Posted in Miscellaneous

Best Buy VR

The picture above is unrelated to anything in this post, I just liked it.  The girls were eating mini waffles on the counter this morning.

Today I went to Best Buy for the first time in I don’t know how many years.  Seriously, I have zero reason to go into a big-box electronics store anymore.  In fact, I had a $20 gift card that I got from Google in an early Android Pay promo.  I probably spent 15 minutes wandering around the store trying to figure out what I should buy.  A few years ago it would’ve been easy to spend $20…probably just pick up any random movie or CD.  But I get both of those things via streaming solutions now, and have zero interest in owning the physical object.  I ended up getting another external USB battery, because it’s always nice to have another spare.  And that only used half of my gift card, so I’m going to have to repeat this process again someday.

But that’s not the reason that I went to Best Buy.  I went in because I had scheduled a demo with the Oculus Rift.  It was just a few minutes, but it was awesome.  I really wish I could justify the expense.  All I got to see was a couple minutes of some pre-canned demo material, and then one attempt at the game Climb.  The demo stuff was pretty impressive.  There were three that really stuck out in my mind:

  1. Standing at the top of a skyscraper, where you could lean out over the edge and look down.  It was definitely a little vertigo-inducing.  I knew I was standing in the middle of Best Buy, but I really felt a bit of nerves leaning over the edge.
  2. There was a dioramma of an animated town that looked like it was made out of folded paper.  I’m sure I looked like an idiot in real life, leaning down and around to get closer looks at everything.
  3. A quick visit to the Hammond Museum, where a T-Rex stomped down the hall and roared in my face.  It was amazing.

The Climb demo was fun, but I didn’t really get to play it long enough to really get a feel for the controls.  The way it works is that you have an Xbox controller, and press buttons to simulate grabbing the rock wall with either hand.  I did fine scaling the first part, but then there was a place where you have to jump from one ledge to another, and I didn’t really have an idea how to do that.  I’m sure if I’d gotten a second attempt it would’ve been fine, but once I fell off the side of the mountain my demo ended.

If you want to schedule your own demo, here’s the link – https://live.oculus.com/bestbuy/search

I was looking for a good photo of the T-Rex, and I came across this post that does a much better job than I did of talking about each demo, and includes screenshots.  I didn’t want to just steal his images, so I’m just linking to his post instead – http://www.benfarrell.com/2016/05/10/the-oculus-rift-dream-deck/

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I'm an Excellence Wrangler at Automattic. I enjoy coffee, and debating who would win in a fight...

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