The Oculus Rift pre-orders start shipping at the end of March, and it is only a matter of time
before they hit the shelves. The headset is projected to cost $600, and some reviewers are
scratching their heads wondering if the first wave of virtual reality will be worth the price.
By converting the display on a video game screen to a 3D image that wraps around just like
normal vision and turns when the user’s head turns, this technology is doing something that has
never been done before: create a realistic visual environment for users to walk around in.
Gambling companies have already found the best use for the Oculus Rift. Slated to come out at
the same time as the headsets, a virtual reality casino simulator is already in the works.
Users canwalk around using an ordinary joystick, look using the headset just like looking around an
ordinary room, and wander through a virtual casino just like a casino in real life. This immersive
game can be played from your own living room, and is as close as we have to a real virtual
After wandering around, users can walk up to a table game and start playing. Cards, chips, and
other things are still selected using ordinary buttons, but the user can make hand gestures to hit,
stand, and direct the dealer in other ways. It may not be exactly like playing a table game in real
life, but it is pretty cool regardless.
Some reviewers are still arguing that the Oculus Rift is not worth the money. It is the first of its
kind, and its functionality is still limited. Buying this headset the year it comes out may end up
like purchasing the first wheel ever designed or the first airplane to ever lift off: cool, but
ultimately doomed to disappointment.
Not all of virtual reality is there yet. It is possible to see the cards and hear the dealer, but it is not
possible to feel the cards and smell the dealer. Some components of virtual reality are missing,
completely undeveloped, and depending on how important all five senses are to the user, it may
be time to wait. On the other hand, if the Oculus Rift does turn out to be the best thing since
sliced bread, now is the time to start saving up.
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