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Oculus, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive
#1

Already tried any of those new virtual reality gadgets?

PlayStation VR - out in October
HTC Vive - already available
Oculus Rift - already available



I've recently had the pleasure to finally try out the Sony Playstation VR. Before that, I had tested a prototype of the Oculus Rift (as noted on that MCP article).



On the Sony VR, I played two demos. One had me under water, in a shark cage. You could look at a shipwreck and several kinds of fish, until you're meeting a Great White. Of course it eventually attacks the cage.



Man, I gotta say that as an experience, it was intense. I had to take off the headphones during the demo because it nearly became too much for me. I've always played with the idea of one day doing cage diving for real, with big sharks, to cure my everlasting fear of sharks and the ocean, but I guess I'm cured of that. The potential for this is amazing. The immersion was just breathtaking, and I could notice how my brain was visibly fooled. I mean you're actually just standing in a safe room with your feet on the ground, but due to the overwhelming depth perception you're feeling as if you're there. This close to being eaten.



The second demo had me on the passenger seat of a car. A bald guy is driving and eventually you have to shoot drive-by shooters on motorcycles. You pretty much reload by doing the actual reload move, and it's really intuitive. It is really fun to aim and shoot. I always thought that the displayed levitating hands would be offturning, but I was wrong about that.


Still, I have a hard time believing that this will have an easy future. First of all, the resolution still is really low. Sure, the gameplay and effect may be great, but the lowres visuals really put off, and they're trying to win over gamers who now own 4K TVs and love the look of Arkham Knight and Uncharted 4. This looks worse than Uncharted 1.



Compared to the early Oculus I tried, there have been some slight improvements. The screen door effect is highly improved, and there's no longer any lag. It's a smooth experience. Oh, and compared to the old Rift I did not experience any headache symptons afterwards. The old system had an eye-resolution of 640. The PSVR has an eye-resolution of 960. The Vive even has an eye-resolution of 1080. Still I'm afraid that it won't be enough, not until it's 1920 per eye.

Have you tried one of these systems already?

I bet mongycore owns both of the released gadgets already.

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#2

We actually had a small thread going on this topic a while ago:



http://www.chud.com/community/t/154657/o...-vr-thread



Not much activity yet.

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#3

I had an opportunity to try the HTC VIve about a week ago. I was really impressed by how immersive it was - the two wiimote-style control sticks made interacting with your virtual surroundings more intuitive, plus it's fun pantomiming a bow-and-arrow and whatnot.



That said, despite being in a virtual 3d world, player movement still needs some figuring out. Not sure how you'd do it short of an omni-directional treadmill or something, but until then I think most of the software will fall into the minigame category.



So PS4 VR is coming out in two months? Has anyone in the gaming journalism world had a hands-on experience with one yet? I'm kind of skeptical they're going to hit that date. PS4 seems a bit underpowered to run something like that, but maybe I'm wrong.

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#4

I think the VR headsets are a great idea, but don't over-complicate them with goofy specific-task controls. VR should literally just let me look around freely. That's all I want from it. I want to look around my cockpit/haunted house/armed forces station without having to thrust with my left-hand gadget and swing with my right. I'm not at a Dave & Busters.

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#5

From what I understand, you basically just described the difference between the Vive and Oculus

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#6

A mate of mine has a Vive set up and I've had a brief crack at it. I had a go on a very early Tron-style VR set as a kid in the 90's (which was pretty terrible, but memorable!), so it was interesting seeing the technology move forward at long last.



My feeling was that it's impressive, and almost certainly *a* future for entertainment, but it's still early days. I'd say they're about where videogames were at at the turn of the 80's - the potential of the medium is starting to reveal itself, but we're barely out of the tech demo stage. It really made me wish I had some programming skills because it really is uncharted territory, there's so much ground to be broken and money to be made.



The games I had a crack at:



Game where you stand in a field in the dark with a torch in one hand and a pistol in the other and have to fight off a horde of approaching zombies. It looked like a PS2 game but was still creepy as hell, and the visceral fear as a zombie loomed over me from behind is one of the things that sells me on this as a future for gaming. The problem is: you're stuck standing in place. I get the feeling the walking problem is something that will take a lot of trial and error to sort out.



Secondly there was a Tron-style tennis game, which is pretty much what you'd expect. The most memorable thing for me was, weird as this sounds, sticking the translucent rackets into my eyes - this gives the uncanny feeling of being intangible and sticking something directly into your brain. It made be think there may be a bright future for psychedelic freak out games.



Thirdly a bow and arrow thing where you have to shoot a blue cube, which you then have to dodge after you hit it (possibly the one Amos mentions above). This one was was energetic and a lot of fun!



While I felt fine during the experience, I definitely had a woozy hangover sensation after I came back to reality, I'm not sure if that's something that wears off over time.



