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Oculus Rift S (oculus.com)
278 points by Stefan-H 29 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 261 comments



They really phoned it in on this one. No physical IPD adjustment, an 80hz LCD rather than the 90hz OLED, a very marginal resolution increase to 1280×1440 (which is still less than the $200 WMR headset I bought almost two years ago), and no FOV increase. The move to inside-out tracking means a more convenient setup, but it will lose tracking when you put your hands behind you (like shooting a bow, which just about ruins Skyrim VR)[1].

Small wonder Brendan Iribe left Facebook over this[2]. They clearly want to push their more casual all-in-one headsets and don't care much about the enthusiasts and gamers that helped get Oculus off the ground in the first place. Really hope Valve steps up this year with a decent headset + the Knuckles controllers. Nothing wrong with building headsets for the more casual consumers but why can't someone release a decent gen 2 headset with the upgrades that everyone has been wanting.

1: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/03/hands-on-with-the-new...

2: https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/279364-oculus-rift-2-canc...

EDIT: After a little more reading it looks like the Quest (their equally priced all-in-one headset) has a higher resolution and a physical IPD adjustment. What the hell are you even paying for with this? You get a worse headset for the same price that lacks all the onboard hardware?


On the other hand, there are a lot of things that were improved:

- Slightly higher resolution (1080×1200 per-eye -> 1,280×1,440 per-eye)

- Inside-out tracking

- Guardian can be set up via video passthrough

- More comfortable halo head strap (better weight distribution, more surface area)

- Wider lens sweet spot

- Fewer god rays (better lenses)

- Less pronounced screen door effect (better lenses, RGB-stripe subpixel layout)

- Low-latency stereo-corrected video passthrough (Passthrough+)

- Headphone jack

- Slightly longer cable (4m -> 5m)

Not a huge upgrade of course, but that's probably why they called it the Rift S and not the Rift 2.


I'm not saying you're wrong, but we're on year 3 of this brand new tech and it's "kinda better, kinda worse". Think about the iPhone in 2007 vs 2010. They can call it whatever they like; it's still an utter disappointment, at least to a gamer like myself. If we're going to get to a point where VR actually feels like virtual reality then someone is going to have to push the envelope, and it clearly isn't going to be Facebook.


I think right now Oculus is more focused on bringing VR to a wider market than they are on pushing specs. If you look at it from that perspective, the Rift S is a _massive_ improvement. No need to mess with sensors during setup; just plug and play.

And it's not like they've abandoned R&D into higher-end tech. It's just that resolution and FOV improvements are bottlenecked by modern GPUs. To overcome that bottleneck will require a breakthrough in foveated rendering technology; which Oculus is working on but hasn't achieved yet. (I believe Michael Abrash, the chief scientist at Oculus, estimated it'll take them another ~4 years to get the technology to the point where it's ready for mainstream consumer use.)


The quest is an even larger step given the fact that it doesn't require an external PC. But still, I would love to see something more gamer oriented.


Didn't the second Vive release provide something more gamer oriented?


That's not what HTC were going for with the Pro, it's geared towards commercial use. Hobbyists are still buying it (naturally) but what we're really waiting for is whatever Valve are up to.


≥but what we're really waiting for is whatever Valve are up to.

You could be waiting a while. If I am not mistaken valve just let go most of their VR headset staff.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2...


Yeah, looks like they're pivoting their non-Steam/game related dev strategies more towards linux gaming and better streaming support than anything else


> No need to mess with sensors during setup; just plug and play.

If that's what you want, the WMR headsets have provided it at a lower price point and equivalent spec for years.


WMR = Windows Mixed Reality. Had to look it up. Please ease off on the acronyms or add a parentheses to clarify.


Sorry, I'm usually more careful with this kind of thing but having one of these headsets (Sony HMD Odyssey, it's great and the newer version is meant to be even better) and lurking on /r/WindowsMR it somehow didn't even cross my mind that it was an obscure acryonym.


The gameplay-experience isn't what is holding VR back. VR was good enough 3 years ago.

Price, PC-Specs, and ridiculously complicated setups are the reason, why VR hasn't taken off yet. The Rift-S helps with all of those issues.

It makes some smart tradeoffs, so that it is accessible to more people.


> The gameplay-experience isn't what is holding VR back. VR was good enough 3 years ago.

This is wrong. All of the other things you mention matter, but at the end of the day I cannot buy a compelling VR experience at any price. VR itself still needs to be improved before all of those other things matter.

VR is incredibly underwhelming at this point, regardless of price. I'd say it's still a few years away from being good enough I'd want to buy it, and I'd expect to have to pay over $1000 for that pleasure when the time comes (ignoring the cost of the top-of-the-line gaming PC to accompany it).

And that's only talking about the actual technology in the headset, that's not even discussing the lack of good content.

And many (maybe most) people still get sick when using VR for more than an hour, so the argument it's "good enough" is absurd.


What have you tried so far? I bought myself a Rift during the last Black Friday and am very pleased. BeatSaber and Eleven Table Tennis alone make it worth.


I tried the Oculus Rift at Facebook HQ with all of the fancy dongles, including things I'm not allowed to talk about.

I've also tried the regular HTC Vive.

Both felt like a gimmick, and the Vive made my girlfriend nauseous after a few minutes.

I'm a big believer in the potential of VR, but the current options do not impress me. I think it's still a few years away for someone like me, and still another 5+ years where it starts to become mainstream (largely due to cost and lack of content).


VR Dev since 2014, here.

The content is what makes people sick, not the hardware (these days). I haven't gotten sick in VR since Rift DK2. Been using the Vive since. No sickness in The Lab. Recently tried playing Everest VR -- queasy due to lots of flying, slow camera movement. Apollo 11 was a lot better, but still had some iffy swooping camera moves.

Basically, you can not make the same kind of game for VR that you would for non-VR, but developers keep trying and they end up making players sick.

Finally, there's a problem with maximizers vs. satisficers and VR. I would say that it's not about comparing specs and buying the "best" device -- although maybe that's a problem of price point. Instead of looking for flaws, allow yourself to suspend disbelief. This requires good content.

Every single game and experience in Valve's "The Lab" is excellent. On Rift, Robo Recall is excellent. Very few games reach this level of polish (graphics, audio, HCI).

Look at the original Star Wars (A New Hope). The special FX are shite by today's standards. If we were just to compare bullet points of features, it would be garbage. Let yourself be transported.


People get sick mostly because of the neurological issues associated with keeping eyes focused on objects at fixed lengths even though they are perceived as far away in the VR world.

Vergence-accommodation conflict:

https://medium.com/vrinflux-dot-com/vergence-accommodation-c...


If this were true, why can I stay in The Lab for hours, but I get sick in Everest VR in minutes, on the same hardware? Why did the dozens of VR devs I have talked to get sick on 2014-2015 hardware, playing tech-demos, but they don't on 2018 hardware, playing games designed for comfort?

Also, lack of positional sensing (versus angular) on mobile VR devices is a much bigger contributor to discomfort.

I'm not sure why you're so keen on vergence accommodation, but it seems that you're focusing on a tiny effect, when the large effects are known.

Just because there's little in the peer-reviewed literature, does not mean that this is poorly understood by practitioners.


I come from a neuroscience background hence my bias. It's the fundamental way in which we focus on objects in the real world. It is not functioning normally at all with a headset on.

No one Ive met can stay in VR for hours regardless of game. Most of my friends who have tried or have VR devices get sick after 45 minutes. Admittedly they are not VR enthusiasts or hard core gamers however.


That sounds pretty anecdotal for a scientist.


Not a scientist. I'm a developer who has been working in the neuroscience field for 15 years, specifically with brain stimulation devices.

I'm not saying this qualifies as any sort of degree nor was I saying you should count my anecdotes as facts.

It is simply my belief that the vergence-accommodation conflict needs to be solved before VR will be adopted by the masses. I think vergence-accommodation neurological process should stay coupled as it does in nature to provide a completely natural feeling and non strained experience for the user. The research here is scant. Perhaps someone is aware of some ongoing research on this topic.


I'm curious -- which hardware devices? I find Vive and (current-gen) Oculus Rift the most comfortable. The biggest issue for me playing a well-designed game is fogging up due to sweating.

EDIT> I have a relatively low tolerance for motion sickness.


They were Vive headsets. From the moment I put on the helmet something feels off and I can't quite focus on objects comfortably without some kind of strain. I've learned over time to let my eyes just relax and not try to focus but it still gets me after about 30-45 minutes. If I'm in Big screen watching a movie it's not a big deal because my eyes aren't moving around focusing on different objects in a room so much. But if I'm out walking around in Skyrim I feel sick after about 30 minutes.


What are the walking controls in Skyrim? Any kind of locomotion that is not strictly tied to the player's movement is a big no-no for comfort. This is a huge problem for the kinds of FPS games that people want to make for VR. The fundamental problem is that you're not moving but your whole field of view is telling you that you are.

I've read that this is a problem for astronauts IRL when they're in free-fall next to a slowly rotating or panning object that occupies a lot of their field of view. So, that would be a kind of existence proof that it's not vergence, but rather optical flow that is decoupled from the subject's actual motion.

It sucks, but basically FPS games are out for VR, until you can actually run around, leap, etc.

EDIT> Another example -- during a scene in Apollo 11 where the camera (and hence my view) was orbiting the spaceraft while my IRL body was still, I started to feel queasy. I was able to reduce the sensation by looking at the growing space-craft as it started to fill more and more of my field of view -- it was relatively stationary to me. This again speaks to optical flow, and motion that is out of whack with what the player's ears are telling them. Another cheat along these lines is to use a cockpit that is fixed relative to the player's view to reduce the amount of visual area that is giving wrong motion cues.

EDIT2> I'd be interested to know whether you can last longer in a game that uses only your own IRL motion + instant teleport. So, no thumbsticks, mouse, keyboard locomotion -- as these are all known chunder inducers. Unfortunately non-VR games with bolt-on VR are like the worst-case for comfort, but also often the games that we really want to see in VR.


Vergence accommodation conflict is a contributor but not anywhere near a primary source.


The jury is still out on that. There simply is no research to prove or disprove what you or I are saying.

My educated guess is that it actually is quite important and the key to making VR more comfortable for long term use.

