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Old January 27 2013, 11:42 PM   #1
Deimos Anomaly
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The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

I looked around and didn't see any threads about it already on the board so...

"Virtual reality" came out about 20 years ago... and it was absolute shite. What the helmets gave you was a small, low res rectangle, like a screen floating in space out in front of you somewhere, with awful head tracking that had a latency of about a second. So you turn your head and the view slews around about a second later.

VR was hyped up so much, and then was so crap in reality, that both gamers and the industry soured on it fast. For the next 20 years, essentially no improvement was made.

Which brings us to Palmer Luckey - who was obsessed with VR and bought just about every VR headset he could find on ebay, thinking threre must be something decent somewh... there wasn't. They were all crap. He realised, if anyone was going to design a proper, immersive, VR headset as it should be, using the available tech of today, he'd have to do it himself. The result was the oculus rift.

The prototype was put together using a 5 inch LCD screen, some aspherical mag lenses, and a pair of ski goggles. It uses the same gyroscopic, magnetometer components as found in smartphones for head tracking.

The result is a headset that provides full stereoscopic (3d) vision, wraps the scene around the wearer's eyes (filling the field of view, rather than being a rectangular screen hovering in space in front of you), and the head tracking is both exceptionally accurate, and has got the latency down to around 30 - 40 milliseconds (less than 1 twentieth of a second) at which point it is not humanly noticable.

Displayed at E3 last summer, a kickstarter campaign was started to try and fund the thing... and raised over 2 million dollars. Luckey formed Oculus and brought other people on board to help with taking the thing further. Bearing in mind he's only 20 or so. A whole bunch of industry people have now showed extreme interest in the Rift. One of the earliest heavy hitters to throw his weight behind it was John Carmack, the co-founder of id Software, and main coder for Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, Doom 3, Rage etc.

Anyway, I'm rambling on a bit. Watch:



Reactions of people testing it out:





He gets it on his head at about 21:45 in this one:


IMHO this is going to be absolutely HUGE. No more false starts, VR is here.

In March they're shipping 10,000 dev kits to people who are developing games or modding games for this, or doing whatever else... telepresence maybe.

Actually speaking of telepresence, I wonder if it could be used to provide more surroundings-aware control of vehicles, aircraft etc... with a gimbal mount on the outside with a pair of HD cameras, providing wraparound stereoscopic vision to the headset, and the head tracking data being used to control the camera mount... Some people say that ST "invents" a lot of stuff in concept that later becomes real (mobile phones, ipads etc)... well, this makes me think of that viewer the Jem Hadar put on their heads in place of a viewscreen.
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Old January 28 2013, 05:11 AM   #2
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

People still won't want to wear something on their head.
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Old January 28 2013, 05:25 AM   #3
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

I'd love to have one for flight/space sims, but the problem is that they often have a lot of keybindings and not being able to see the keyboard would be a problem. Not to mention that I'm sure it would make many sick when you're pulling tight turns.
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Old January 28 2013, 05:53 AM   #4
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

I'm not convinced, to be honest. As Squiggy says, people won't want to wear something like that on their head. That's actually one of the factors into the failure of VR that people are forgetting. It was a problem back then, and it's still a problem from what I'm seeing. In fact, it seems to be even bulkier than earlier VR headsets. Not to mention the cost as it's going to be quite a bit out of reach for most people and the adoption rate will be low for that reason. But maybe my opinions will change if I get to try it.

But I'm imagining that it could really be cool using it while playing an MMO. Or even the next Elder Scrolls game. Seems like it would be great for open-world games.

I'm also wondering, will it be compatible for people with who wear glasses? I have to wear glasses as I can't see well without them. Oh, nevermind, I see Chris Pirello is wearing some.

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Old January 28 2013, 06:22 AM   #5
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

Jono wrote: View Post
I'd love to have one for flight/space sims, but the problem is that they often have a lot of keybindings and not being able to see the keyboard would be a problem. Not to mention that I'm sure it would make many sick when you're pulling tight turns.
It's likely to start as arcadey, simple flight games. I imagine at some point one will be able to get VR gloves, where you can see your hands rendered in-game, and use actual knobs in the cockpit.

Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
I'm also wondering, will it be compatible for people with who wear glasses? I have to wear glasses as I can't see well without them.
One might wear contacts. Or if near-sighted, it won't be a problem 'cause the screen is inches away from your face. Ultimately, those lenses that warp the picture just might come with prescriptions.

I'm surprised the prototype doesn't integrate headphones and surround sound.

ETA: I like the clip where a guy flies in VR and compares it to drugs. Guess it'd be a lot like lucid dreaming. I'd wanna play as a Xenomorph in VR. Remember how trippy it was to run up walls and on ceilings in AVP?
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Old January 28 2013, 06:36 AM   #6
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

Looks nice, but this still has the one problem *all* artificial 3D has, and that is it's only parallax-based 3D. If I close one eye, I can still focus on near and far objects, but that's not possible with any current 3D system. I don't see anyone solving this problem for a long time to come.

Also, I have a problem with something that close to my eyes, since I wouldn't be able to focus too well on the screen.

Aside from those issues, it does look nice. I'm assuming he's managed to get the cost down by using recently-available off-the-shelf parts.
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Old January 28 2013, 07:28 AM   #7
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

I have to take dramamine to play anything first person. I can only imagine what something like this would do to me.
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Old January 28 2013, 07:40 AM   #8
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

The dev kit costs about $300.

They're hoping the commercial version will be in the region of $200 - $300.
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Old January 28 2013, 09:24 AM   #9
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

Jono wrote: View Post
I'd love to have one for flight/space sims, but the problem is that they often have a lot of keybindings and not being able to see the keyboard would be a problem. Not to mention that I'm sure it would make many sick when you're pulling tight turns.
With modern flight sims you can use mouse to access cockpit controls and the most critical functions are usually mapped to HOTAS anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem. I'm still concerned about the resolution. I don't think it's big enough to see the instruments or cockpit displays.
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Old January 28 2013, 08:34 PM   #10
Owain Taggart
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

O'Dib wrote: View Post
Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
I'm also wondering, will it be compatible for people with who wear glasses? I have to wear glasses as I can't see well without them.
One might wear contacts. Or if near-sighted, it won't be a problem 'cause the screen is inches away from your face. Ultimately, those lenses that warp the picture just might come with prescriptions.

Never worn contacts, but I guess I'll have to consider lasik eventually. Yeah, I'm nearsighted, so much so that I do actually require to have them on even while looking through binoculars or telescopes and I get that this would be similar. If they can make prescription lenses, that'd be awesome, though it would likely be a custom order. Without any form of corrected vision, I'd likely get a severe headache from using this.

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Old January 29 2013, 10:40 PM   #11
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

I tried one of these VR setups down in Disney World a few years back. Having something on my head wasn't what bothered me - I got a seriously bad case of motion sickness and had to get out of the thing before it was over. Cold sweats, headache, nausea, dizziness, weak-knees, all that. Until they figure out a way to overcome the visual incongruity with what the rest of the body is feeling externally, I don't expect I will ever use VR again. Hell, there are some XBox games that give me motion sickness. I remember Left 4 Dead was particularly bad in that regard. However, other FPS games like Skyrim, Battlefield 2, Call of Duty...never had a problem. I don't get it.
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Old September 25 2013, 10:58 PM   #12
Deimos Anomaly
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

Sooo... given how the OR has exploded across the internet, is getting massive dev work from both groups and individuals here there and everywhere, and from the reactions of pretty much anyone who's tried it, is leaps and bounds ahead of previous VR attempts (it just works and immerses your brain), and is now getting pushed by lots of bigshots and has millions and millions of dollars now behind it...

Are the doubting Thomases of this thread from January believers yet? Or are you still doubters?
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Old September 25 2013, 11:01 PM   #13
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

My brother is getting one at some point, but he is a game developer on the other hand. He's tried one and says it's completely awesome. I trust his judgement.
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Old September 26 2013, 12:55 PM   #14
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Re: The Oculus Rift (This will completely change the face of gaming)

From the sound of it it's fully sik. Might be worth a look at. Hope they redo Wing Commander 3 for it!
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