The embargo lifted on reviews of the Oculus Rift and, while most are positive, there are clear reservations listed by reviewers including its high price and how compelling the available software is without the Oculus Touch hand controllers coming later this year.
To give you a sense of what people are saying about the consumer Rift, below are snippets from 10 different writers with access to the consumer hardware.
Geoffrey A. Fowler at the WSJ:
Oculus Rift is the 2016 product you hope your neighbor buys. You’ll definitely want to try it, but there’s little reason to own one unless you’re a serious gamer
Adi Robertson at The Verge:
I love the feeling of getting real exercise in a virtual sword-fighting game, or of walking around a real room to see the artwork I’ve created. Sitting down with the Rift, meanwhile, feels as close to being a brain in a jar as humanly possible.
Ben Kuchera at Polygon:
The Rift’s strong support for both sitting and standing experiences and the obvious quality of the headset, matched with surprisingly strong ergonomics and usage of the remote all work together to create something that feels satisfying and, more importantly, transformative.
Brian X. Chen at the New York Times:
While the Rift is a well-built hardware system brimming with potential, the first wave of apps and games available for it narrows the device’s likely users to hard-core gamers. It is also rougher to set up and get accustomed to than products like smartphones and tablets.
Devindra Hardawar at Engadget:
For most people, it might be wiser to wait until the price drops for high-end VR.
Mario Aguilar at Gizmodo:
I can say unreservedly and without caveats that I am enjoying the Rift right in the moment—not as a device indicative of some desirable future, but as a device to own right now. I still can’t afford the future of virtual reality, but for the first time, I actually want to.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles at the WSJ:
Since all the games rely on a Microsoft Xbox controller, or a simpler Oculus remote that I largely ignored, you also can’t reach out and grab anything. The novelty of being able to look in any direction wears off fast when the game in front of you isn’t very compelling and your interaction is so limited.
Lucas Matney at Techcrunch:
Considering that the Oculus is already back-ordered until July, I might recommend waiting it out for the launch of Touch later this year rather if you want the best gameplay experience possible.
Ben Lang at RoadtoVR:
The consumer Rift now also features tracking points on the back of the headset which allows for 360 degree tracking which worked seamlessly for me throughout my testing,
Will Mason at UploadVR:
The Oculus Rift is an expertly engineered and beautifully designed piece of hardware. While it is missing hand tracked controllers it makes up for it with excellent content, ease of use, and an incredibly ergonomic form factor