HTC vive and oculus owners, are you still actively playing VR after few months, or you put it on the shelf?
But "hardcore" PC gaming on them is just god damn awful once you get pass the "omg it's so fucking cool in in awe" period.
They are heavy, comfort levels aren't there, sweat is an issue especially in the summer, they put strain on your neck and since they give you a considerable smaller viewing angle than what you can do with a display (not to mention an ultrawide/screen spanning setup) they are disadvantaged in just about every game.
Replacing a wide viewing angle and a quick mouse look ability with turning your head is just harder and slower (and after 45 min painfull).
Losing the ability to switch to 3rd person views, zoom and pan the camera or detach it is a huge disadvantage in just about every game that supports VR.
Losing the ability to disconnect from the game for even a second and to focus your eyes on something else, turn your head without affecting the game, take a drink of water, stretch and pretty much just be free to do what you want puts so much stress on you that after 30min you just stop enjoying it.
Overall VR seems to be nice for very very specific applications, ones that are completely impossible to do without it, for everything else it's just worse it turns a completely detached leisure activity in a real life activity and that's a problem.
The holodeck concept might sound cool until you figure out that it's actually hard work.
Personally I don't think VR would go much further, AR on the other hand (Microsoft Hololens) has a bright future, if Google comes out with a slightly less sucky version of Google Glass and you mate it with Pokemon Go it's game over.
Some other problems relate to game play versus screen/mouse users, which I think it's sort of missing the point.
The sweat problem would be easily resolved with a "soldering mask" solution, like PSVR. Some have modded their Vives that way. And I agree the angle could be better, as the resolution.
But hey, it's definitely a gen 1 product and GPUs just started to have features that allow improvements in hardware that don't tax GPUs so much (such as viewport multicast).
AR on the other hand might be extremely cool, giving you some additional information in an augmented reality HUD that would give you advantage in a game can be great.
Making VR specific activities that are not traditional games or any seated activity can also work, but my biggest disappointment was to learn just how god awful does VR experience in space/flight sim turned out to be, especially in high paced competitive ones with actual combat.
The amount of information you can get from monitors is just considerably greater, you don't need to move your head all the time and you can do more than 1 thing at a time considerably easier and faster than with a VR headset.
The "physical" and "mental" stress that VR induces is also great, I don't get motion sick at all, but not being able to focus your eyes on something other than the game is pretty damn annoying, having to use your head all the time makes your neck hurt after a while even if you are in great shape (not as bad for walking games, but seated FPS/Sim are torture if you play at any comparable lengths to your normal gaming sessions).
Also not being able to turn around and speak to my GF while playing, alt tab to check something, play around with discord or some other voip app and many other things make is just a bitch, even simple things as eating a snack or drinking something becomes a chore.
We used to be able to just sit on a couch or a nice chair and play in any position we want while pretending to be a potato for the few hours a week we have to play.
I don't mind playing VR in very specific scenarios for <30min but I don't see it replacing traditional PC setups, or even consoles.
VR would become closer to the Wii probably it's something you have, it has it's niche but outside of family weekends and parties it would gather dust in the corner.
As far as performance goes,I don't have any issues NVIDIA has had support for VR-SLI for a while now, and even 1 single Titan X (Maxwell) has been able to drive any game without any reprojection (Tho in Raw Data the 2nd one does come in handy i think).
AMD cards do suffer from major reprojection issues and they tend to run the games at 45fps + repro/timewarp which causes major issues and artifacts maybe with more LiquidVR titles AMD performance would improve but atm the R9 Fury X owners I know with a VR headset are well furious and quite a few of them are raging (both punts intended "Radeon Rage9" and "Fury" ;)).
I find turning your neck in E:D an advantage: being able to look up (and down in some ships).
But overall I had no issues with the graphical fidelity, I can run Raw Data on the highest settings on the dual Titan X's.
As far as the FOV it's the FOV it self, in sims with a UWD or screen spanning you can easily do 150 FOV, VR's limit you to 90-110 FOV, with some games even running effectively lower FOV which can be closer to 60-70 (e.g. Adrift).
Overall for me it's the experience, cockpit games feel better without VR, VR specific games work very well, which is why I would like to see AR being pushed harder.
If i can get the best of both worlds - 3 monitors and AR HUD that would be awesome for me.
There is a reason why the 1060 beats the Fury X in the most demanding VR titles these days.
Yes they both run at 90fps but 90-98% of the time the AMD hardware resorts to reprojection.
AR solves this, it can enrich any activity and any display type, even the o natural walk in the park.
Make an AR version of sonic the hedgehog so people can run through coins and jump through hoops.
