As someone who has covered Oculus from the beginning, I was excited to be able to buy something far more advanced than the already fun but very much a work in progress Development Kit.
As soon as the $600 price was announced, the Internet and Twitter went apoplectic, with one outlet essentially proclaiming that the dream of cheap VR was dead, and Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey taking to Reddit to apologize.
Huh? Am I the only one that thinks the price is perfectly rational for what it is? Having now played the shipping version (and nearly every other previous version), I’m more than happy to shell out my own $600 for something so amazing. Why are there suddenly so many haters?
The demo blew my mind
I’m going to assume most of you haven’t tried the Rift, and that in itself could be part of the reason why there’s a backlash. After all, if this was just some lame VR thing, like all other lame VR things before it, $600 would be insane and not worth anyone’s money.
Here’s the demo I got yesterday at CES, to give you some idea why this device is so cool.
After getting situated in the headset, headphones, and with the two touch-sensitive controllers (the Touch, shipping later this year), the world before me became the end of a long subway car. I was able to look around fluidly, with no lag to the motion and no blurring of the images (thanks, Black Frame Insertion and the OLED display). In front of you are ghostly images of your hands, which turn and flex to mimic the motions of yours in the real world. I’ve never seen anything like that before, and it’s amazing.
There’s no walking in this specific demo. Instead, you teleport with an aim and button push of the controller. Once you get the hang of this, you proceed to the next car. Here, a voice instructs you to look down on the car’s bench beside you. There, two guns sit. The voice simply tells you to pick them up. You reach down (I even had to bend slightly at the knees to reach them), and put your virtual hand over the gun.