Consumer version of Oculus Rift coming in First Quarter 2016

Oculus Rift AgainIt’s probably no surprise that I am reporting on this. After all, I have had a lot of love for the Oculus Rift for a long time now. I have been wondering when this technology would be available to the public, and it looks like I, and many others, will be getting their wish in Q1 2016.

The Oculus Rift has finally been made available after years of being some kind of weird project for a private platform. This headset is light enough to lift with one hand, and the user can wear it with glasses.

Sadly, it is not wireless (maybe next version), and you will have to drape a cable over the shoulder that presumably connects to a computer. Now here is some interesting news that shows that Microsoft is involved with the Oculus Rift: an Xbox One gamepad will come with every Oculus Rift headset. The gamepad will be wireless, but the games themselves, like Forza, Halo, and Sunset Overdrive won’t be in 3D.

As an added bonus, Oculus is also working on some kind of motion controller known as the Oculus Touch. This will be wireless, and will use gesture-control to track in a virtual environment.

So far, there isn’t any word on an exact release date or a price, and I’m not certain whether the Oculus Rift will catch on or end up going the way of Google Glass.

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Oculus Rift will flourish with Story Studio

Lost_BIn case you are wondering, this poster for “lost” is not related to the ABC show of the same name with its weird ending. As far as I know, it isn’t related to The Iron Giant, which featured a giant crawling robotic hand. Lost is a short film from Story Studio, an in-house innovation lab focused on exploring and sharing tools and techniques to craft entertainment experiences with VR.

By now, I hope that I don’t have to talk about the Oculus Rift, as I have mentioned it before and was pretty excited about how it will change gaming when I saw it demonstrated at PAX. With this strange burdensome goggles on your head, you can be within a virtual environment making our nineties dreams of virtual reality come true.

What Pixar did with computer generated movies, Story Studio hopes to do with VR. In other words, it wants to use the first-person point-of-view with some interactivity to create a whole new entertainment experience. Our Source, who made that Pixar comparison, has watched “lost” and fully enjoyed the immersive theater experience, and Story Studio has more works lined up with Dear Angelica (a surreal adventure), Bullfighter (an action adventure), and Henry (which looks like a cute little animal story).

This leads to the question of what kind of films would be good for the Oculus Rift. Personally, I would love to see a murder mystery that would put the viewer as the lead detective. It would definitely require him or her to look in the right place at the right time. Oh, man, I just can’t believe that we are headed into an age like this.

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How I love me that Oculus Rift, and what games are coming

Okay, if everything went right, you should be seeing a video of me two weeks ago at PAXPrime, when I first had a chance to try out the Oculus Rift.

If you don’t know what the Oculus Rift is, don’t feel too bad. I have written about it many times on this blog, and so if you just enter in “Oculus Rift” in the Search engine, you’ll find at least three articles about it this year. Go on, do it now.

After trying it out, I will honestly say that the Oculus Rift must be tried and not talked about. It really is the virtual reality system that we were promised.

I will have to say that putting this one makes you look like you are jacked into the eye-Matrix. It is a shoebox that you put on your head, and I had a chance to play a game known as Lucky Fox. I won’t talk much about the game, as it is a kind of Mario rip-off, complete with jumping on foes and collecting coins.

What is interesting is how I had to focus. At first, the game was blurry, and the person showing me the Oculus Rift just said “bring it closer to your eyes”. I then adjusted it like I was adjusting a pair of glasses, and I saw pure 3-D goodness.

After that, I was playing a game with a controller that I could not look down and see. It was embarrassing just grabbing for it. What made it interesting is in the game, I could turn my head, and I could see wonderful backgrounds.

Yes, you heard me right. I could see how the world looked inside of a video game, and it looked infinitely better than Tron.

Clearly, this is the way video games are heading, which is why I saw three other booths that had Oculus Rift games on display. Check it out after the jump.

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Leap Motion to bring more to the Oculus Rift

Leap MotionI’ve said several times that I believe that Oculus Rift will change the world. I’ve mentioned too many times to even bother to put a link here to a related article. This would be the first time that I mention the Leap Motion, which takes the Oculus Rift one step further.

The Leap Motion is intended to “put your hands in” the Oculus Rift. Just putting this Leap Motion on the Oculus Rift allows the user to have gesture controls like a computer. Somehow it is able to recognize your hands.

