back to article Oculus Rift will reach UK in September – and will cost more than two PS4s

If you don't particularly enjoy reality then you can look forward to not particularly enjoying virtual reality when the Oculus Rift headset reaches UK retailers in September. While the headset may not quite be the miserable simulacra Jean Baudrillard wrote of, its expected retail price of around £549, as well as the necessity …

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You forgot to mention

The total lack of openness and/or cross compatibility with other headset games. Thus starting a totally new console war based solely around a peripheral.

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Trollface

A 13-foot cord ?

The Wii rapidly tethered the controllers to their users after a number of smashed TV screens.

I wonder how many broken household heirlooms it will take before they shorten that cord down to 5 feet.

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Google Cardboard

Until the dust has settled I'll content myself with playing around with one of those cheapo Chinese GC plastic knock-offs that I picked up purely by chance at Home Bargains (of all places) for the princely sum of £5.99. After a bit of searching to find the correct device QR code it is working very smoothly. Now to figure out how to get a Wiimote or one of the other console controller that are lying around the house working with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google Cardboard

Joking aside, be wary of judging the Oculus / PlayStation VR experience based on some cheapo optics and an android app - the main issue with VR is tracking accuracy - both in terms of spatial and temporal accuracy. Any error or delay can quickly induce nausea or at the very least break you out of the suspension of disbelief.

Both Oculus and PlayStation VR have very accurate and fast position sensors, and even go to the length of adjusting the position of the images in response to changes in head motion after they have been rendered, because it was felt that the 1/30 or 1/60 second render time was too big a delay for comfort.

So by all means enjoy your Google Cardboard, but be aware you are comparing a 2CV to a Rolls-Royce.

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Re: Google Cardboard

"So by all means enjoy your Google Cardboard, but be aware you are comparing a 2CV to a Rolls-Royce."

You get what you pay for and looking at the price differential of the Rift and Cardboard it's probably near that of the 2CV versus Roller.

Both cars can get you from A to B but the real value is the ability to say "I am a success" in a Rolls Royce. Where are the bragging rights in the Rift if there's only a 4 metre cord? You can't very well strut around in public showing everyone your new toy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google Cardboard

I think you missed the point of the basic analogy regarding quality, reliability, responsiveness and comfort. Bragging was not a consideration.

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Re: Google Cardboard

Bragging was not a consideration.

Bragging is the biggest incentive there is. "Look, I have this new shiney, shiney that you don't have."

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Re: Google Cardboard

Ever driven a 2CV? For many things it is sufficient.

You don't need to buy a Rolls-Royce to be comfortable.

I am not sure that the Oculus Rift is going to be all that significant, certainly not when it's tied to one specific type of computer by a fixed connector.

Ten years ago, Charles Stross was writing "Halting State", which involved commonplace virtual and augmented reality. You can see these gadgets as faltering first steps. but we do have augmented reality now, computer data overlaying the real world.

It's not the 2CV, or the Rolls-Royce, that matters. When do we get the Pokemon GO?

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tsf

Re: Google Cardboard

"Ever driven a 2CV? For many things it is sufficient."

Apart from going up a steep hill with a passenger on board

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Re: Google Cardboard

"You get what you pay for and looking at the price differential of the Rift and Cardboard it's probably near that of the 2CV versus Roller."

Cardboard isn't exactly cutting edge but it's still easy to discern some very serious issues with VR that apply equally to more expensive headsets. The screendoor effect and bad resolution are not issues restricted to cardboard. Both the Vive and Oculus suffer from them too.

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Classic

"Virtual reality: Because one meaningless and uncaring universe isn't enough". Ah, what a lovely misanthropic article. You could reuse the strapline for any articles about the concept of the multiverse. :-)

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Alien

Re: Classic

"Because one meaningless and uncaring universe isn't enough"

You are Marcus Cole and I claim my one-way trip to Z'Ha'Dum... :-)

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FAIL

Crash and burn

We all love a gizmo and a gimmick, but come on. This has just got o be over priced for a one trick pony surely? I mean look at how 3DTV hasn't revolutionalised how we watch television in the house depsite the backing and pushes made by the tech companies.

Obviously I'll be wrong and it'll be #1 at Christmas and it'll single handedly revive the fortunes of the world's PC makers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Crash and burn

All about what supports it. Staring at a limited area in front of you with some limited 3D effects that can't really be great for everybody would not be the same as immersion in 3D all around you.

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No porn?

That'll save on the groinal attachments, then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No porn?

There's a joint pre-Christmas announcement planned with ChatRoulette, just as soon as they add WiFi support for Oculus, Fleshlight and MagicWand bullets.

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VR is still a thing?

