar. It will take a long time to get mass adoption, and the road there will have plenty of changes and advancements, but it's definitely going to happen. VR is far too compelling and has far too much potential for it not to.
 

Realist9

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The 'conclusion' page is really spot on. Specifically, the parts about AAA titles and casual audience.

So, does the release version of the Rift still require graphics settings in Project Cars to be turned down with pop in and jaggies? (read this in a Anand article from 16 Mar).
 

moogleslam

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My ONLY question (for myself) is will the games I want to play make me nauseous or not. If they do, then I have to decide whether I can "train" myself to overcome it, or will it be sold on eBay for a profit and replaced with a 34" 21:9 G-Sync monitor (Predator X34 or PG348Q). I'll find out in a few days.
 

Realist9

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If you kept reading you'd know the answer.
You are signing up for Oculus Home, the only way to access content for the Rift.
As soon as you put the headset on, the sensor inside it initializes Oculus Home. Without an account, you can't access any of the content. It's exactly like accessing content on Steam. You need to sign in.

That's the same reason you need a payment method. There's free games, so you can skip it, but you can't access any of the paid content without an Oculus Home account.
If SteamVR ends up supporting the final rift, then you may be able to play other games on it, but at this time, you need Oculus Home for everything on the Rift, including existing games like Project Cars.
I set myself up for that one, didn't I :) . Thanks for the clarification!

This is sad news though, I hope they can make Rift ready titles available without it. The last thing people need is ANOTHER place to log in when there's no reason for it.
 

kcarbotte

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I did all my tests with the Oculus Ready PC that was provided to us. It has a GTX 970 and an i5-6400.
I did not mess with any graphics settings. The default configuration was excellent. It provided smooth framerates, no jaggies, and i did not notice any significant pop-in. I feel like they put a lot of effort into polishing the game.
 

kcarbotte

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If you kept reading you'd know the answer.
You are signing up for Oculus Home, the only way to access content for the Rift.
As soon as you put the headset on, the sensor inside it initializes Oculus Home. Without an account, you can't access any of the content. It's exactly like accessing content on Steam. You need to sign in.

That's the same reason you need a payment method. There's free games, so you can skip it, but you can't access any of the paid content without an Oculus Home account.
If SteamVR ends up supporting the final rift, then you may be able to play other games on it, but at this time, you need Oculus Home for everything on the Rift, including existing games like Project Cars.
I set myself up for that one, didn't I :) . Thanks for the clarification!

This is sad news though, I hope they can make Rift ready titles available without it. The last thing people need is ANOTHER place to log in when there's no reason for it.

So it looks like there's hope yet. In the documentation that came withe Oculus SDK 1.3 package that was released today, Oculus states that developers can make games and experiences that launch outside of the Home environment. Devs can even sell apps outside of the Oculus Home storefront, and Oculus won't take a cut of those profits.

You will still likely need an account though, as Oculus said that the home button is a requisite feature, so that players can access the calibration menus.
 

Realist9

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Kevin, thank you for the replies and additional information. It is much appreciated.

I want to want to buy a CV1 or Vive, but I see a lot here and elsewhere that gives me significant pause.
 

kcarbotte

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What are you concerns thus far?
 

agentbb007

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Great article! Very thorough and hits on all of the main points. Can't wait for my rift to arrive, I got in early and got the Your Rift is Shipping Soon email so hopefully I get it this week!
 

kcarbotte

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Awesome. I hope you enjoy it.
Despite the few issues I had with motion sickness, the Rift is an awesome product and I'm sure you'll be impressed with it.

Palmer Luckey tweeted this morning that Kickstarter backers will recieve thier kits first. The first pre-order kits will start to be delivered on Wednesday.
 

Realist9

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1. Return policy, from the Oculus forums, is on a case by case basis. That means you can get a return, if Oculus feels like giving one. No mention on following laws regarding returns. No data on a restocking fee.
2. I can’t test it properly to determine if the games I want to play with it make ME sick, or look bad compared to non-VR version. I don’t care about resolution, just how it looks. (also, see #1). 5 min testing at Best Buy (when available) isn’t going to solve this...maybe several trips to test out, but not sure what games they'd let me see/test.
3. You MUST sign in to Oculus Home to access/buy CV1 games/content (obviously not true for ED, right?) and to access the calibration menu. This is really bad. For God’s sake, we have/had: Windows for gaming live (dead), Origin, Uplay, etc, etc. required just to be able to play a particular game. When will they learn? [This will hopefully change moving forward, as you said. I do hope software devs sell outside Oculus Home or at least in addition to. Also, why can't access to the calibration, etc be in the form of a driver type download like video drivers??]
4. Most of the current content is casual gaming at best. Notable exceptions are ED, Valkarie,and Project Cars. (see #2). ED and Project Cars is almost enough for me to not care about this one.
5. Graphics in VR are 3 yrs behind where we are (until hardware manufacturers allow software devs to close the gap).
6. Included audio headphones. You can detach and not use, but there’s no audio pass through connection on the headset, so you’re going to need a 4m long cord to use your current headset. I’m unsure about the experience of a CV1 in a room that has a surround (5.1/7.1) stereo system in it. Do they sync correctly as you move around? A concern is positional audio…I want to know something is behind/left of me by HEARING that it is behind/left of me.
7. Even though a i7 2600k (my proc btw) performance exceeds the CV1 required modern i5 (i5 4590?), the compatibility tool doesn’t pass the 2600K. No way to tell if the 2600k is good enough without buying/trying (see #1).
8. There will likely never be a FPS in VR (apparently sitting, while in VR you are running around, generates nausea/sickness).

All that said, I feel like if I could buy one, set it up, and try it for 7 days or so, I could eat a restocking fee of 10% or so if I decide it's not for me.
 

heinlein

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How usable will this be for someone that doesn't have high speed internet? I don't like the idea of downloading 22 GB at 1 MB/second.
 

agentbb007

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Most of the launch titles don't look like massive AAA titles like Witcher 3's 30 GB but I would assume most will be at least 5 GB. So if you don't like downloading games from Steam, Uplay, Origin or other game distribution platforms then you probably won't like downloading games for the Oculus store.

The obvious question would be why you don't have high speed internet? I would assume 99% of people who ordered the Rift are huge tech geeks and having epic internet has been a priority for years. So IMO before spending money on the Rift spend some money on high speed internet, that would be better use of your money.
 
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