>Of course. We want AR/VR/MR to be ubiquitous.
Over the past four years or so I've seen many companies big and small bring their demos to show and tell. They all have bits and pieces of the larger puzzle. Good eye tracking, interesting haptic techniques, next generation display technologies. But most of them are narrowly focused on their thing, and struggle alone to make a successful product. Partially this was just because the market didn't exist but also many of them were/are just trying to boil the ocean. The minimum viable product is now a pretty high bar and that can stifle innovation. We can offer a running start, the traditionally "hard" parts of HMD technology, the things other than GPUs that kept VR niche for so long.
In return we ask that your device leveraging our technology works with our platform. And mostly that is it. We won't ask that it only works on our platform, we won't stop you from targeting other industries. This gives both you and your users freedom of choice and security that isn't dependant on either party's future decisions. It is a pretty good deal really. Our platform has a rapidly growing collection of great content for your end-users so your product won't be an orphan and you don't need to convince anyone to author for it. Day one people can fire up Tilt Brush and have their minds blown by your awesome new hardware.
If Valve games are "locked" to SteamVR and won't play on Oculus, then nobody is going to buy an Oculus. Does Facebook really think that people are going to choose Lucky's Tale over Portal 3 or Half-Life 3? Facebook is going to have to capitulate and focus on their hardware advantage.
> In return we ask that your device leveraging our technology works with our platform. And mostly that is it. We won't ask that it only works on our platform, we won't stop you from targeting other industries. This gives both you and your users freedom of choice and security that isn't dependant on either party's future decisions.
As long as the HMD supports the steamVR platform requirements, it can play steam/valve games.
Valve's main bargaining chip would be not allowing their games to run on Oculus. The recent push back on Oculus exclusives and Valve willing to float cash to developers means they are well aware of their situation.
So I really don't see how Valve is too concerned about this. If facebook locks down the rift so that it can only play rift games, more fool them. Many people just wont buy a rift.
Even if the Vive fails in the long run, there will likely be many other HMD's that will work with steamVR. Valve can still make a nice profit from all the VR games sold on steam.
In the end VR is going to be on a tiny fraction of computers for a long time. There will be waves of improvements and a few hype cycles (3D TV anyone?)
PS: Sure this time it's different, and next time it will also be different, and the time after that...
maybe I misunderstand but Adroid is targeted by many app shops.
(Source: anecdotal experience from plugging a Rift into a computer that didn't have a real GPU; no idea if there are any other issues.)
Sure, Google has a Play store and a competing OS, but it's not like you can't find Chrome in the iOS store.
Different HMDs are arguably more similar than different GPUs, and they manage to support the same software, but in the early days there were plenty of Glide-only games. That didn't work out so well. Most people will probably just use tools that optimize for any popular HMD with little enough effort that only contracts will make exclusives make sense.
This paragraph indicates that Valve seems to appreciate that no one company has really put together the whole package yet. If they know that, then perhaps they will be smart enough to open Steam's VR to the open market, even if that means supporting competitors like Oculus.
At this stage, VR could still implode again like it did in the nineties. The smart move is to do what it takes to ensure there is a VR market a few years from now, not hamstring yourself worrying about who gets the biggest slice.
Definitely. And this is exactly why Oculus's emphasis on exclusivity has been so disappointing and short-sighted. Fragmenting the already small market consisting of people who believe in VR and are willing to invest in a VR platform at this early stage seems like it might have devastating long-term effects.
Would be nice if people had actually learned from that and rallied around a standard API/middleware for VR to start with, rather than trying to "console-ize" VR with hardware-specific exclusives. Maybe Valve/SteamVR will end up being that middleware?
It supports both the Vive and the Rift, though I believe the Rift implementation is just a wrapper around Oculus' own SDK.
Aren't you overly optimistic. :)
I expect a lot of VR units are shown off to friends and thrown into the closet or put on a shelf to collect dust. It's something you show off, but not something you'll (at least 98% of people) use.
