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It’s Game Time: Oculus Quest and Rift S Now Available (oculus.com)
59 points by lisajaloza 33 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 80 comments

VR headset tech is in a weird situation where none of them is really good enough, but when you test the best in the market it destroys the enjoyment you get from previous generation. I tested 20 minutes $6000 Vario VR-1 that is intented to professional use and now anything consumer grade feels like total crap.

I hope FB and others keep developing these things despite the sales not taking off. Maybe five to ten years from now we have VR-gear that becomes must have.

Valve Index is much more interesting high-end VR headset currently: https://www.valvesoftware.com/en/index/headset

And not available until September.

And more than twice the price.

And wired

And you have to put up lighthouses in your room.

All the other complaints in this thread are valid, but I've never understood why people hate the lighthouses so much.

All you have to do is put up some boxes at the corners of your room one time, and then plug them in. They don't even need to be connected to the computer in any way. They are small, and silent, and nonintrusive.

I get that it's not the best user experience, but for a thing you just spent $1,000 on? I'll take a couple of boxes and better tracking over no boxes and worse tracking any day. I never saw complaints like this over the Wii sensor bar.

The suboptimal user experience of setting up lighthouses was cited as an argument against the high price of $1000. Treating it as something to be considered only after buying would be the same as assuming that the item has a high value because of the high price.

Well, I don't understand that either.

If you're spending $1,000, what is 20 minutes setting up lighthouses? As far as I'm concerned, it barely even factors into the equation.

There are still multiple issues with lighthouses (and Rift CV1 sensors): repeating the setup if moving the PC and VR headset to another room, occlusion issues (e.g. with ceiling fans), sensors get moved inadvertently (e.g. while dusting), intermittent USB port issues, LEDs going bad, etc.

I think you're conflating the Vive's lighthouse system with the Rift's cameras. The lighthouses don't use USB at all. They don't even need to communicate with the PC (though you have the optional ability to do so via Bluetooth).

If you move your desktop PC around often, I can see why the Index or Rift S would be a non-optimal choice. I don't think this describes most people.

I listed issues with both together, probably should have listed them separately.

Edit: just noticed you said Rift S, maybe you meant the Rift? The Rift S doesn't use sensors, so moving it to another room just requires re-calibration in the new room, I believe.

Sorry, yes, meant the OG Rift.

Oculus Quest covers the vast majority of consumers. Only a minority have a gaming PC and will dedicate a room to it. The convenience of 5 seconds from off to being fully in VR is the main selling point.

Regarding occlusion issues - Vive lighthouses can be connected together with a cable, so they don't need to see each other (and as for seeing the headset and controllers - I don't think ceiling fans would be an issue here, as user would be significantly lower).

Repeating setup if moving, and the sensors getting moved - from my experience it depends how much space you have available and how fully you have to utilize this space for VR. If available space is large enough, then I notice that it doesn't matter much if the boundaries get moved slightly, if I keep enough buffer between virtual boundaries and physical objects.

144Hz, better FoV, more advanced finger tracking, works on Linux. I do not regret the 1k€

I got a Quest this morning, it is great! I haven't used VR previously, and the ability to run VR without a gaming PC is really huge for me.

I think the Quest has the potential to bring the VR more into the mainstream of entertainment. It just needs a few killer experiences, and it could really catch on.

Curious what games you've tried so far.

Robo Recall & Beat Saber are amazing games so far. I'm looking forward to using Google Tilt Brush next time I need to do some software design. I am going to try out 3d movies in bigscreen soon, apparently they are a game changer.

You really have to try Rec Room once its released for the Quest. For me, thats the killer app.

Rec Room is released on Quest!

I was not aware Beat Saber would be available on a standalone device, that truly is awesome! Though you do lose out on custom songs, which is a huuuge downside for beat saber

The use case for gaming VR at least in the near term is a next generation VR arcade in the spirit of laser tag meets Ready Player One. Back when I was a kid, arcades were an awesome place to be. Consoles have long since killed that scene, but a well executed play here that could get middle/high school kids into arcades again would be a winner.

Any info on the Rift S camera array? Resolution, frame-rate, color/grayscale, global/rolling shutter?

I'm guessing ~VGA across the board to fit all the bits in the single USB3 pipe (640 * 480 * 60/120 FPS * 2 bytes per pixel (YUV) ~= 200-400 MiB/s).

you are correct.

and they are only grayscale...no color

With the current trend that cities are becoming mega cities, and the price of physical space in the central business area of those mega cities are going up, I think there will be demand to shift white collar workspace to the virtual world. 400 USD is a low enough price compared to rent plus furniture, maintenance, etc.. On the software side there already exist Immersed VR and Virtual Desktop. If they could increase the refresh rate such that the average people don't get motion sickness wearing it, while keeping this relatively low cost, I think it could disrupt how we work.

My vive's 3rd and 4th controllers are broken right now, so I'm just going VRless for a few months until the Index ships, and man do I miss Rec Room. More specifically, the people. Both a handful of vr friends I made and the greater community. I'm honestly considering picking up a Rift S just for rec room.

