Have you ever tried an Oculus Rift developer kit? Or, any VR hardware? Chances are you experienced nausea. If you didn’t, I envy you. For me, it depends on the game/experience I was playing. As long as there are no sudden movements, I’m good to go. Toss me onto a virtual roller coaster, and I’m ripping the VR off my head as fast as possible.
First impressions will be everything for potential VR customers. Oculus doesn’t want a person’s first experience to be a nauseating one. That’s why Oculus is categorizing every Rift launch game with a comfort level scale. There are three levels – Comfortable, Moderate and Intense. Here’s an image (via Eurogamer) showing the comfort levels of each game.
Stick to the ‘Comfortable’ levels on your first go. It’s all about getting used to VR. We all want to jump into the spaceship and start blasting away. But a slower game first is probably best.
Oculus Rift launch lineup
VR will live and die on the software available. And Oculus has put together a pretty decent lineup. Let’s take a look.
Prices range from $5 to $60. Elite Dangerous: Deluxe Edition and EVE Valkyrie both hit the $60 price point while the majority of games fall somewhere between $5 and $25.
Every Oculus Rift also comes packed with Lucky’s Tale. For many, Lucky’s Tale will be the first taste of Oculus’ virtual reality. Lucky’s Tale is labeled as “Moderate.” Playful, the developers behind Lucky’s Tale, wanted the game to be “very simple and joyful to play, but also very comfortable.” Being able to play for extended amounts of time was a key point for Playful.
In Lucky’s Tale, your head controls the camera. You can see the world however you want. That means you can look underneath ledges Lucky is standing on. The camera always follows Lucky, but you can decide exactly what you want to look at.
I was hesitant about Oculus bundling Lucky’s Tale, but I like it now. It gives older owners and kids a nostalgia game to play while also dipping their toes into the VR pool. The last thing Oculus wants is people playing EVE Valkyrie or Elite Dangerous first and getting motion sickness.
Is a much better first experience than this:
At least, until you get a feel for VR.
If I could play one game from Rift’s launch lineup, it would be ADR1FT. We all dream of being astronauts. ADR1FT puts you into an EVA suit after a space station was just destroyed. Your EVA suit is slowly leaking. The gameplay centers around surviving long enough to figure out what happened and safely return home.
The next slate of Oculus Rift games
Rift’s launch lineup is an impressive one, but Oculus isn’t stopping. According to the VR maker, they are working with thousands of developers on “entirely new VR experiences.” More than 100 of these will release this year.
I want to see more non-gaming experiences. The Wild Within VR Experience from Destination British Columbia gave us a taste of what VR can do for tourism.
Now that’s a travel brochure.
Are you picking up Oculus Rift this month? What games are you playing or want to play?