Oculus Rift

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Oculus Rift
Rift front1.jpg
Basic Info
VR/AR Virtual Reality
Type Head-mounted display
Subtype Discrete HMD
Platform Oculus Rift (Platform)
Developer Oculus VR
Release Date March 28, 2016
Price $399 with Touch
Website https://www.oculus.com/en-us/rift/
Requires PC
Predecessor Oculus Rift DK2
Successor Oculus Rift S
Operating System Windows
Display Dual OLED Panels
Resolution 2160 x 1200 (1080 x 1200 per eye)
Pixel Density 455.63 PPI per eye
Refresh Rate 90 Hz
Persistence 2.1ms
Field of View 110° (diagonal)
Optics Fresnel lenses
IPD Range 58mm to 70mm
Tracking 6DOF
Rotational Tracking Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Magnetometer
Positional Tracking Oculus Sensor
Update Rate Rotational: 1000Hz, Positional: 60Hz
Tracking Volume 100°H x 70°V (over 18 feet range)
Latency Motion to Photon: less than 5ms
Audio Built-in headphones, external headphones, built-in microphone
Connectivity HDMI, USB
Weight 360g
Input Xbox One controller, Oculus Touch, Oculus Remote
Cable Length 4 meters (Headset), 2.5 meters (Sensor)
See also: Oculus Rift (Platform)


The Oculus Rift - also known as Oculus Rift CV1 or simply as Rift - is the first consumer-targeted version of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality head-mounted display HMD. The Oculus Rift was released on March 28, 2016. [1] Unlike its predecessors, DK1 and DK2 (Development Kits), the Rift's target demographic moves beyond developers and serious virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts to include people with only casual interest in VR..

The Oculus Rift was the result of four years of research that started on Kickstarter. At the time, the project raised $2 million from supporters before being purchased by Facebook. The commercial version of the HMD marks and improvement over the previous developments kits, being easier to setup and requiring less technical know-how to install games and troubleshoot when problems appear. [2]

The Rift produces two images simultaneously and tracks the user’s movement to create a sense of presence in the virtual worlds. According to some publications, the previous versions of this VR headset felt rough and cheap, with problems with tracking and lag-free gameplay. [2]

The consumer version of the Rift has been described as elegant and sleek. But while it has received overall praise, it also has its negative points. The Oculus Rift games have been described as the best VR games available. It also has a growing list of movies and apps that will lead to the device being an immersive window into new worlds, with hundreds of VR experiences. The headset is also comfortable to wear. The minimum PC requirements and the induced nausea caused by some experiences are viewed as negatives. While in the beginning the Rift was less immersive than the HTC Vive due to the lack of motion controllers, Oculus has since released its own motion controllers - the Oculus Touch. [2] [3]

Since its development, the minimum specs of the headset have been brought down. These changes might increase its accessibility to a larger number of people since not everyone invests in a powerful PC. This, in conjunction with the Oculus Rift price reduction and release of the Touch controllers, is a strategy to increase the appeal of the VR headset to the general public. [1] [2]

The Oculus Rift has the potential to be the next evolution of Facebook, to be used as a therapeutic tool, as a gateway to music festivals and sports games. Its scope will not only be limited to games or small VR experiences, as the VR landscape changes with time, but will expand as virtual reality becomes more present in the minds of the general public. [2] [3]

Release and Pricing

Current Prices

On October 11, 2017, during the Oculus Connect 4, Hugo Barra, Oculus' Vice President of Virtual Reality, announced the permanent price reduction of Oculus Rift and Touch bundle to $399.

Price History

In July 2017, the price of the Oculus Rift CV1 bundled with Oculus Touch was reduced to $499. Note that the bundle does not come with the Xbox 360 Controller nor the Oculus Remote. However, it comes with two Oculus Sensors.

Every order of the Rift comes with the HMD, Oculus Sensor, Xbox One controller and Oculus Remote. Pre-orders for the Rift began on January 6, 2016, for $599. On March 1, 2017, the price of CV1 was reduced to $499.