Steam sale numbers show tens of thousands of games are being bought by Vive owners, which is a pretty high percentage of the ~90k Vive units out there. Some games are as high as 50k / ~90k units. People are continuing to buy games and play them.*
Where's your reasons for why it's not ready, and numbers to support they will just sit on the shelf? Other metrics seem to point otherwise.
* Best indication we have for Vive sales numbers is bundled game ownership, SteamSpy shows that Job Simulator has ~65K owners, Fantastic Contraption has ~85K owners, and Tilt Brush has ~90K owners.
Two most popular non-bundled HTC Vive games, Audioshield and Space Pirate Trainer, both have a SteamSpy ownership of ~50K.
- The resolution needs to be higher. It is very difficult to read anything but oversized text at a hand's distance. While the low resolution doesn't kill the immersive effect of VR, it is very noticeable.
- The clear viewing angle through the headset is small. You can't look too far off of center screen before everything becomes blurry.
- They haven't found a decent solution to the problem of moving around in a VR world. Right now the best answer is teleportation, but that is an awkward solution that pointedly breaks immersion. We'll see how well that can work in a large open-world game when Fallout 4 VR comes out.
- The catalog has very few complete games at this point. Almost all of what is available is very early access or "discrete experiences" that don't last very long.
So, for the most part the Vive has convinced me of VR. Having played with it I am not sure I would enjoy a first-person gaming experience outside of VR now. Still, it is at the early-adopter stage. Better graphics hardware needs to be cheaper, and a couple of generations of headsets will likely see a drastic improvement in the quality of the experience.
Little kids love even the simplest buggy broken demos. They go wild for it.
- Resolution: It'll always be worse than a phone because for the foreseeable future VR screens will come from phone screens and the field of view on a VR HMD is many times greater. People liked doom 1 and other low res games for what they were in the day, and I think people will accept the trade off.
- Oculus Rift is pretty sharp across the FOV, I hear Vive is a bit worse in this respect.
- Moving in VR is hard... I think 3rd person view is pretty great for action/adventure games. I think the nature and style of games will inherently need to shift, which we're already seeing a bit in the Oculus Home catalog.
- True, it's the chicken and egg paradox. How can you get big games without a big user base? How do you get a big user base? I think Oculus and Valve are getting this right by directly investing in games. We have more and more fun games from large studios coming out which our current user base size really shouldn't allow for.
I think the first and second points are the strongest as it requires a change of expectations, and highlight the real fight for adoption in VR. FPS games wont work, and the most obvious metric that gamers had for high quality experience, resolution, is going to appear lower.
Only response is current gamers enjoying buying and playing games on Vive. As game developers figure new fun experiences for the platform that overcome those obstacles we'll likely start to see more success. I think a key will definitely be social aspects, as there isn't anything quite like standing next to someone or an avatar that is interacting with you in VR.
I would really enjoy if someone made a game in the spirit of QWOP that uses the two triggers in a gamepad to simulate steps made by each leg.
However, I don't mean that I would enjoy playing that game.
* Many people are getting sick. They don't even know why it's happening; we're years away from it being fixed. VR right now is the 3d on the 3ds. It's not meant for human eyes and they're rushing it.
* No eyetracking. Your camera focuses on the direction your head is pointed. This is not how humans see. I am virtually never looking the exact direction my head is pointed. This is one of the reasons people are getting sick. Their eyes want to focus on something, and that technology is VirtualBoy level underdeveloped.
* Ouya games. The vast majority of games right now are really bad. They're definitely working on getting real games into VR, but it's going to take time, and most developers will see it as a Vita type situation where it makes more sense to wait to see if people buy it before investing developer hours into implementing an entire different display method for the game. Right now VR companies are paying people to make them games. That money will dry up.
* Price. Most people can't justify spending $300 on a video game console they can hook up to their TV. The market for a $500 head TV for that $300 console (or a $1000 computer) is comically small.
* Version. It's too easy to wait for the next one. At some point they'll make a headset with eyetracking, that doesn't make people sick, that has 4k in each eye, that weighs less, that attaches to your head more comfortably, and it will cost less.
* VersionS. Right now it looks like certain games won't work on every headset. This immediately tells consumers to wait for standardization. It's a fucking monitor. You don't get to have exclusives for your monitor.
