Making VR a Reality
It began as a Kickstarter passion project by Palmer Luckey and Jack McCauley to bring the promise of virtual reality (VR) into the hands of the masses. Now, with the backing of Facebook, Oculus Rift stands tall amongst giants to usher in the next generation of VR. The Oculus Rift (or the Rift, for short) costs US$599. This includes the headset, sensor, remote, cables, Xbox One controller, and a copy of Lucky’s Tale. On top of that, it requires a PC running Microsoft Windows 7 and above to work. The system must also have at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 graphics card, an Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent processor, 8GB of RAM, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI 1.3 video output. Games fuel the Oculus Rift and it has an impressive library. The set itself is bundled with Lucky’s Tale, a family-friendly 3D platformer. But take a step beyond the packin game, and you will find titles like ADR1FT, a beautiful and deadly first-person narrative game set in space. Fancy an RPG? There’s Chronos, a game inspired by Dark Souls, but with an interesting age mechanic. Playing games isn’t the only thing the Oculus Rift is good for. There are also experiences or entertainment titles such as Henry, The Rose and I, and Apollo 11 VR. These experiences are more narrative driven, much like movies, and may occasionally have interactive elements. Henry, for example, is a short movie about Henry the hedgehog and his adventure to find friends. Unlike a movie experience, the Rift puts you in the story right alongside Henry.