Of the three products discussed in this article, Oculus is the one you are most likely to have heard of. It may have something to do with a little company called Facebook and $2 billion dollars. Oculus was founded in 2012 by Palmer Luckey at the ripe old age of 19. Mark Zuckerberg was so impressed with what Palmer and his team were able to do that Facebook acquired the fledgling VR company in 2014 to the tune of $2 billion dollars.
What is the Rift?
Of the devices discussed here, the Oculus Rift will be the first to market in March 2016 at a price of $599. The box includes the head mount, sensor for tracking, Xbox One remote, Oculus remote and a copy of Lucky’s Tale – a VR platformer.
The kit includes a headset with microphone so no additional accessories are needed. You do need a pretty beefy computer to get this to run though.
30 games will be available at launch with many more in the pipeline.
What Makes the Rift Unique?
There is a LOT of money behind Oculus and the Rift. Facebook didn’t spend $2 billion dollars on a whim. Facebook sees VR as the future and you can perform some simple foreshadowing to see where Facebook may take the Rift in the near future.
Who is it for?
The Rift is aimed at the mainstream PC gamer. With great technology and a price lower than the Vive, Oculus is hoping to be the VR solution for PC gamers.
It’s impossible to say at this time how the outlook is for the Rift, but based on several factors I’d have to say “pretty good". Oculus will have 30 games available at launch with many more in the pipeline. They also are helped by their competition. The more people who buy into VR as a platform will increase interest across the board. Having a huge company behind them will also help.
The cost is really the biggest “gotcha" at this point. Once you add up the cost of the Rift, and possible cost of a new PC with supported video card, you may need to dish out over $1500. The cost of entry could be pretty high if you don’t already have a high end computer and card.