I don't even use the maker-pen and circuits stuff, i'm mostly a paintballer/rec-royaler. If you're the kind of person who ever once enjoyed minecraft you have to try using the maker pen and creating a custom room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn4jcZEADhs

If you're the kind of person that "codes" the things you can do with circuits are like... its kindf like a three dimensional IDE and programming language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajNxEVC9nwA

I am a student researcher at a US university and I asked(including the research proposal) if they have any special pricing for us. Every time I asked - I was told that my application was under review, but I never heard any verdict. We finally finished our project without actually testing it on a headset. Here is the paper we've published: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8500085

If anybody for Oculus is here, can you please tell me what is the proper was of requesting research hardware?

> If anybody for Oculus is here, can you please tell me what is the proper was of requesting research hardware?

I'm not from Oculus but I'd expect that you have to give them money.

I was not asking for free hardware, I was asking if they have any pricing for academic researchers since it was not mentioned on the website.

Seems like a safe bet the answer is "no"

Yes, I thought so too. But they kept saying that they are reviewing our application. Never gave us any concrete answer.

Even Facebook employees don't have a special pricing.

There is a hardware request from for developers on the website.

I have done a lot of Vive stuff. I have also been to a VR done and ran around shooting zombies. I never felt immersed. But I also never experienced nausea.

I’ll be honest, I just don’t get people who say VR is amazing. I enjoy it. I’m developing games for it because I think the control scheme is innovative. But I don’t think we are close to something I would call immersive.

Played for 3 hours with my 60+ year old parents today. They absolutely loved Shadow Point and Beat Saber. For Shadow Point, I was wearing the headset, casting to my iPhone which was AirPlaying to Apple TV and they were following my every movement on the big screen.

Not sure what you mean by immersion but all of us said how real it felt and how addictive this could be. When I came up to the edge of a cliff, I screamed and stepped back.

The absolutely best part of Quest is the guardian system. It lets you feel free and completely unrestricted. Unless you are literally running across the room, you can trust it to warn you when you get close.

Beat saber is an incredible game. I think the best of all vr games by a fair margin.

> Not sure what you mean by immersion but all of us said how real it felt and how addictive this could be. When I came up to the edge of a cliff, I screamed and stepped back.

I mean exactly the lack of what you experienced. I have no problem stepping off cliffs in vr. I don’t brace my knees for a landing. I have never thought I was somewhere else than my living room.

I wonder if it’s a physical thing because, as I mentioned, I also get zero nausea outside of extreme disconnects from my head motion. Moving around with a control stick is fine for example.

You are a thorough outlier. I don't get motion sick either, but it is still a completely immersive experience.

Dumb question. How do you cast to the iPhone? And does it slow down the vr?

The Oculus iOS app connects to your headset and handles casting. Then you can just mirror the iPhone to Apple TV. Needs good wifi though or else it keeps disconnecting.

It’s utterly jaw dropping amazing for like 30 minutes and then it’s like, okay so what can I _do_ with it, and it turns out that playing games in it kind of sucks and there’s almost nothing productive you can do with it.

You can paint and sculpt and animate if you are into art or need to create assets.

1. Install Dirt Rally 2. Purchase steering wheel and shifter. 3. Run game and put on headset 4. ??? 5. Profit!

Alternatively VTOL VR is another awesome (though still incomplete) game, and Hotdogs, horseshoes and handgrenades is HUUUUGE on the content front, with more coming

Experiencing a racing game in VR is certainly something huge for me.

It is absolutely bonkers. Hopefully you don't get motion sickness because flying around in a rally car is pretty ridiculous.

Has anyone tried HP Reverb? (Release date May 6th, 2019 for $600)

> 2160 x 2160 LCD display for each eye

I'm looking for a PC-attached VR with highest resolution under $1,000 to use with Virtual Desktop. I have Oculus Rift and love it, but resolution is too low to use Virtual Desktop.

If you just want to use seated experiences like Virtual Desktop with your keyboard and mouse, I'd say the Reverb is probably the best headset you can buy.

I’ve always gotten bad motion sickness with the vive but with the quest there’s nothing. I’m really excited.

I’m starting to think the Pc powering the vive was just never up to par. I really like having a self contained device.

Re: motion sickness, you'll find it almost impossible to fool millions of years of primate evolution where in order to protect the species from poisonous mushrooms, we have evolved to associate visual motion without inner ear motion as a sign of food poisoning, hence the desire to vomit. Even the US airforce with billions of dollars in their budget have given up on serious VR headsets since the trainees couldn't tolerate more than 15 minutes of VR. How can Occulus and other cheaper headsets offer something better? They cannot. VR is a passing fad (thanks evolution).

Fortunately it is not as grim as you describe. People have different levels of resistance to motion sickness. Even with titles that offer significant disconnect between physical and virtual motion (e.g Climbey), an hour is something that for me is easily achivable and enjoyable (and even beyond that it's more a problem of getting physically tired of the activity, than of motion sickness). I believe I am not that unique in that regard and there is actually significant percentage of population who could also easily go beyond those "15 minutes of VR".

