Small wonder Brendan Iribe left Facebook over this. 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.
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?
- 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.
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.)
You could be waiting a while. If I am not mistaken valve just let go most of their VR headset staff.
If that's what you want, the WMR headsets have provided it at a lower price point and equivalent spec for years.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
EDIT> I have a relatively low tolerance for motion sickness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
from cars industry: S version of any model means worse upholstery, worse radio, worse trim, worse engine, worse everything, but with a plastic spoiler!
Audi as mentioned has S models and they’re legitimately better than their non-S counter parts (S-line package is not the same)
... 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the new HP Reverb sounds actually nice ..
2160 x 2160 px per eye - 114 FOV
but the price is also high ~599$
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.
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.
I'm a little surprised they have taken this route. Especially with someone like John Carmack for a CTO.
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.
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"
There are about 100 threads on Dirt Rally 2.0 echoing the same 
This is a community that spends $500 on a steering wheel and $500-$1000 pedals are always out of stock 
That doesn't even include the $1000 direct drive wheels  or the handbrakes, shifters, triple mount displays, and $500-1000 dollar rigs  I won't even get into the motion rigs...
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.
But maybe we lost that battle already...
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.
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.
arranging any number of work spaces (screens) in 3d would be awesome
I agree with you.
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.
It's quite expensive at $5999 though.
It's not quite monitor-replacement territory but it's getting close.
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).
Can I tether it to a PC if I want to? My primary use case is PC gaming.
Hopefully they perfect inside-out tracking eventually but in the meantime the lighthouse system just works for me.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 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).
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.
But really, we are only getting closer to a new headset as time goes on. It is inevitable.
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.
Naturally, it depends on your interests. But my issue is lack of time to work through my library, not lack of compelling software.
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.
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).
Anyway, what would be the difference between the PSVR and a 6DOF system?
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
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.
> 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'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.
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...
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?
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 reverb actually looks great but the tracking is a flop.
For now, I'd define "there" as at least 0.5 * time spent on console or PC gaming per week.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
You are literally the only person I've heard this from.
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.
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.
Otherwise there's still a dearth of "traditional" games in VR, although this is gradually starting to change.
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.
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.
(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 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 Windows MR is significantly underrated just for this fact. My question is, should I get this or just buy the Samsung HMD today?
That said, it'd be nice if you didn't have to log into some account to make it happen.
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.
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.
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.
Because consoles offer literally nothing over desktops for that, and schools, libraries, etc already have desktops?
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/...
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
However personally I mainly decided against Rift because I do not want to support their parent company (Facebook).
> 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.
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.
Probably the one thing that impresses people the most with the Go.
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.
Tux 3/4 of the way down.
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.
It's frustrating to hear people just now complaining about Oculus abandoning niche markets.
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:
Now - I know it looks "Windows Only" - but at one time, it did have Linux support, and the code is open source, supposedly:
But you can see that repo is somewhat old - I'm not sure what if anything is going on. But anyhow:
But then this:
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...
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.
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:
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.
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.