clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

This is the first program you should buy for your Oculus Rift

New, 30 comments

Forget apps, get your whole desktop floating in space

Virtual Desktop is the first program you should buy for your Oculus Rift. I've only spent a few hours in the application, exploring its many options and features, and I'm already hooked. This should be a mandatory purchase for anyone with a retail Oculus Rift arriving today.

Virtual Desktop gives you a virtual version of your existing computer desktop in a variety of settings, and then allows you to make it larger or smaller or move it closer to your eyes or further away. You can select from a variety of environments, including a few fully 3D spaces, with more on the way. You can also launch any video file from any video player, including Netflix and YouTube, and either watch them on the standard screen or put them in a virtual movie theater.

You can play any game the same way, including the entirety of your Steam library. I spoke with the program's creator, Guy Godin via email last night, and he stated that the processing overhead should be minimal when playing your games in virtual reality, which is a small price to pay for that huge virtual space.

I also had no problem launching the program from Steam on my retail Oculus Rift, although the Oculus desktop application had to launch first. There is a toggle in the settings of the Oculus application you may have to switch to allow external, third-party programs to run on your headset.

So you can play any game you'd like, watch any film you'd like, use a variety of backgrounds or environments, adjust the size of the screen and distance from your eyes, launch programs with a variety of voice commands, and adjust nearly every aspect of the experience. It's a version of your desktop, with all the flexibility you're used to, tuned for virtual reality.

Virtual Desktop will be released on March 31 for $14.99, and each Steam purchase will come with a code to also unlock the program in Oculus Home. You can read our full review of the Oculus Rift platform if you're still on the fence about plunking down $599 for the hardware.