I think it is the primary issue. I am a software developer who works in the neuroscience field. I am not an MD but I have read enough research to know you cannot definitively say what the cause is, and that disrupting such natural processes in the brain are likely to have consequences. To me it seems obvious that it's the primary source of the headaches and nausea commonly associated with VR.

For example I have certainly felt sick in the real world from roller coasters. But I have never felt the type of sick I get when I put on a VR helmet. It's another feeling all together. And it comes on differently than any other sick feeling I've had. This is anecdotal of course. I digress.

If VR doesn't solve this issue, VR doesn't go anywhere IMHO. But it's obvious they will solve it in time and as someone who closely follows the field it seems to be one of their primary concerns.


The primary engineering challenge of VR is motion sickness caused by a mismatch of visual and inner ear information, which is extremely well established as causing people to throw up in a wide range of contexts outside of VR. The principles behind modern VR tech are decades old - the reason we're getting consumer VR now, in the late 2010s, is because commodity computing hardware is now fast enough to render scenes and track heads with a low enough latency to prevent motion sickness. However, low hardware latency is necessary but not sufficient to prevent motion sickness - the application developer also has a responsibility not to throw the user around in virtual space without corresponding real-world movement. A great many VR applications do not respect this principle - two such programs were mentioned by JabavuAdams at the top of the thread. Hence, the primary cause of nausea on VR is motion sickness caused by content.

Yes, even in a decent VR experience you will get headaches after an hour or two, possibly or even probably from vergence-accomodation conflict. But that's entirely secondary - you won't last more than a couple minutes on a virtual roller coaster.


I've been working in VR and AR for nearly a decade. I've even built my own headsets. The experiences that make people sick are always low framerate. I've put people through experiences pegged at 90FPS for hours at a time with no nausea.


Perfectly valid point. I still think vergence/accommodation needs to be solved as an important key step in VR dev for more comfortable experiences. Its harder to do than just upping frame rates.

You need foveated rendering to start with but im sure you know the rest. If you want VR, well you need actual VR. Its not enough to trick your vision superficially. You have trick the whole system. I digress.


Foveated rendering doesn't solve vergence accommodation. Your eye will still be focused at infinity regardless of where you are looking, you'll just have the illusion that the foreground or background are out of focus. Eye tracking plus dynamic lenses (perhaps liquid lenses) or real light fields are necessary.


FWIW I tried the Quest recently and it felt consumer-ready in a way none of the other systems I've tried so far did. Mostly due to the freedom to move without the cable, increased resolution, and better lenses (the price doesn't hurt either).

That's coming out in a few months though, and it certainly addresses the cost point. Is the main thing you think will take 5+ years content? Trying the Quest I couldn't help but be reminded of the Wii (maybe because I played a tennis game). Even though it's not perfect it offers a very novel experience at an affordable price point. I have no idea what the content line up for the system is though.


The first problem is the technology just isn't good enough yet - it literally makes people sick. Higher resolution, faster frame rates, and better tracking can help with this.

The second problem is it's too expensive. Once there is enough demand to scale the technology better, costs can come down. And costs for better screens and chips will come down in time on their own anyway.

The third problem is a lack of content. For the amount of money Facebook has been pouring into VR developers, it's really just sad how few good games there are. The general consensus I hear from gamers is they've just given up on VR, and I don't know any devs who see it as anything more than an experiment right now.

There just isn't anything compelling about VR right now, at least not for me. Even the people I know who used to champion it almost never use it anymore, and many of my friends who used to work at Oculus have quit as they no longer believe in the vision.

All of this is anecdotal of course. The real data point is sales, and they are bad. Look at VR sales and compare them to the Microsoft Kinect, which MS has essentially abandoned and admitted to being a failure (at least for gaming and mainstream consumer applications). If VR is woefully trailing behind a technology accepted to be a failure that was practically force-fed down consumer's throats as MS tried to push it with their Xbox business, it's hard to see a bright future for VR.

It's been years and billions of dollars have been spent, and VR has a couple of indie hits and no killer app.


It's not too surprising that sales are bad, the V1 hardware is pretty terrible in various ways, and the cost all in is ~$1400 for a PC system (cheaper for PlayStation but not that cheap). At least management at Facebook and Valve have been very clear that their expectations for V1 were not high.

If you look at tablet PCs, Microsoft didn't capture much market share with early $1000+ systems with non-touch based software, but there was still room for the iPad to come in at a lower price and be a successful product.

I think the difference between a (not-terrible) mobile system like the Quest at $400 and existing PC based systems is at least as stark. BTW I didn't hear of anyone getting motion sick, but neither of the Quest demos had any artificial movement, and people weren't using it for hours.

Of course there still needs to be content with some sort of appeal. That's pretty subjective. I liked the tennis demo I had, the lack of a cable made quite a big difference and the lenses aren't nearly as fussy to get a clear picture. I'm not a big gamer but I like being active IRL and playing table tennis etc. I don't know how big a market that is. But I could see myself buying one at $400, not as a developer, if it had a variety of that sort of stuff. None of the other systems I've tried get remotely close to that, in terms cost/inconvenience for what you get.

I'm also curious about movie watching. I wouldn't use existing systems for it, but a higher-res mobile system with better lenses (and hopefully a native Netflix app)? I'm very curious to see if it's a practical thing yet. People watch lots of shows on their phone, it doesn't seem unthinkable that VR could have some appeal for that.

If they have decent content, I think they will probably move more units than VR systems have to date. But to think about the Wii again, even though it was successful as a device it still didn't end up having a major long-term impact...

I don't think just the numbers matter in early stage hardware while there are still extreme qualitative differences. You see companies that focused on cardboard/GearVR based on that sort of reasoning, even though that had an even less likely future as a platform than fully-tracked systems. The Palm Treo wasn't a mass market product, but that hardly doomed smartphones.


To be honest though, I'm surprised the VR porn industry hasn't really taken off. Though that's hardly the driver of high end rigs, but rather more towards something lower end.


How do you get from this limited experience to "at the end of the day I cannot buy a compelling VR experience at any price"? It sounds more like current VR tech just doesn't work /for you/ on the couple of demos you've tried.


Have you tried PC VR recently? It's very compelling.

There are obviously still lots of things that could be improved, but high resolution isn't necessary to make VR "compelling" any more HD screens were necessary to make console gaming compelling.


If that were the case, why didn't Microsoft's WMR partners blow everyone away (pretty sure 100% have used inside out tracking which prevents the station setup of Vive/Rift plus the lower barrier to entry PC specifications)?

I bought the Odyssey+ HMD during the Black Friday sale and I must admit, it is fantastic. But outside of that incredibly low priced sale ($299 I think it was?), I don't think WMR headsets have been really hot sellers while having access to most (all? I don't know) SteamVR titles and the ability to use Oculus ones via ReVive. I personally haven't had any tracking issues, but I haven't played anything where a hand goes behind the view of the visor like Skyrim, apparently.

Oculus Quest/Gear VR/etc seem more like the setups that will make VR "take off" (if it is going to, that is). The tethered experience seems more for the enthusiast but this particular side-upgrade seems to be going for the worst of both worlds (a tethered experience that isn't going to really resonate with enthusiasts as it most likely isn't an upgrade over their current setup and due to that tethering probably not going to appeal to the mass market either).


> If that were the case, why didn't Microsoft's WMR partners blow everyone away?

I can only speak for myself here: I bought the Rift, because I didn't know anything about VR and trusted Oculus more than some 'wierd unknown' manufacturer. (a lack of knowledge is another huge issue in my experience)

To be clear: I don't think, the Rift S is going to _fix_ any of those issues. But it certainly is an improvement. And that's what so many are debating here.

> The tethered experience seems more for the enthusiast

I don't know... If everybody with a 1070 or better is an enthusiast, then you might be right. But as PC's get faster, that will hopefully change.



I think after the Quest it would be a big mistake to make PC headsets a separate product anyway. Any resources for Rift 2 would be better invested on Quest 2 and making it work well with a PC (plugged in, wirelessly, or both).

I can't see any fundamental design differences between a good mobile and PC headset. Sure the PC can drive a higher resolution on most games (for more detail or field-of-view). But even mobile can run certain apps like virtual theaters at high res, and it will benefit from less screen door effect. The weight distribution of the battery needs to be solved in any case, and a wireless PC-only headset would need a battery too. If an ultra-high res screen increases the cost they can always do multiple products but I don't see why they should segment them into PC/mobile. I think most PC users would rather pay an extra $50 for an all-in-one device that works with PC and standalone than $400 each for entirely separate headsets.

Looking forward a little bit, it might make sense for Oculus to make a compact wireless eGPU if they want to be competitive on high end graphics, since it could probably have much better setup, cost, and portability for users that don't already own a gaming PC (in addition to providing a standard performance profile). If the external graphics brick could have a snap on battery and be used on a backpack/vest even better. I've tried some arcade type stuff with multiple users, haptic feedback etc and it's pretty cool although totally non-standardized.


> Rift S and not the Rift 2

from cars industry: S version of any model means worse upholstery, worse radio, worse trim, worse engine, worse everything, but with a plastic spoiler!


quite opposite, see Mercedes S-Klasse.


s class and model s are models not badges on top of models. But even the mercedez c class have a sports submodel that falls into the S badge paradigm


There are bunch of tech not available on C-Klasse or even E-Klasse that is on S one.


Unless you're Tesla. ;)


Tesla doesn’t have S versions, just a Model S

Audi as mentioned has S models and they’re legitimately better than their non-S counter parts (S-line package is not the same)


Or Audi!


Not for Porsche or Audi.


> Wider lens sweet spot

... and it's gone. Software IPD means a tiny sweet spot. Even if this is mitigated by slightly better optics it'll be smaller. Plus lack of hardware IPD will cause eye fatigue and headaches; discomfort is still an important part of VR HMD considerations. It didn't go away.

And using LCD means no blacks. So crappy space sims and games that have to be made to not use black.


Maybe it's a market fit question? Certainly the original Oculus had a very successful kickstarter, but that was a ~$350 device and it was expected a standard gaming computer would be able to keep up with the resolution and refresh rates.

Now it appears that for a "good VR experience" at the high end you need a ~$600 headset, a $1300 graphics card and a dedicated/padded room with no major breakable items. Even with all these things you are still left making unappetizing tradeoffs between resolution, refresh rate and frame rate.