So in summary, my thoughts are that this is very interesting stuff with immense potential - for games, for education, just for experiences - but I don't see it being more than a niche thing for 5 or 10 years or more. It's not just the graphics, the whole set up is awkward and unwieldy.



Imagine a point where you just stick a fancy looking pair of bluetooth swimming goggles on, put your usual earbuds in, and immediately get an HD experience that can automatically figure out when you're in danger of walking into a wall or something. Something like that isn't *that* far into the future, but I don't think they'll truly take off until it's that simple.

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#7

The other big drawback for these things, especially in terms of mobility which is limited to begin with, is that the headset still needs all those cables dangling right at your back and feet the whole time.



I'm sure that's something that'll be dealt with as this tech develops, but it's a huge stumbling block for me in terms of reaching the goal of IMMERRRRRRSION!



Well, that and that it needs that clunky headset at all... but that's really whiny!

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#8
AYeah, the cables have to go.
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#9

"Which one has the best porn games?" is what we're all really thinking.

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#10
AMy friend with the Vive openly admitted the most urgent priority after getting it set up was to figure out how to get VR porn to run on it. He didn't let me test that stuff though.
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#11

I saw lifelike VR 3D scans of nude art models once. It's so realistic it's creepy. Imagine the possibilities.



As for cables. Is it really that much of a problem? Or let me rephrase that: do you really want to stand and walk around your room during gameplay? I mean that's obviously fun for a party evening or to try things out, but can you envision yourself playing something like Arkham Knight, or Witcher, or Eve, or Fallout, or Doom for hours - as we all do - while actually standing, walking, ducking, jumping etc for the whole time? I mean it would solve our generation's fitness problem, but just remember how long people had fun with their Xbox Kinnect or their Wii Balance Board. Not that long.

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#12
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flynn Keaton View Post
 



As for cables. Is it really that much of a problem? Or let me rephrase that: do you really want to stand and walk around your room during gameplay? I mean that's obviously fun for a party evening or to try things out, but can you envision yourself playing something like Arkham Knight, or Witcher, or Eve, or Fallout, or Doom for hours - as we all do - while actually standing, walking, ducking, jumping etc for the whole time? I mean it would solve our generation's fitness problem, but just remember how long people had fun with their Xbox Kinnect or their Wii Balance Board. Not that long.



Good point.



For me, I feel like I'd just prefer playing the games you listed on a regular TV screen if the only major value element of the headset was being able to look around with my head (which itself is not particularly amazing once you get over the novelty of it).

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#13
AWith Vive being able to freely move in your designated little cube is a key part of the concept, like there are games based around you exploring rooms, kneeling down and looking under tables etc. Cables are a bit of a problem with that.
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#14

I know I definitely had some problems dealing with the cables (and they're pretty thick cables!) when I tried out the Vive at a Microsoft store.



Walking around was really cool though.

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#15

My feelings are still the same. The core of the video game experience is being able to play for multiple hours in a single sitting, or as many hours as the player desires, without physical strain. Anything that introduces physical strain/fatigue as a roadblock to the multi-hour immersive experience will inevitably have a limited shelf life.



Controllers where you only have to move 2 or 3 fingers on each hand within a tiny amount of space, and a computer mouse you only have to move in a  radius of a few inches: those have been the standard way to control a game for 30+ years for a reason. They are comfortable to play a game with for basically as many hours as the player can stay awake at a time.



I haven't tested head-tracking myself, but I don't see how it wouldn't start straining your neck within an hour. That will limit the user's desire to play any head-tracking required games for longer than short bursts, which will limit their desire to pay full price for longer head-tracking required experiences, which will limit developer's willingness to invest the required multiple millions of dollars to make real actual games that require head-tracking.



Sever the head-tracking from the equation (and the stupid ice cream cone Wiimotes ripoffs, Sony. You're joking with that shit, right?), and you have a head-mounted 3D TV. Now that is something that could gain traction in the market. I could imagine lying in bed, head hanging off the edge of the mattress to negate the weight of the headset, standard controller in hand, playing for a few hours at a time, limited only by eye/brain strain.



I've heard one of the key issues with using standard controls and gameplay with a headset is that it's disorienting to turn your view with a stick or mouse. If they can't solve that issue, there's no point in investing long term development resources into the format. Well, except for Star Fox or Rez style forced perspective shooters.



(I'm very curious to see for myself if that's an actual issue. I've heard varying reports on the playability of Half Life 2 hacked to run on Oculus.)

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#16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post
 

My feelings are still the same. The core of the video game experience is being able to play for multiple hours in a single sitting, or as many hours as the player desires, without physical strain. Anything that introduces physical strain/fatigue as a roadblock to the multi-hour immersive experience will inevitably have a limited shelf life.



