Oculus Rift for Xbox One: Is Virtual Reality Coming to Xbox?
An eye for an eye
After years of broken sci-fi promises, virtual reality is finally coming to homes with the Oculus Rift: a lightweight, affordable VR headset that actually works. It's the kind of technology that marketing gobs describe as 'disruptive' - it's entirely possible that gaming in five years time will look totally different from today because of Rift. It's also certain the Xbox One will still be around in five years' time. So will virtual reality make it to Xbox One?
In this video we investigate exactly how the Oculus Rift works, why it's so spectacular and why there is no fundamental reason you couldn't connect it to your Xbox One. The hurdles are more bureaucratic than technological and actually, with Kinect 2.0 part of the package, Xbox One might be the best place to play Oculus Rift.
And though we can't demonstrate how brilliant it is without popping a Rift on your melon, we can show you what happens when two people - specifically Andy and Jane - try the headset for the very first time. If you want a renewed sense of wonder as you walk around Half-Life 2's familiar opening moments, you need to try this thing.
We've got everything crossed that we'll be able to play our favourite Xbox games in this way. Imagine standing at the foot of a mountain in Skyrim and marvelling at the sheer, actual scale of the thing. Or staring at a Halo ringworld arcing up into the sky and feeling like you're standing in that world.
What's brilliant about Oculus Rift is that it requires so few apologies and caveats. Everyone who tries it gets transported to another world. You could give it to an elderly relative and they would understand the magic of that. 'Immersion' is one of the most commonly tossed around marketing buzzwords in videogames these days. It's what every game developer is chasing. Oculus Rift does in an instant what game developers have been striving to do for years.
There's still a way to go. The technology itself isn't currently perfect, and won't be officially released in its current state. There are also wider problems associated with virtual reality, such as how you can navigate the world in a way that feels natural. As the video demonstrates, though, there are already people working hard on those problems.
We reckon Oculus Rift is the most exciting gaming technology in development right now, but what do you think? Would you happily spend hours at a time wearing a virtual reality headset? Which games would you play? Are there any problems with the technology that you can't get past? Let us know in the comments.