My $300 graphics card from 2 years ago handles all the VR just fine: Radon RX 480 - now costs about $200


yes, because nobody is trying to drive 4k per eye at 144hz with lower latencies than we can currently get to.


The move to casual is risky if it alienates the current user-base of gamers.

However, it is my understanding that the number of VR gamers isn’t high enough to drive self-sustaining profits for VR developers.

There’s a case to be made that a platform like VR can’t be sustained by gaming. That VR needs a killer business application. If that is true, then the Quest isn’t equipped to handle business use-cases (battery-life), and neither is the current Rift, whose onerous setup is a non-starter in an office.

If the Rift S is a plug-and-play solution to sitting VR, and if the increase in resolution and lenses makes text legible, then we will finally have a practical platform for business software.

The most immediate business use I see is remote collaboration. While meetings and white boards stand out as obvious wins, I’m thinking there is opportunity in reimagining the original killer apps: spreadsheets, word-processors, calendars, email, and of course, the web browser.

No one could fix email. No one could figure out social browsing. No one could solve voice-dictation. No one seems to follow anyone’s calendar but their own. And as for spreadsheets, the monstrosity that is Airtable implies large unmet needs.

VR needs a killer app, and it won’t be Doom. It will be the next Netscape, Excel, or Word.


VR is already selling quite strongly to firms who use it for various kinds of training. One good indication of this is the strong market of backpack PCs https://www.roadtovr.com/vr-backpack-pc-at-a-glance/ despite the face that the backpack PC seems to have almost no adoption among home VR users. It also underlines the fact that current workplace VR users aren't particularly price-sensitive. It futher seems unlikely that they're usually all that bothered about sensor setup, though maybe some value or would value the wide play area that markerless inside-out tracking affords.


Good example of non-gaming uses that seem to have traction! The key is figuring how to enable businesses to make more money by using VR.

In a previous thread about VR, someone was quite negative about the utility of VR, but ended with “talk to me once there’s an Excel of VR.”

There are billion-dollar opportunities here, but only if VR is accessible as a platform in the same way a PC is.

To your point about backpack VR, however, the Quest will undoubtably accelerate these kind of use cases!


TIL Backpack PCs are a thing. I wonder how people would react if I sat in a coffee shop with a backpack PC/keyboard and doing dev in VR. Can I code on a Quest?


Well, if you were sitting down you'd be better off with a gaming laptop. (Unless you want the backpack for the gargoyle chic of course ... ;) ) As Quest is an Android-ish mobile device, I assume it's not a great development platform even if you choose to sideload things. You'd probably want to use the Rift S or one of the high-end WinMR HMDs plugged into a Windows laptop. (Only Valve's SteamVR is supported on Linux, but there's no SteamVR HMD with markerless inside-out tracking out there yet. You could use a Rift and clamp a SteamVR Tracking base station to your table, if it's stable enough, using a battery pack to power it. That would be so Linux-on-the-desktop, in more ways than one.)

But then you'd run into the big (and hard-to-fix) limitation of first-gen VR, the very low pixel density compared to conventional displays, which is a particular problem when you're working with text. It's a problem with is partly compensated for by the unlimited virtual screen size that VR gives you, especially in comparison to the small and awkwardly-placed screens you're often stuck with in a mobile context. So you could certainly give it a go, especially if you get one of the highest-res WinMR headsets, but on balance the laptop screen would probably still be more practical for coding today.


>They clearly want to push their more casual all-in-one headsets and don't care much about the enthusiasts and gamers that helped get Oculus off the ground in the first place.

So basically every company in the world that prefers marketshare to niche. Theres some nice exceptions like pinboard.in, but for the most part, everyone is willing to sell out to Walmart hoping for dominance.


Nvidia definitely hasn't forgotten about super hardcore gamers, even if people buying 2080 Ti's are a tiny minority.


No but Nvidia still has a diversified customer base too. High end enthusiast gamers are only one component. Occulus seems to be trying to diversify a bit too.


How is this different from /r/gaming thinking that the only challenge in building anything is turning a dial, and if it's not perfect, then it's because you're incompetent for not simply turning the dial more.


Excellent description


Maybe the right way is to start with expensive professional vr-gear like https://varjo.com/ is doing and then gradually get into consumer products years later.


> Why can't someone release a decent gen 2 headset with the upgrades that everyone has been wanting.

Seriously. If anyone "should" be the one to be pushing things forward it's Oculus. Yet they seem dead set on bringing this to the masses, rather than releasing a "PRO" headset.

The money may be in the masses, but it sure feels like a big FU from oculus for them to seemingly abandon the pro consumer.


How likey is it that people will develop content if the possible install base is only people with high-end headsets?


More likely than they will, so long as the device remains a poorly functioning novelty.

IMHO, we haven't reached the point where VR technology can be commoditized in this way. Even the high end rigs have a long way to go.


> How likey is it that people will develop content if the possible install base is only people with high-end headsets?

This isn't how tech goes mainstream. Facebook is trying to eat its cake before its ready. There's a lot of influencers in tech who, while bullish on VR's future, basically write off current VR. In its current state, isn't worth it for them, and they're the ones who can afford to have real VR setups and are passionate about tech in general. They're not going to recommend it to their followers either, since they themselves aren't impressed. Current content is limited by the capabilities of the VR hardware, not the other way around.


Don't forget that they're owned by Facebook now. Facebook probably have different priorities than hardcore gamers.


That's because they've got all the enthusiasts they want right now. The S is clearly meant to bring more people into the VR market, not act as an upgrade for existing owners. It's a good option for people that waited to buy an HMD too long and don't want to get an old system that will be discontinued in a few months, and those that can't/don't want to deal with wiring up all the cameras/sensors. It also isn't a terrible option as a second VR setup. I have a Vive, and if I was really interested in Oculus exclusives and a little impatient, the S wouldn't be a terrible option.

I don't see the S as an upgrade or competing product, but as an option targeted for a specific market based on all the data they've collected. That said, I agree it feels underwhelming, going to LCD from OLED is a bad move, and I don't trust inside-out tracking to work as well as advertised.


> The move to inside-out tracking means a more convenient setup, but it will lose tracking when you put your hands behind you

If that's correct, this ruins Robo Recall, of all things.

Yeah, maybe it will make setup more convenient, but are people really being thrown off by that? A 10 year old can figure it out (tested!). Yes, taking USB ports is not convenient, but the camera positioning is more forgiving than Vive's implementation (those need to see each other).

No significant jump in resolution. Lower refresh rate, LCD.

It's kinda underwhelming.

> EDIT: After a little more reading it looks like the Quest (their equally priced all-in-one headset) has a higher resolution and a physical IPD adjustment. What the hell are you even paying for with this? You get a worse headset for the same price that lacks all the onboard hardware?

Wake me up when the Quest is able to run Elite Dangerous, X-Plane, Subnautica or similar stuff. Even PCs can struggle.


If you look at the 5 camera placement on the headset it looks to cover a pretty heavy margin, including a wide FOV camera on the top. So you'd have to have your hand directly behind your back (and not at a height above your head) for it to not be able to track it, which seems like it would be uncomfortable in real gaming scenarios.

John Carmack has also talked a decent bit about their inside-out tracking extrapolation tracking code to keep latency low. Their tracking predicts where your hand will be at the time a frame is rendered, not at the time the frame begins. This not only means the controller tracking will appear low latency but it also means it can figure out from the controller's sensors where it is when it can't get visual range for a second or two. So I imagine you'd have to hold your hand directly behind your back for more than a few seconds to really see the effects, and by the time your controller comes in range (way before you'd see your hand position) it should correct itself.

That being said, some people with hands on did say the inside out tracking didn't do so well when the controller got too close to the front of the headset, so it's up in the air how bow and arrow type of movements will work.


> which seems like it would be uncomfortable in real gaming scenarios.

I routinely want to grab things of tables behind me in VR without turning my head off of the enemy in front. It's one of the things that makes VR feel immersive, the world keeps existing even if its outside your field of view.


Sure but for a 1-2 second grab extrapolation + accelerometers should do the trick.


Maybe but I'm skeptical it would be good enough.

The industry seems to be hurrying to cut costs with lower end solutions and yet the high end isn't even close to perfect yet IMO.

Its too early to commoditize VR in my opinion. Google tried with daydream and its crap. When Vice launched it was remarkable and since then the quality of the VR experience has only degraded. Lots of "we can get almost as good results doing this cheaper option" steps have been taken which cement VR as a gimmick rather than a truly compelling experience.


If inside-out tracking is ok then why not go WMR -

the new HP Reverb sounds actually nice ..

2160 x 2160 px per eye - 114 FOV 90Hz LCD

but the price is also high ~599$


The Rift S has much better tracking and controllers. 5 cameras instead of two, and the Touch controllers are much more ergonomic than what WMR provides.


> After a little more reading it looks like the Quest (their equally priced all-in-one headset) has a higher resolution and a physical IPD adjustment. What the hell are you even paying for with this? You get a worse headset for the same price that lacks all the onboard hardware?

It is absolutely mind-boggling that Oculus have not released a single SKU here - a Quest with an optional single cable (VirtualLink - USB C) that can connect to a PC to make it a Rift.


I think Vive now has the enthusiast market wrapped up nicely, so I can understand why Occulus might want to target a low end market. Especially as it might prove to be larger. But it's really still early days for VR, much higher specs required than a typical mid range consumer PC, so it's hard to say where things will ultimately land.


>Nothing wrong with building headsets for the more casual consumers...

Not sure if this is true. There is nothing casual about blocking out the real world entirely with a sensory depriving helmet on your head. I just don't see a casual market for this tech until it integrates seamlessly with the real world.


>They clearly want to push their more casual all-in-one headsets and don't care much about the enthusiasts and gamers that helped get Oculus off the ground in the first place.

I'm a little surprised they have taken this route. Especially with someone like John Carmack for a CTO.


Carmack’s interest at Oculus seems to have always been low-end VR. He wrote the SDK for the Gear VR.


I think he is like a demoscene coder; he enjoys pushing limited hardware beyond its supposed limits.


That’s what I assumed too. There’s just not that much left to be done with tight C++ loops in “triple-A” production value VR, it’s mostly about giant asset pipelines.


