Oculus Rift Features

The highly anticipated VR technology may revolutionize gaming

Annual E3 Gaming Conference In Los Angeles
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The Oculus Rift has garnered a lot of attention from the gaming and wider tech community and has become a popular subject of hype and anticipation. The technology started its life on Kickstarter. As time has gone on, the product has started to move from being an intriguing funding pitch to reality, and the anticipation from the tech community has been enormous.

What are the possibilities of this product that have caused it to be so highly anticipated, and is the hype well-founded? Will the Oculus Rift make a big impact in the world of gaming? Here's a look at the notable features of the Oculus Rift, and how it will make its mark on the tech world.

Field of Vision and Latency

At its core, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality (VR) headset, and this is not a new concept to the world of gaming technology. Its initial support will be for PC gaming, though future console support is being hinted at. The notion of a virtual reality gaming headset is not new or notable on its own; gaming headsets have existed but have never been accessible or enjoyable for the average consumer. The two features of the Oculus Rift that purport to change this are the field of vision and latency.

The Rift features a 100-degree diagonal field of vision, which is much wider than is usually found on traditional VR headsets. This is important as it will counteract the "tunnel vision" effect often experienced with traditional VR products, resulting in a far more immersive gaming experience. The second feature is latency, the Rift is touted to support much lower latency than competing products, resulting in an experience that tracks head movements in a natural way.

Both of these features are said to be a result of the dramatically reduced cost of high-resolution displays and accelerometers, driven by the popularity of mobile smartphones. If the Oculus Rift actually supports both a wide field of vision and low latency in its final consumer version, it could result in a drastically improved gaming experience over previous VR products.

Game Support

The team at Oculus Rift has been intelligent in being aggressive in building game support early on, particularly with the first-person-shooter genre of games that would be best served by a VR gaming product. One of the first supporters of Oculus Rift from the gaming community was John Carmack of Id Software, makers of the Iconic Doom and Quake series of games. Doom III will be one of the first games to be supported by Oculus Rift.

Another victory was notched by the Oculus Rift team in announcing that game giant Valve will support Oculus Rift with its popular Team Fortress II. Having Valve's support of the platform is big, as it is the company behind many of the most popular first-person shooters, including Half-Life, Left for Dead and Counterstrike.

Engine Support

Oculus Rift has also been hard at work in solidifying support by major game engines. Unity3D has announced extensive support for Oculus Rift, and perhaps even more importantly, Oculus Rift will be supported by the Unreal Engine 3, which is the engine behind many popular first-person shooters. Less is known about the Rift's support on Unreal Engine 4, though this will be critical to the product's long term success, as the highly anticipated engine will likely become the de facto standard for future cutting edge FPS games.

Not Vaporware

One of the most important features of the Oculus Rift is that it genuinely went to market. Many highly-anticipated Kickstarter projects have featured attention-grabbing sales pitches, but floundered in implementation and going to market. In 2013, initial reports indicated that the Rift was delivering on its promised features. This bodes very well for the company.

Whether or not the Oculus Rift will truly make a big impact in the gaming world, or be a niche product in a cluttered market remains to be seen. However, the initial indicators seem to suggest that this is a product worthy of some serious attention, and the addition of the Oculus Touch controllers seems to back that up.