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Overview

The Oculus Rift virtual reality set is the best VR gear for Windows PC money can buy. There are a great variety of editions available from previous developer’s models, from Alienware, Asus, and Dell bundles, as well as the standalone Oculus Rift Headset. These bundles and editions range in price depending on where you purchase them. This review will cover the pros, cons, design, PC specifications, and options available for the 2016 Oculus Rift, which will become available in August 2016.

Brand & Model: Oculus Rift

Links: https://goo.gl/z2joNq

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Specs/Size/Design

The Oculus Rift is the latest in designs to create a PC-based virtual reality headset that allows the user to completely immerse themselves in gaming, film, and virtual escapades. This high tech piece of equipment is unlike the Samsung Gear VR. The Gear VR is a mobile smartphone virtual reality headset for certain Galaxy devices.

The Oculus Rift, however, if a fully-fledged PC-based virtual reality system that is of the highest quality, technology, power, and functionality. Perfect for gaming or watching films in the best 3D virtual environment possible today, the Rift is the flagship design that cannot be beat.

The rift is compatible with Windows PCs, with minimum specifications needed for the best quality during usage. You will find the minimum recommended specifications for your PC in this article, as well as a link to a compatibility download.

The device itself is black with intuitive controls and extras in the bundle including sensors, a controller, remote, cables, and more. This makes high quality resolution, gaming, and controlling easy and intuitive. The device is of course, unisex and is fully adjustable for men and women; children and adults.

Technical Specifications

  • Set Includes: Oculus Rift Headset, Constellation Sensor, Integrated and Removable Audio, Xbox One Wireless Controller, Oculus Remote, and the Oculus Touch Controllers
  • State of the art, custom optics and virtual reality displays
  • High refresh rate and high visual fidelity
  • Low-persistence display
  • Wide field of view
  • Low-latency constellation tracking system (sensation of presence)
  • Design is comfortable, customizable, adaptable, and attractive
  • Includes sensors and tracked controllers for complete VR immersion
  • Connect with Rift users online and play against them

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Power Source

The Oculus Rift uses a USB connection to power the VR gear. No batteries are necessary in this design. The USB connection frees users from having to plug into an outlet with yet another cable.

The Good

The Oculus Rift has nearly everything going for it. This VR headset is the best that money can buy.

Not only can the user enjoy gaming on the next level with the made-for-Oculus Xbox controller, remote, VR headset, and web connectivity, but gamers can join other Rift users online and play against them. This live gameplay in a high-resolution, 3D virtual world is an exciting new level in entertainment.

The Rift is not only a headset, but it includes tracked controllers (Oculus Touch), sensors to track head movements for immersive control, integrated audio, and an Xbox One wireless controller for gameplay. Using head and hand movements, the Rift allows the user to control their movement and interactions in the virtual worlds in ways a traditional remote and screen cannot allow.

The Oculus Rift is most sought after for its incredible gameplay options, but it is also astounding for 2D or 3D displays for watching television and films via download, streaming, or application use.

The Rift is made with the best materials, is compatible with Windows 7 PCs and above (within certain specifications), has a unique look to the intuitive remotes and headset, and comes in a large variety of bundle options, including the newest set that can be pre-ordered now and will begin shipping in August of 2016.

The Bad

This virtual reality headset is designed and intended for PC use only. It is not suitable for smartphone VR use like the Samsung Gear VR is. This is not a negative aspect per se, but many consumers may not know that the Rift is for PC use only, as it is often paired in advertising with the Samsung Gear VR.

Mac users will not be able to use the Rift on their computers. This is a Windows-based PC VR set and is not compatible with Macs.

It also requires certain minimal specifications including a graphics card of NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD R9 290 or greater, CPU of an Intel i5-4590 or greater, and many USB ports. Since the Rift uses a headset, sensors, controllers, etc…it requires three USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port. Not every PC will have these minimal specifications, so make sure you click on the link in this article to download the compatibility tool to make sure your PC is Oculus Rift ready.

Highlights

The highlight of the 2016 Rift is the range of intuitive control options for the user’s complete immersion in film and games.

Along with the VR Headset, which offers a wide viewing range for 2D and 3D films as well as 3D gaming, the Oculus Rift set comes with additional features, including the Oculus Touch, the Oculus Remote, the Headset, Audio, and more.

The Oculus Touch allows the user to reach out and manipulate objects in the virtual world in an intuitive manner that replaces traditional controllers. This is a true 3 Dimensional reach into virtual reality. With outstanding resolution, 3D capabilities, amazing graphics, high-quality materials, and easy USB connection, the Rift is the flagship model for VR devices.