Design and Ergonomics

The Rift HMD has a sleek all-black design, with improved ergonomics when compared to the DK2. Soft plastic and fabric are used throughout. Smooth rubber and coarse cloth cover the front and sides of the headset. A single cable tethers the HMD to your PC while a mesh of lycra envelopes the lenses of the headset. The interpupillary distance (IPD) can be adjusted physically through the dial on the bottom of the HMD. The user’s face makes contact with the HMD through a comfortable foam faceplate. These "face interfaces" are removable and interchangeable. Oculus has mentioned that they are creating multiple facial interfaces with different interior faceplates to accommodate various facial features and users with glasses. With the default face interface, Oculus recommends a frame width of 142mm or less and a frame height of 50mm or less, if the user has to wear glasses.

Display and Optics

The dual OLED panel displays of CV1 is a large improvement over its predecessors. The colors are vibrant, the resolution is adequate and the screen door effect is minimal. The only glaring flaw of CV1's display and optics system is the god rays. The god rays are caused by Fresnel lenses' ridges which scatter light. They look similar to lens flares and are noticeable whenever there are high-contrast elements on the screen (i.e. white text on a black background).


The head tracking in the Rift has no visible latency. The tracking system employed by Oculus Rift is called Constellation. It is an improved version from DK2 and Crescent Bay. While rotational tracking is achieved with inertial measuring units (IMUs), positional tracking is accomplished with an Oculus Sensor (outside-in tracking). Tiny LED markers are placed on the HMD, and the camera sensor is able to recognize these markers to track the position of the HMD. The markers on the back straps of the HMD allows the back of the user’s head to be tracked. This potentially allows for 360 degrees of tracking. The Rift's tracking is designed for both seated and standing VR experiences.

The Oculus Sensor is not only able to track the headset but also the Oculus Touch controllers. Users can use multiple sensors to increase the tracking volume for the HMD and controllers.

Voice and Audio

The Oculus Rift has a microphone and built-in, removable headphones. Users can detach the headphones and replace them with their own audio devices. 3D audio technology is incorporated into the Rift.


Two 90mm screens, at a resolution of 1080 x 1200 per eye, makes each display 455.63 PPI. [4][5]

Part Spec
Display Dual OLED Panels
Resolution 2160 x 1200 (1080 x 1200 per eye)
Pixel density 455.63 PPI per eye
Refresh rate 90 Hz
Persistence Low
Field of View 110° (diagonal)
Optics Fresnel lenses
IPD 58-72mm
Tracking 6 degrees of freedom
Rotational tracking Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Magnetometer
Positional tracking Oculus Sensor (outside-in tracking)
Update Rate Rotational: 1000Hz, Positional: 60Hz
Tracking Volume 100°H x 70°V (over 18 feet range)
Connectivity 4m custom cable that integrates USB and HDMI connections
Weight 360 grams (0.8 pounds)

System Requirements


  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290, equivalent or greater
  • CPU: Intel i5-4590, equivalent or greater
  • RAM: 8GB+
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 or newer
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Video Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output

Oculus Ready

Oculus ready1.jpg

Oculus Ready is a PC program that partners with hardware manufacturers such as Asus, Dell, and Alienware to create pre-built PCs that meet the system requirements of the Rift. PCs that qualify will have an Oculus Ready sticker on its case. Price points of these systems start from under $1000.

Players can purchase the Oculus Rift bundled with an Oculus Ready PC for $1499.

Compatibility Tool

The Rift’s Compatibility Tool is used to verify if a Windows PC is Rift ready. It checks the PC's GPU, RAM, OS, CPU, and USB. For each subpar spec, it offers a link to the Compatibility Tool Support Page[6] that recommends necessary upgrades and solutions.

