The Oculus Rift arrived earlier this spring to mixed reviews. Fortune summarized the general feeling upon the Rift’s arrival.
“The Oculus Rift is proving to be about as divisive as virtual reality itself. Tech critics love the headset, but reviews from mainstream outlets are far less flattering,” said columnist Chris Morris, adding that consumer sentiment has been about the same.
The New York Times claimed the Oculus Rift was a clunky portal to a promising virtual reality.
“I can report that while the Rift is a well-built hardware system brimming with potential, the first wave of apps and games available for it narrows the device’s likely users to hard-core gamers. It is also rougher to set up and get accustomed to than products like smartphones and tablets.”
Geoffrey A. Fowler from the Wall Street Journal believed that the Oculus Rift just wasn’t ready for the mainstream.
“The Rift demonstrates flashes of a brilliant future where we can move freely through countless virtual worlds. But even after I fixed the sensor glitch, a week with the Rift showed me it still needs to dig itself out of some deep holes,” Fowler explained.
The review added that the Oculus Rift was the type of product you wanted to try, but not own — that is, unless you were a serious gamer. When released, the Rift didn’t have controllers to interact with in the virtual reality world like the HTC Vive did. Unlike the Rift, the Vive also came with tracking stations that allowed you to walk around in the virtual reality world.
After months of promises, Oculus has finally released its Touch controllers (a pair sells for $200) to help provide a more immersive experience. Engadget says that these controllers are well worth the wait.
“Sure, it’s taken nine months for Oculus to actually put motion controls in the hands of consumers, but it’s clear that the company hasn’t been twiddling its thumbs. Instead, it’s delivered one of the most refined game controllers I’ve ever held,” says critic Devindra Hardawar, adding that not only are the controllers totally comfortable, but the motion controls are smooth and accurate.
Ben Silverman from Yahoo Tech says the Oculus Touch is the “handiest” VR controller yet.
“Oculus Touch, however, brings the Facebook-owned Oculus and its Rift at least one step closer to the virtual reality game-changer we’ve all been crowing about. Released as an optional accessory for the Rift headset, the twin controllers are about as far from optional as an accessory can get.”
The review adds that compared to the 6-year-old PlayStation Move controllers and the large ones Vive includes in their package, the two Touch controllers are very elegant. Many new games and experiences have become available to use with the Touch controllers over the past few weeks. Does all this now make the Oculus Rift an HTC Vive killer?
The HTC Vive may not have controllers as good as the Oculus Touch, but it provides room-scale VR right out of the box. This is something that Oculus hasn’t been able to do — at least until recently. According to Upload VR, adding the Touch controllers and one extra tracking sensor ($79) to your Oculus package will achieve this, even if the setup is a little complicated.
Do you own the Oculus Rift VR system? If so, have you been able to set up room scale VR? Let us know your results in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Eric Risberg/AP Images]