Oculus Rift S and Google Stadia

Oculus Rift S

Facebook has come up with the all-new Oculus Rift S, which will replace the older version. Setup of the headset is really easy, you don’t need any external sensors, you just plug it in, it will guide you through the setup. They made it super easy. You have to give them credit for making something complicated that easy and consumer friendly.

A headset is made of premium material; you will really appreciate the constructing the built quality. It is very comfortable on your head, considering the previous versions. It comes with the built-in earphones that just go over your ear, which is removable but they are premium quality headphones so you might actually like them. You do have to acknowledge the actual screen on the inside, the quality here is good but nothing out of this world. there can be a slight screen door effect, the visual quality is not that far off if you compare it with Gear VR or Google cardboard.

Oculus home the main game hub is nice too, its very easy and consumer friendly. It gets updated at fairly frequent intervals, so there are going to be new experiences all along. In terms of actual games Rift does have some exclusive games like Chronos, Edge of nowhere and the Climb, which is surprisingly awesome considering you are using Xbox one controllers. Oculus is saying that they are working on touch controllers, we have seen them and they look pretty awesome. As of right now, there is no definitive release date, they seem a little far off and you know they are going to be expensive.

If we talk about fragmentation, in terms of that it is nice to be able to fire up steam VR and play some games that way because dirt rally, for example, has Oculus support and if you won it on steam and not on Oculus home you can still play it. There has been some controversy here and there about how Oculus has been handling their DRM and how their software handshakes with the headset but thankfully seems like those things have been smoothed over. System requirement is very steep as described below:

  • Three USB 3.0 ports  
  • i5 processor 970
  • 8GB of RAM

Some might think that Oculus Rift asks a lot, but the biggest question arises is it worth it? We are personally not very convinced due to multiple reasons. The experiences are great, and that VR magic that you are looking for, that feeling of being transported into the game, it’s there. It is also fun sharing this experience with other people, putting the headset on someone who never experienced VR before is a lot of fun.

Let’s talk about the specs this Oculus Rift S has. It has an LCD with 2560×1440 resolution at 80Hz as compared to the older version which has two screens with 2160×1200 at 90Hz OLED panels.  Now the biggest problem is the price, it starts at whooping 400$. Which means for most people VR experience is out of reach. If you haven’t had a VR experience, you must try it to fully enjoy it, but asking 400$ for VR is a bit over the top.     

Oculus Rift makes the setup, the games, the installation, the way its laid out the store it makes it easy and fun. So because of that, it might not appeal to some skeptics or even some really hardcore gamers looking for a crazy awesome VR experience. Oculus Rift S has convinced a lot of people that VR is not a fluke, it’s just a little underdeveloped technology. Oculus Rift S is almost there but not quite.

Google Stadia

Now we will talk about Google Stadia, it is their new streaming service which will work with nothing more than a browser or a smart TV, an internet connection and then optionally Google’s own game controller. Google is hoping to mitigate the latency issues that have plagued other streaming services. Part of the solution will probably come from the fact that they have more cloud infrastructure, the fact that they have more servers in more places should help to reduce both ping time and latency of your connection. So a Stadia gamer might be connecting to a server 50 miles away instead of one that Is 500 miles away. Hopefully, this will keep games from lagging out but the other major problem is going to be image quality. Google is using arrays of custom AMD Radeon chips that sound pretty powerful. The issue at hand is that like the vast majority of digital video online the rendered frame needs to be compressed before they are sent across the internet. That means there could be some degradation in quality by the time they hit your screen.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 19: Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison shows the new Stadia controller as he speaks during the GDC Game Developers Conference on March 19, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Google announced Stadia, a new streaming service that allows players to play games online without consoles or computers. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 Now Google is expecting a 25 Mbit/s connection to be good enough to stream games at 4K resolutions 60 frames per second. That speed is certainly in reach of many users but in order to keep the game from lagging 25 Mbit/s, the image quality may not be as good as some hardcore gamers would like. we will have to wait and see if Google has a solution to this issue. All the tech in the work won’t matter if people don’t have access to games they want to play. It’s still an open question on how the libraries will be handled on Stadia.

Now the PlayStation Now, Sony streaming offering only offers a rotating list of games so you can never rely on a certain title on the platform for too long. With the amount of storage and connectivity in Google’s arsenal, we hope that Stadia will have a large library of games to pick from at a reasonable price. We hope that it will allow the people who bring their own games in and run them off of Google servers. As compared to PlayStation Now or GeForce Now, Google Stadia is an entirely new platform built on Linux. It is certainly exciting for an absolute Titan of cloud computing like Google to finally throw its hat into the streaming ring.    

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