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e3 2013

The Oculus Rift HD Fulfills The Technology's Promise

by Mike Futter on Jun 14, 2013 at 07:07 AM

As E3 2013 wound down, Dan Ryckert and I snuck into the Oculus VR booth for a quick look at the technology everyone's been raving about. Put simply, everything you've heard is true. Oculus Rift is that good.

We didn't have much time before security swooped down to enforce the show's end, but the short glimpse into the potential has our minds reeling. Members of the Game Informer team have had the opportunity to use the Oculus Rift before, but yesterday we were-test driving the new HD version.

In the two minutes or so we wore the headset, the Oculus team took us through a playable version of the Unreal Engine 4 demo with the towering lava lord. We started in a winter wonderland, encouraged to look around and especially up at the sky. Snowflakes fell around us with stunning clarity.

We were then teleported inside the lava lord's throne room. Approaching him with a control pad in hand encouraged him to rise. Looking up at his craggy skin was intimidating, and Dan I both experienced fluttering in our stomach as our brains tried to rationalize the feeling of movement while we were stationary.

Peering down at the floor and moving our heads forward brought the ground closer, allowing inspection of the veins of magma coursing across the room. The right trigger allowed us to throw blue energy balls with spectacular particle effects.

Our time in the Oculus Rift VR, which was a surprise inclusion at the show since it was only finished a week ago, was too brief. Were it available today, we'd have a hard time choosing between a next-gen console and an Oculus Rift-enabled gaming device. In a world of limited resources, the decision would be agonizing.