* FOV. Human FOV is around 180. We have binocular vision for 114 of that. Oculus and Vive fovs are at 110. That's literally horse blinders.
As an aside, I like moving my focus with my mouse. It's incomparably more accurate than hoping my deviated septim is pointing exactly where I want to look. If you can't disable headtracking that's an immediate red flag for me.
I really like VR, but (like basic income) it is going to lose credibility because of how early it is proposed.
Source? It runs contrary to my experience, and my sample is large enough to be data, not anecdata.
Not needed for gaming. From your text it looks like you're thinking in terms of virtual desktop, which is not the target.
Too early to tell. There are already a few very good titles and a promising pipeline anyhow. The outlook is positive, not negative.
It is the same logic that should have doomed the yet undoomed gaming graphic adapter market.
Acceptable for first generation devices. Does not prevent immersion.
Basically the only valid point in your list. True. I don't think it kills VR, but fragmenting a small market is a dumb dumb move.
> Source? It runs contrary to my experience, and my sample is large enough to be data, not anecdata.
Here's at least one source: https://twitter.com/JamesStevenson/status/743896444650692608 (more if you count the replies agreeing with him). I picked him because he's a somewhat notable individual in the games industry, but I saw many anecdotes from other E3 attendees agreeing with him.
It seems that while the first few people/companies with major skin in the game (Valve, Oculus) are being very careful with VR best practices, a lot of companies just looking to get into the gold rush are not.
That's the game devs fault, not the hardware or system.
Then of course there are cockpit games which many people love, elite dangerous being the big one.
Another genre is room scale which Vive people are all over now.
So many options for new and old types of games to be made in this platform, first person was the old popular for 2d games and it just can't be done the same way.
No game that I've played that was developed for the Vive does this.
Your post convinced me that VR is getting big in the near future. Why? Because your complaints are so closely similar to the complaints about consumer 3d acceleration boards when they were new.
Alright...I'm triggered, let's do this!
Here's what a VR consists of, which makes it substantially more complex than a monitor:
* Image warping. This is currently built into drivers, specific devices may require specific warping so that the images look correct after lens distortion.
* Latency reduction techniques - both the Rift and the Vive have different techniques for handling what happens if your FPS drops. I believe both of them take a rendered image that is out of date, and re-project it so its now up to date with your current head position. That is some complex math.
* Head position tracking. This is a combination of accelerometer/gyro and a lower latency but higher accuracy tracking solution like the lighthouse.
* Input devices. For example the Vive controllers communicate directly with the headset. The input devices also track physical position.
* Output - as well as sending position back to the computer, they may also send other information such as controller button presses, your IPD (because different IPDs require different graphical output).
In the future we will have some crazy optimizations going on to improve efficiency. Such as splitting each eye into four renders. Foveated rendering, which would mean the headset would contain a very low latency pupil tracker so that only the area you are looking at would be rendered with high detail, and so your eye direction can be known to the software.
All that said, yeah it's possible to create a standard wrapper around this stuff, but saying it's a monitor is not really true.
>As an aside, I like moving my focus with my mouse. It's incomparably more accurate than hoping my deviated septim is pointing exactly where I want to look. If you can't disable headtracking that's an immediate red flag for me.
Also talking about mouse input makes me feel like you haven't tried the Vive. It's not about giving you an advantage, the draw of these technologies is that they can make you feel like you are there. Think about the difference between playing angry birds on your phone, vs actually picking up a giant bird, putting it in a slingshot and destroying some houses.
So, how will this change? Well GPU's are getting increasingly powerful, Nvidia will likely debut a GPU that is powerful enough for a Rift/Vive on a laptop this year, and AMD will release a graphics card powerful enough for VR on desktop at a price point less than 200 bucks.
It has all the defects you could expect from a first gen device. It is also way past the point of fancy gimmick and well into routine usage hardware territory.
What you're describing sounds more like AR to me. Everyone I know who bought Google Glass showed it off to their friends and then never used it again. I know AR has obviously improved since then, but VR seems to be the more proven technology.