I thought it arrived practically stillborn. It's not that the tech doesn't have promise but the expense of the kit, the tech requirements, the sheer hassle of all the cables, sensors etc, and the general meh-ness of the games means it's just not worth the money.

I wonder if PSVR will fare better. On the one hand it's cheaper than Oculus or Vive but on the other it's no less complex to set up. It was bad enough trying to configure a PS Eye with move controllers, but now people are supposed to do it while effectively blind.

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£549 for a pair of small LED screens and some lenses??

Am I missing something here? Does the rift have its own onboard GFX unit or are they just royally taking the piss?

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Re: £549 for a pair of small LED screens and some lenses??

There's a lot of fairly complex equipment inside. Every sensor and device is designed for minimal latency in order to prevent nausea.

That said, the price jump from the $300 USD of the Oculus DK2 was surprising to a lot of people, myself included. I could understand if they were jumping to a 4k screen, but it seems like a lot.

On the other hand, I don't know all the technical differences between the DK2 and CV1, so I can't really speculate much.

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Holmes

Re: £549 for a pair of small LED screens and some lenses??

This is priced to get mindless idiots to part with money, so that they can brag to their mates. 2 months later the price will be slashed so that more sensible early birds can feel smug about not being taken in. 3 months later the real price will be revealed. If it is any good it will live otherwise it will will gather dust in a cupboard just like other failed money grabbing gimmicks.

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Alternatively

> If you don't particularly enjoy reality

Maybe we'll be entering a virtual reality just to escape the virtual reality we are already in.

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Bit late to the scene

During my course of business I have acquired 30 of the HTC Vive units which we ship to test/review and games conventions etc.

I was slightly dubious to this tech being I've been there and seen the 80s/90s effort plus the original oculus which made me sick.

However with the Vive I was blown away at just how good it is at tracking and giving you the sense of 3D dimensions and room scale movement. It's a need to try to realised kind of thing.

Yep it's early days, 60% the games/apps are like poor demos, but there are some real promising games, applications like the human body and solar system environments and has real potential for education.

Negatives It's expensive, needs a decent pc to work with, needs Windows :-( but I love mine.

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Anonymous Coward

PS4

Was always going to be the way to enjoy VR. If you already got a PS4, then VR is very affordable, and gives you 90% of what Oculus and Vive offer.

It's called mass market, and with 50m PS4's in the wild, and a couple of pounds to get into VR, it's the ONLY one that might appeal to mass market. Vive and Oculus are literally 4x that price for a marginal improvement in resolution and viewing angle, and no real dedicated developer pushing it.

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What for?

OK, so I was never really into computer-games (either too difficult or to easy).

I think there are serious use-cases like architecture (and real-estate sales), medicine of course. Engineering too.

But that isn't really a mass-market. Mass-market is games. But people hardly want to pay a couple of $your_currency_unit for a game on a mobile. Nor do they really enjoy paying what an iPhone costs without subsidies.

A lot of people don't even have PCs any more (they have phones, tablets). Now, they're supposed to shell out what?... 1600 UKP or so to get glimpse of VR?

A lot of people in the US don't even have that much savings.

What are they smoking in Menlo Park?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What for?

Are you kidding? For some, money is no object when it comes to virtual waifu harems.

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Re: What for?

"A lot of people in the US don't even have that much savings."

That's what credit cards are for ...

<computer voice> "You are on your 5th mortgage."

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Australia Tax hits again

It looks like the Occulus Rift will be priced at around $AU1100 when it lands here. That is a serious premium on the UK price (£549 including 20% VAT ~£460 ex VAT) which would equate to ~$AU850 (including our 10% GST).

The Aussies get ripped off (yet again).

BTW A PS/4 costs ~$350 including GST in Australia so the Occulus Rift would be more than 3 PS/4s

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Because one universe...

Your "Because one universe..." subtitle made me laugh out loud. Thanks, I needed that.

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Ru'

"Its in-built rotational and positional sensors will update the images you're viewing at a resolution of 1080x1200 per eye at a 90 Hz refresh rate"

Er, what? Was this copied directly from the daily fail or something?

So the internal screens are apparently 1080x1200, but it needs to be connnected to a PC capable of that resolution at 90Hz refresh rate (i.e. something with a decent graphics card).

Please try to maintain the tech bit of this tech news site.

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Anonymous Coward

The thing I still don't get with the current 3d thing is the obsession with new control schemes, we have a games controller, it works fine, you don't need to look at one to know where everything is, why do they keep making horrible control interfaces that don't work?

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> ... Minecraft on the headset, building and destroying effigies to their own loneliness.

Best phrase I've seen on El Reg for a year (at least)

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Liverotesque

I'll just add my voice to the chorus saying how much we apparently all enjoy articles written in the tone of a weary existentialist.

Reminds me of the classic comentaries of Jaques "Jaques" Liverot.

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