- Apr 25, 2008
Kev, your starting to sound like you work for them in their advertising department lol Get us a sample and do the review.
Oculus VR is kicking off E3 with an upgrade to its virtual reality console, the Rift. By simply upgrading its optics from one off-the-shelf cellphone display to another, the company has upgraded the goggles to 1080p — and based on a few minutes of time with Rifts old and new, the upgrade makes a huge difference. Gone is what CEO Brendan Iribe called "the screen-door effect," and everything comes in much sharper and clearer. We played a game rendered in the newly-integrated Unreal Engine 4, and from the snowflakes outside to the large, horned monster inside, details just pop in a way they never did before. It makes the world feel more immersive, more immediate.
The 1080p screen is split in two, so each eye sees a 960 x 1080 portrait display — Iribe said the company was worried about how the switch from landscape to portrait might affect the games, but said he's seen no issues. Nor have they had problems with the games created by the 10,000 developers who now have Oculus Rift dev kits — the SDK is built to scale its resolution, so Iribe said it's only the beginning. As cellphone displays get better, so does the Rift, and the company gets to outsource its R&D to Apple, Samsung, and the like.
Play 1080p games, and watch 1080p movies
With HD comes a number of other possibilities as well. Iribe strapped the Rift to my head and fired up the Man of Steel trailer, which I watched in high definition, in a theater: Oculus' Virtual Cinema makes it look and feel like you're in a movie theater, from the seats to the lights in the aisles. (No popcorn, though, a problem I told Iribe to remedy as soon as possible.) The possibilities here are limitless: Iribe noted the possibility of filling the movie theater with your Oculus friends and watching the movie together, or even moving seats to get the perfect perspective. It's an immersive, active experience, and it looks far better in 1080p than anything we've seen on the Rift before. When Oculus can put a 1080p screen on each eye, or go even higher-res than that, the Rift could pretty quickly keep you away from the movie theater — just strap the theater to your face.
Oculus won't say when the HD version of Rift will be available to developers – it had apparently only just gotten the high-def prototype working ahead of E3's start. Neither would Iribe say if this is as high-res as the Rift will get before coming to customers. But based on what we've seen, it's a huge leap forward — not least because it's now more fun than ever to shoot a fireball in a snowstorm and just watch it go.
We guess it was inevitable: veteran game designers who worked on the likes of Rage, the Call of Duty series, Lost Planet, Madden and Planetside 2 are working on an "Erotic Adventure" game for Oculus Rift.
Called Wicked Paradise, the game is based on the principle that "Instead of watching an erotic movie or reading an erotic book in which the main character has exciting sexual adventures, you become that character!
"Imagine playing Leisure Suit Larry but instead of watching a screen, you are inside the game," it reads. "Imagine the world and its inhabitants look highly realistic. Imagine walking into a bar in Wicked Paradise, noticing a beautiful lady, talking to her, and seducing her." You can guess the rest - there's more info on the official site.
This was always going to happen, we suppose. Wicked Paradise is planned to release in 2014, at the same time as the Oculus Rift itself.
How it worksThe dream of wearing a lightweight headset, like the Oculus Rift, in order to simulate physical presence isn't limited to the imaginary worlds of video games. One man's vision is that of immersive TV shows, movies and live sports. In fact, David Cole, co-founder of Next3D and an industry veteran who helps content creators and providers produce and deliver 3D, has been using his Rift dev kit to bring TV and film to life since the kits started shipping in March. The company is combining its video processing and compression technology with its experience in content production and stereoscopic delivery to offer what it's called Full-Court.
Next3D hopes to leverage its existing relationships with creators and providers to assist them in jumping into the world of live-action VR content. This includes both pre-recorded and live broadcasts. We wanted to see this firsthand, so we jumped at the opportunity to witness the creation of content and experience the results. This trial run of Next3D's stereoscopic, 180-degree field-of-view camera rig, and the post-processing to adapt it to VR, was part of the production of the paranormal investigation show, Anomaly, at Castle Warden in St. Augustine, Fla. Being nearby, we braved the perils of the haunted surroundings to tell you about what we hope is only the beginning of virtual reality content.