Oculus Rift Dev Kit first impressions from Jayoh

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Joe’s daughter enjoys stepping through the Tuscany demo using the Oculus Rift.

Oculus Rift Developer Kits are finally arriving at people’s doors. The first 300 units are either on their way or have already landed. One of the earliest recipients of a kit and seemingly the first to publicly announce his new arrival, has torn himself away from his new prize long enough to talk to us about himself and his first few hours with the Rift.

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The Oculus Rift sat atop it’s flight case.

RtoVR: Are you a developer or pure enthusiast / gamer?

Jayoh: I’m really a web design geek at heart. I did spend a few years aspiring to get into game development and have some light formal training, but I spend my days making money as a web designer, where my true talent lies. But I like to stay up on the current trend of video games and technology in general, and following the rift has been an exciting endeavor.

Right now, I’m working on a VR website STV.RE (http://stv.re), which I’m trying to index and catalog all the VR software out there and let users rank and review them.

RtoVR: When did you first hear about the Rift and what made you become such an early backer?

Jayoh: The mtbs3d forums, of course. I got really into it when I was researching the Sony HMZ-T1 and found the wealth of knowledge and community there talking about. And not just idle chatter, but serious enthusiast discussion about head mounted displays and their future.

Once John Carmack started making posts there and after he borrowed palmer’s headset, well, we all know the rest of the story.

RtoVR: When did you order the Developer Kit kit?

Jayoh: I ordered it August 1. I was on vacation and in a separate time zone, but I set a specific alarm so I wouldn’t miss backing it as early as possible. It definitely paid off.

RtoVR: Were you disappointed when Oculus announced that there would in fact be no ‘Unassembled’ kits and that all would be pre-assembled?

Jayoh: I was initially, although I wasn’t super excited to cobble together my kit knowing I could have waited a little bit longer for a finished kit wouldn’t have hot glue nubs all around the edges. I’m glad I got a finished kit. The fit and finish, knowing this is version 0, is quite incredible.

Like they say with games: a delayed game is only delayed for so long, a bad game is bad forever.

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RtoVR: What are your first impressions on the following aspects of the Developer Kit:

- Resolution

Jayoh: It’s low. An obvious and huge improvement will be made here in the consumer model and will really pay off. However, the other benefit right now is that you don’t need a super beefy machine. my computer is 2 years old now.

- Ghosting / image persistence (blurring etc.)

Jayoh: The ghosting seems OK, it’s there when you stop from still to motion, but it’s certainly acceptable.

- Latency

Jayoh: The world is glued to where it should be. the tracking is probably the best part of the experience so far.

- Any serious drift issues

Jayoh: None that I’ve noticed.

- Colour vibrancy / black levels of the LCD panel

Jayoh: I tried a few adjustments, and the screen felt a little blown out at first (in outdoor levels in tf2). i tweaked it back down and it seems OK.

- Weight of the unit

Jayoh: The weight is acceptable. the top strap ensures it will be comfortable for longer sessions, but less is more here, and I know Oculus is trimming where possible.

RtoVR: What have you tried thus far and what are your impressions of them (i.e. TF2, Epic Citadel etc.)?

Jayoh: This is certainly a glimpse into the future. a low resolution peak into the future of electronic entertainment. I noticed in Team Fortress I wanted to just explore, but in the Tuscany demo I wanted to peak over the stone walls and shoot things off into the field. It’s weird, but a happy medium in between the two would be optimal.

Our thanks to Joe on providing these details and brilliant  images at such short notice. Visit his new VR software catalog project here: http://stv.re

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