It's been a long time coming but gamers around the world are finally getting ready to welcome an Oculus Rift VR headset to their living rooms.
Now, the panic sets in - can your PC cope? Do you need expensive headphones? Is Oculus Touch worth it?
Read this: Incredible upcoming Oculus Rift games
You actually get a LOT in the Oculus Rift bundle, making features like this more difficult to write. That includes: the Rift headset with bundled headphones, a wireless Xbox One controller, Oculus Remote, Oculus Camera and the HDMI and USB cables you need.
Here's a look at all the other Oculus Rift gear, some of it money no object, you might need to create your perfect setup. We'll update this list as and when new Oculus Rift accessories and Oculus Ready PCs get announced - for one thing, it's said to be working with MSI on a backpack PC so look out for that.
Choose your Oculus Ready PC
You can already buy a range of Oculus Ready PCs from the likes of Dell, Asus, Lenovo and Alienware plus Falcon Northwest, Aorus and Cyberpower PC. HP Oculus Ready PCs are coming soon.
These include bundles with the VR headset itself and you can choose from a $949 Asus G11CD to a $2549 Alienware Area 51 beast.
If you're buying a new PC, instead of relying on your existing setup or building your own custom gaming rig, you'll need one with a minimum of 8GB of RAM, an Intel i5-4590 processor and an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD 290 graphics card. Plus Windows 7 or newer, three USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port and a HDMI 1.3 video output.
That's the recommend spec, there's actually also a minimum spec which you can peruse here (essentially Intel i3, Nvidia GTX 960/AMD RX 470).
Read this: How to actually set up your Oculus Rift
So for instance, Alienware's X51 line has two "VR Capable" models based on Intel i5 processors. The first with an Nvidia GTX 970 GPU is $999 for the bundle (usually $1199) and the second, with the GTX 980 and 16GB of RAM is $1499. Dell's $999 XPS 8900 SE has an Intel i5-6400 processor, GTX 970 and 8GB of RAM.
from $949 - $2549, alienware.com
The obvious first purchase, Touch "makes the Rift worth it" according to our updated Oculus Rift review. The half moon-shaped, handheld controllers give you three buttons per hand as well as a clickable thumb stick, trigger for for your forefinger and a trackpad. Don't forget, you'll need to buy and set up the second $79 sensor for these to work.
Read this: Oculus Touch prototypes in pictures
There's a strap to keep them in place and the best bit - for anyone used to Vive or PS VR Move controllers - is that they're battery powered. Buy a stash of AAs and you'll always be good to go. A total of 54 games and apps are already compatible with Touch and you get Toybox for free. Full list is here.
When you buy the Rift, you get a pair of removable on-ear headphones but now Oculus is offering a second option. The Oculus Earphones are an affordable-ish pair of earbuds designed for high noise isolation and optimised for VR spatial audio. In our updated Rift review, we said the Earphones "do the job" and are comfortable but nothing more spectacular than that.
At the moment, for those who want to use other headphones directly with the Rift (rather than via the PC), we'll have to wait for third party headphone makers to work with Oculus. There's also open source CAD files.
Leap Motion + VR Developer Mount
An alternative to Oculus Touch, the gesture control sensor clips to the front of your Rift with the plastic VR Developer Mount and can track what your hands are doing with its 135 degree field of view.
In terms of what you can actually do with it, Leap Motion points to a bunch of demos and open source examples. Great value and you can experiment with its futuristic PC controls too.
Now we're getting into seriously investedgamer accessories, starting with the Virtuix Omni motion platform. This is aimed at anyone who wants to turn their spare room into a VR arcade. It lets you walk, run, jump, strafe, go backwards and sit down in VR environments, all while strapped in to the gaming accessory.
Included in the main bundle is the Omni platform itself, Omni Shoes, Omni Tracking Pods, an Omni Harness and some demo games. But you can also use Virtuix's platform with both new VR games and VR ready legacy games due to the fact that it translates your movements into analog gamepad input.
A quick note: Virtuix has cancelled pre-orders outside the US citing shipping/regulation issues.
Teslasuit's Kickstarter campaign just got cancelled but the team has promised that it will return with a more affordable version of its Pioneer Development Kit smart suit later in the year. The original shipping date was set for October 2016.
The original price was £1,119 for the full suit with cheaper standalone jackets and trousers so we can see why not everyone was able to pay for it. The waterproof and washable neoprene and conductive thread Teslasuit has an electro-haptic feedback system with a mesh of 16 sensors around the garment. Early demos include VR Digital Paintball. Yes.
If you don't have the patience to wait for a Teslasuit, there is an alternative you can get you hands on right now and it's called the SubPac M2.
You won't get the full body immersive audio experience but the wearable backpack uses haptic feedback technology letting the user feel explosions and in-game audio. It's like having a subwoofer on your back. There's Bluetooth support so you can stream music to it as well and the battery will get you 6+ hours of immersive audio.
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