Sunday, June 2, 2013

Oculus Rift Development Kit ordered

Sunday 2nd June 2013

Over the past week or so I've been watching a huge number of YouTube videos around the Oculus Rift. It appears to be the first consumer focused virtual reality headset targeted at a reasonable price point and complimented by a awesome array of features such as large field of view, head tracking etc and decent screen resolution.

I had originally read about the Rift on Kickstarter but as they were targeted for developers I didn't really think much about it. But as the developer kits were delivered and people started to post their reactions it became apparent that not everyone who bought the kits were themselves developers. I guess like most people who have an interest in VR they want to get it as quickly as possible and didn't want to wait for the consumer version to arrive.

What peaked my interest was the reaction people were having to the immersion. This was not just gamers but their parents, grand parents, friends and other family members. I decided to check the OculusVR webpage and the development kits are still being offered for $300USD. Now to me that is fantastic value and that would be the average pricethat I've paid for monitors. One of my favourite games is Armed Assult and I knew that it supported EyeFinity and ended up getting 3 new 27" monitors. That has served me well for about 2 years but always wanted more monitor space. A video of my setup is included below.

How do I increase the level of immersion with a monitor setup? Do I get bigger monitors? Do I create a Simpit in my garage to satisfy my demands? I've even seen novel ways of hooking up 3 projectors and having them overlap to give large field of view but nothing quite achieves the screen size as that of what the Oculus Rift aims to offer.

The potential for gaming is enormous. FPS shoot em ups are made for this but also flight/space and driving simulators. But there should also be lots of other opportunities for pre-visualisation of architecture and even for travelling to places you would never get to in person. 

How the Oculus team is staging the availability of the Rift makes perfect sense. No point bringing out a product if no one has any content for it. Get it out there for the developers first to understand their requirements and to allow them to create the tweaks to existing games.

My order # itself is over 56000 so if this aligns with the true number of developer kits sold that is a significant number and shows the potential that this has. Can't wait to receive the developer kit and looks like I'll have at least a 2-3 month wait.