Virtual Reality is not new to gaming. For those of you old enough to remember, quite a few of the major video game companies tried to capitalize off of it…all with disastrous results.
Anyone remember Nintendo’s ill-fated Virtual Boy?
Well if you do, you know that they were less than successful.
Enter Oculus VR., a company founded by Palmer Luckey who describes himself as a virtual reality enthusiast and hardware geek. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised $2.4 million to help fund development of their first product, The Oculus Rift. I have to say, I really think this is going to be the breakthrough that makes VR a household item. It’s been in development for a couple of years now but the most recent version is very impressive. It has two, 5 inch OLED (organic light emitting diode) displays with a resolution of 960×1080 per eye yielding a 100 degree field of view. It is compatible with mainstream PC operating systems and android mobile devices. Developers are already designing software for the apparatus and the list of compatible games is expanding. People that have had the opportunity to test it out have said that it is the most immersive gaming experience they have ever had.
Now if you guys are like me, you’re probably thinking of other ways this device can be useful besides gaming. If successful, I can see it being used for architecture, education, even in hospitals. Imagine a disabled patient that is confined to a bed having the ability to go anywhere in the world via the Oculus Rift and the right software.
Or course there are still issues with the tech that have to be sorted. Problems with latency could really hamper the functionality of the device. Motion sickness may also affect a percentage of gamers. Motion blur was also an issue but has been resolved.
A consumer version of The Oculus Rift is scheduled to be released Summer 2015. Personally, I am looking forward to snatching one up to play Star Citizen with.
For a more detailed look at the specs: