Forget Google Glass, Oculus Rift is the only tech headwear gamers need to know about.
The Kickstarter sensation from start-up Oculus VR isn’t on sale yet, but it is in the hands – and on the faces – of intrepid developers already, who are hard at work wrangling its virtual reality potential to transport you to another world: here are five reasons it’s going to change gaming for good.
You can jump out of a plane. No, really.
Skydiving is an incredible thrill, but if you’re not one for heights, there’s an Oculus Rift game for you that will let you experience the adrenaline rush from the comfort of your own home. NDreams’ experimental demo called skyDIEving lets you jump out of a plane, splat against the ground and repeat it all over again – plus there’s multiplayer too. The demo is currently in its early stages of development, but it’s already shaping up to be something special.
Open world exploration takes on a new meaning
Imagine traversing the world of vast world of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on foot, with your head panning the camera, watching dragons breath fire across the landscape. Imagine no more, as it’s now possible thanks to the combination of the Oculus Rift headset and the Omni treadmill that successfully hit its Kickstarter goal last month. The 360 degree treadmill lets you walk through Tamriel, and explore its dungeons on foot, and even break a sweat when fleeing from trolls. The Omni works with other games too, including Valve’s hilarious Team Fortress 2 multiplayer fragfest, letting you duck and dive out of the way of enemy fire.
John Carmack of id Software has joined Oculus VR
Legendary programmer John Carmack, the brains behind Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake fame is one of the most renowned names in the gaming industry, and he’s just joined Oculus as the new chief technology officer. Having one of the pioneers of 3D gaming onboard at the company that’s leading the charge for VR headwear can only mean good things: imagine first person Doom, with no TV or PC screen between you and the monsters. Scary stuff.
How about a sociable social network?
You could use the Oculus Rift for more than just gaming. Remember PlayStation Home, the wide open, massively multiplayer chat room that Sony developed for the PlayStation 3? Picture jumping into a similar virtual world with the Oculus Rift, and heading into a virtual cinema. You’ll be able to watch films in the cinema, interact with digital friends in the virtual area, and you might even be able to interact with the movies too – all without the annoying teenagers giggling away in the back seats. Who needs 3D glasses at the cinema, when you’ve got Oculus Rift?
Training for the real world 2.0
F1 drivers and airline pilots can practice their skills on simulators, but what if other professions could too? The sense of reality that the Oculus Rift provides could prove to be a boon for training people in some professions, as well as making it far cheaper to provide. The medical world could also see the Oculus Rift being used, as surgeons could potentially refine their skills on the virtual playing field, using their own heads to see what’s going in the operating theatre and on the table. And hey, if some of these simulators are fun for hobbyists to play too, even better. Train Driver for Oculus Rift, anyone?
Will you be joining the Oculus Rift revolution? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Play virtual reality Half-Life 2 on the Oculus Rift!