I was wondering why they didn't post FOV and resolution, and your post answers that question. My $120 Lenovo Explorer almost (?) looks better.


Announced a day after the HP Reverb, which has most of the features of the Rift S but 2160x2160 per eye.

https://www.roadtovr.com/hp-rever-hands-on-impressions-pixel...


It's also $200 more than the Rift S and only has 2 tracking cameras instead of 5. Not a bad product by any means, but unless resolution is your main concern I wouldn't consider it superior to the Rift S.


Resolution is more important than the other changes on the Rift S.


This. Until I can read text on the thing VR feels DOA. I got the original rift and it now sits in my closet collecting dust because the resolution is about 1/2 or maybe even 1/4th of what it needs to be to really be compelling. They need to up the resolution, figure out foveated rendering, improve the FoV and get me some dang gloves or at least a VR-ready keyboard (can see the thing in vr like you see the hand controllers). I care about these things far more than ditching the cord, inside out tracking (I'm not sure I want 5 cameras looking at everything in my room any time I am strapped in) or anything else.


That's debatable. Controllers and tracking make a pretty big difference to the overall VR experience, and the Rift S has some pretty big advantages in that department.


More importantly, it's not facebook.


I've been a VR dev since 2014, and market-share / adoption is a huge problem.

To a first approximation, you can not make enough money to run a studio in VR, even 5 years after DK1.

Ontario, Canada has a great system of grants for game developers, but they have basically stopped funding VR titles, because they don't make any money.

All of the people I know who went off to found VR studios are trying to survive on service work, rather than making custom IP. Either that, or working as loss-leader departments in larger companies.

It's worse than indie development, if such a thing were possible.

So ... yeah ... bring on the users while there are still some VR developers left.


I know sim racing is somewhat of a niche industry but the demand for high end VR is absolutely there:

NoVRNoBuy was pretty much the only regular comment you would see when Codemaster's was hyping Dirt Rally 2.0

So much so that this is the changelog from Assetto Corsa's latest release:

Assetto Corsa Competizione - Early Access v0.2 - Fixed "No VR no buy" ... [1]

There are about 100 threads on Dirt Rally 2.0 echoing the same [2]

This is a community that spends $500 on a steering wheel and $500-$1000 pedals are always out of stock [3][4]

That doesn't even include the $1000 direct drive wheels [5][6] or the handbrakes, shifters, triple mount displays, and $500-1000 dollar rigs [7] I won't even get into the motion rigs...

[1] https://steamcommunity.com/games/805550/announcements/detail...

[2] https://steamcommunity.com/app/690790/discussions/0/17354661...

[3] https://heusinkveld.com/heusinkveld-march-stock-update/?v=75...

[4] https://www.protosimtech.com/

[5] https://www.fanatec.com/us-en/wheel-bases/podium-wheel-base-...

[6] https://augurysimulations.com/products/

[7] https://sim-lab.eu/product/p1-chassis/


As a current Rift owner, this seems like a bit of a lateral upgrade: - IPD is fixed. - LCD display - Can't track hands behind you - Narrower FoV

It seems this is comparable to the many WMR headsets already in the market. I would hope that the simpler design helps bring down the price though, I could see this overall being cheaper to manufacturer.


I'm really concerned about this setting a lower standard that software will be designed to. The inability to track hands behind you in particular.

But maybe we lost that battle already...


> Can't track hands behind you

This is a personal deal-breaker. The rest I can live with.

I get it. There's much less hardware involved, there's much lower manufacturing costs, those savings can be passed down to the consumer, bringing us closer to that hypothetical VR mainstream moment. I agree we need more headsets with this technology.

I've "grown up" with full tracking, though, and I'm used to it. It adds an additional layer of presence. I hope we don't get stuck with this downgrade on all future devices. Add Sixense to inside-out tracking and I'd be outright sold.

That being said, I already own the Vive with its lighthouses, so I wonder if I could use the Vive controllers with inside-out tracking HMDs. I guess that all depends on how much drift inside-out tracking suffers from, and how feasible it is to calibrate the two platforms.


Using 3 sensors you can track full 360°, it works very well with my setup


By bad, I just saw that the trackers are now built-in. I wonder if they will allow adding additional sensors.


I would love to trade all these monitors for a virtual workstation. Every time there's new VR tech I hope that it's possible. 1280x1440 is definitely an improvement. I'm patient.


I think if you're looking for a monitor replacement you're going to need to wait for foveated rendering. That's when you'll start seeing mainstream headsets with ultra-high-PPD displays. Maybe another ~4 years or so.


Not actually needed. Getting high enough res to replace monitors with small fonts does require a big increase in resolution, but rendering a virtual desktop requires a lot less computation per pixel than rendering a game with lighting and shading. Current-generation consumer GPUs should be sufficient, if the panels and optics get good enough.


Yeah, but you're not going to be seeing a big push for higher PPD displays until after all the other pieces are in place to support that technology for gaming. The market for monitor replacements isn't big enough to drive that kind of change all on its own.


I think this market is hugely undervalued. As remote work gets normalized, remote workspaces will draw increasing investment to regain some of the fidelity of meatspace but with the efficiency and cost savings of remote work, and VR is poised to be central to this industry as soon as someone builds the tools.


Bigscreen is pushing hard in this direction.


Sounds like a dystopian nightmare where VR goggles becomes the new ass-in-seat.


Completely possible and likely, but it's also possible to build a workplace culture where VR just replaces video calls and screenshare presentations with people huddling around a virtual conference desk and being able to pair program or show each other their screens, for an hour or two at a time instead of 8 hour office workdays.


I also think "virtual desktop" is a short-sighted notion of how VR user interfaces would end up in reality--although you can do a hell of a lot by just rendering 2D planes in your VR environment.


There are a few things that "real" 3d is useful for, 3d modelling, cad, games, art, movies, ... Basically entertainment + modelling real world 3d things.

For most of what we do on a computer I don't think so though. Text based communication (social media, email, etc), reading books, writing documents, doing accounting, etc. These are all tasks that don't have any intrinsic third dimension, and since the information needs to be projected to a 2d surface regardless (the back of your eyeball) you can't really pack more information in by taking advantage of the third dimension.

I'm sure the third dimension will be used for "modern design" reasons, maybe you'll scroll through planes that come at you from farther away to switch "tabs" (android already basically does that on 2d displays), and we'll probably have some 3d equivalent of gifs, but I think most content really remains a 2d texture on a plane.

Even if I'm wrong, I'm sure the first iterations will be mostly plane based, just because that's what the existing software knows how to render to.


I think most UX will be planar, but the planes will be arranged in 3D space.


Yes, I would like to be able to arrange displays with a 3rd dimension. Rather than have simply a 2d grid for arrangement. For example, have lesser used workspaces placed somewhere in the distance, but still visible and readily available to be brought front and center.


>For most of what we do on a computer I don't think so though.

arranging any number of work spaces (screens) in 3d would be awesome


To be clear I'm taking that (or even arranging individual windows) as the "virtual desktop" option that the person I replied to thought was ... unimaginative.

I agree with you.


I agree with him too! What's unimaginative is taking the current Mac or Windows desktop and projecting that on a plane.

Old Mac users miss the "spacial UI" of the original Finder. Well, the third dimension gives you lots of room for a spacial UI. It doesn't have to look like you're flying through space like in Jurassic Park or anything, but a lot of existing desktop UI is constrained by the fact that screens--even if you have four of them--don't take up very much of your visual field and are relatively fixed in position.


I probably just misread your comment then :)


The weight is a big factor - even if you use the headset while lying on a couch, after an hour your face will look like raccoon's.


As someone who's used VR headsets for hours at a time weight is not a factor, resolution is. The resolution is far too low. Font sizes have to be gigantic to be readable.


Try the Varjo VR-1 which has human-eye resolution https://varjo.com/

It's quite expensive at $5999 though.


You might be interested in the HP Reverb: https://uploadvr.com/hp-reverb-vr-4k-599/

It's not quite monitor-replacement territory but it's getting close.


When will we be in monitor-replacement territory? I try to edit text in each generation's headset, and it's still not viable. Curious what the threshold spec will be when I can launch a text editor and work in a VR environment.


Higher resolution and built in tracking and only 400. Probably going to buy. Someone convince me not to


> Someone convince me not to

OK, I'll take a shot (using the simplest argument I have access to, without trying to sell you on something fundamentally different): the Oculus Quest, which uses the same controllers but isn't tethered to a PC and is coming out in the same "Spring 2019" timeframe, seems to be even higher resolution and also costs only $400 ;P... (edit) oh, and AFAIK the Quest will have mechanical IPD adjustment, a feature the Rift S apparently lacks (?!?), which is frankly an absolute requirement if you have a head that isn't exactly the average-sized head (I find the experience using the Oculus Go, which also lacks this feature, entirely unusable for even a couple minutes due to the distortion and blur, whereas I happily will spend hours inside of a Vive).


The Quest is a standalone headset, so all the software runs on the headset itself. Great for people who don't already have a PC capable of running VR, but maybe not ideal if you have a gaming PC and want to be able to utilize that to run graphically intensive games.


> isn't tethered to a PC

Can I tether it to a PC if I want to? My primary use case is PC gaming.


Carmack said they had a lot of internal discussions about that but they decided not to do it for whatever reason.


You should probably just get a Rift with the bases. I got mine for around 350.


I have one; I just find the tracking pretty fragile. I often need to set it up again on a weekly basis.


This really makes me happy I went for a Vive. I stuck the lighthouses up near the ceiling, calibrated once, and it still works perfectly eight months later. And no USB cables.

Hopefully they perfect inside-out tracking eventually but in the meantime the lighthouse system just works for me.


Yeah, I should have gone with a Vive.


A lot of people are bringing up the fact that some headsets like the Oculus Quest aren't tethered to a PC.

I'm here to say that being tethered to a PC is a feature, not a bug.

