hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

QuakeCon Preview: Falling through the TV with Oculus Rift

4:00 PM on 08.04.2012 // Allistair Pinsof

[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.]

Leave it to id Software mastermind John Carmack to make the industry change their opinion of virtual reality. Though Duct tape and an eight-year-old game are part of his presentation of the much tweeted about Oculus Rift VR goggles, they speak volumes of both the product’s current state and Carmack’s approach.

What we got our hands on is only a prototype and not the finished model being funded through Kickstarter, but it did give us a glimpse into the future of immersive games. The awful memories of heavy, whiplash-inducing headsets and lagging, ugly visuals become a distant memory once you put these goggles on.

Even though you are looking at an aging game (Doom 3) with hardware literally taped together, you can’t help but smile at the future that Carmack is building. This is 2012’s curved hallways: A gaming innovation so simple in concept but has long been so hard to achieve for all except Carmack.

The hype around this technology is deserved, but it did sour my first experience with Rift due to high expectations. While Oculus and Carmack are building the future, they haven’t built it quite yet. The first two things I noticed upon wearing the VR set was the low resolution and limited 90-degree view. Carmack stressed that these are both minor issues that will be addressed in time, but they proved to be noticeable obstacles in becoming fully immersed in the game. I felt like I was staring point blank at a CRT -- a jarring experience in the 1080p-era.

Once I got past this complaint, I started to realize how fluid the visuals were and how I felt my presence in the game’s world. Believe me when I say this is not hyperbole: I felt a keen sense that I could take a literal step back into the game’s world. I could turn my head to see what is behind me and look up toward the ceiling. Where the experience lost me a bit was in the motion controlled gun. My head movement mapped to my aiming, so I could very slightly alter my view to raise and lower my gun.

For the VR demo, Carmack removed all HUD elements which made for a rather miserable playing experience since I had no way to aim my gun The red laser on Doom 3’s machine gun is there for visual flair and will actually lead to inaccurate shots if you aim by it. Carmack thinks new players will find aiming through VR sets easier than a game controller. This may be so but Carmack’s demo didn’t help sell me on this point.

Carmack and Oculus are doing what arcades and even the military could never achieve. Though Carmack isn’t planning on touching feedback vests and smell-o-vision, he is taking one dream-turned-laughing-stock of ‘90s gaming and making it into the reality we all wanted twenty-something years ago. This QuakeCon demo may not have sold me on this being the future -- who wants to stand to play a game or turn their head constantly in a heated multiplayer match? -- but it’s interesting to see how far Carmack has brought this technology.

As of right now, Oculus Rift isn’t for journalists and gamers but developers who share the same dream that Carmack does. Together they may build new experiences we can’t even conceive right now. Considering that, maybe it’d be better to hear what developers think of Carmack’s new tech toy?

Stay tuned for an upcoming feature where we ask developers what they think of the Oculus Rift.

Photo Gallery: (9 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I took a homeopathic shower this morning. I used extra water.
JuliaViolin avatarJuliaViolin
Inspired by SKYRIM: Fantasy Symphony No.1 "Dragonborn" - album release Kickstarter
Shinta avatarShinta
Shinta avatarShinta
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
It's 2am and I'm watching this emulator whiz play Xenia (360 emilator) on PC albeit glitchy This video is hilarious
Shinta avatarShinta
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it, but for the most part I like what I've seen of the new blog editor. My first blog post using it should go up tomorrow.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The demon threat is real.[img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #20 (Bonus) - Valak Mountain Night (Xenoblade Chronicles) [youtube][/youtube] This theme perfectly captures the essence of Valak Mountain. It feel serene and calm, as well as mountain-esque (lol).
Lawman avatarLawman
What does one do when MGS V has lost its luster and Persona 4: DAN is growing stale? Listen to Queens of the Stone Age, of course. And wonder; is Steins;Gate worth the asking price? I want it, but not sure if I $30 - $40 want it...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Been trying to get Tales Of Phantasia finished before Zestiria comes out... How i'm going to get through that game I have no clue... especially when Exist Archive comes out in December and I have to play that too... also i've still yet to finish Grandia 2
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Been in a bit of a rut this week and as such haven't really been satisfied with any of my games. Therefore, I'm going to start Destiny again on my new PS+ account. Any tips given the amount of updates it's had?
Bardley avatarBardley
Bought a used knockoff game console called the Power Kracker 2013, which claimed to have 76,000 games. The AC adapter was missing and someone had crammed an off-brand GameCube controller inside the box. I don't know what I expected.
Firuzi Gafrindashvili avatarFiruzi Gafrindashvili
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I actually love the quests in Novigrad where you write a play. It's a fun and lighthearted break from the tragedy of Baron and horror of Velen and the Crones.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I preordered Tales of Zestria and Disgaea 5 because they were £10 cheaper that way, WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ME HUH?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -