Oculus Rift - the future of Android gaming?

Gaming on our Android devices has certainly come a long way over the past couple of years. One look at the Google Play store will show amazing sprawling 3D adventures, AAA titles ported over from home consoles and some of the most addictive games on the market today.

But a new product is soon to hit the market that looks to take the gaming experience on your Android phone or tablet to the next level and beyond – for half of the price of either the Xbox One or Playstation 4 games consoles.

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that puts the player in the game by attaching to the user’s head and using an external controller. Using the mounted display, users get really involved in their favourite games and tether the headset itself to their Android device to experience their mobile games on a bigger and more immersive screen. On top of being used as a platform to load games from, there are future plans to be able to use any Android phone or tablet as a controller for any game played on the Oculus Rift headset via USB tethering.

The design of the Oculus Rift headset may look strange to some, but it has several benefi ts for its users. As well as being able to interact with games, the Rift includes positional tracking, from which the user can control the direction they are looking in within the game, as well as full movement tracking capabilities that you’d expect from a virtual reality headset. There’s also things like 1080p support, wireless operation and even a HDMI port to tether the unit to your HDTV for other people to see what you’re seeing.

Many big name mobile game developers are already onboard with several ambitious projects to transform the ways users can experience their games using a combination of the Rift alongside their Android device. Games like Dead Trigger have already seen great critical success on Android devices, but will be heavily modifi ed to support the Oculus’s technology and immerse the player further into the game itself. With developer units of the Oculus Rift already available for users to get experimenting with, and consumer units touted for a mid-2014 release, expect to see a new era of interactive gaming appearing soon on your Android device – and on your head!

Highlights of the Oculus Rift

Seven-inch display
The seven-inch mounted display has been designed to optimise graphics for each game played. Although it’s built in the same vein as an Android tablet, the actual processing power is built into the surrounding headset. The chosen design helps the display unit stop heating up after prolonged use.

Interchangeable lenses
One of the greatest additions to the Oculus Rift are its interchangeable lenses, which can be used to move the display to suit different people’s eye. With the intense 3D gaming experience that the Rift provides, the ability to alter how the display works and functions will certainly help prevent eye damage.

Virtuix Omni
Alongside the Rift is the Virtuix Omni, a omnidirectional treadmill that enables users to jump, walk, crouch and run in their game. While wearing the Rift you can add to the immersive nature of the game by stepping into the Omni and taking your experience to the next level.