Heck give it a couple of years and Nike would probably come out with shoes with haptic feedback so you can turn any green field into a soccer stadium and play FIFA 2034 Ultimate Freedom Edition and even feel the "kick of the ball" as you kick through the pixels.
But as far VR goes from what I've seen so far "weeeeeeee I'm a fighter pilot" turns too quickly into "meh cosplaying as a fighter pilot is hard work....".
Don't get me wrong VR can be tons of fun but given the choice between a monitor spanning cockpit setup for racing/sim games and VR i would take the cockpit without even thinking about it for a second.
So for myself personally I put the VR with my Wii and take out mostly to check the "awesome new VR title" and for parties and friends and as far as gaming goes i prefer my natural habitat:
Even though there's not a lot of content, "regular" video games seem really lame now. I've felt for a long time that the video game industry is stagnant. The big studios come out with the same shooter franchises and sports franchises. Most indie games use mechanics that are decades old now (puzzles, platformers, etc). In app purchases and pay to win crap has taken over mobile gaming.
VR changes this. Games like tiltbrush and fantastic contraption could not have been built before now. Playing VR makes me feel like a kid again playing mario 64 for the first time.
I haven't been using them much, but that's largely due to lack of content. I used them both heavily when they arrived, and the Vive in particular got a ton of playtime, but after a certain point I just don't want to fire up SPT again. Recently it got to a point where I'm not even all that excited to demo the Vive to others either.
I disagree strongly with those saying monitors are obsolete. They're definitely not, not right now at least. I've recently been playing The Witcher 3 and not only is it far more graphically impressive than any VR content available, but the game itself has a level of complexity that would be very hard to achieve in a VR game.
It's just too convenient and easy to play games on a 1440p or 4K monitor with keyboard and mouse. The extremely crisp resolution, the fantastic and complex and comfortable controls, the ability to trivially do stuff concurrently while playing the game, the fact that you're not blocked off from people around you... there are more than enough reasons to continue playing standard monitor-based games.
I feel I do need to emphasize how much VR blocks you off from friends and family who might be around. It feels very social when you demo it for the first time, but eventually I could definitely tell that my SO was starting to resent VR. From her perspective, it's the equivalent of me just disappearing into the garage and locking the door with little to no communication.
They enjoy when I play horror games and let loose with the color commentary.
I actually pulled her into the game and play Elite with her now. I'm in VR and she is on a screen.
I do agree there is a temptation to use a screen just for comfort and ease of context switching. I think a solid forward facing camera with stellar software support is table stakes for a VR headset. Not PiP, I am talking about always available full screen pass through that can activate and deactivate lightning quick. Heck give me a hardware button on the set.
And wireless. I can dream right?
http://media.bestofmicro.com/P/6/571146/original/room-view-c... - This view is overlaid on the game when you doubletap the system button on the wand. Edit: It can also be overlaid automatically when you approach chaperone bounds, but it's incredibly distracting when set up that way.
http://cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/mini-cam... - This view is available when in the "pause menu" when the front camera is enabled. It's a little weird, because the view is attached to the wand but the camera is attached to your head.
This feature isn't enabled by default though, you have to turn it on in the SteamVR settings (it's easy to find).
Upgrades to tiltbrush are a big deal; a good sculpting tool would be greatly appreciated. Budget Cuts updates also. Easier unity setups to make their own environments would be rad, or that racket-based setup carmack demoed a year ago. They would LOVE that.
I think if you can wait another 18 months you could get a v2 headset with a much larger stable of content, but there's lots to do right now, the experiences are just more bite-sized. If you aren't going to code with it and aren't a highly avid gamer it's possible you'll run out of interesting experiences in a few months.
The games are starting to mature beyond games. I would never part with mine because to me it's the cheapest/fastest form of travel. I look for content daily and try to test something new every night. Of course, I'm an aspiring VR developer.
Since nobody's talking about porn, please allow this burner account to speak up for it. I'm talking room-scale VR, not 360 videos. It does take a lot of digging and tinkering since that stuff is not on Steam, but if you know where to go on subreddits, torrents, etc. Try it for science, it's fantastic.
I don't know where you live, but in the Netherlands at least they still advertise with a movie being in 3d and you pay a surcharge for viewing the 3d version, on top of the glasses (one time purchase).
I wouldn't mind so much, preferring 2d anyway, but often the 2d version is not even available...
If it could actually fake the signals sent to your brain, whatever that means... maybe it would be possible to improve it via software, but that's far future stuff.
That's not going to stop because it's pretty much replaced my workouts. Instead of doing a 30 min intense workout, I do two hours in the Vive. It used to be more Holoball, Holopoint, Zenblade... but now it's RecRoom, BattleDome and Pong Waves VR. More stuff comes out than I have to try with a full-time job and a minimalist social life.
I could gush about Raw Data for quite some time, but its really the first VR game to feel like a AAA title and the swordplay is very rewarding.
SteamVR gets updated almost monthly as well and gives much needed fixes and performance enhancements. The Vive is much more user friendly now and the latest batch of video drivers seem to be helping VR performance as well. I did see the Poolnation and Raw Data devs have implemented Nvidia's mult-res shaders which give fairly impressive performance increases.
Now I'm waiting on the full Budget Cuts game and EVE: Valkyrie to get released for the Vive. Its incredible how much content there is right now. That said, its not much considering all the non-VR games on Steam, but its enough for an adult with a FT job or family to be unable to keep up.
Personally I'd strongly draw a line between sitting-down VR and room-scale walking around and interacting with hands VR. The first one I liked but never really grabbed me. The second... well, see above re "changed careers".
One of the issues VR does have right now is that the audience is small - particularly for room-scale. As a result, the games tend mostly to be quite limited in scope.
There are very few narrative, long-form experiences out there. (My game, Left-Hand Path, is one of the few conventional narrative experiences in an RPG form for the Vive). Most games are arcadey, often wave shooters or similar.
But as time goes by longer games are getting released. This month's actually been pretty amazing for Vive games, with Brookhaven Experiment and Raw Data, both bigger, more polished experiences.
IMO, the future's bright.
(People have gotten annoyed in the past when I didn't link Left-Hand Path in comments like this, so here's a link for anyone curious - http://store.steampowered.com/app/488760 . It's a heavily Dark Souls influenced RPG where you cast spells by drawing symbols in the air.)
It's still a good time and the novelty isn't completely worn off...games like Chamber 19 (Xortex from The Lab) or Fantastic Contraption are a lot fun once I get myself to turn it on. But I haven't played a really compelling game--I'm hoping Budget Cuts is as good as it looks.
The wow factor is huge the first few times. The VR immersion really works. I just haven't found a game yet that combines that Wow with game mechanics I want to keep playing for more than the novelty of it.
I've liked a lot of VR games, but Out of Ammo was the first that really hooked me. The "sandbox" style -- not sandbox in the sense of Minecraft, but in the sense I felt like a kid again in my sandbox placing little army soldier toys around me and making little barricades and walls defending from imaginary threats -- was great. It's a shame that the game is a bit short and buggy right now. I think that style of gameplay is somewhere the Vive (VR+motion controllers) really shines and has a lot of untapped potential.
IPD is easy once you know "the trick": close one eye, adjust IPD until lines as viewed straight ahead are sharp.
I did not know the IPD trick. I'm tempted to go try that right now. Which kind of aligns me to cven714's point - mine sits there. I have fun when I play, but I just got up off my couch after deciding not to want to go through the full dance of starting VR up. I know I have fun, but I need something enthralling to make me want to play.
re: IPD, I'm sure this is why the default environment has the grids, because it makes it easy to check how sharp a single line is. Too bad there's no indication anywhere of how to do this...
My biggest problem with pulling out the Vive is that my play area is pretty cluttered :(
It was a huge mistake to buy hardware based on promises of software support.
The 64 bit version of Linux binaries have been updated on every OpenVR release since the Vive was released. And it seems it works since the version 1.0.1. It's just there's no games for it. The ball is currently on the game and game engine developers. The only things Valve could release other than SteamVR and the API is Robot Repair (the only part of The Lab that is not Unity) and Dota 2 VR spectator mode (released just a few days ago).
Also, most games are currently using DirectX. In the near future when most VR games use Vulkan it will be easy to run them with Wine at full performance (basically impossible with DX because of the high API overhead and game specific optimizations in drivers). That's assuming game devs don't compile for Linux, of course. And if most use DX12 instead of Vulkan, it would be still much better than previous versions of DX and OGL.
Echoing what a few others have said, there are not a lot of great AAA titles for either the Vive or Rift. This will change over time.
Are you excited about VR, or are you looking somewhere just to make money? If you're into this, then yes, I would recommend you learn about developing for VR. No one I know has tried the Rift and just shrugged their shoulders and said "that's kinda cool'. Everyone, even my most techie friends, drop their jaws and lose their minds. That's exciting.
This is a brand new field with tons of potential. That being said, I don't think it will be a very lucrative market to indie devs for sometime.
That said I haven't found many games that really do vr right. Job simulator nails it I think. I tried Elite Dangerous out briefly and it looked quite amazing. I just don't have the controls down enough to play comfortably with a headset on. American Truck Simulator is okay once you get it working. The screendoor effect is quite apparent though.
So far the best of the games have had cartoon style graphics. Anything that tries to look realistic is hurt by the poor (relatively speaking) resolution.
The other thing keeping from playing more is the price of the "games". I put it in quotes since most of them are just tech demos for 20+ bucks.
