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Five reasons to believe Oculus Rift will be awesome

Sega VR

When I first found out about Oculus Rift, I was stuck in two minds. On one hand, the idea of a virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD) unit that I could play modern games with sounded cool for obvious reasons, but on the other hand, it was hardly a new concept. In fact, there have probably been dozens of head-mounted VR devices released in the past 20 years, all promising to change the way we interact with virtual worlds.

So what makes the Oculus Rift special? Well as it turns out, a bunch of stuff, at least from where I’m sitting. Here are five reasons I’m actually legitimately excited about this piece of hardware.

Financial Backing

To date the company behind Oculus Rift has raised around $91 million for the project. That’s a lot of scratch, and it means a few things. Firstly, it means that the concept, as well as this specific version of it, is impressive enough to make a lot of people throw money at it.

Secondly, it means that the developers have a decent resource base to prop up what is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in the video game industry.

These guys endorse it

When it comes to name dropping, Oculus VR pretty much takes the cake. Firstly , id Software co-founder John Carmack was so impressed with the project that he took on the role of Oculus VR’s chief technology officer.

John Carmack Oculus Rift

Also, these guys have all publicly endorsed the device:

Gabe Newell: CEO Valve

Cliff Bleszinski: Former designer at Epic Games / general industry loudmouth

Tim Sweeney: Founder of Epic Games

Shuhei Yoshida: President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios

CCP Games: Creators of EVE Online

Masahiro Sakurai: Director of Super Smash Bros, Kirby series

Markus “Notch” Persson: Creator of Minecraft

Chris Roberts: Creator of Wing CommanderStar Citizen

It could change gaming

Having spoken to and read articles by people who have actually experienced the device for themselves, it’s not that difficult to believe that Oculus Rift may actually make good on years and years of HMD promises. If it can deliver a truly immersive visual experience, then it’s difficult to imagine how it won’t eventually replace flat screen gaming.

This compilation of peoples’ reactions to the Rift pretty much sold it for me:

Palmer Luckey

The guy driving the entire project, Palmer Luckey, may be the hugest VR geek on earth. He’s credited with having the world’s largest personal collection of HMDs, and is a long-time moderator of Meant to be Seen (MTBS) 3D’s discussion forums.

Palmer Luckey
Luckey’s vision from the outset was to create a new head-mounted display that was not only more effective than anything on the market, but also a device that would be inexpensive and aimed at gamers. It was one of his first prototypes that caught John Carmack’s attention, and it was good enough to result in the industry veteran joining the project on a senior level.

Current and future projects

If Oculus Rift can deliver on its promise, then it will become the most immersive and engaging video game platform created to date. By radically altering the mechanism by which we engage with virtual worlds, the Oculus Rift will present wholly unique prospects and opportunities. The device doesn’t even have a firm release date, and there are already some really interesting projects in the works:

OuterraM-E4-615x345

The idea of exploring this 1:1 scale model of Middle-earth using Oculus Rift was recently a trending conversation on Reddit.

EVE Valkyrie

Gender-swapping simulator (don’t watch this at work!)

  • BinaryMind

    NEED THIS. Might not be very social at a LAN though :)

    • Alex Rowley

      Oh man I just pictured a whole LAN full of people wearing the Rift, everyone would like robotic drones lol.

  • FanieNel

    Another 5 reasons:
    It’s awesome.
    It’s awesome.
    It’s awesome.
    It’s awesome.

    Also there is the Omni Treadmill thing being developed for it. That means you can actually jog around in Skyrim and get in some exercise.

  • Alex Rowley

    Honestly still not convinced that this won’t be just a side that thing will just be nice to have but not necessary, like those 3 monitor set ups.

    This really seems like something you have to try first to get a proper opinion on it, It also had better be damn comfy because people don’t just play games on one hour intervals.

    • budmon44

      To each their own, but I just don’t understand this reaction and comments like these. A 3 monitor setup doesn’t immerse you in the world. A 3 monitor setup isn’t in perfect 3d. A 3 monitor setup doesn’t track your head movements.
      A regular pair of sunglasses weighs about 50 grams. The Oculus prototype weighs 379 grams or 0.84 lbs or 13.4 oz. Thats not much at all. Plus the latest prototype (Crystal Cove) is being compared to headsets that cost over $10,000; but Oculus plans to sell theirs for about $300-$400. I just wish people would stop being pessimistic about this product and be thankful instead for this awesome tech that we will get to experience.
      In fact, this will be by far the best use for higher resolution screens in the future (unlike a 4k television)

      • Alex Rowley

        My point about the 3 monitor set up is that it’s a cool thing to have but an unnecessary one, not that the Rift was the same thing.

        Having to put anything on my face to play a game already has me wary and if the Rift is not comfortable to wear for hours on end it could be a problem. The tech in impressive but I haven’t tried it out yet and until then I will remain interested in it but not wholly convinced it’s the next big thing in gaming.

        But who knows? Maybe I try it and it convinces me it’s the best thing since sliced bread? I’m just trying not to be blindly hyped about it because it mostly leads to disappointment.

  • XCal1bur

    Well that video sold me on it too. Wow, I laughed so hard. Awesome, can’t wait to get my hands on it one day. Skyrim…..happiness.

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