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Oculus Rift Impressions

PCWorld and PCMag.com offer hands-on impressions of the Oculus Rift VR headset based on checking it out at CES 2013. Though Valve's Michael Abrash recently discussed technical hurdles standing in the way of making the gameplay part of virtual reality a reality, each site raves about the quality of the experience so far. Here's a quote from PC Magazine:

After the 3D effect of the Oculus Rift, the head tracking provided the most sense of immersion. I didn't just see objects with depth, I saw them as if I was looking at them with my own eyes. The Oculus Rift tracked every movement of my head as I looked around, tilting and shifting the picture appropriately. I found myself watching a snowflake fall from the sky and moving my head to follow it. I looked from high above my head down to the ground as the snowflake fell. I couldn't see my feet or any other part of my body, but, again, this is a software issue. The effect was still incredible.

The Citadel demo was the most detailed, but it wasn't interactive. That's why Oculus VR prepared another demo that put me in the action. I played a modified version of Unreal Tournament 3 that incorporated the Oculus Rift's head-tracking into the gameplay. The effect was incredibly immersive, making me aim with both my thumbs and my head to get bots in my non-existent sights. There were no displays in the game, which meant no reticle or health information. Again, this was just a proof of concept demo, and while I learned to aim with my head quickly, real games for the Oculus Rift will have to balance aiming and head-tracking and incorporate a reticle in the display.

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