While I'm convinced that there are plenty of people who are unlucky enough to never be able to enjoy VR, I also think most people can "train" themselves to get better for motion sickness just by playing more

Definitely. I remember at the beginning Climbey would cause minor confusion if I'd unexpectedly fall, now it doesn't faze me at all.

The downside is that I think I used to be more "immersed" at the beginning. Now while I do still enjoy "being" in the 3D environment, at the same time it seems I am more aware of actually being in my room (which at least protects me from motion sickness and from hitting furniture so often).

From what I could gather the resolution on the Rift S is 1,280 × 1,440 per-eye (2,560 × 1,440 total) and the Quest is 1,440 × 1,600 per-eye (2,880 × 1,600 total) [0], shouldn't the one rending on a desktop GPU have higher resolution? Maybe the source is nor right as it's slightly outdated, but I couldn't find actual numbers in the website.

Also, it would have been nice to get the snap855, but probably would have made the headset a bit too expensive for the target market. The only thing that is miles ahead of the Go is the tracking from what I can see. Not worth updating for how little I use it.

[0] https://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-rift-s-vs-quest-specs-differ...

The Go is 3x3 (3DOF HMD, 3DOF simple controller) and the Quest is 6x6 (6DOF HMD, dual 6DOF touch controllers) which is a quantum leap of a difference.

While the former is only good mostly for 360 photo/video and some not-so-immersive experiences, the latter lets you basically have VR experiences w/ with full hand and head tracking on par with the best PC VR out there. I have a CV1 and a wireless Vive (a Go and Focus as well) and I'm incredibly impressed by the Quest - the polish on the setup/intro app (the dancing robot is my new favorite demo showcasing the potential/visceral impact VR can have), and personally, I think the Quest is the first true "mainstream" ready VR product - I hope everyone at least tries it for themselves before completely dismissing it.

Off topic: a quantum leap is a very small leap. The smallest possible.

In physics, quantum leap is used specifically to describe discontinuous state changes, which is why I like the term - IMO 3x3 vs 6x6 are almost completely different mediums experientially (that'd be its own conversation), but your comment did lead me down a bit of a pleasant linguistic-curiosity rabbit hole as I double checked, since I can see why "quanta" might imply something small, but colloquially quantum leap does not.

quantum leap [n]: an abrupt change, sudden increase, or dramatic advance https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantum%20leap

Apparently the term "quantum leap" gained popular use in the 1930s and over time (starting in the 50s) acquired connotations of being very big: https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wc/how-did-quantum-come-...

The type of screen and subpixel count is very important to perceived image quality. Quest is pentile OLED and Rift S is full-stripe LCD.

The Rift S has a higher max refresh rate, which might at least partially explain the difference

I really wanted to love VR but it makes me so nauseous I literally can't even think about it.

Any sign of this issue being solved somehow?

It depends a lot on the software. Games that have been ported to VR are particularly bad (Skyrim makes my head spin). Games that are VR first (Beat Saber, Superhot) don't force as much head motion and are much gentler to play.

It's not about head motion, but about unnatural motion. Looking forward but running with a joystick, or strafing to the left while looking straight ahead? I get super sick instantly. Exploring a room and looking around where my movements in real life map 1:1 with VR? Zero issues.

Super Hot is a very well executed port, not VR first.

From what I’ve read it seems like they basically rebuilt the game from the ground up for VR.

There's this new device that floods the vestibular system with white noise vibration, which seems to reduce VR sickness. https://uploadvr.com/ototech-vibrating-headband-vr-sickness/

You should mention what hardware you have used.


And, the game?

Try Beat Saber. If that gets you sick, then I’m sorry. Not much can be done. Everyone has a different tolerance for motion disparity before they get sick. Most people can acclimate with gradual exposure as long as use low-motion experiences and you stop each session immediately when you begin to feel sick. Progress is being made to improve the experience for everyone on both the hardware and software design sides.

Why does it seem so strange to me that they sell the hand controllers separately. Not that it's not a bundle with the headset, but that the left hand and right hand controllers must be bought individually. Can you get by with just one so you pick which ever works with your dominant hand? Or am I just really thinking like a cheapo?

There are multiple controller options now. Maybe mix and match, but also imagine breaking and needing to replace just one.

So I get the reasoning but would still expect a bundle option just for simplicity

It's probably mainly for replacing broken ones.

I still have yet to find a compelling use for these devices. They demo ok, but I’ve never left feeling like I must have one of these in my life.



Every time I’ve tried it, the novelty factor wore off quickly.

I still remember when 3D TVs we’re going to be the next thing. I suspect that 3D goggles will follow the same path.


Not interested since I learned that Quest uses last year's smartphone CPU. I expect something new and custom.

You design something, you build it, by the time all of that is done you are not using the most recent hardware. This is not a problem only for VR headsets, a year is nothing, look at what you get with playstation or xbox.

When you design knowing your limitations, you can build a much more refined experience. A strict focus on optimizations can extract a lot of otherwise wasted power.

Look at every Nintendo console ever

Designing custom silicon is an insanely huge job. The cost and time to make the device would've been far higher. Existing SoCs are pretty appropriate for this, tho it is perhaps a shame they couldn't use perhaps a more powerful Tegra or something.

It's a two year old CPU, but it has active cooling.

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