Today we got the chance to have a go of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
VR Insanity had their booth set up, demonstrating games such as Mirror’s Edge and Team Fortress 2 in a virtual reality environment. The unit fits rather comfortably and is adjustable for all sizes. Headphones are able to be used over the top of the Oculus Rift with ease, which did not interfere with gameplay.
We first checked out Team Fortress 2, and one of the first things we noticed was that the video output was quite pixelated. We were told later that we were using developer units and not a final consumer make. Grasping the concept on how to control visual movement is a little confusing at first, but makes sense shortly after. In Team Fortress 2, health bars and ammo meter appear separately to the gameplay output, similar to what you would see from a 3D movie. This all moves depending on where your head is pointing. The mouse is still used to control the gameplay output.
The Oculus Rift is not something that people will start playing for long periods of time on first go. After about 5-10 minutes of playing Team Fortress 2, I started to feel a bit nauseous and had to take a break from it. It will be one of those things that you get used to when you use it more.
No release date has been set for the consumer model, but we’re looking forward to seeing improvements out of the final result.