Setup Tutorial

See also: Oculus Rift Adjustment Guide
  1. Go to Setup on Oculus.com.[7]
  2. Download and run Rift's setup tool. All the software required for the Rift is automatically installed.
  3. Perform the setup and configuration.
  4. Plug the HMDI cable of the HMD into the HDMI port of your PC's graphics card. Plug the USB cable of the HMD into the USB 3.0 port of your PC.
  5. Plug the USB cable of the sensor into the USB 3.0 port of your PC.
  6. Update HMD and sensor firmware.
  7. The instruction will tell you to pull out the plastic tab at the bottom of the Oculus Remote. Do not just pull it out. Instead, slide open the back cover of the Remote, then peel the tab from the battery. If you forcefully yank the tab out, you might break it.
  8. Update the Oculus remote firmware.
  9. Setup the Xbox controller by plugging the wireless adapter into the USB port. Use the USB extender as needed. Put the two AA batteries into the controller and start it up.
  10. Press the button on the wireless adapter until the LED blinks then press and hold the same button on the Xbox controller until the Xbox logo stops blinking to sync the controller to your PC.
  11. Setup the Sensor by placing it about 3 feet away from you. Tilt the glossy side of the sensor head to aim at your face. Make sure there is a clear line-of-sight between you and the sensor.
  12. Setup the HMD.
  13. Customize the fit of HMD. Look at the straps of the HMD - two on the sides, one on top. Loosen the tabs of the straps. Put the HMD on your head. Tighten the straps until the HMD comfortably fits on your head.
  14. Use the slider at the bottom of the HMD to adjust the distance between the lenses. Make sure the distance fits your IPD.
  15. Wear the HMD to continue setup.
  16. Move the HMD around until you can see the + clearly. Make sure you are in range of the sensor (2-5 feet).

Input Devices

Xbox One controller - comes with every Oculus Rift.

Oculus Touch - A unique controller released after the Rift's release.

Oculus Remote - allows the user to simply and intuitively navigate VR experiences. It is the ideal input device for introducing VR to non-gamers.


Oculus Rift Apps from Oculus Share and Oculus Store.

EVE: Valkyrie - comes with every Oculus Rift CV1 pre-order.

Lucky's Tale - comes with every Rift CV1.

If you purchase the $499 Oculus + Touch bundle released starting from July 2017, you will also get the Bundled Titles from Touch.


Oculus SDK

Oculus SDK


Each order of the Oculus Rift comes with 4 months of Unity Pro trial.

Tracking volume

See also: Tracking volume

Oculus rift cv1 tracking volume1.png Oculus rift cv1 tracking volume2.png

100°H x 70°V (>18 feet range)

Room size: 15 feet by 15 feet


Oculus Rift box set:

Oculus rift cv1 box set1.jpg


Rift front1.jpg Rift back1.jpg Rift inside1.jpg Rift top1.jpg

Oculus Sensor:

Rift camera sensor1.jpg

Oculus Remote:

Oculus remote1.jpg


January 6, 2016: Pre-orders for the Oculus Rift began on Oculus.com for $599.

February 16, 2016: Pre-orders for the Oculus Rift and Oculus Ready PC bundle began for $1,499.

March 28, 2016: Oculus Rift is officially released.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Greenwald, W. (2017). Oculus Rift. Retrieved from https://www.pcmag.com/review/343413/oculus-rift
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Pino, N. (2017). Oculus Rift review. Retrieved from http://www.techradar.com/reviews/gaming/gaming-accessories/oculus-rift-1123963/review
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stein, S. and Hollister, S. Oculus Rift: Welcome to the future. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/special-reports/oculus-rift-review/
  4. iFixit (2016). Oculus Rift CV1 Teardown. Retrieved from https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Oculus+Rift+CV1+Teardown/60612#s126626
  5. Orland, K. (2016). iFixit digs into Oculus Rift’s 461 PPI OLED display, custom lenses. Retrieved from https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/03/ifixit-digs-into-oculus-rifts-461ppi-oled-display-custom-lenses/
  6. Oculus. Oculus Support Center. Retrieved from https://support.oculus.com/hc/en-us/sections/203483987-Compatibility-Tool-and-Error-Messages-
  7. Oculus. Retrieved from https://www3.oculus.com/en-us/setup/