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Functionality

The Rift is a high-quality VR device whose functionality is nearly beyond reproach. The technology, craftsmanship, and construction offer a highly functional design that is both advanced and intuitive. The many parts come together to create a truly immersive experience for Windows PC users. Due to the requirement of NVIDIA GTX 970 graphics card as a minimum, the pairing of the PC and VR Headset combine to form the best and highest quality functioning VR device on the market.

The tactile functionality options are plentiful in options and are intuitive for natural use.

The Oculus Touch is an incredible intuitive hand-held device that allows the user to use their natural gestures and movements to interact with the virtual world in their headset. While your eyes are immersed in the VR world, this remote interacts with the environment as if you were there. Using constellation tracking, you can actually manipulate objects in the VR world with precision.

The Oculus Remote also allows for intuitive exploring. You can interact and explore the virtual environment so you can watch films and putting navigational controls at your fingers. The remote includes: navigations, home, back, select, and volume controls.

The Rift also includes integrated VR audio to offer an additional sense of immersion, space, and depth in the VR environment. The audio arms are removable, so you can watch films and play games without bothering others by using your own headphones.

Included in the Rift set is a sensor designed specifically for virtual reality. This sensor tracks constellations of IR LEDs so it can translate your hand and head movements into virtual reality. All you do is set this device in front of you and when you are sitting or standing, it will track your movements so you can move within the virtual world.

Recommended PC Specifications

The following is the minimum recommended PC specifications for using the Oculus Rift. The level of hardware needed (especially the graphics card), is an extremely important part of making sure the Rift’s performance is excellent across a range of games.

  • CPU: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • GPU/Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 8 GB + RAM
  • Video Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0 ports & 1x USB 2.0 port

You can also download and run the Oculus Rift compatibility tool for Windows to find out if your Windows PC is ready for the Rift!

Compatibility Tool: https://www.oculus.com/en-us/rift/ (You can find the download button at the bottom of the webpage).

Pricing

The latest Oculus Rift that is ready for consumers (as opposed to the developer’s kits and models from 2015) on the market is priced at $599.00 directly from the Oculus Rift website. The current estimated ship date for this latest Rift set is August 2016 and is currently limited to 1 per customer. This is due to the popularity of the developer’s models and earlier Oculus models and bundles that sold out extremely quickly online.

The Oculus Rift set includes: VR Headset, Sensor, Remote, Cables, Xbox One Controller, and Lucky’s Tale (an included VR game).

You can purchase the Oculus Rift directly from their website or on third-party websites such as Amazon. It is highly recommended that you purchase the Rift from Oculus’ website so that you can ensure your warranty and customer support. Even if it ends up selling out, the prices on Amazon will be gouged up to three times the price or more by re-sellers. If you want the Rift right away and are willing to pay $1,600 or more to get it once it sells out, then that is up to you.

However, the following link will take you to Oculus’ website, where you can order the Rift and download the compatibility tool to make sure your PC is ready (I highly recommend running this tool before purchase).

Oculus Rift: https://www.oculus.com/en-us/rift/

Overall Impression

The customizable, adaptable, comfortable, and attractive Oculus Rift is of the highest construction, design, and quality available on the market for PC virtual reality sets. The Rift’s technology is top-notch and when paired with a PC with excellent graphics technology, you will experience film and gaming like never before.

With a headset, intuitive remote, audio, and wireless gaming controller, this set has everything you need to immerse yourself in entertainment in a way that you have never experienced before.

With a price of $599.00 for the latest release set for August 2016, for those seeking this kind of high tech gear will find it worth the price. Gamers will pay thousands for a great gaming PC; a $600.00 VR set is within these consumer’s budget.

Even those who want the Oculus Rift for watching film and television online, the price tag for virtual reality technology of this caliber is reasonable.

For some consumers who may want this technology, it may be impossible without the purchase of a new PC. For Mac users, the Rift is not compatible. For those on a budget, price may be beyond their range. Also, for those with Windows PCs but do not have a graphics card of NVIDIA GTX 970 or greater, they may have to upgrade their graphics/video card which costs additional money.

However, the success of the developer’s models and the high-quality design of the Rift, speaks for itself. Click on the following link to view information and purchase options for the upcoming 2016 Oculus Rift.

Purchase Link: https://www.oculus.com/en-us/rift/. Visit the bottom of the webpage to download the PC compatibility tool prior to buying, in order to see if your PC meets the minimum recommended technical specifications.