Videogames, PC, VR

Oculus Rift DK2 Quick Impression

When it comes to 3D VR technologies, I am negatively biased. Products like the Virtual Boy and the Nintendo 3DS offered a disapointing 3D experience, and the only added entertainment I get from a 3D movie in theater is a pounding headache. The first time I placed a Oculus Rift Developement Kit on my head, I fully expected to be disapointed. Instead, I was blown away by the Tuscano demo. For the first time, I was experiencing a virtual world that was not disorienting. In essence, my reaction was that they (Oculus Rift) finally got it (VR) right.

When the second development kit was announced, I immediatly pre-ordered. Like Mark Zuckerberg, I firmly believe in the potential of VR as a new platform. I received my development kit yesterday and got to try it out a bit.

As Oculus has stated time and time again: the device is not ready for public consumption. The device requires quite a bit of calibration, most of which I'm still trying to understand. The increase in resolution provides a significantly improved experience, but the head tracking is jittery. That should fix itself once I properly calibrate the unit. As for software support, I gave up trying on MacOs early on. However, installation on Windows 7 was very straighforward.

Development-wise, I have two options : Unreal or Unity. Given my lack of C++ skills, Unity would be the natural choice. However, the Pro version, which is required for Oculus Support, is a bit expensive at 75$/month. I'll try it for a month or two, as I want to better understand the device.

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About Alexandre Denault

Veteran software developer and holds a PhD in Computer Science. Avid computer enthusiast (geek) who has been dabbling with technology ever since his Dad brought home an 8086 computer.