Thousands of $400 VR headsets were temporarily rendered useless earlier this week because, presumably, someone at Oculus forgot to update some paperwork. Worse, they remained inoperable for most of the day. Just as we were ready to unload a torrent of vitriol at the Facebook-owned company for it’s ineptitude, something magical happened: it did right by its customers.
Yesterday's issue was our mistake. Details on the fix are here: https://t.co/W7kXFzzrvQ
Everyone affected will get $15 store credit. We're sorry for yesterday and want to help make this right. Thanks again for your patience.
— Oculus Rift (@OculusRift) March 8, 2018
Store credit, in the amount of $15, is a wonderful way for a gaming company to issue a mea culpa.
First things first, if you own a Rift and you haven’t already done so, go ahead and download and run the software fix that’ll un-brick your headset.
While no one is suggesting that every time a service goes down for a few hours here or there the company should hemorrhage cash – people make mistakes, and Xbox Live wouldn’t survive those expectations. We are, however, more likely to forgive the bigger faux pas that arrive when companies don’t hesitate to invest in our good will.
So, here’s some suggestions on how you should spend that good will in the Oculus store.
First, while the credit isn’t enough to buy most of the top rated experiences, you could still consider it a steal to get any of the following at a near 50 percent discount:
- Arizona Sunshine: One of the few VR experiences that feels like a full game. If you’re tired of watching the White House’s gory games video and you’re ready to tackle some VR violence few other titles come close.
- Robo Recall: Originally developed as a demo this fully fleshed out version of Bullet Train remains one of the most polished games on any VR platform to date. It has excellent graphics, thrilling gameplay, and is definitely a title you can still show off to VR newcomers.
- Star Trek Bridge Crew: If you don’t already have this, and you’re a Star Trek fan with a VR headset, here’s your chance to get it for $25 you probably won’t regret spending. Not only does it provide an amazing sense of immersion for Trekkies (Trekkers if you prefer, no judgments here) but it also features an exceptional voice control system thanks to the addition of IBM’s Watson AI to the game.
Of course, if you weren’t planning on spending any of your own cash and simply wanted to take advantage of $15 worth of free games, you can’t go wrong with any of these titles:
- Fruit Ninja VR: We probably don’t have to say anything else, but just in case there’s someone who didn’t play the fantastic Fruit Ninja game the day they bought their first touch screen phone, it’s a blast. The experience translates perfectly to VR and, honestly, it’s one of the must-have titles for any collection. Just make sure you don’t play it anywhere near anything of value because you will break stuff.
- theBlu Season 1: Open up your Oculus software and read the reviews for this one and you’ll see it’s one of the most “shown off” titles on the headset. It’s a brilliant (albeit short) underwater experience that will almost certainly be the go-to title you break out for first-timers who aren’t interested in the more violent or intense games.
- The Townsmen: If you don’t mind the occasional bug (it’s an early access title) this one has a ton of potential. Reminiscent of early Settlers games mixed with a touch of Black and White, it’s a fun romp for anyone with a god complex. The controls are fun and the navigation is intuitive. While this is still a work in progress it’s, arguably, better than a lot of “finished” games on the VR platform.
There are really no wrong answers. Thanks to Oculus taking a customer-friendly approach to dealing with company errors, we’re all playing with the house’s money this weekend. Kudos to the company’s leadership team for making things right.
Let us know what game(s) you decided on in the comments below!
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