To tell you the truth, I don't know how to tackle this "review"... it's not a review, because the product isn't really a product, it's more of an alpha of a device that might come out next year. You can't really review the first draft of a novel, or the first cut of a movie, so this is more of a "my thoughts on Oculus RIGHT NOW" review.
I've used Rift before, but professionally, for TweakTown, when I covered PAX Australia last month. I used the Development Kit first, which is the 720p model, and later on in the day I used the 1080p model. I think the 1080p HD model spoiled me, because the 720p model while it's great, it definitely has its flaws.
What I'm going to do is write this "Preview" then I'll have another piece up which will cover some of the various games I played on the Rift in more detail, with video. I've purchased a Razer Hydra that should arrive tomorrow, and I just finished downloading the entire Half-Life 2 saga which works with both Rift and Hydra. This will be an interesting couple of weeks!
First impressions of the box: awesome. That's the only word that can describe it, pure awesome. Dean uses the word too much in Supernatural, but awesome is a great way to describe something that can't be described with the words "great" or "cool" or "good". It surpasses that. For something that is an alpha product, crowd funded by the general public, the box really blew me away.
It's not like the box is the only part, but it gives you the impression that you're not just about to use any old virtual reality headset, but you're about to wear THE virtual reality headset. You're about to slide on the future of gaming, and quite possibly, the future of technology (yeah, I went there).
I've already written an unboxing article on the Oculus Rift.
The container it comes in, is awesome. As you can see from the pictures below, this isn't some cheap eBay purchase. It's a premium way of displaying the next leap in video games and technology. Before we unbox this bad boy, we'll run through what the Oculus Rift is, and the hardware inside of it.
Starting off with the screen itself, which has a resolution of 1280x800 (640x800 per eye). This isn't too bad, but the consumer version will include a resolution of at least 1920x1080. The panel size is 7-inch, which sounds huge, and small at the same time.
We have a 24-bit panel, which is also stereoscopic 3D. The field of view is great, with more than 90 degrees horizontal, and 110 degrees diagonal. This is close to double the FOV of any competing VR device, and is one of the main strengths of Oculus' Rift.
The Rift weighs approximately 379 grams, so it's not that heavy to be sitting on your head for long periods of time, but we will have more on this in the coming week or so after I've had a very long couple of nights with it.
The Rift has a couple of dials on each side that can be tweaked with a screwdriver, which allows the adjustment of each display to be moved closer, or further away from your eye. There's also some interchangeable lenses in the box, which allow for dioptric correction.
Inside the box we have DVI and HDMI input through a control box, a DVI cable, two HDMI cables and a DVI to HDMI adapter. There's a USB interface which handles the tracking data to the host machine and a power adapter which provides power to the breakout box itself. Oculus VR provide multiple power adapters in the box, covering nearly all countries.