I believe that it costs about $20, which is good for an accessory price. Yeah, I always love products like this, and I can’t figure out what else will show up. Instead of writing more about this, I think I’ll just post this video of it instead.

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Facebook and Oculus Rift could create a new form of film

occulus-vr-dk2-002-612x640-286x300In case you don’t know about the Oculus Rift, but it is a VR headset that definitely has more potential than…Virtual Boy. We reported that Facebook bought the headset company a while ago, but what do they intend to do with it?

Well, the answer could lie with last year’s Comic-Con. Actually, it was this year, but apparently the Oculus Rift was a part of a lot of exhibits. It would appear that Facebook has been meeting with a lot of studio execs as well as other directors in order to create content for the Oculus Rift.

Now, I’m not certain what in the world will be on the Rift, but Comic-Con exhibits feature a lot of first-person type adventures. I see no reason why this can’t be similar. Are we headed for entertainment of this quality? I would imagine that once these Rift headsets become affordable, it would be spectacularly awesome to see something like this.

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Facebook buys Oculus Rift

occulus-vr-dk2-002-612x640I’m sure that you heard about the Oculus Rift, a Virtual reality system that we at The Geek Church have covered many a time. Well, I have some either good news or bad news, depending on how you interpret it. Yeah, Facebook bought or, ahem, acquired Oculus Rift for about 2 billion.

I’m not certain what inspired this action on Facebook’s part, but not everyone is glad at this. This doesn’t appear to be the usual geek-venting that you see whenever big tech business purchases some company that would be better left alone. A tweet from Minecraft creator Markus Persson revealed that he had intended to do some deal with Oculus Rift, but he cancelled it.

So far, Facebook hasn’t exactly changed Instagram when they acquired that. I am not certain if Facebook wants to use the VR experience of Oculus Rift in order to transmit a virtual experience from one Facebook user to the other, but why else would the social media giant purchase it? How is this going to compete with Sony’s Project Morpheus?

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Electronic Arts to work with virtual reality?

Oculus RiftIn case you don’t know, there is a big conference in Austin known as South by Southwest (SXSW), and it is devoted to film, music, and other media. Andrew Wilson, from Electronic Arts (EA), didn’t really have much to stay about virtual reality (VR), but he did bring up something interesting.

According to my Source, the man from the second-biggest video game company in the world stated that people interact with electric games in three ways: leaning back (console gaming), leaning in (PC gaming), and looking over (mobile gaming). EA believes there will be a fourth gaming method of getting in with VR.

Considering that I’ve reported on the Oculus Rift several times, I see that it could become popular if it was inexpensive enough. I think we are at a point where video games are just about to become extremely realistic, to the point of photo-realistic. The only possible upgrade could be VR, and I think the only question is why this came so late. After all, we predicted that VR was going to be the wave of the future in the early nineties, and that was twenty years ago.

So, let me give you some advice, EA. Get on the VR bandwagon before it starts! Start making games that VR users are going to want to play. I’m serious, because you don’t want some other company beating you to the punch, and the only thing you have to offer is 2D video games.

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Two new videos to show how cool the Oculus Rift is

I’m not certain how familiar you are with the Oculus Rift, but it is essentially a wearable headset that good for all the VR games that we were promised in the nineties. Yeah, it is a Virtual Boy without all the monochromatic red and black.

The Oculus Rift was a Kickstarter project, and I heard that it was on display at CES, but I never did get a chance to see it in action like I wanted to. Something tells me that I would have reacted like this 90-year-old grandmother in this above video.

It really is interesting how this grandmother, who looks like Cloris Leachman’s character Maw Maw on Raising Hope, is instantly transported into Tuscany. This is clearly going to be the latest and greatest thing, and as far as I know, I don’t think the big three consoles have rights to it. They really should get on this.

Right now, the Oculus Rift people have been working on Mirror’s Edge. If you aren’t familiar with Mirror’s Edge it was a game that came out a few years ago that involved a lot of parkour tricks to essentially go through levels.

Something tells me that Mirror’s Edge on the Oculus Rift is going to be quite dizzying, but it will be very, very lifelike. It might not be as active as WiiSports, though.

Check out the video after the jump.

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