The gaming press has been pretty gaga over the potential of the Oculus Rift, an affordable set of VR goggles for interactive entertainment, but those of us with our feet in two worlds have been thinking one thing: Personal IMAX. Richard Eisenbeis at Kotaku has taken the Oculus Rift for a spin with movies, and gives a full report on the experience.
Occulus Rifts that are currently in public hands are all prototype development units, and that definitely impacted writer Eisenbeis’ experience. He describes the efffect as something akin to watching video “on the world’s biggest standard definition CRT TV.” The Occulus also manages stereoscopic 3D by using optics to split a single LCD panel into two eye views, so 3D wasn’t exactly spectacular.
On the current units, resolution is limited to about that of a standard definition television, which at a distance of about two inches from your eye doesn’t make for the best viewing experience. Blockiness is a real issue, and when he tried to watch a 3D movie on the goggles, it didn’t work out so well. Creating the 3D illusion is quite dependent on sharp lines carefully aligned, and when you bring down the resolution about six times, it’s hard to maintain a really good illusion of depth.
All hope is not lost, though; there should be a FullHD 1080p version of the Oculus Rift available in the near future for developers, and by the time you can guy one at Gamestop, probably for the average Joe.
That doesn’t seem to be his worst problem with the experience, though:
To tell the truth, I wasn’t able to watch all three films in one go. After watching the first two films, I had to take a break from using the Rift and return to the real world. While it wasn’t crippling or anything, I was in pain. Despite the Rift’s less than a pound of weight, my sinuses, where the Rift had been resting, ached. More than that, though, my head and eyes hurt.
Check out Eisenbeis’ impressions, and the terror of gigantic My Little Pony using a utility called “VR Player,” which puts your video file into a virtual movie theater, at the source link.