Oculus Rift Eyes-On Video: The Future of Gaming Is In Your Face

The Oculus Rift doesn’t look nearly as sleek as the renderings you see online for the startup’s virtual reality headset. It almost looks taped together. And we couldn’t care less. Because once you don these amazing goggles, you’ll see gaming in a whole new way.

Here at CES 2013, we were fortunate enough to get a few minutes of eyes-on time with the Rift, which got gamers so excited they backed this project to the tune of $2.4 million in funding as a Kickstarter project. Epic Games, Unity and Valve have also lent their support to the product, which will ship as a developer unit this March before being commercialized.

Here’s what it’s like to wear the Rift. It’s beyond immersive. After we found our visual sweet spot with the headset, we walked around a medieval town (powered by the Unreal Engine 3) and marveled at the stereoscopic 3D snow fall from the sky. The beauty of the Rift is that we could look up at the sky too, just by moving our head upward. We could also see armored knights behind us by turning around in our chair. As one character passed and his sword got close to our face, we couldn’t help but say “whoa.” We’re almost glad we didn’t have to fight anyone in this demo.

With most games you spend a lot of time panning around–and we could with the Xbox controller Oculus VR had hooked up to the Rift. But as we started to rely on our head movements more we could concentrate more just on moving and use the right stick less. This makes for a much more natural gaming experience. It’s not like you have to aim before you walk in real life, right?

It’s still way too early to say whether the Rift will gather enough support to literally change the face of PC gaming (and eventually mobile gaming). But based on our experience–and the smile it instantly brought to our face–we’d say the Rift is 3D gaming done right. Now hurry up and get this thing in the hand of devs already.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer on
Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Stronzo Says:

    Is that the royal “we?”

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options