Consumer Oculus Rift available for Pre-Order
A long time ago, the Oculus Rift was nothing more than one of a thousand Kickstarter projects, but now the upcoming release of the consumer version of the Rift is seen as the holy grail of simulation displays.
So after a long wait, the consumer version of the best known Virtual Reality headset is now almost here and available for pre-order.
The Oculus Rift will be retailed in 20 countries and will cost €699 in mainland Europe, $599.99 in the US, £499 in the UK, AUS$649 in Australia, NZ$699 in New Zealand, CDN$849 in Canada, ¥83800 in Japan, and KOR$649 in South Korea. Keep in mind that these prices do not include tax and shipping costs.
All of this is making the Rift a little more expensive than hoped for. Also, keep in mind that you will need a very beefy system to power this latest iteration of the Rift. Oculus recommends a Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent, an Intel i5 processor, and at least 8GB of RAM as minimum requirements. If you want to make sure your system is up to the task at hand, Oculus offers a downloadable compatibility checker to make sure you meet the recommended requirements.
Pre-orders were supposed to ship on March 28th. However, within 15 minutes of pre-orders going live, online orders were informed to expect a shipping date of April. After an hour of pre-sales, the expected shipping date was set back to May. It is not clear if this was caused by either a limited initial supply or volume of sales.
The consumer version headset will come with a head-tracking camera, an Xbox One controller, Oculus remote, connection cables, a carrying case. The kit includes two games being the Eve Valkyrie shooter and the Lucky’s Tale third-person platform game.
The Rift headset can accommodate people who wear glasses and features a built-in dial that can be used to adjust the distance of the two lenses, making sure a sharp picture is reproduced in various situations and also accommodates users with different eye spacing . The headset also features built-in headphones which is described as a 360 degree VR audio system. The headphones are removable and replaceable. The Rift will natively work with Windows 10 and people will be able to stream their Xbox One games to the Oculus Rift.
A small minority of the sim racers out there already owned one of two publicly available development kits of the Oculus and most of them seemed to be very positive about the unique properties of the world’s best know VR headset.
However, most of us were only able to check out the Rift at trade shows and in product videos leading to some love or hate reactions. While in a perfect world the Oculus Rift would blow away all existing display systems, we can safely say that this will not be the case for all gamers and sim racers out there.
Early adopters will run into a few issues and shortcomings. Besides being dependent on the implementation of Rift support, the consumer version of the Oculus Rift does not support DX9, which factors out a lot of popular sim racing titles such as iRacing, rFactor 2, RaceRoom and the older sim titles.
There are some more drawbacks when using a VR system that will have a negative effect on its real life use. First up is the rather limited resolution output, and the less than perfect image quality of the current versions. When using the Rift, some people can find the isolation from the outside world a little disturbing or might even develop some claustrophobic tendencies.
In a Sim Racing environment, there is also the fact that a lot of us own and use a selection of Sim Racing peripherals such as button boxes and display units that will be rendered almost obsolete when wearing a VR headset. Users of a multi-screen setup will definitely miss the larger field of view they have without the need to turn their head.
Last but not least, exposure to a virtual environment can cause symptoms that are similar to motion sickness caused by the visually-induced perception of self-motion. This can result in general discomfort, headaches, stomach awareness, nausea or worse.
Having said that, the new breath of VR headsets are definitely bridging the gap between expectations and reality. When we talk about immersion, it is very difficult to imagine any other system that can bring you so close to the feeling of reality.
Oculus Rift requirements:
- NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8GB+ RAM
- Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
|Official Webpage – www.oculus.com