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Oculus Rift Guide: Everything You Need To Know Before You Consider Buying One

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The Oculus Rift is here. Not on a showfloor for a brief demonstration, but in our homes, where I’ve been able to play with it for the past week. I’ve tried official games, apps and movies, and I’ve experimented with some of the unofficial software available, and I’m ready to answer questions. Want to know how easy it to use, whether it’ll make you vom, and what the games are like? Read on.

Note: I’m going to offer plenty of opinions as this article goes along to help you with your purchasing decision, but the long-term future of the Rift is yet to be determined. I’ve been able to use it a lot over the past week, but not over the months necessary to judge its long-term potential.

If you’re looking for the short version of this article, here it is: I think virtual reality will find a place alongside traditional screen-based experiences, but this strong first-step is nevertheless a first-step and there’s not yet any single game or experience that I think justifies owning the hardware. It has downsides and motion controllers are, in my opinion, essential, and their lack of inclusion alone means that you should wait at the very least until later in the year, when Oculus Touch and more software is available, before you consider buying one.

Looking for an answer to a specific question? Try these links to hop to a particular part of the article.

What comes in the box with an Oculus Rift?
What’s the setup process like?

How much space do you need for the Rift?
How does the Oculus software work?

How is the image quality?
Is it comfortable? Will it make me sick?

What are the Oculus Rift games like?

We’ve written a lot about virtual reality elsewhere on the site, too. If the above sounds like it won’t answer your question, try these:

Is your PC VR-ready?
Will my gaming laptop work with virtual reality headsets?

Or read our equivalent HTC Vive guide.

On page two, what comes in the box and what the setup is like.

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Who am I?

Graham Smith


Graham is to blame for all this.

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