The advantage to being tethered to a PC is processing power. Any standalone headset is going to be running purely off of batteries. That means there are MASSIVE trade-offs in processing power, especially for the graphics. The GPU in a standalone headset like the Oculus Quest is going to be about as powerful as your phone's GPU or a Nintendo Switch, meaning it won't hold a candle to the power of a mid-grade desktop GPU. Yeah, sure, games are going to be made with that in mind, but it will definitely limit the graphical quality. You might think "Well I don't care much about graphics", but you'll find many game devs unwilling to make a lower quality port of their game in order to support lesser hardware. In other words, there just simply won't be as many games made for the Quest as their will be for desktop. Every PC will have the power to run a Quest game, but Quest will not have the power to run every PC game.


The 'tether' part is a big deal though in addition to the cost. Having tried both, I would prefer less realistic graphics vs having to keep the cable position in the back of my mind (I don't think I quite realized how much it subtracts from immersion until it went away). If you can assume the system is wireless, I think that actually frees up game design quite a bit to involve more rapid movements around the play-space that might be impractical or dangerous with a cable.

I think the future of PC headsets is wireless streaming to standalone VR devices (I'd much rather have one $400 device that can do both than pay for separate PC and mobile ones). I think Oculus said they were actually investigating wireless PC streaming for the Quest, but obviously that wasn't a design requirement up front so who knows if they will get it working. If they do get it working, it seems like that could basically kill sales for the Rift so I can see why they might not want to put too many resources into it.


Samsung Odyssey+ has higher resolution (1600 vertical) and mechanical IPD adjustment, and is often on sale for $300-400.

The Samsung (like other Windows MR headsets) only has two cameras, so the Rift will probably do a better job of tracking the controllers when they're behind your head.

The Samsung also has some comfort issues for some people, the Rift may be better there.

Overall the Rift will probably hold up well here as a more well rounded package despite the slight drop in resolution, I'll be interested to try one if they get in-store demos.

Also depends on whether you want to buy a VR headset from Facebook.


Wait for Valve's headset coming out later this year. Direct competitor to the Rift S, with higher resolution, 135 degree vision, and knuckles controllers that let you open and close your hand naturally. You'll be glad you did.


At this point, I do not have much faith in Valve's ability to ship products. Anyone excited about VR likely shouldn't hold their breath.


I wanted to like the Rift given their more comfortable hardware, but the Vive was so much better (I had both briefly).

- Full scale walk around the room support

- Touch controls (at the time the oculus was still using xbox, though I've heard their new controllers are better)

- Oculus headset intentionally leaks light through the nose

- Vive had an external facing camera (not a huge feature, but nice to have)

Has the oculus improved at all? This wasn't even considering the Vive Pro.


I went with the Rift because it was cheaper and (imho) way less ugly. - Rift room scale support is actually very good with extra trackers (a bit of a pain, but luckily extensions work well). - The Rift controllers are very, very good.

Overall, I just liked the Rift as a polished product better. And they have had a great track record of improving the product and dumping money into quality content.


The Rift S has all that out of the box.

The OG Rift has also been able to do most of that since the Touch controllers released two years ago (full scale tracking with controllers that are arguably better than the Vive wands). You can also fix the light leakage problem (if you consider it a problem) by buying a third-party faceplate (the Widemo ones have a much smaller nose gap).


I have word from a personal source that Valve has no plans for a new headset in 2019, but they could be wrong. There has also been rumblings in the media about Valve firing a bunch of their hardware people. Do you have any sources with more details about this 2019 headset?



Other than the leaked photos from last year I don't think there's been any new details. But they're clearly working on a headset; those photos are way too detailed and unique to be faked.

Any sense of what might be going on? A reference design for other manufacturers maybe? Judging by the small iterations between the latest developer versions of the Knuckles controllers you'd have to expect those to be released fairly soon. Seems like putting out a headset along with the controllers would make sense.

https://www.roadtovr.com/report-new-valve-vr-headset-appears...


Only the word from my own personal source.

But really, we are only getting closer to a new headset as time goes on. It is inevitable.


I mean, we're also getting closer to the heat death of the universe, but I'm not making any plans about that.


Well that's on you.


Cool. Well I hope your source is right and mine is wrong since I'd love to see a successor to the Vive in 2019 but so far things aren't looking great.


There's no timeline for when it'll be out, but personally, the Oculus Quest is my reason to hold off.


Is there actually any software compelling enough to make the hardware worth the expense? After the wave of interest that followed the release of the original Rift petered out, most developers seem to have dropped VR like a hot rock...


If you like playing Poker, PokerStars VR is a blast. It's free (There's not even an option to pay money, and you only play with fake money)

I've spent over 100 hours in it. Having the player interaction makes it so fun. Desktop online poker just feels like playing with bots.


Depends on what you like. For traditional shooters there's Onward and Pavlov, with a new AAA title from Respawn Entertainment coming later this year. For sports there's Rec Room, Echo Arena, Racket NX, Eleven: Table Tennis, etc. For single player experiences Lone Echo, Budget Cuts, Robo Recall, and coming later this year Defector, Stormlands, Lone Echo 2, Boneworks... honestly there's a lot.


Yes, the software library is very good, continues to improve, and 2019 will see significant new releases approaching AAA quality (according the the vendors, of course).

Naturally, it depends on your interests. But my issue is lack of time to work through my library, not lack of compelling software.


Short answer: no.

There's some stuff that convinces me of the potential (SuperHot VR), but the whole thing is still too much of an expensive pain in the ass to be worth the trouble.


Microsoft Office VR


vrchat


Facebook :)


Well there's no mechanical IPD adjustment, so if you have very wide or narrow set eyes, it will not work well for you. The LCD screen don't have the deeper blacks of the OLED screens of the rift. Frame rate is less. Other than that, I think it looks good.


Ugh... that (no mechanical IPD adjustment) made the Oculus Go entirely worthless for me :/.


Hmm, I have a hard time understanding what advantage these all in one devices have over the various VR lens devices for random phones.

That said i'm not really impressed with the basic rift device I have. Mostly because the core software seems like garbage. The first blue screens I've seen in over a decade were caused by it. Then there are all the non fatal problems like the fact that the software apparently wasn't tested on machines that go into standby regularly. Then there are the weird USB discovery issues the hardware/software has (the software wants everything plugged into different controller ports but can't seem to figure out the USB topology correctly 1/2 the time, meaning sometimes it works then it decides not to work unless the machine is rebooted/etc).

I would say it generally works better than some of the stuff I used in the 90's but the resolution is strangely lacking given the price of the thing and other devices on the market.

So that said, the core problem of VR making people nauseous definitely hasn't been solved with the basic rift. Pretty much everyone I've demoed it to gets sick on games/demos which involve first person perspective. OTOH, there are some pretty cool 3rd person games (witchblood, moss, etc).


You have to try a 6DOF system, it’s a totally different ballgame.


I don't know much about all those and I experienced VR (other then the Avatar movie) for the first time this weekend at my friend's place on his PSVR. I really enjoyed Moss and still felt ok after about 45 minutes. I tried a kind of light sim demo with crappy 1995 looking graphics afterward and I thought I was about to vomit 2-3 times while "flying".

Anyway, what would be the difference between the PSVR and a 6DOF system?


John Carmack and his friends made it clear that they have no interest in the PC being a first class VR platform when they tossed Brendan Iribe to the curb. The Rift-s is a big fuck you to all of the hardcore early adopters that made the Rift a reality.

I skipped gen-1 thinking gen-2 was right around the corner; unfortunately, three long years later the future truly looks like a "race to the bottom." VR is starting to feel like a cheap trick instead of something that promised the future of gaming - a toy that just collects dust on the shelf after playing a handful of crap mobile games.

The state of the industry from my perspective:

1. The VR industry seems to think PC gaming is dead

2. Oculus hasn't released better HMD in three years:

- Worse inside out tracking despite the need to be tethered to a PC anyway

- A downgraded refresh rate of 80hz after claiming 120hz was the sweet spot

- A single panel and a downgrade from OLED to LCD with no ability for IPD adjustment

- Is outsourcing work from Lenovo instead of doing in-house RND

- Scrapped headphones despite saying it was a critical feature of the OG rift

- Rumored to have a slightly worse FOV than the OG Rift's already small FOV

- Attempting to roll their own walled garden store

- Owned by Facebook

3. HTC hasn't released a marginally better headset in three years:

- Lenses are garbage despite the better display

- Future headsets are adopting inside out tracking despite it having worse performance than lighthouse

- Owned by HTC

- Terrible support

- Attempting to roll their own walled garden store

4. Pimax doesn't seem to have the manufacturing or support chops to deliver despite knowing exactly what the hardcore PC gamer wants

5. Valve can't seem to release anything - ever.

What a shit show.


I'm a relatively new VR user, so I'm a little less burned out from the apparent stagnation than someone who's been doing this since the Oculus Rift dev kits, but I think maybe you're being a little pessimistic?

> The VR industry seems to think PC gaming is dead

Sad, if true. This is definitely how Oculus seems to feel about it, but maybe they're just ceding that segment to HTC.

> HTC hasn't released a marginally better headset in three years

Their upcoming roadmap seems promising even if it's only evolutionary changes. It also seems like they're not abandoning the high end.

> Future headsets are adopting inside out tracking despite it having worse performance than lighthouse

It's strictly worse in terms of sheer "performance", but it can be potentially so much better in other terms that it might be a better idea to dump engineering effort into improving the performance until it's good enough.

If I set up my tracking sensors perfectly and go through the calibration ceremony, my VR environment would be capable of higher-precision tracking than is possible with inside-out technology. At least, it is until a cat knocks into my sensor, or the USB connection flakes out, and I have to recalibrate the damn thing all over again.

This has happened before. You can (or at least could) get better photographs from film than from digital. CRT displays are (or at least were) capable of better image quality than LCD. Gas tanks can store more energy than the batteries in a Tesla and can be refueled faster than the battery can be recharged. The .30-06 cartridge is more lethal than the 5.56 NATO. Analog telephony has higher sound quality than digital.

However--digital cameras are far easier to use and make the photos themselves easier to share and store, so they got the image quality good enough. LCD displays are less bulky and more energy-efficient, so they got the image quality good enough. Electric cars are more eco-friendly and can deliver higher performance due to the mechanical simplicity, so they got the batteries and Superchargers good enough. 5.56 has less recoil, particularly in full-auto or burst fire, and you can carry more rounds because each round weighs less, and the rifle itself can be lighter. Digital telephony scales better and suffers less quality drop for mobile phones, and VOIP dispenses with dedicated telephony infrastructure entirely.