One thing I keep coming back to with VR (as a personal observation) is how anti-social it is. Not sure what the implication (if any) is of that, but it leads me to hesitate in using mine.
Can you elaborate on this? The potential for social VR seems huge (which is probably why Facebook bought Oculus).
That's what I'm waiting for because I believe it's going to not only be a handheld device/home console in one, but also easily support the holy grail, untethered VR. With first-party support from the world's premier game developer.
Of course, it will be Nintendo art style, easier to render than faux reality. But that style is ideal for the relatively weak VR resolutions that systems have today. Personally, I prefer artistic or cartoonish graphics. If I want reality, I don't want it rendered. I'll walk outside. Go play paintball and obliterate the desktop or HMD VR experiences.
If you want to dip toes in the water and start now, I'd get yourself a Google Cardboard setup. Nintendo is going to make Oculus/Vive and the 90's VR stuff (including VirtualBoy!) look silly as they bring this to mass market. It's going to be the games, simplified setup and console pricing that will win it. There won't be anything else like it.
I have a Rift and play Elite Dangerous several times a week. Otherwise the software situation is quite dire with no content that can match the depth of typical AAA titles.
The lack of motion tracked controllers is a problem right now as it blocks access to a lot of Steam games.
We'll know more towards the end of the year when they are slated to be widely available.
The great thing about Valve's approach to VR is that they have been very open and committed to compatibility with Rift hardware and aren't playing favorites with hardware. To Valve a motion tracked controller is a motion tracked controller.
People are using stuff like Razer Hydra to play Steam games with tracked controllers and the Rift today.
I have a cardboard that sits unused, but that's mostly because my phone doesn't quite fit into it and I can't be bothered to fix it.
Mine's on the shelf now too, for a couple of reasons. First, there wasn't a whole lot of good VR content available at launch, and even now around nine months later there still isn't. Second, I found it the only experience where the device really provided a knockout experience was when viewing panoramic photos -- games had to be simple and cartoon-ey to work with the limited horsepower and control options available, and it didn't have enough resolution to display 360-degree video in a convincingly immersive fashion.
(I chalked the latter limitation up to the fact that the Gear VR is driven by a cellphone, but from what I've heard Vive and Rift aren't great on this front either, which legitimately surprised me.)
I believe that this feature alone is enough to provide a "killer feature", I'm trying to work on it but I don't think I will get there as a side project :( (I did apply twice to Y Combinator and other incubators, no luck)
Before that though, any free moment I got.
Edit: Oculus CV1
Motion controllers may have changed that. I can't really describe why the excitement wore off for me. I'm still optimistic and will end up purchasing current gen once the price comes down or simply wait for the next iteration.
A lot of stuff is free right now which is awesome for consumers. Social games like Rec Room practically have to be free and that team seems to be positioning themselves well to be the go to social experience. It's so strange, where the hell are all the big players?
I think you can still get your VR game on Steam with basically anything these days so if you have the chops I would say it's well worth it to put a prototype out there to see if it sticks. Stuff like https://github.com/thestonefox/SteamVR_Unity_Toolkit makes it really easy to get started. Everyone is starved for content and many of us would pay $5-$10 for a short or bare bones experience if it's done well.
I use it for VR development and show-offing at various events, which in my case are various experience sims like base jumping from a space elevator or riding a rocket-powered chair.
Doesn't have much of a replay value, especially if you know what is coming.
Other immersive games that I would imagine the VR set would work are war simulation games, space simulators, puzzle games, horror games, ... or games with an immersive story or worlds to explore.
Good news regarding the vive and skyrim, by the way; it seems a VR version of skyrim is on the way: http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/five-things-you-didn-t-....
Mind you, I just have google cardboard, but it's kinda similar, right?
But yeah, ED without the Vive is like B/W TV.
I would say about 50% gaming (I'm a fan of puzzle games personally) but the other half is entertainment- 360 videos and immersive education experiences from Vrideo, Jaunt, and several standalone apps are phenomenal and I can't get over the fun of "being there".
I can't wait for the market to grow and additional content to come out.
While the current version is fun the low resolution is limiting. FPS games are nearly impossible because anything in the distance is only represented by a few pixels.
I will buy room scale VR again when the price comes down and the resolution goes up.
Most of the use I got out of it was introducing friends to VR for the first time. Everyone thought "cool!" No one asked for me to pull it out a 2nd time.
Oh wait - Oculus. You're talking about all this new stuff that's coming up and might actually make VR work this time? No, I haven't gotten back into it again, yet. Still waiting to see if it's actually going to take off.
It's like being a kid wanting to have a car, then realizing you need to be 18 and to have a job, so all you had was a toy car.