So I got to try RenZ's Rift yesterday albeit only for a very short time but here's my first impression, thoughts & experience.
Also bear in mind, I was only able to use it for less than 30mins as I was time constrained as I had a family lunch to get to.
Also I only drove Assetto Corsa, in the Moby Dick @ Spa with no AI. I also did not partake in any of the demo's beforehand just the eye positioning setup process (which was relatively painless & quick).
The whole OMFG this is so nuts (feeling) of actually sitting in a cockpit with everything in true to life scale is mind-blowing. Never in my dreams as a young gamer did I ever think I'd experience anything like it.
As a severely short-sighted (practically legally blind in right eye) individual, I had to wear my specs to see into the distance as clearly as the Rift allows. I currently have large plastic rim glasses & although they did fit inside the Rift it wasn't the most comfortable. Also after 10mins the amount of condensation on my spec lenses was enough to need a wipe clean. So I'll be looking into a VR Lens Lab
set or equivalent when I eventually get a HMD.
First thing that struck me was I thought my head would hit the roll-cage bar above my head in the cockpit, yes it feels that real.
First lap into Eau Rougue I got a touch dizzy. Then in the longer corners of the 1st lap I experienced it again but as soon as I was on the next straight section it disappeared. After lap 1 I didn't get any more dizzy sensations.
For my first time in that car & in AC for a long time I was impressed with how little I ran off the track, yes I know Spa well but judging distance & speed just becomes more natural.
For a while I could hear my family & RenZ in the background. When I took the HMD off to wipe the glasses I was startled to turn around to see they had all disappeared at some point. Yes that's how immersive & isolated you become from reality even after 10mins, which imho is a good but also a bad thing (if you fear getting mugged).
The head-tracking is sublime, the ability to look at, into & through a corner is incredible & so instinctive as you would expect it to be.
I feel the driver animations take away from the immersion as they are not timed to what your doing all the time, like shifting gear. Hopefully this will be the next step for the race -sim HMD genre.
Also once I started to push the car more I got a strange sensation whenever the car slid (particularly yaw), it wasn't a dizzy feeling but a disorienting feeling & different to what you feel irl. It meant I just wasn't sure what to do to correct it instinctively. I'm sure with more time I would work it out & the feeling would disappear but it could affect my ability to race in a pack till I did sort it out.
The Rift headphones sound quality was way better than I expected, to the point I would probably just use them & be happy. Not sure how much RenZ has tweaked them though?
So will I be buying one, well not yet, here's why;
1. Cost prohibitive for me currently. Upwards of $1K with a single income & young kids is a stretch.
2. Visuals, the screen-door effect is still to pronounced for me so is the viewing distance, it's just not clear enough even as blind as I am. It's good for 100mtrs maybe 150mtrs but further than that & it's not realistically see-able.
3. Heat, I sweet when it's 20'C & Sunny so wearing this on my face even after 10mins produced to much heat & sweat. RenZ had a fan blowing at 45 degrees to your seating position but the HMD really needs venting to allow air to pass through it.
Hopefully the 2nd or 3rd generation overcomes some of these issues & if they do I'll be busting a gut to purchase one.
Sorry for the long post but I hope some of you found it worth the read, especially if you haven't experienced a HMD yet & had questions as I did till trying one.
Big thanks to RenZ for the try-out too...