Gamescom 2012: The Oculus Rift Is Made For Those Who Wear Glasses

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Steve Anderson
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Gamescom 2012: The Oculus Rift Is Made For Those Who Wear Glasses

Normally, when some kind of headset system comes out, the first question that's asked by a lot of people--yours truly quite included--is "Yeah, but will it fit over my glasses?" In the case of the Oculus Rift, a headset designed to offer an impressive new visual effect in gaming, the short answer is "no". The longer answer, however, is "No, but it doesn't need to."

The Oculus Rift, you see, combines head tracking technology with a 1280 x 800 viewing area to provide a nice, clean, and downright impressive overall viewing surface. But like a lot of head mounted displays, it's not going to allow users to wear glasses with them. While this will likely disappoint more than a few users--rather, potential users who may well be ready to stop reading when they think they're hearing about a device they can't use--it's the rest of the story that's interesting here.

See, instead of being usable with glasses, the Oculus Rift itself is instead used to replace glasses. Whether with adjustable lenses like binoculars or with special inserts is unclear--or with software-level corrections for those with astigmatism--the key thing is users won't be able to wear glasses with these, but they will work as though users didn't need glasses in the first place. Given that it's survived a Kickstarter process--that's most of how it got to this point in the first place--and it's already received something like endorsements from shooter magnate John Carmack--who plans to make Doom 4 compatible with the Oculus Rift--as well as Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson, it's a fair bet that this one isn't just interesting to gamers, it's also interesting to game makers. That ups the chances that we'll see more games made for this thing down the line, and that the intended modifications will be as exacting as possible to cover as many potential gamers as they can lay hands on.

That, meanwhile, is no doubt very happy news indeed, especially for those more retro style gamers who always wanted their own virtual reality headset for their gaming. This one should be pretty impressive when it finally rolls out, even though it's likely to be a while before we actually get to a point where we'll see it in action.
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