I hope you're right. I suspect HTC is far worse off than Oculus and will follow them down the rabbit hole in search of mass market appeal. If Facebook spent FAR less than 2 billion on Oculus I doubt they would even still be around.

I'm of the opinion that VR only appeals to the high end PC gamer with disposable income. Perhaps I'm wrong and a market at the bottom exists, developers can earn a living, and the high-end can eventually reap the rewards.


The big issue with inside-out tracking isn't precision, it's occlusion. While with an outside-in tracking system my hands needs line of sight to one or more sensors, inside-out tracking systems require line of sight to my head!

There's often not a path to my head, as other commenters on the thread have pointed out, in Skyrim VR.

EDIT: Here's an article that mentions this point for the Oculus Quest specifically: https://uploadvr.com/oc5-oculus-talks-quest-controller-track...


One solution might be to put inside out camera trackers into the controllers as well, so they can judge where they are in the space, and even look back and scan your body position. possibly bandwidth and power limitations in wireless handheld controllers would make that a bad idea?


People get so angry whenever VR is brought up.

Are there not other companies besides Oculus to serve the higher-end VR market? What's wrong with a company focusing on a mainstream market?

The waste of talent?


Well, HP's new version of the Reverb jumped to a 2160x2160 per-eye resolution.

If Pimax can get their shit together, the 4K resolution and ridiculous FOV is promising.

I think the ultimate problem is that the higher-end market isn't willing to spend what it would require to build a sufficiently-good headset right now, nor are there many home gaming computers that can realistically pump 8+K low latency, high FPS graphics. There are many millions of people who might spend $500 on a standalone headset that is good enough to play beat saber, though.


The market for a high end HMD is pretty much anyone that already has no problem spending $1,000 on a video card. That is a lot of us but it isn't big enough for a company like Facebook or HTC. My fear is pushing crap at $500 instead of gold at $900 will leave a stigma on VR that will take another decade or more to wash off.

The reverb actually looks great but the tracking is a flop.


I think of the kid factor. My kids can't tell the difference between the gear VR, PSVR, and high end setup. Or they just don't care. All they want are fun games. That leaves the gear VR for things like rollercoaster sims and 360 pov video of the same, and PSVR for Beat Saber and Job Simulator. No interest in the high end gold level setups


The new HP headset is surprisingly quite promising as a higher end option, I tried it out yesterday and the resolution is great but it is still using the standard Windows MR inside out tracking which is decent but not great, particularly when it comes to the tracking volume for the controllers.


A lot of us have been dreaming about quality VR for 20+ years. The original Oculus team was a group of those folks. A lot has changed over there in 3 years and people fear it may be another 20 years if this mass market plan fails.


Facebook think they can make much more money targeting causal gamers. I think VR has a huge potential, not just in gaming, but also professional tools, like controlling vehicles and aircrafts. Imagine driving a drone, controlled via microwave radio, less then 0.1ms latency, and ultra HD view in all directions.


For those with VR headsets of any kind: how often are you using it? Are we there yet with VR? If not, is it the hardware, the content, or both?

For now, I'd define "there" as at least 0.5 * time spent on console or PC gaming per week.


I own a Vive and a Rift, have toyed around with VR development, and build some VR stuff at work sometimes.

I haven't used VR in my home (or to play a game anywhere) in over a year. It's just a huge pain in the ass to set up, and I don't have a great spot to play in my apartment.

Once it's set up, the experience of being in VR is great. The controllers are good, and the hardware is great (other than the setup). There just aren't any games or other software I'm interested in playing.

I'm looking forward to Oculus Quest for helping with ease of use.


> It's just a huge pain in the ass to set up

The trick is to leave it set up ;-)

But is it really that hard? I use a Rift in a hot-desking office and setting it up takes all of 30 seconds each time I move. The room setup doesn't need to be redone. I don't bother with the guardian boundary for front-facing cameras. I just plug in the USB+HDMI and I'm done.


Moving furniture around because you don't have a 3m x 3m space free all the time is tiring and a major pain point for me (I own a vive, I don't re-setup everytime though I do change the boundaries & optimal furniture placement sometimes)


You don't actually need 3m x 3m for many experiences/games. I work in much less space and only bother clearing space when I need it.


I think the important thing is that it's hard enough that I don't use it.


I have the PSVR headset, that works with PlayStation 4. It really amazed me how good it looks and how real some experience feels (read some reviews about Resident Evil 7, for example, I didn't dare to try it). For example, I notice it that it is so good, that my dad (60 years old), who never played any console (because he is not a gaming person), played several games with the headset. It is also a different type of entertainment.

At the same time, it makes you feel tired. Not only your eyes / mind, but your body. So I don't play that much, but that's the only reason - you need to be in a special mood to play, and you can't play for one hour, at least not without some rest.

But I enjoy it a lot, and with my girlfriend we often joke it was the best purchase we ever made.


I think your benchmark is wrong. I spend ~15 hours a week gaming, and maybe 1 hour a week on VR (averaged). That feels like a fair amount of use in VR, but it's nowhere near 7-8 hours/week. I'm not sure I'd want to spend 8 hours a week in VR.

But the experiences I've messed with are amazing when they land. Elite Dangerous, Beat Saber, Moss, even Google Earth. It's pretty rare for a game to make me stop and literally exclaim, "Holy shit!", but it happens pretty regularly in VR.


I use VR a few times a week. Definitely far less than total time spent on gaming. However, I would still say we "are there" with VR, because I do not consider it to be simply a replacement for gaming.

For me VR is mainly a replacement of other forms of physical activity. And just like I wouldn't spend hours every day exercising, same way I wouldn't spend hours in VR. I simply do not like the idea of going to a gym to pointlessly swing arms or legs; VR gives me a goal, a reason to swing those arms and legs.

Of course, to some degree I also use VR for leisure, playing games which do not require a lot of physical movement (e.g. Euro Truck Simulator or Elite: Dangerous). In terms of time, I may actually be spending more time on this category of VR, than the first one - probably exactly because they do not require physical exertion. But still I'd consider the first group much more important.

As for shortcomings, fortunately I'm quite resistant to motion sickness, so that's not a problem for me; also limited FOV never bothered me. I'd say the main problem for me is relatively low resolution - which is especially prominent in games where you need to look at objects far away (Euro Truck Simulator), or need to read text (Talos Principle).


Tracking is a joke with the Rift v1 (consumer version). Decent for a few hours and then randomly everything gets all screwed up, requiring a tracking reset which sometimes doesn’t even fix the issue. It’s way too involved to set up, and even following the instructions it takes sometimes 20 minutes to finally get the tracking sensors synced with the controllers and your System. I found that really frustrating and made it prohibitive for anything other than killing time. Furthermore, for some reason it always makes me set it up from scratch even if I haven’t unplugged the three different USBs (2x tracking, and one for the headset) needed to get the whole thing operational since the last use.

Echo VR is super super fun to play, as one concrete example, but I’d say the Rift is still not good enough other than as a toy to show off to people. The driver updates are also absurdly huge. I didn’t use it for a month and I had a 14gb driver download (pretty sure it wasn’t any game/app updates)

We are far away from VR being even in the comparable to general purpose “everyday” computing IMO.


Something is definitely wrong with your setup. You should not experience any noticeable tracking errors on current hardware.

Some combination of a bug, strange setup, or bad environment is going on here. Maybe you have a large mirror or pane of glass around your setup? Lots of things can go wrong.


> Tracking is a joke with the Rift v1 (consumer version). Decent for a few hours and then randomly everything gets all screwed up

You are literally the only person I've heard this from.


I own a Vive. Haven't used it in six months. The technology is amazing. Some of the games are fun. I think content is holding it back more than hardware. Unfortunately with such a small install base, the market isn't there to really drive investment in great titles. I think one of the biggest benefits of VR is the social aspect - default on microphones and body language do a lot.


I have one since launch. I never use it.

Most of the "games" are either poor ports of actual games or phone level arcade games. I enjoyed going in public VR spaces to interact with people but it quickly lost it's charm.

I'm excited for Boneworks that is coming out eventually and that will make me dust off my headset. Hopefully it won't go back in the closet after a month again.


It really depends on what kind of games you like. From my perspective we've been "there" for almost two years now. I spend a lot of time in Echo Arena and Beat Saber, occasionally Rec Room and various single player experiences.

From a mainstream perspective though, I'm still not sure. I think the Rift S gets us a lot closer with its emphasis on comfort and ease-of-use, and it's definitely a viable consumer product, but I think there may still be a ways to go before we start seeing _real_ mainstream adoption.

The Quest on the other hand, I think has a real chance at being a smash hit. The fact that you don't need a PC to use it is going to be huge for more casual consumers, both for economic reasons (no need for an expensive PC) and ease of use. I expect it'll be a big first step towards pushing VR into the mainstream.


In my opinion, it's already long been "there" for seated, cockpit games. If you mostly play racing/flying games then you're using VR basically all of the time.

Otherwise there's still a dearth of "traditional" games in VR, although this is gradually starting to change.


> I'd define "there" as at least 0.5 * time spent on console or PC gaming per week.

I spent a lot more time in VR than console and PC gaming because I'm a fan of VR rather than a fan of pancake gaming.

I was a very occasional gamer prior to VR. But I'm in VR nearly every day.


Specifically the spaceship game "Elite: Dangerous" is absolutely incredible in VR. (They've designed the game to work with it since the original Oculus dev kit came out.)

It was the main video game I played for a while, almost always with the Oculus Rift. I don't play it any more for various reasons.

I am going to take a strong look at this headset because the most frustrating thing was never issues with resolution, FOV, or whatever people are complaining about.

It was all this quality of life stuff that the Rift S looks like it fixes, like setting up head tracking, recentering the screen, not being able to see the keyboard, needing 3 USB ports, etc.


I play irregularly mostly due to lack of time and many other interests. But when I do, it's almost always VR and I enjoy it immensely. I play mostly racing simulators like iRacing and Assetto Corsa. VR is so amazing with these games that I could never go back; should VR go down the drain, I'd rather stop playing than going back to screens.