Magic Leap is certainly promising, and a more plausible iteration of mass AR than Google Glass. The final form factor on that isn't clear.
I had the Dk1 and Dk2, and they both ended up in the closet largely because I don't have time for the game stuff. The Dk1 was especially hard to use and if you didn't get motion sickness you were really super human.
The right questions to ask about VR aren't what the current or next gen can and can't do, or that if it's prices too high (seriously, the iPhone6 was like what $2 million of processing power in 1995? Not to mention things that were impossible.)
The right question is do consumers want fully immersive media with sensory depravation to the outside world, or do they want some sort of Heads up display? Secondly, some motion sickness issues in VR may not be solvable, like what happens when you are riding in a moving car?
Motion sickness I think will become less of a problem as developers get better, and people just get used to VR. You don't have to be superhuman to have no problem with the current headsets.
And yes, for entertainment, people want fully immersive media. Not for all applications, but it has high appeal for games and other pure entertainment.
> I don't have time for the game stuff.
Well, ok. I guess an xbox would end up in your closet too, then.
I agree that Hololens is closer to "true" AR. That's why I said VR is more ready for public consumption, because you can go out and by a Vive right now, and it works great. Hololens isn't out and might not be out for a while, and it's not clear how well it actually works right now.
1) Cockpit based games. Flying a plane, or spaceship, in VR is immensely better than on a screen. I get nauseous in car racing games but, my friends who do not, rate them as best simulated driving experience ever.
2) Room scale games. Here, I have no idea wich ones. It is a complete green field in terms of gaming. There are some great concepts, like Fantastic Contraption or the "space invaders"-like game in The Lab (with hilarious results for non-playing spectators), but all in all, it's something that is not explored yet and shows fantastic promise.
I also love this idea, but it still has many barriers. Principal technical issue is that these headsets are not wireless, which means you would need anot overhead motor system to follow you around as you walked.
VR (or AR) laser tag would be an extremely compelling experience.
My biggest gripe was controls. There are quite a few keyboard shortcuts in DCS. Some of them just require looking at a keyboard, since I use them so infrequently. I can manipulate a HOTAS without looking though, so that's ok.
In DCS, some of the aircraft have clickable cockpits (meaning you can use the mouse to do everything, if you wish). If the Rift controllers could manipulate these, I'd be in heaven.
VR has been the next big thing for twenty years. It's not a niche technology because of Luddites, it is a niche technology because it works against human physiology and only a lucky few are totally unaffected by it. You're targeting an audience of people who find your product merely tolerable.
And since there are no social constructs or visual cues around this division of humans, you'll never get a network effect like you might with, for instance, a pair of pants designed for very tall people.
I recall the same about the size of a phone in hand a few years after that and we haven't seen a sub-5" phone really sell well in how long?
Without changing phone size, most of my friends now have bigger or equal sized phones, and I've gotten at least one 'you told me so' since then.
I'm not sure I agree. Many complained of motion sickness playing early FPS games, such as DooM or Descent. I wouldn't be surprised if it just takes an equilibration period to get used to the devices. Either way, unless there is actual research that shows a large portion of the population actually has difficulty adapting to the device, I don't believe the tech is fundamentallying flawed.
>only a lucky few are totally unaffected by it
That is true, but what you aren't covering here is that when software (and hardware) is properly designed, almost no one is affected by it! Vive games with physical locomotion do not have complaints of sickness.
It's the same basic problem that 3D films have. There's a reason that films are still shown in 2D. I have only ever watched one film in 3D and it was overall an unpleasant experience that I don't care to repeat.
Application developers could work to mitigate the worst of the effects on the eyes, and that's something that would help adoption. That has, however, not happened with films and I doubt it will with games - everyone seems to want to give people as great a sense of depth as possible, which simply doesn't work at all for many people.
AR largely eliminates these problems, and I'm inclined to agree there is more overall promise there.
The last pair I demoed to spent 3 hours in the Rift, with a single person spending two hours without stopping. This was their first experience ever with VR.
