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VR Moments: My First Touch

Having played on and viewed a few things in virtual reality (VR), I was really looking forward to my first experience on the Oculus Touch. So when PC World were offering a 30 minute demo slot I eagerly booked in. Ping! The confirmation email came in, 5 days to go, now all I had to do was patiently wait.

Saturday midday soon rolled on and I arrived promptly for my demo appointment, storming through the store email loaded on the phone and clutched in hand. The demo assistant instantly recognised my eager grin as his next appointment. I was keen and didn’t want to waste any time so quickly introducing myself and explaining I had used Oculus Rift before.

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I strapped up and the touch controllers were passed, illustration of hands appeared pretty much where my hands were, suddenly I felt a little more stable, having experienced a little simulation sickness on some previous titles this made me keen to try something with as much motion as possible, but first the training.

This was a pretty straight forward process showing you each and every button, they flashed on the display whilst you pressed it and followed the directions or wiggled stick accordingly. Pretty straight forward learning how to push buttons, then came the gesture controls, as I held a button and pointed I was able to point at the command circle and select, this all felt to easy and intuitive and alas I was done with the training.

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I had 3 games to choose from, The Unspoken, VR Sports Challenge and The Climb. Well I wanted lots of movement so decided on The Climb. Stepping up to my first climb, I grabbed hold the first rock and pulled myself up, feeling the weight of my body as I pulled up and reaching my grip point, I stretched up to the next reach and squeezed on the Touch controller, grasping the rock in VR. I proceeded to grab reach after reach clipping in at each of the climber’s clasps on the way up. At one point pulling and stretching out with both hands to grasp the next rock, I felt like an experienced climber, I reached the top and panned round looking at the views the VR world gave me. Pretty scenic for PC World I thought, suddenly pulling me back to reality and realising I had just climbed a virtual cliff that only I could see in the middle of a PC World store on a Saturday afternoon. But I didn’t realise that I might feel the burn and strain in my arms from pulling myself up the climb, I even felt slightly out of breath, worn and torn from my little adrenaline rush of the climb and not from my first VR public performance.

I still felt stable, not a single bit of simulation sickness or any nauseating feeling from climbing whilst standing.  Although the game play was pretty straight forward I found the control system just natural, as you would expect to use your hands in the situation provided. All in all the addition of Touch to the Oculus Rift makes this a much more enjoyable experience, well for climbing certainly, will be nice to get a little hands on experience with a few more games.