(The other gaming I do is where VR makes precious little sense to begin with - like the odd indie game on the go on a Nintendo Switch, or occasional binges whenever Rockstar releases something big)


I have the PSVR headset. I used it for a few weeks and haven't picked it up since. It made my eyes hurt for one, and I was pretty disappointed in the graphics. The headset felt cumbersome to use. There are other setups with better graphics, maybe it's different on PC, but I found I'm actually happier just playing the old fashioned way.


I spend most of my gaming time at the moment playing IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad in VR. I've still got an old DK2 which I didn't use for ages until I discovered I could fly Spitfires in VR. Now I'm hooked again, and in the market for a new headset.

I don't think we are there yet. I'd like to do more creative and productive stuff in VR which really wants higher res screens and fine hand control, either through gloves or some kind of hand tracker.

I'd like to see more serious gaming content as well. Apart from sims, a lot of the games I've been seeing seem to be twee and gimmicky. Or maybe I'm just an old git and the market has left me behind.


I think it's very clear that Oculus engineering efforts are dedicated to standalone devices like Quest rather than PC VR headsets. Which makes sense if you want to get 1 billion people using VR.


I'm glad inside-out tracking is becoming the norm. Significantly easier to setup and still had pretty good performance (although on the 2-camera Windows MR models you can't reach behind your back but whatever).

I think Windows MR is significantly underrated just for this fact. My question is, should I get this or just buy the Samsung HMD today?


I really wish one of these VR headsets allowed direct use as a display without their special drivers, and provided tracking data without using their SDK.


That's an option, but then we wouldn't have nice things like Asynchronous Timewarp / Spacewarp unless we want to shift the burden of doing that onto the rendering application. As someone who worked in VR before the Compositor was a thing, I welcome it with open arms. It's just easier for everybody.

That said, it'd be nice if you didn't have to log into some account to make it happen.


> but then we wouldn't have nice things like Asynchronous Timewarp / Spacewarp unless we want to shift the burden of doing that onto the rendering application.

Or onto common libraries and frameworks. And I can live without such features until then; if I don't use the SDK and I miss a feature that's in the SDK, that's on me.

> It's just easier for everybody.

Except people building Open Source VR applications.


There's Monado: https://monado.dev/


You can certainly use the PSVR (on PC) like this.


More info https://uploadvr.com/oculus-rift-s-official/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vtryRHVg_I. Lower refresh rate, LCD screen, no foveated rendering seem disappointing.


A significant portion of people (most maybe?) who are interested in this would like to see the specs and not some Apple inspired dumbed down web page with little actual substance about the product. Even apple gives you prominent access to tech specs. This page tries to get your email address three times. Very poor.


One of the biggest barriers to consumer adoption of VR seems to be the cost.

Is there a reason why it doesn't make sense for the manufacturers to do a subscription service? Seems like everything from phones and consoles to game streaming subscriptions is the trend (and makes sense).

If nothing else, it can help increase distribution and awareness -- at the end of the day, more people using the devices is probably gonna kick off more content creation and economies of scale to produce cheaper/better hardware.

Thoughts?


I doubt if there's a strong market for VR even if a great headset was $50. Do people who are not enthusiasts really want to immerse themselves like this? A good chunk of the population doesn't seem interested even in game consoles. I imagine a subset of them are interested in VR gaming. Outside of VR gaming, there's little mainstream content designed for VR.


Potentially the audience for VR could be bigger than the audience for consoles as it opens up entire categories of non-gaming applications. Experiential, narrative, educational, social etc.

I've had very positive responses to VR from people that have never had any interest in traditional gaming.

Of course - whether this interest could be translated to purchase is a different question. Ease of use and cost would help as would a wide and diverse library of mainstream content.

I think a good stepping stone would be pervasive VR in schools, libraries, galleries etc. to get people accustomed to the medium.


Except for experiential, why aren't those categories already open on consoles?


Marketing?

Because consoles offer literally nothing over desktops for that, and schools, libraries, etc already have desktops?


true... what does VR offer in those categories over desktops?


Better IO?

There's almost certainly educational value in being able to view (and sometimes interact) with a 3d model of a cell/organ/body/physics simulation/3d chemical model/...


it's different... not sure it's better.


Neglecting inflation, amortization does not make it any cheaper.


I think it's fairly safe to say that for the general populace, that doesn't matter. If it's cheaper up front, people act like it's cheaper overall.


I'm thinking Rift S has an awkward position. It's not a gen 2 for those who already jumped in for Rift. So no buying there. It doesn't lower the bars for those who hasn't jumped in as neither headsets or graphics cards are getting cheaper. Then where is the market share?

Maybe a trade-in program could work. For the rift owners they get the upgrade for a discount. Then for the newcomers, certified pre-owned Rifts for a low price.


I guess Rift S has lower manufacturing cost because it can share some parts with upcoming Quest. The same tracking, the same controllers. And since they are already heading in that direction, personally I'm curious to know the possibility of combining Quest and Rift S, or PC and standalone VR. My guts tell me it's possible. I'm excited about the idea of two in one VR, with which I can watch a movie in bed before sleep, or show it to friends at their places', and plug in a PC to play a full blown action game. Two headsets and two sets of controllers are really too much for these purposes. I don't mind two libraries of games/apps though. Windows 10 and XBox One are already sharing content. It should be possible for VR too.


I invested in a HTC Vive Pro when it came out, it's looking to be a good investment as these Gen 2 (I should say Gen 1.6) VR HMDs are pretty lack luster. Pair it with the Wireless Adapter, it would be difficult for me to change to inside out tracking and move back to a wired connection. Granted, I've sold some internal organs and first born child to obtain all of these things.


I've used a Vive once (a guy at work brought one in). Little sensors at the corners of the room, headset, hand grips. It was really neat. How does this rank next to Vive? I've been thinking of getting one (my kids would love the 3-d "drawing" app I tried). I have a good PC, should I be looking at getting the Rift S? A Vive? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!


I worked in a VR lab at my university for a year before graduating so I got to experiment with a bunch of the current headsets (no Rift S though since it was just announced obviously).

My personal take away is if you are going for the maximum immersion, have space and the money, go with the Vive or Vive Pro. The Rift (likely applies to Rift S as well since they are so similar) was more comfortable than the Vive for me at least and I liked the controllers more but the tracking quality was not as solid especially in even medium sized rooms. The visual quality on the Oculus is not quite where the Vive is either. Additionally the Vive is a pretty open platform so there are lots of third party accessories you can play with (once again if you can stomach the costs). I love using Vive trackers on my feet to track my foot motion so I could run in place in games to move. That kind of ecosystem doesn’t exist for Oculus. Additionally Valve will likely release new controllers soon with full finger tracking (and then you could use your old controllers as Vive trackers)


The https://www.vive.com/us/vive-deluxe-audio-strap/ makes a significant difference in the comfort of the Vive. But, it's still not at comfortable as the Rift because of the momentum caused by the front weight.

Between the cost and the PSVR-style hard headstrap (big improvement in comfort) I'd recommend the Rift-S strongly for consumers even though the Vive Pro is preferable for researchers.


The objects in the corners of the room aren't sensors with Vive, they're lighthouses. Vive's tracking system is inside-out, there's only one cable and it runs from your computer to your head. There need to be two lighthouses, and all they need is power and line-of-sight to each other

Oculus's tracking system is outside-in, the stations in the corners of the room are cameras, and the headset has infrared lights on it. You need three base stations, and they all need to be connected to your computer in addition to the connection for the headset itself.

Oculus has arguably nicer controllers (grips vs wands), but Vive is launching "knuckles" controllers soon so that relationship might flip.

I chose Vive because of the close integration with Steam, easier setup with fewer wires, and more titles (at least at the time, idk about now).

The screen door effect doesn't bother me, so the main feature of the Rift S isn't a draw for me.


I feel it's important to note that the vive will still function with just one base station, it just won't give you as much coverage. I use it this way in my office when I'm working on Potioneer since I have limited room and I'm putting it on and taking it off so frequently to test.


It's hard to recommend either.

The Vive/CV1 have lower resolution, as they are older devices. They are equivalent or better in all other aspects (the Vive has an OEM wireless solution using WiGig, but is isn't as cheap as I'd like).

The Rift S has higher resolution and therefore less screen-door effect, which is a MASSSIVE deal. Despite the following criticism, resolution does make the choice genuinely hard. There's nothing else special about it, unless you intend to have a mobile VR setup. The supposed benefit of inside-out tracking is the setup complexity, but one hour once-off is a substantial cost to pay for substantially inferior technology. My fireplace can interfere with the lighthouses: you get yanked right out of the experience when controller tracking is lost, it is awful.

There's also the Pimax, if you don't mind looking ridiculous and having a pretty heavy device strapped to your face.

My best recommendation is that VR is like furniture. You have to try it before buying it. Try and find a store that has demos of the devices and see which compromises you prefer. Spend at least 30 min in each. Just keep the setup time of the Vive and CV1 in mind (it's not hard, just time consuming). The CV1 also devours USB2 ports.


Theres also the Vive Pro, which is better than the Vive 1 in every way but price,.


I have no first-hand experience with it, but there was a fair amount of criticism surrounding comfort.


Depends on how much you want to spend. Vive is still a decent choice, but a little on the pricey side compared to similar alternatives like the Rift (OG and S) and WMR headsets.

Honestly, if you've got a PC that can handle it and you want to try some high-quality PC VR titles, the Rift S is probably a pretty good choice. Otherwise, if you're looking for something cheaper, you can often find WMR headsets on sale for ~$200.


I have a Vive and tried Rift once during a demo. I didn't really notice much difference in terms of quality between the two (although Rift was demoed seated, not room-scale).

However personally I mainly decided against Rift because I do not want to support their parent company (Facebook).


If money is not an issue and you like cockpit games then currently the pimaxvr 4k is the best. Highest fov and highest resolution.


The Pimax 5K+ is winning all of the image sharpness reviews. The Pimax software is not winning any awards so far though.


I bought an Oculus Rift a couple months ago, and this seems like a mixed bag. Per https://uploadvr.com/oculus-rift-s-official/ :

> The original Rift used dual PenTile OLED panels for a total resolution of 2160×1200. Rift S replaces this with a single LCD panel with a resolution of 2560×1440...This provides a higher detail image with reduced “screen door effect”. However, you don’t get the deep blacks of OLED since LCD displays use a backlight.

