TC GameCast Episode 5: Oculus Rift And Picking A Game Console

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This week Darrell Etherington, Ed Zitron, and I spent most of the podcast talking about the Oculus Rift, with a slight detour into the world of consoles in the latter half.

Yesterday, Oculus announced that it has an internal “Story Studio” working on short virtual reality films. The team is led by Saschka Unseld, best-know for directing The Blue Umbrella, a well-received short film from Pixar. Our colleague Josh Constine found the first VR film, “Lost,” to be cute but not very interactive.

Based on that bit of news, we spent quite of bit of time speculating about the content we’ll be able to access on the consumer model for the first few years. Based on the demos we’ve been given by Oculus, it seems that most content on the Rift will be like Wii Sports back in 2006: interesting enough to get people to buy into the concept, but perhaps not the fleshed-out gaming experience we’re hoping for in the long run.

Before we got into all that, however, we let Ed rant about how awful the user experience still is on the Oculus Rift developer kit. While gameplay inside the headset is amazing, getting the thing set up can still be tricky and feels kind of broken.

kyle russell oculus rift

We also spent some time talking about gaming on consoles. None of us are quite sold on the concept of Android gaming just yet, despite the plethora of options now available in the space. Basically, our shared hypothesis is that smartphones brought millions of people into the “gamer” fold, but most are happy with simple games that don’t take much time to get into.

We wrapped the episode after a brief discussion of the age-old question, “PlayStation or Xbox?” After complaining about the interfaces on both of the latest consoles from Sony and Microsoft, we broke down the key differences that should go into a buying decision: which console has the exclusives you want and which one do most of your friends have?