Time.com has a review of the Rift by Lev Grossman in their entertainment section. Lev has some interesting takes on use of the Rift. See: Hands-On with Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Is Almost Here, Finally.
Lev points out that the Rift’s handling or you peripheral vision makes your experience much more immersive. Using a monitor leaves our minds dealing with all the stimuli being fed in via our peripheral vision. Lev found it much more relaxing using the Rift. I doubt that is the word I would have used. But, his point is well taken.
Another interesting point is Lev turning to look over his shoulder. He says he kept expecting to come to the edge of the screen. Of course he didn’t.
Looking up he saw snowflakes drifting down. That has me wondering how well that looking up experience will work with snow and rain particles in Second Life™. I suppose that is a rather minor thing.
Lev was surprised when he looked down and there was no body. The immersion was so good he was seriously wondering where his body went.
Lev says in his use of the Rift the head tracking and view updating were so good he did not get motion (well simulator) sickness. He thinks some of the tracking weakness in earlier models made simulator nausea more likely. But, Lev says he doesn’t get motion sickness. So, that may not be a definitive evaluation on that subject.
Lev gets to preview many new technologies because of his reporter’s position. He has seen pre-release versions of Xbox360, Wii, Kinect, etc. He feels this is a technology that is going to change gaming.
I tend to agree with Lev. My initial excitement has toned down as I see more of the problems posed by the Rift. But, I am still excited and looking forward to the Rift hitting the retail market and gaining general gaming use.
The Lab and third party viewer developers are building an interface for the Rift. CtrlAltStudio has a viewer out and it recently updated and there a version is available for the Mac too. The Lab’s viewer is still under wraps. But, Lindens are saying much about it, other than they have checked it and find pretty awesome.
Of course the big question is in wondering how the Lab is going to deal with all the control panels we have in the viewer.