Currently my #1 primary use of Rift is Elite Dangerous. One thing I don't want to lose in an upgrade is the inky blackness of outer space. Higher resolution would be lovely, of course, but how much higher is enough? I'd prefer to hold out for a next-generation headset with high resolution and OLED.

> The Rift used external USB sensors for positional tracking...Like the upcoming Oculus Quest standalone, Rift S instead uses onboard cameras for “inside-out” tracking.

This is a godsend. Onboard cameras could also potentially help with more...dynamic parts of your surrounding environment. By which I mean, I have cats. So this is not only a huge improvement, but it's something that I think can enable future improvements.

> No Physical IPD Adjustment

Since my IPD seems to be at the extreme physical end of the current Rift, I don't think faking it with software is gonna work for me :(

> The Rift featured integrated headphones....Rift S removes these headphones and instead...[s]ound is piped through the side straps directly to your ears. Having nothing against your ear makes sound feel more natural and lets you hear others around you, but the downside is it can be heard by others in the room and the audio quality may be lower. The headset also features a 3.5mm jack so you can use your existing headphones or any you buy in future.

I think if I upgraded to Rift S, I would just use my headphones with it instead of relying on the side strap audio. I don't find the Rift headphones unnatural; they don't break immersion any more than having a massive visor strapped to my face.

In total, I really wish there was a Rift S+ that had the innovations of the Rift S but not the compromises. As it stands I don't feel a burning desire to upgrade, but I wouldn't rule out switching brands if a better headset had the improvements of Rift S but not the feature regressions.


It seems to me the Rift S is targeted more at people new to VR, not at existing Rift owners. The focus seems to be mainly on making setup easier, and improving comfort and ergonomics, not on pushing the boundaries spec-wise.


Yeah, it looks like Oculus is kind of conceding the high end of the market for now. What would probably be best is to wait another generation or two so I can get even higher resolution, picture quality, and FOV in addition to inside-out tracking.


Which is weird, because Quest does all those things fabulously.

If you want an EZ - all in one VR, then you go Quest. It feels like the Rift brand should stay focused on the highest end experiences and let Quest take over the mainstreaming.


For anyone who havn’t tried the Oculus Go yet which use side strap audio, I have to share my experience: It’s awesome!

Probably the one thing that impresses people the most with the Go.


This is a bit off topic, but I was wondering if anybody that was given an NDA'd preview of the technology before the first version was released has ever commented exactly what it is that they were demoed? What was it that made everybody so excited to write big checks?


It's a gamble when you're on a Facebook product website, and you have whitelist certain scripts for the page to render. On other sites I can just block everything that has to do with Facebook.


Looks great, nice to not need external trackers. Only thing missing for me, is the option for a single connection over usb-c, the so called VR-link present on some newer gfx cards.


Here's your chance Valve.


They promised Linux support and took money from people on that premise. Then, when they no longer needed us, they discarded us with empty promises of adding Linux support "in the future". Now they're shipping new products and - surprise - no Linux support. Oculus can shove it.


This! I bought the dev kit 2 due to Linux support. I don't do windows and now the stupid kit is just sitting, need to trash it. I'm never supporting Oculus again.


I ended up demanding a refund for mine, it arrived the same week that they announced they were discontinuing their Linux SDK.


To be fair, they did release the hardware specs under a good license https://github.com/facebookarchive/RiftDK2.

The source code for the optical tracking software was never released though. So instead of "trashing" it, I suggest donating it to OpenHMD, so someone else can use it for developing optical tracking.


You could always ship that Dev Kit 2 over to me. I'll put it to good use! ;]


Did they actually claim they were going to add Linux support? Do you have a source?


I don't feel like digging too deep into the annals of time, but here's their original kickstarter page:

https://web.archive.org/web/20121130044529/http://www.kickst...

Tux 3/4 of the way down.


To add to the other comments, from the very beginning they had a tux on the kickstarter page.

The Oculus 0.2 and 0.3 SDKs didn't really support Linux at first but as the source code was released, jherico fixed it up and linux support got integrated.

The website for the DK2 https://web.archive.org/web/20140919195305/https://www.oculu... clearly said

> The Oculus Rift and the Oculus SDK currently support Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Most of their 0.4 SDK source was still available but they had already started with putting their optical tracking into a closed source binary, which took them quite a while to release for linux, but eventually they did.

Then a few months before the CV1 release there was this blog post https://www.oculus.com/blog/powering-the-rift/

> Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows. We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux but we don’t have a timeline.


"Linux support is on the roadmap post-launch"

https://twitter.com/PalmerLuckey/status/674311865023918080


I'm right there with you. I have a DK1 and a Rift and I strongly regret purchasing the latter instead of a Vive.

It's frustrating to hear people just now complaining about Oculus abandoning niche markets.


I’m a follower of Professer Lessig concepts of open / free software. As such, Windows is a no-go. I wish an open source game manager / VR system existed.


There is (or was) open hardware and software out there; software has long been "open source" in the VR realm (ahem - REND386, for instance), and honestly Oculus and the Rift came out of the DIY VR realm.

You can homebrew everything you want today, assuming you have or can acquire the skills, materials, and tools.

If your skills are more on the software side, then it'll be harder. I don't know if it still exists (to purchase at least), but there is OSVR:

http://www.osvr.org/

Now - I know it looks "Windows Only" - but at one time, it did have Linux support, and the code is open source, supposedly:

https://github.com/OSVR/OSVR-HDK

But you can see that repo is somewhat old - I'm not sure what if anything is going on. But anyhow:

https://osvr.github.io/doc/installing/linux/

But then this:

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/razer-abandoned-osvr-joine...

Yeah - you'll probably have better luck homebrewing everything again. Dig out those old back issues of PCVR magazine, dust off your old copies of various DIY VR books, power up the 3D printer...


I would not recommend OSVR hardware at this time, but the effort for free software XR is still alive. With the recent provisional release of the OpenXR standard we at Collabora started making the code for our OpenXR runtime "Monado" public.

It's not entirely complete right now and relies mostly on reverse engineered drivers that mostly miss positional tracking, but we are hoping to have something better to show for it soon.

https://monado.freedesktop.org/

A short demo of the current status on a fully open source software stack using linux with amdgpu/radv, the godot engine and the libsurvive Vive driver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB-vVL-MPos


Gotta agree with you on this.

I jumped on the KS as soon as it was announced. I had followed Luckey for a while on MTSB3D forums as he modded headsets in his garage (so to speak).

At the time, there were maybe a handful of people still playing around with "PCVR" using old-school junk off ebay or whatever. I dabbled with it, as I had on occasion ever since I started playing with homebrew VR tech in 1992. As the years went on, the majority of the commercial companies in VR of the era died off, closed shop, or morphed into something else (curiously, the two main magnetic tracking companies - Polhemus and Ascension - both stayed strong).

This meant that a lot of the old pro-level and pro-sumer hardware of the era started to get thrown onto ebay, as VR labs at universities and such closed up, or the hardware was discovered in dusty closets wherever. I managed to pick up quite a few pieces of nice 1990s kit from the era that way, for pennies on the dollar.

But prior to that I had been "hacking" old VictorMaxx and Forte VFX-1 HMDs - just playing around more than anything; at one point I had my PowerGlove interfaced to my Amiga 1200 and building small worlds in AMOS 3D. Then moved to my 486 and later Pentium boxes...then things died down, the web became the thing, and VR...well...faded. I'd pull my stuff out every now and again to play with it.

A few others out there were doing the same. I managed to grab a complete collection of PCVR magazine before it completely disappeared. Of those others, as I explored, Luckey stood out. This was a guy I could see had that old school PCVR hacker outlook, and he was driven like nobody else I had found. He mentioned that he'd be doing a KS, and I decided that yes, I would support his effort. Whatever the outcome (it was my first KS support). I dropped the money on a DK1 kit and sat back.

A big part of what also convinced me was that it was going to be Linux compatible; so much of the early consumer VR was definitely not platform agnostic, but that wasn't as big of a deal back then - most people played around with REND386 or similar "homebrew" stuff, under MS-DOS or whatnot...

But I was stoked that VR was quite possibly going to become "the thing" and it was going to have Linux as a main platform.

Of course, that all went down the tubes with the FB acquisition.

So - now I have a DK1 and the FB branded CV1 just sitting; Honestly, I only unpacked the DK1 to verify it, and never actually plugged it in; it's still in the plastic, brand new. Life's ups-and-downs got in the way, and now I'm just not that interested in the whole VR thing. I guess that's partially because it's going "mainstream" to an extent, but also because it seems like another VR winter is coming. I'd have thought that having open-world style VR games and FPS games would have been enough for people, but apparently most people don't want to spend that kind of cash. I can't really blame 'em, either.

But I also feel ripped off - once again, Linux has been made a backwater for yet more entertainment, and we're going to have to claw our way back like everything else. There have been some open source efforts (why nobody every mentions the OSVR system from Razer and others, I dunno). Maybe new innovation will come out of those efforts.

Even so, it very much feels similar (not the same) as those earlier PC-based VR days. Lots of hype, lots of hardware, various software, etc - but not as much "uptake" as was expected.


Does anyone here use the "courtside" view of NBA/NCAA basketball games? How is it?


I watched some examples with the PSVR (PlayStation 4 VR) headset. It isn't that good. I never felt like I was sitting in the courtside, but probably because the quality of the video isn't that good. Also, it is very umcorfortable to keep moving your head to follow the plays. In real life you only move your eyes, not your head.


Thanks (for question and response) I had been wondering about this.. guess I'll wait for the next generation.


I watched an NBA game on the NextVR app and it was amazing. "Courtside" view is pretty useless, but the default view predominantly used the basket stanchion cameras, switching from end to end whenever the ball crossed half court.

Getting a three-dimensional sense of the game was amazing. Looking around and seeing and hearing things you don't see and hear on TV was also great. FOV is still the main limiting factor, but mostly, the behind-the-basket camera angle lets you look around and get a much better sense of what's actually happening on the court--with the downside of actually having to look around.


I did this on the Gear VR (which actually has better resolution than the original Rift), and it was amazing. The streams would die once in a while, but it was SO fun to watch. You could switch around to different views while you were watching, too. Timeouts made me feel like I was there when they didn't cut to commercials. :)


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