VR seems to be the greatest new thing on the block. There are three different offerings with plans to come out within the next year, HTC Vive, Playstation VR and Oculus Rift. It is the final of these which has actually taken imminent moves to release. Pre-orders are about to open…
Announced via a blog post today, Oculus Rift has confirmed that they will start taking pre-orders from the 8am on the 6th of January (2am on the 7th for us Australians). They have not released further information about what exactly is required for pre-orders or even if they will be available to those outside the United States of America.
They have confirmed that there will be freebies for all those that pre-order. With every unit comes with a copy of the game Lucky’s Tale, and for those that pre-order, it also comes with a copy of CCP’s new game EVE: Valkyrie.
For those who are looking at picking up the Rift it is important to remember the system requirements. Detailed in a post in the middle of last year the requirements are quite high. The minimum suggested CPU is an Intel i5-4590. which is not too bad. However, the graphics cards requare a little more grunt. For people who run NVIDIA, the Rift suggests at least a GTX 970, while those who use AMD can get by with a 290. They also suggest at least 8gb of ram, which should not be too much of an obstacle these days.
Palmer Luckey has also stated that he will be opening the floor for questions in a Reddit AMA. It is currently scheduled to be held on the same day, just somewhat later in the evening (6pm PST). For us Australians, this puts it from about midday on the 7th.
Julian: I want to be excited. VR looks like it could be really cool. However, as there are so many VR Headsets coming out in the next year I cannot see any immediate benefit ordering this without some kind of regular user feedback.
While Oculus Rift is the first, I have not seen anything comparing it to the Playstation offering (which has some extremely positive feedback as it is quite comfortable) or Valve and HTC’s collaboration on the Vive.
Before people jump in and order on the 6th I would, at a minimum, wait until after the Consumer Entertainment Show (CES 2016 is to be held from the 6th to the 9th of this month) where both Playstation VR and the HTC Vive will be present to showcase their gaming headsets. There is no confirmation of the system specs yet, but it appears that the Vive will include a pair of controllers while the Oculus Rift announced that their input solution (the Touch) will be delayed until the second half of this year.
While I am normally a PC gamer I can see huge benefits of the Playstation VR offering. The requirements that the Rift is asking for are not common by any means and to have a console would guarantee a certain degree of compatibility regardless of the game you want to play.
I suppose that what I am saying is that I am excited to see where this tech leads, but I would like to urge everyone to be a little cautious, examine the options and choose the product that best suits your desires rather than just jumping on the bandwagon.