Oculus Rift demo puts you in the Battle of Endor

Battle of Endor Oculus Rift

Have you ever found yourself with an Oculus Rift strapped to your face, and no real idea what to do with it next? Allow me to make a suggestion: Hop into the cockpit of an X-Wing starfighter and enjoy a front-row seat for the Battle of Endor.

The video is taken from an Oculus Rift X-Wing simulator being developed by James Clement, who wrote on YouTube that it "still needs a lot of polish" but made it available for download for those who want to try it anyway. Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated since September; the most recent related video, a demonstration of a technical issue with flickering shadows, went up at the end of September.

The video starts off fairly slowly, but the intensity jumps up dramatically when the order to engage the capital ships at point-blank range comes in. Twisting around the massive Mon Calamari cruiser and then strafing the Star Destroyer provides a scale and sense of speed that the opening minutes lack, although it loses momentum again once the fighter dives into the exhaust port: There's no sense of anything at all happening beyond a pleasant, traffic-free cruise through a four-lane tunnel.

This kind of first-person, in-cockpit experience is exactly what the Oculus Rift is surely made for, and somewhat surprisingly, it doesn't take a whole lot of hardware to make it happen: According to the Oculus page, the Battle of Endor sim was tested on a 2.4 GHz dual-core AMD CPU with 6GB RAM, and a laptop with an unspecified 2.4 GHz CPU and 16GB of RAM. It's clearly not as polished as, say, Elite: Dangerous, but it's free. And it's Star Wars! Get the details at Oculus.com.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.