Published on July 16th, 2013 | by Lucy Niess, Reviews Editor
First Thoughts: The Oculus Rift
If Google Glass gives you Iron Man vision, then the Oculus Rift would give you Matrix vision. The Oculus Rift has gained popularity since its announcement in 2012, and has been available for demoing at CES, E3 and at EVO. I was able to test it out to see what all the fuss is about.
Upon putting it on for the first time, I noticed how comfortable it was. It did not feel too heavy on my face to the point where it brought my head down, nor did it slide around all over the place. It allowed for the full experience of complete immersion in the game. There were few, if any, spots where my peripheral vision could see anything outside of the game.
After getting comfortable with it, I took a look around with it to see how open the world of the game was. The game that was demoed was a side-scrolling hack and slash title (did not catch the name), and I could look left and right and see the enemies coming closer to me. The only thing I did not test out was turning around completely 360 degrees. I was unable to see if the world continued as I spun around. But since it was a side scrolling game, I guess I assume there was nothing behind me.
If there is any piece of advice I can offer to those who who wear glasses and are thinking of getting the Oculus Rift, wear contacts when playing it. I wear glasses normally and I did not bring my contacts thinking I did not need them. However, the lenses for the Oculus Rift did not allow room for my glasses so I had to take them off. I did not think it was going to be a big deal, since I thought that the game was going to zoom in more (for some odd reason). However, this was not the case, and I was playing blindly (literally).
I was unable to fully immerse the self in a game because I could not see what I was playing in the first place. The Oculus Rift does not take kindly to those who wear glasses, so invest in some contacts if you don’t already own some. But hey, at least it won’t ruin your eyesight even more like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.
Despite my lack of eyesight, the Oculus Rift was a fun experience. I could see how one could completely dive into a game and feel like they are in that first-person POV instead of just being in first-person mode on a screen.
But although it was fun, I personally would not get one at the moment. Since my experience with it was skewed because I couldn’t actually see, I was unable to get the full feel of it and thus, not overly impressed. Maybe a future date at another event where the Oculus Rift will be available for demo, I will wear contacts and try it again. It is something for the developers to know, considering not everyone has the ability to wear contacts when playing video games.