Well, it’s a fully immersive 3D headset capable of ‘tricking’ your brain into believing you’re actually ‘in’ any given digital world or game .
With a screen inside fully encasing your peripheral vision alongside head-tracking technology that mimics movement in real time, the Oculus is set to be revolutionary when it hopefully launches in the next few months (The developers are still working out the kinks to make sure you don’t go cross-eyed as soon as you put it on!).
There has been a wealth of preview coverage around the internet as headsets are mostly only available to game developers and journalists all fervently seeing how much potential this impressive piece of kit can capitalize on. Until the inevitable lawsuits emerge when the first virtual stabbing occurs, how about a cerebral cortex-wetting list of experiences that are sure to be phenomenal when totally immersed in sensory overload?
5) Getting your blur on whilst driving a Koenigsegg
Before we move onto the juicier stuff, imagine a game as fine-tuned as Forza with you literally in the driver’s seat. Whilst developer Turn 10 tried to implement motion controls into Forza 4 through the first Kinect, only a fraction of people, if any, actually thought that turning their head partially away from the screen to look ‘into’ a corner upon approach was a good use of that technology. However, if the Rift is as believable as many have reported, you would have full control over exploring the inside of your favorite roaring sports car, as well as (in tandem with PS4’s motion tech or the new Kinect) literally taking the wheel in your leathery digital mitts and hurtling around the Nurburghring at 200mph.
4) Attending virtual E3 & Google Streetview’ing the World
Sony once had the beautiful idea of hosting virtual conferences and panels through their ultimately forgotten service ‘Playstation Home’, yet again through under-utilization and support the service never fulfilled its ultimate potential. However with PS4 developers reportedly being shipped Oculus kits and Sony themselves confirming a rival headset, we could all be walking around a virtual E3 or Comicon, complete with demos and a guaranteed seat putting you up the front for all the big conferences. Alongside this potential is a surefire definite: Google Streetview (shown left). As one of the most popular demos already available in beta online, if you want to witness anything from the neon-soaked Las Vegas strip to the Amazon rain forest by way of having a float down the river, any overseas locale will be just a few button presses away.
3) Driving a Warthog full of your best friends in Halo
In a COD-dominated world where increasingly rote game mechanics are trotted out year after year, the Oculus could provide some much needed reinvigoration for the series, not to mention other genre stalwarts Halo and Battlefield. From gliding over the battlefield in one of Halo’s Banshees to parachuting out of a Black Hawk helicopter in Battlefield, if the Rift has the capability to accurately keep up with the level of play online, it could reinvent how the whole genre is played.
With the multiplayer-only Titanfall demoing, it’s shaping up to the be the next big thing for online shooters, and due to the game’s aesthetic leaning heavily on mech suits and future warfare, the addition of Oculus support would prevent the somewhat repetitive nature of the FPS genre from bringing down the overall experience.
2) Exploring RPG mountain ranges before having your own ‘Gandalf moment’ with Balrog-type creature
In a similar vein to the Streetview idea, the notion of exploring another world from the comfort of your own home becomes infinitely more exciting if you add on the ability to fly, swim or just do anything other than sitting in your pants. All it would take is a mod for something with a world as well realised as Crysis, Far Cry 3 or Skyrim and you’re off exploring caverns, jungles and forests filled with wildlife and bandits. Add to that something like Far Cry’s iconic climbable towers and soaring hang-glider sections, and you have a winning formula for crossing the line of avatar projection immeasurably further.
1) Being a Superhero
What have we all wanted to do at least once in our lives? What’s the reason The Avengers slaughtered all previous box office proceedings and the likes of Spider-Man, Batman and Iron-Man dominate the psyche when the word ‘superhero’ is mentioned?
EVERYONE at some point has wanted to don the cape of Superman, the cowl of Batman, the web-shooters of Spidey or the mighty hammer of Thor. Again a failed similar attempt exists in Kinect’s back catalogue with Avengers: Battle for Earth, yet with new technology refining detection and graphic ability, you’d be lifting cars over your head as The Hulk, saving falling citizens by swinging in at the last minute as Spider-Man, or taking to the skies as anyone from Thor to Green Lantern. For some, the very idea of thwipping out a web or tossing a batarang at a bunch of thugs will make them go all fuzzy inside, and for good reason.
So there you have it! The possibilities for placing you inside any game world are nigh-limitless, and until sensationalist media tries to hamper potential with the never-ending violence debate, with any luck the scales of rationality will tip in the favor of progression, and we can enjoy our first-person questing in peace.
So Nation, can you think of any other awesome uses for such a futuristic piece of kit that aren’t featured? Get commenting below and let us know!