The idea of setting up and using a virtual reality device can be daunting at first, but the Oculus Support page has great step-by-step instructions for set-up! This is another great guide with photos included.
To run the oculus, you’ll need a reasonably fast computer (preferably a desktop) with HDMI or DVI output and a recent integrated graphics card or a dedicated graphics card. Oculus now only officially supports PCs. While we cannot guarantee it works on a Mac, in our experience you can still use it on the mac using an older version of the Oculus runtime which you can download here. After you download that, you need to download the Oculus Mac SDK here.
Here’s a quick summary of the process:
- Download the software.
- Connect the headset.
- Connect cables between headset, positional tracker, and monitor—basically like setting up a TV.
- Turn on the power to the headset.
- Choose a lens–one is for users with normal vision, another is for very nearsighted users. You can wear (non-bifocal) glasses with the first lens.
- Begin your adventure into virtual reality!
Once you get your Oculus Rift set up, what can you actually do with it? Here are some of our favorite activities, games, and videos for getting started on the Oculus Rift:
Sightline: The Chair: This was designed to introduce new Oculus Rift users to the virtual reality experience. All you have to do with this one is put on your headset and take a look around!
Google Street View: Because now you can travel to Paris and look up at the Eiffel Tower like you’re actually there.
Janus VR: This application is based on the novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and the premise that you could walk around the internet as a physical space. Enter webpages like they’re your bedroom and say hi to the other people there because this one is interactive.
VR Time Travelers. Pharaoh: This app will take you on an educational romp around Ancient Egypt.
Discovering Space: Get your spaceship out of the garage and take a trip through the galaxy. You can travel and explore anywhere you’d like in the universe with this game!
Millennium Falcon Experience: For all the Star Wars lovers out there, get prepped for the new film by exploring the inside of the Millennium Falcon spaceship.
Apollo 11: Experience the historic moment when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon and explore the ship that took him there.
Zero Point: This is the first 3D 360 degrees film made specifically for virtual reality. The whole 15-minute film costs $4.99, but you can check out a demo first on their site! If you’re interested in more movies, keep an eye on these films coming out soon.
Banshee Chapter: Horror films are perfect for virtual reality as they get all your senses creeped out. Banshee Chapter is about government experiments and conspiracies.
Helix: Have you ever been to an IMAX film that has a lot of up and down motion in it and you got that funny whoosh feeling in your stomach? Helix takes this to the next level by allowing you to virtually ride a rollercoaster. Not recommended for those who get motion sick.
Don’t Let Go: If the idea of spiders crawling up your neck or a velociraptor attacking you doesn’t freak you out then this is the game for you. The objective is simple: hold down the keys on your keyboard as long as you can before the game scares you into letting go.
These suggestions are only a fraction of what’s out there for the adventurous Rift user. You can find way more things to watch or play at Oculus Share or The Rift Arcade. Feel free to suggest more in the comments!
Try out the Oculus Rift DK2 for only $30 a day here.