As far as game peripherals go, the Oculus Rift is kind of cool but still kind of out there. Last week, Oculus VR announced that the virtual reality headset is going to start its run as an actual consumer product early next year. With E3 a month away, this device is sure to garner plenty of attention at the event. In my house, talk of obtaining an Oculus Rift is, well…happening, but not in a serious way. As cool as the device sounds, there’s nothing that make it a “must buy,” not for us anyway. Because the last time we bought into something gimmicky that was game-related, we picked up a 3D TV and couple games that were 3D-compatible. You know how many times we’ve played 3D games on our 3D TV? Zero. Unless you count the initial trial in which we had to see if it actually worked. Then I guess you could say we’ve got thirty minutes of 3D gameplay under our belts. So worth the money we shelled out.
As far as gaming peripherals go, the Oculus Rift is currently about as grand as they come. I mean, what else is out that could change the way we game socially and physically? (We’re talking only peripherals here, not integrated controls, i.e. the Wiimote.) Well..I guess there could be something else, but I probably wouldn’t know, because gaming peripherals and have a sticky history. And that’s to say I don’t care for them much. This is despite there being so many cool things out there. From fantastic gaming headsets to specialized controllers to things that came make your games sound better and feel better.
When we got our Alienware Alpha, we chose to look for a mouse and keyboard. Having never had to search for them before, I was floored by the choices available. Everything was brimming with so many bells and whistles! Picking the “right” devices was excruciating. Interestingly, though we are frugal, our decision hinged mostly on functionality over price. (When it comes to gaming, I’m usually of the mindset to spend money on the games not the things that may make the gaming experience better). So when it comes to the Oculus Rift, the question is: is its function worth the cost? (Whatever that may be, and we’re guessing “not cheap.”)
I’m willing to bet that some of us who grew up with “virtual reality'” being a much touted thing since the days of Johnny Mnemonic, look upon the Oculus Rift with a mix of excitement and disdain. It’s a device we’ve been promised for decades, and one that, when the experience has made it to market, had been truly disappointing. But the idea of gaming in a 3D environment is still pretty darn cool. Although I fear any associated motion sickness that may come from the event (an issue for many, and one which Oculus Rift VR has reportedly tackled), I would really enjoy spending a little time with, say, DOOM, all up close and personal. I’d like to think that the experience would help me relive that time when I actually enjoyed first-person shooters, though the device will surely be capable of transporting us beyond guns for the sake of guns. Though, perhaps my very first question should be, will the consumer device be comfortable for folks who wear glasses? If not, then that’s a fairly massive dealbreaker. I guess it’s a case of “wait and see.”
As we’re on the verge of the Oculus Rift becoming a real, store-bound device, what are your current thoughts on it? Is it bound to be just another gimmicky gaming thing, or could it truly change the way we game?