VR sickness is a thing and it's varies from person to person and use case to use case, but I have never experienced (personally or vicariously) issues related to eye strain. The lenses are supposed to take care of that by allowing your eyes to focus at a distance.
One of the reasons room scale is making so much noise is that it's a very different experience in terms of VR sickness. Far fewer people get sick in room scale because positional and rotational tracking are good enough that it feels "right". There are fewer motion cues mismatched with visual cues because you are physically moving and the headset is tracking 1:1.
Room scale also has vastly improved immersiveness (now we are calling it presence) especially when combined with tracked controllers and environments that afford all the interactions you would expect from whatever environment you are in.
Tried talking to them to see if they wanted to go for a walk or something. No response, too engrossed in game.
Future in a nutshell.
It's the inverse of car sickness, and affects some people but not others. My coworker has no issue using full FPS mouse/kb controls within VR.
On the other hand, the entertainment value of 3D movies is greatly diminished for me because the 3D effect doesn't have realistic parallax. With 2D, my brain happily converts to 3D based on other cues. The 3D plus no parallax effect of 3D movies just gets stuck in some sort of uncanny valley for me.
This is just my anecdata for how the two technologies suffer different weaknesses as far as individuals are concerned. For someone else, I'm sure the near-focus issue would trump the fake parallax.
Thanks for the link though, that's a perspective I hadn't heard before.
It's a small thing though, but a noticeable one.
As far a depth queues go, accommodation is a very weak one that your brain learns to ignore after a few seconds. If that wasn't the case, anyone wearing glasses would stumble into things constantly every time they put their glasses on or off. And this doesn't cause eye strain either, unless the focal plane is too close (perhaps less than 60 cm away), in which case it just feels like sitting too close to a computer monitor. The focal plane of the HTC Vive is approximately 75 cm away, which seems far enough. Obviously infinity would be better but compromises had to be made to keep the optics compact.
The real limiting factors on VR right now are the lack of full-body tracking (you can see your hands but not your feet), the lack of simulated inertia (virtual objects appear massless), and the lack of eye tracking (convergence depth queue becomes incorrect as you move your eyes off center, avatars look dead). Solutions to all of these exist, it's just a matter of cost.
Keep in mind that VR is an extremely compelling experience right now. It's just that every feeling of presence is hard to hold on to for more than a few minutes at a time.
The VR technology tries to eliminate any real world point of reference which makes us use reference points inside the VR which, I believe, is one reason the experience for us gets disconnected.
The most common symptom of this is that you get nauseous. My guess is that the (sensory) disconnected experience makes us lose balance.
What would solve this problem, I think, is to make the VR work with the whole body. So wearing a suit with goggles and standing on a plate that moves as you move which gets translated to in-game movement.
The military has been using AR/VR in heads up displays for decades now and have had to work around these issues. When a user is forced to focus on a 2d projection of a 3d field, it creates all the issues people have with VR including: vertigo, nausea, eye strain, anxiety, and malaise. Motion exasperates the issue.
VR is unquestionably going to be ubiquitous in the architecture industry before the year is out.
Perhaps right now, but come October the PSVR will be out. Its half the price of the Vive and works with your existing PS4. The reviews for the games have been mostly positive and the graphics in them are incredible compared to the shovelware both the Vive and the Rift suffer from. The move controllers seem to have better back-end processing and will probably never match the smoothness and fidelity of Vive tracking, but I imagine it will be good enough. Sony's 60 to 120fps re-projection seems to be working well too. I'm very impressed at what Sony is attempting to pull off here. VR with maybe 1/3rd the GPU/CPU heft of an average gaming PC is quite the technical hurdle for Sony's engineers.
I think PSVR is going to change everything in terms of VR adoption and how the public sees VR.
>I expect a lot of VR units are shown off to friends and thrown into the closet or put on a shelf to collect dust.
I use mine multiple times a week. Its very exciting to see what the new VR game of the week/month is and try it out. Right now, all the Vive owners I know are enjoying Battle Dome, which is a laser tage/Splatoon style game. Its early access and ugly as sin, but a lot of fun. Or if not that PoolNationVR, which is much more polished.
