CES 2014: Oculus Rift VR Doesn’t Make ME Sick (hands-on preview)

Written by Mat Lee

At CES 2014, Mat Lee does a hands-on preview of the latest Oculus Rift VR tech. Once he gets this, he’s never taking it off. And it doesn’t make HIM sick.

aNewDomain.net — Back in September 2012, Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift destroyed its $250K Kickstarter goal, nabbing nearly 2.5 million dollars from its 9,522 backers. At CES 2014, Oculus VR debuted Crystal Cove, the newest iteration of the headset. Mat Lee did a mind-bending, hands-on preview. Check it out below.

With such impressive Kickstarter numbers, I wondered if the Oculus Rift immersive virtual reality headset tech and the Crystal Cove iteration would achieve greatness at CES 2014. It sure looked like it when the show started. The tech won one of the Best of CES awards right at the show’s onset. So I headed over to check out Crystal Cove for you with a hands-on preview.

And it rocks. Getting right to the point, I found Crystal Cove, the newest iteration of the headset by Oculus VR, to be mind blowing. I literally had to put my hand on the desk because I wanted so badly to move around.

But then I kept bumping into stuff in the real world that wasn’t in the VR. The Oculus Rift Crystal Cove headset really does a good job at getting your mind to fill in the blanks and create a really mesmerizing experience. That’s me, below.

Image Credit: Ant Pruitt

Image credit: Ant Pruitt


I always hear how VR makes a lot of people nauseous. But for the five minutes or so I was messing around with it, I was fine.

Oculus reps say the Crystal Cove version definitely has improved tracking. Word on the street says a lot of people’s stomachs still have issues with it. Maybe they just need to grow a pair. Or maybe some of us are more adaptable to this new technology than others. They’ll work it out in the lab. Hey, it’s science, bro.

Even though the resolution was still video game-like — that’s what the Oculus Rift is best at right now — I still found this to be an ultra-immersive experience.

I was playing around in some crazy world where those guards from Half Life 2 were hanging around everywhere trying to beat me with sticks. I didn’t have a weapon so it all amounted, basically, to a lot of taunting. It still was fun. I can only imagine how full-on game play will be. This tech is starting out strong.

Image Credit: Ant Pruitt

Image credit: Ant Pruitt

This was a different experience than the other headset I was playing around with, the Avegant Glyph. The Glyph was an immersive sit-back-and-watch-the-screen-type of experience.

Conversely, the Oculus Rift literally makes you want to jump head first into virtual reality and interact with it. Look around, walk around, shoot things, you know, grown up stuff.

Image Credit: Ant Pruitt

Image credit: Ant Pruitt

I’m really excited for the first version of whatever Grand Theft Auto iteration we’re on at the time when it becomes available for the Rift. People will never leave the house.

And imagine how much better your drive to work will be. Life in the future is going to be amazing. And all of us are going to be wearing funny hats, just as Gina Smith once predicted.

I used to love the crap out of this red vector like 3D toy way back in the day. 1995 to be exact.

I used to love the crap out of this red vector-like 3D toy way back in the day. 1995 to be exact.

Imagine playing Ingress on this thing. How awesome would that be? Maybe something like contact lenses that are more augmented reality than Virtual Boy reality, but this is a monumentally prodigious step in the right direction.

Oculus Rift developer edition

We still don’t have a release date for the Crystal Cove, but there was a rumor on Forbes by Jason Evangelho that we’ll see it for less than $499 this summer.

We’ll see if that’s legit.

Ask yourself. Is humanity ready for a holodeck? We’ll see. In the meantime, order a $300 developer kit if you want to play around with it or maybe even come up with the next disruptive use for it.

Image Credit: Ant Pruitt

Image credit: Ant Pruitt

Be sure to check out Oculus VR online, and of course, keep checking back here on aNewDomain for more great CES 2014 and ShowStoppers coverage. Check out my picture gallery on Google+ and our  aND TV YouTube page.

For aNewDomain.net, I’m Mat Lee.

Based in Kalispell, Montana, Mat Lee is a senior editor and podcaster at aNewDomain.net. He is yet another teamBYTE vet on our aNewDomain.net edit team and he hosts the popular Yet Another Tech Show (YATS). He is an Android man. Email Mat at Mat@aNewDomain.net and follow him on Google+, where he is +Mat Lee.