Oculus rift  headset promises to be the first step in making VR accessible to the PC masses. It uses a single connection, no external sensors, and is plug and play.

Requirments:

For using oculus Rift with PC the following are requirements.

Intel Core i5-4590 or greater, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater procesessor

NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card or greater is recommended .

Minimum 8GB of RAMOne USB 2.0 and three 3.0 USB ports.

One compatible HDMI 1.3 video output.

Graphics

The graphics are a slight step up from the last iteration, noticeable, but not massive. The controllers are likewise a slight step up from the previous generation and very easy to adapt.

Cameras

The new see through cameras and guardian system works very well. If you are new to Oculus, this is a visual barrier to let you know when you are going to run into things in the ‘real world With the headset on, you see a camera view of the real world. You trace out your play area with a ‘laser’ and this defines your play space, surrounded by virtual walls. The setup is easy and intuitive.

Sensors

Responsiveness is great and much better than single or dual sensor tracking of old. There is no break in the motion when a sensor loses sight of the headset because this headset tracks from the inside out using cameras placed all around the headset.

Display

Also gone is the glare from the lenses. Bright scenes had no glare around the edges (halo) like the last set. Colors are good and vibrant. In dark scenes the LCD panel shows its weakness with washed out blacks. In dark scenes it is very hard to distinguish items due to a lack of contrast.   When playing in sunshine you couldn’t see things in the dark with a flashlight. Unlike the last panel, this severe lack of contrast and black level is a strong drawback from OLED panels for space sims (Elite Dangerous, etc.) or shooters where there will be a lot of dark areas.

The lenses don’t steam up as fast as the old units although it is noticed that  face is much more ‘sealed’ to the front of the unit. It is good in that it seals out light almost entirely. However, it was noticed that you have to physically lift the unit to find the keyboard, etc.

Types of games

Oculus is  mostly used for seated gaming (Elite, Project Cars, Assetto Corsa, etc.) than standing games. When playing standing games with the touch controllers the better seal would be preferred. If you want to peek into the ‘real world’ you can double tap the Oculus button on the touch controller to enable the cameras. This works well, and is thoughtful, for situations when you are spinning around shooting zombies and become entangled in your headset cord.

Sound

The built in sound is very weak with no bass. A canon shot sounds like a ‘tink’ rather than a ‘boom’ in War Thunder for example. The headset uses directional sound from the strap to direct sound down towards your ears. Unlike the last version, headphones will not fit over the straps on this version. While it does include a built in microphone, It is preferred to use a noise canceling headset for gaming that also provides a richer sound (for seated play). This design simply does not allow for that. The sponge on the strap sides (used for comfort) create a 3/4-1″ (20-25 mm) offset, on each side, that hold the headphone arms (and ear pads) away from your head. This applies to over the ear, or on ear headphones. If you use ear buds it won’t be a problem.

Speaking of the strap, it works surprisingly well with a single wheel to tighten the unit to your head. It pulls the headset to your face and there is a release to move the actual lens part (the big box) away from your face. If you wear glasses, this is far better than the last set. It is a little harder to get the up-down into focus because the ‘box’ does not pivot in any way.

All in all, it’s a mix of good and bad over the old unit. Definitely easier to put on, although  goes back to full tight every time it’s removed, but harder to get into the sweet spot for focus. Once in focus, it stays put very well. The Rift  doesn’t use any external sensors. The sensors are built into the headset. You don’t need to purchase anything extra.

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