I've also enjoyed spending some time in AltspaceVR. As far as I'm concerned its the metaverse jr. I am looking forward to what the guys at High Fidelity are doing (which is pretty much Second Life in VR), but I think the more managed, simplistic, and curated AltspaceVR approach will win in the long run.
VR enables the use of human-operated tools and machines in places we cannot physically be with a minimum of interface limitations. Consider robotic surgery; the current Da Vinci machine uses a 3D view-port at a large station with three small loops to detect the movement of three fingers on each hand. The upshot is that a surgeon can now see a 3D view inside an abdomen and manipulate surgical tools with almost the full amount of dexterity of a human hand. This differs notably from older surgery methods in that only very small incisions are made to access the abdomen rather than a single very large one, greatly reducing the pain, scarring, and risks of the recovery process (though of course laparoscopy also offers similar benefits, save for the tools' degrees of freedom). VR is close to replicating this with much less expensive technology in essentially any environment you could choose, provided latency is kept low. Soon a surgeon could be in a separate, non-sterile room with a VR headset on and manual controls to enable full hand and wrist movement, and software can intervene with safety measures to prevent sudden unintended movements or accidental damage to important structures like blood vessels or nerves. The scale can be altered so that the body is perceived to be the size of a room and tools can be manipulated on a finer scale than the human hand is capable of (think of performing surgery inside a blood vessel as if you were there, rather than manipulating primitive instruments at the end of a single camera on a catheter as they do now).
We could teach physics in a digital space where you can alter physical constants to gain an intuitive sense of their consequences. We could teach geography as if we were flying over any place on earth. We could reconstruct New York City circa 1900 and walk its streets. Walk the ocean floor and collect samples for scientific study. Defuse a bomb from a mile away as if we were standing in front of it. Clean a nuclear waste zone with no radiation risk. See the full scale of the earth as viewed from the ISS or the moon. Conduct rescue efforts in burning or damaged buildings with no risk to the rescue crew.
A lot of these things are already possible, but VR dramatically reduces the level of training needed to adapt to unintuitive user interfaces. And there will be many applications no one has thought of yet. A few days ago I saw a video on YouTube where a Disney artist talked about how Tilt Brush fundamentally alters drawing in a way that has never been possible before. Sculpture is about subtracting or manipulating something already existing to create art, whereas painting generates something wholly new but only in two dimensions. With Tilt Brush be recreated Ariel and met her as he sees her in his mind for the first time - a three dimensional entity taken directly from his mind with none of the limitations of sculpture and all the freedom of painting.
As with most technologies, entertainment will probably drive the initial development of the technology. And I do expect it to be successful - I've demoed the Vive and it does not feel like a flash in the pan the way previous attempts at VR have (here's looking at you, VirtualBoy). The software will need to be there to drive the market, and growth will be slow in the beginning due to cost considerations. But people also said home video with the VCR was a flash in the pan and it was too expensive to ever be successful, people would always rather go to the movies instead. VR represents at least as much of a shift in culture and technology as home video did, probably much, much more. I'm looking forward to watching it happen.
One of my favorite tidbits comes in the presentation, "Lessons learned porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality", on preventing VR motion sickness: http://media.steampowered.com/apps/valve/2013/Team_Fortress_...
> Don’t change the user’s horizon line, ever. You can see here how the camera follows the motion and rotation of the character’s head and so it rolls. Your actual head isn’t going to roll when you get killed by an Eyelander, so the mismatch will make you sick.
Here's the presentation's video, bookmarked at the aforementioned insight:
For those of you non-TF2 players, the "Eyelander" is the name of a player-wieldable sword, and when it connects, the victim's head flies off and rolls around the ground. Apparently simulating that effect (changing the user's "horizon line") will make people very sick.
Dying (in game) is supposed to be at least a bit unpleasant, and something to be avoided.
Or maybe too many devs thought VR was the coolist project to work on and moved to it. (Valve is known for their flat structure http://www.valvesoftware.com/company/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.p...)
