by Augmentl, April 1st 2016
The Oculus Rift is finally out, and while many are still waiting for their unit to ship, some lucky Redditors have had some time to get to know the world's first consumer device for high end PC VR. Here is a collection of their experiences, as they have shared them
Well, I've been playing with my new Rift CV1 for about 4 hours now and I have to say: If you cancel your order because of the specs, you are selling yourself short, big time! I hooked my DK1 back up in anticipation for a few hours a couple days ago, and it was basically, just as cool and also just as bad and motion sickness inducing as I remember it (I've never been motion sick in my entire life until using DK1). Today, when I fired up the CV1 for the first time, I was truly blown away!
I'll keep this brief because so much great info has already been shared. Colors are much more vibrant, tracking volume is great ( and I'm still trying to remind myself I can actually turn all the way around ). The notorious glare effect is real and very noticeable during credits, intros etc, but it hasn't bothered me in an actual experience yet.
Perhaps, lost in the furor over shipping and the disappointment in tepid, cutesy launch content, is the fact that Oculus finally did succeeded in delivering a VR headset that provides a comfortable experience for people who suffer from motion sickness. This was a big hurdle, and I for one really appreciate being able to finally share VR with the most important person in my life.
Works fantastic, looks beautiful (screen and design). The screen is much better than GearVR innovator, and positional tracking works fantastically. The lenses don't fog like my GearVR, and much less chromatic abberation. Leaning forward is a lot of fun, and cool for exploring little areas in Lucky's Tale.
There are a LOT of different parts of the VR pipeline that could have sucked but Oculus has brought it all together into one great experience. The build quality is unbelievable and I think it's going to hold up for quite a while.
Looks great, has great ergonomics, and getting/running software feels like a proper consumer-friendly experience unlike DK1/2... but I'm not sure any of those are exactly a game changer. In other words, its probably closer to the DK2 than the DK2 was to the DK1, or the DK1 was to the Virtual Boy. Is it worth it? Well for the $0 I paid, certainly /troll. But more seriously, this still feels like way more of an upgrade than when I get a new laptop or phone. I do think I'd have a mighty hard time going back to the DK2.
Holy shit the visual quality has improved from the dev kits. I thought DK1 was lousy because of horrible screen door effect and hilariously low resolution making text completely illegible. I thought DK2 was a solid resolution improvement and the screen door wasn't as bad as a result, but the chromatic aberration made stars in Elite: Dangerous look like 3 RGB stars in a row. It was still lousy as a result. CV1 fixes all of this and is the first HMD I'd actually use for daily gaming or media consumption rather than as a novelty or for development.
Regarding build quality and feel, this really doesn't feel like a gen 1 product. it is superbly polished and feels very futuristic. I can actually read text anywhere in the FOV. This is a huge improvement over the DK1. I believe the reason the FOV appears a bit smaller is because you can actually look at and focus on stuff near the edge of the display without it looking like a blurry smear. The FOV is no worse than when I wear my full faced DH mountainbike helmet.
Field of View: This is the most confusing issue when I see people complaining that the FOV is significantly smaller than the DK2’s. That is definitely not the case in real usage. I would say that, having just tried the DK2 again recently, the FOV in the CV1 is slightly better than that of the DK2. I can’t compare to the Vive yet, obviously. Resolution is definitely significantly better than the DK2. [Screen Door Effect] is very minimal in most circumstances. It’s there if you look for it, but it’s not obtrusive the way it used to be. However, the resolution is still not good enough to read text in small fonts, for instance. This headset is comfortable! It’s a huge step up from the DK2. Once it’s adjusted properly, it’s very simple to pop it on and off. The earphones are comfortable and sound good.
My overall experience has been fantastic with the CV1. I do play in short burst of 45-60 minutes and take a break. I suggest everyone do the same if you are at your first VR experience. For those who are still waiting for their pre-order, it's worth the wait. by the time you get your HMD, game will have better VR support and you will have more choice.
To be honest, having had so much exposure to VR and various "Oh, I get it now" moments in the past, I did not expect to have another one of those with CV1. I expected Oculus to have addressed some, but not all items on my personal wishlist, like comfort, resolution etc, but if anything I expected a mostly iterative rather than transformative experience. Imagine my surprise when it happened again. The experience was profound enough that it prompted me to, for better or for worse, write down my thoughts about it and post it on reddit. Oculus has done something with VR, that I did not know I wanted until CV1 showed it to me.
Bottom line, compared to DK2: - [Field of View] seems slightly bigger - [Screen Door Effect] has noticably been reduced, but is still there - Resolution 'appears' higher but is still quite low. However, allows for acceptable experiences in Project Cars, EVE etc. - Scope of positional tracking camera is much bigger - Unit is lighter, more comfortable - the product, setup and software appear very polished.
HOLY SHIT This screen is amazing! With the above notes about SDE, I had no issues using for everything but regular desktop use (more on that later). I am slightly colour deficient so any notes about colour reproduction I wont comment on, but I saw no issues with it personally. But, screen is amazing, no issues whatsoever with SDE, mild issues with resolution in desktop use.
Keep checking back for more impressions as they become available...