Last night was my first experience with the Oculus Rift. I have a wee little bitty head, so it took quite a bit of adjusting to feel comfortable with the Rift on my face. Oculus has done a great job padding the headset so that it doesn't feel too heavy or cumbersome to wear.
I partook in four of the offered VR experiences, (included in the Oculus Development Kit), Tuscany, Ocean Rift, Senza Peso and Affected.
Tuscany is simply a digitized scenic setting of a large villa, overlooking the ocean. You walk around and see leaves falling, butterflies flying and the ocean flowing. You move and navigate your surroundings utilizing a game controller. Beyond beautiful scenery, Tuscany has very little to offer users.
Ocean Rift was one of my favorite experiences with the Rift. Using your controller, you swim as a scuba diver around the deep waters of an ocean. I interacted with a large whale, who spoke to me in whale tones. I thought if I approached its tale, it would hurt me, but the tail went through me! What did hurt me, however, was the shark. I did my best to stay away from it and while I was inspecting some reef on the ocean floor, I suddenly heard ominous tones and saw sprayed blood all around me. I didn't even see the shark coming! I screamed when he initially attacked. It didn't look real, but the attack still surprised me. I'll be more careful next time.
Senza Peso is a mini-opera with a lot of magical elements to it. You're guided in a boat - with no control as to where you're going, mind you - while an operatic voice leads you through black holes to unknown and mysterious destinations. What I didn't appreciate about this experience is that lack of anchored story-telling components. I had no idea why I was traveling on a boat through black holes, or what the people I'm passing are doing or feeling, or even why I'm listening to a voice singing. The graphics were fun and incorporated real people, one of which is a giant head that stares at you as you enter one of the black holes. I appreciated the magical elements of fairies and mystical worlds. Overall, however, it was an uninteresting, non-interactive VR trip.
Truth be told, I hardly scratched the surface with Affected. Fear is definitely the best tool one can use when approaching games or apps with virtual reality. One feels already strange utilizing an unknown immersive head device and when combined with fear, you've got a powerful tool! Both my friend and I lasted less than a minute before removing the head set and headphones. If you want a good scare, Affected will give you one of the best frights you've yet to have.
Overall, the Oculus Rift was a good time. I can see what others mean by issues with latency; load time was definitely problematic in my experiences. There was a lot of blur when I moved my head from side-to-side. I didn't feel motion sickness, but I can see how others would. There were a lot of steps to install the Oculus Rift and get it to a point where it was responsive with a computer. Hopefully, by the time Oculus releases the headset for public use, it's much easier to integrate into a computing system.
Please feel free to share your own personal experiences with Oculus Rift down below.