At the same time, key innovations like the lighthouse position tracking system (which seems to be implemented in the Vive) have all the markings of genuine engineering curiosity. Curiosity of the kind that is unlikely to spring from a top-down "let's assign n man-years to VR" decision.
I think it's this. That's the problem with hype waves in majority-ruled organizations. Or I'm wrong and people will soon be sitting in the subway with a VR headset on and playing Fruit Ninja in VR.
Well, technically not the brand name, but hey close enough.
Though I personally feel VR for video games are a lot like Wii its awesome for a while then its collecting dust throughout the world. I really think the future is Augmented Reality and VR will be for mostly media consumption.
So I think the killer for VR will be something else entirely. Still from a first person perspective, but way different from a modern shooter. In the same way it took us a while to perfect what FPSs should be like, or what platformers should be like, we're a bit far from what the perfect VR experience genres will be.
I was most excited about playing HL2 in VR and I had to give up when Freeman stumbled and got up from the ground very near the beginning. The disorientation of having your visuals tell you you're getting up from laying on the ground all while your sitting is AWFUL.
The killer app for VR would have to leverage the strengths of VR, which I'd say is presence. Seeing someone standing by you and talking to you is pretty trippy in VR, I'd say anything with more social aspects would be a start. It might give story driven games a real edge in that platform.
And we're not talking about being pitched over, puking your guts out, either. It's a mild discomfort that only persists if the user tries to push through it.
Locomotion is both difficult and overrated. I don't know how many people are going to want to physically run for cover in shooter game. Some will, for sure, but I expect new genres of games to become much more popular.
There is also a huge segment of non-game usage that I expect to be the dominant use case for the tech. VR telepresence blows the pants off of Skype, even with cartoon avatars.
Other applications of VR still apply, but this I believe will remain a major hinderance for FPS style games.
The thing is I got motion sick in the early 90s playing Wolfenstein 3D and so did others. On like a 15" monitor. There were stories about people vomiting back then. When is the last time you heard of someone getting dizzy and puking after play call of duty? I haven't heard of FPS motion sickness since the 90s.
All of the technical nuances related to what invokes motion sickness in VR have been exhaustively studied and are actively worked on. However my experience makes me suspect there is some adaptability involved as well. I've spent most of the past decade in dense urban cores and if I haven't been in a vehicle in a week or two, a cab to the airport leaves me close to puking.
From a commercial standpoint the important thing is don't give your customers a shaky first demo that leaves them with dry heaves. Give something neutral like sitting in a movie theater, and gradually ease them in.
But I also agree with the previous comment regarding first-person locomotion in VR (at least as it's currently done). I've also spent quite a bit of time in my launch day DK2 and when you're actually walking it's OK, when you're sitting or standing in a way that mirrors your in-world avatar it's OK. But when you are standing or sitting and you use a gamepad or keyboard to handle "WASD" while using your head as "mouselook", it still either makes me queasy after a while or gives me a headache.
There are just too many little mismatches in most implementations that make it hard to take a typical FPS-style game and slap VR onto it. The simplest example I can think of is walking around with a gamepad and VR headset:
Imagine you are in a game with your DK2 on your head and an Xbox controller in your hands. You push forward on the stick and your character walks forward. OK...not too bad. Once you get over the initial dizziness it's pretty cool.
Then you want to turn right. You push the stick to the right and your perspective starts to pivot as well. Halfway through this turn, you want to look to the right. You turn your head to the right and as you do, your "turning motion" speeds up since you are turning both your body and your head.
Then when you stop pushing right on the stick, the speed of the pivot drops. When you stop moving your head, it stops completely. The whole thing is a mess of speeding up and slowing down changes in your angle of view. And this is just one simple motion. It's OK on a flat screen in front of you but when it fills your whole field of vision, it can get really disorienting and dizzying fast.
Consider that in a game, there are all sorts of combinations of movement on the X and Z axis, changes of view from pivoting your body, and changes of view on all three axes from moving your head. These are often fast and unpredictable. And all the while, if you're standing up, walking around a small room, or sitting in a chair, they don't necessarily match your actual position.
Either way, sorry for the wall of text. It's hard to describe things that are easier shown than told. I agree that finding new types of games and experiences are they key here. My main complaint in this field right now is the number of people who are still so focused on the FPS style of games because they were so immersive and popular on 2D screens. The goal should not immediately be to cram those into VR just because it would seem on the surface to be a perfect match.
Portal 3 on the other hand seems likely. The teleport mechanic is already cooked into the game. You could play it in VR or non-VR without any changes or upsetting fans.
As a Vive owner, I don't want shoehorned in half-assed VR experiences. I want something that properly uses the medium. I think a lot of FPS fans are going to be ultimately be disappointed that standard WASD and or trackpad locomotion are just not an option in VR.
Now owners of those consoles will expect every game to be an AAA title.
* http://embedded.fm/episodes/156 @ 53:20
The 'office simulator' example doesn't really seem to be about graphics, though, but about game length/most VR experiences being more tech demo than game.
I don't think people are going to be surprised by that. The HMDs are so expensive, and at least right now, so are the GPUs that can drive them, that people won't just impulse buy them. People who are spending that much money on a niche hobby like this will most likely know exactly what they are getting.
Seriously though, I'd disagree with her statement. I play plenty of indie games in VR on a variety of headsets and the higher quality the headset the better the experience no matter what you're playing. It's like saying that people with a 4k monitor won't play games without high res texture options.
I thought it sounded like an early adopter money pit myself until I actually tried a Rift. It won me over even while underpowered (MB Air!) in very simple demos.
So Valve now has an better VR Set then Oculus. And all of a sudden every news on VR seems to flowing in Valve direction.
This reminds me a lot of the early days when we move from iD 's Doom to Valve's Half Life.
Note: ( John Carmack = CTO of Oculus and Founder of iD )
Downside of that strategy is that the Valve/Vive bloc could produce radically superior technology because gaming creates seductive technical barriers to overcome. FB's intended uses do not.
If so, I need to go and join the glorious SteamVR master race. ;)
2) id, not iD.
As for killer apps, like every other technology it's a fair bet that commercial success #1 will be porn.
From a more cognitive standpoint, I've long felt that what segregates spatial awareness from other senses is the sheer volume of data that can be presented, reasoned with and remembered. As old school hunter-gatherer-wanderer primates, it's our highest bandwidth input. This reality will eventually be utilized for problem solving (eg. VR excel spreadsheet visualizations and black box / static code analysis may become a non-gimmick norm).
However, and this is something you need to try to believe, pixelation does not affect immersion. The human brain is amazing at coping with vision defects. When in a game, you absolutely forget about pixel visibility. You are just "in there".
So, it is true that you can't get detail for showing stuff in detail at 20m. It limits applications, but there's already plenty of activities that are possible now, instead of having to wait ten years.
Indeed. I am a bit short-sighted (literally, not metaphorically), but I usually spend the day without my glasses. Only in lectures, I will put them on, and immediately wonder how I could cope with the blurry mess that I saw before. But it just doesn't matter when you're focusing on different things.
The motion sickness is mostly coming from vection now, when you move in VR but not in real reality. It's an active area of research, people are experimenting with things like reducing the FOV while moving, using interactive overlaid grid to pull the scene around, etc.
That's not all, though. Another major problem with VR is the lack of compensation for vergence  and accommodation . These two systems are critical for depth perception and when they are not accounted for the result is confusion of the visual system, eye strain, fatigue, and even nausea.
Not sure if the difference was the hardware or the software, but it seems like a solvable problem.
I've learned that, in Elite, if I look at where the buggy is going (it power slides a lot), then I almost avoid motion sickness. Project Cars, though, I can't play. Cornering, at high speed, completely immersed, with no lateral acceleration, triggers some alarm in me.
So, my description above is for playing from the driver's seat perspective.
So it'd be a pretty significant change to what we've come to expect from the Half Life games if they made it a VR title.
I'm very happy that Valve is private.
1. Exclusivity on a headset? Replace "headset" with "monitor" and you get how childish, stupid, and impractical that will be.
2. I don't think monitor based games will transition well to headsets.