Controllers where you only have to move 2 or 3 fingers on each hand within a tiny amount of space, and a computer mouse you only have to move in a  radius of a few inches: those have been the standard way to control a game for 30+ years for a reason. They are comfortable to play a game with for basically as many hours as the player can stay awake at a time.



I haven't tested head-tracking myself, but I don't see how it wouldn't start straining your neck within an hour. That will limit the user's desire to play any head-tracking required games for longer than short bursts, which will limit their desire to pay full price for longer head-tracking required experiences, which will limit developer's willingness to invest the required multiple millions of dollars to make real actual games that require head-tracking.



I think this is a huge point against VR as it is now.



It's why I can't wait to finally try out what HoloLens is ideally supposed to be.



Kinda like the way video games should stop trying to be like movies, VR probably shouldn't try to hard to be video games (as we currently recognize them) and be more like whatever they naturally 'want' to become.  At least until the tech evolves enough to get rid of the physical constraints holding it back.

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#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post

....


Sever the head-tracking from the equation (and the stupid ice cream cone Wiimotes ripoffs, Sony. You're joking with that shit, right?), and you have a head-mounted 3D TV. Now that is something that could gain traction in the market. I could imagine lying in bed, head hanging off the edge of the mattress to negate the weight of the headset, standard controller in hand, playing for a few hours at a time, limited only by eye/brain strain.



...



(I'm very curious to see for myself if that's an actual issue. I've heard varying reports on the playability of Half Life 2 hacked to run on Oculus.)


That head-mounted 3D TV idea sounds nice.

Oculus HL2? Horrendeous nauseau and headache, lasted for hours. But the fact that it was an inofficial mod could have been a reason for that. As far as I know Valve has yet to release any official VR support for their games. I think only Portal has an official VR mode.



I'm just waiting for lifelike recreations of stuff like the Jurassic Park park. Imagine running around the T-rex escape, sitting beside the kids in the car or getting into the lawyer's position to be eaten by the T-rex. You could even grab into the gigantic pile of triceratops poop and calmly stroke drugged out Malcolm's chest hair. (I sure get that it's more like a theme park event concept than what we understand as games)



I wonder how many of our ADHD generation will have a problem with the sheer fact that a head-mounted display demands all of your attention. There's no way to watch a TV series on the second monitor, to check your smartphone, or to surf 9gag inbetween loading times. It's one more step away from casual gamer's interests.

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#18
AYou can already watch a 3D movie on a VR headset. It puts you in a big empty movie theater as it plays, with the brightness of the screen affecting the lighting in the theater.
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#19
Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

You can already watch a 3D movie on a VR headset. It puts you in a big empty movie theater as it plays, with the brightness of the screen affecting the lighting in the theater.

That seems like a pretty grim prospect until we get 8k display headsets to offset the resolution loss the movie file will suffer by being rendered in the distance in a 3D environment.

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#20
Aoh sure! But for something I was totally skeptical about, it actually worked fairly well!

The resolution suffers a ton for sure. But still, not bad as a novelty to check out scenes for a few minutes.

The sensation of feeling like you're looking at a huge screen in the distance is pretty cool.
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#21
A[quote name="MrSaxon" url="/community/t/155777/oculus-playstation-vr-and-htc-vive#post_4121448"]"Which one has the best porn games?" is what we're all really thinking. 
[/quote]

[IMG ALT=""]http://www.chud.com/community/content/type/61/id/227067/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]
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#22
ASo, I've had a chance to try out the PSVR (only for about 2 minutes), the Vive (15ish minutes), and the Gear VR (many hours).  Some random thoughts:


1.)The Rift is a no-go from the outset for me.  I prefer to avoid closed ecosystems from a PC device and I can't believe they shipped an incomplete product.  I don't even know if the controls are going to work.  Plus, its requirements (even basic shit like two USB 3.0 ports?) are outrageous.  Fuck all that.   Also, I hate facebook.


2.)The Vive has significantly better visuals in SOME respects as compared to PSVR (worlds better than Gear VR).  It's also really uncomfortable to wear.  Both the Vive and Gear VR feel like frakking scuba masks stuck to your face.  The room scale is AWESOME.  It's also problematic ergonomically and installation wise.  This tech needed to be in the helmet or have a significantly smaller footprint.  I didn't have a big problem with the god rays, but I can see why people are disappointed.  

I could build a Vive capable computer for 750-850.  It will not even be close to top of the line.  That is galling.  It will be even more obsolete by next year when the new series of NVidia chips come out.  I'm just not interested in shelling out 1600-1800 (for the PC and system) for a substandard PC VR experience.  The bigger problem, however, is that I see absolutely no "game-changer" releases for 2016 or 2017.  Zero.  That's way too much for what, at present, looks like it may be a niche/novelty arena until 2018, by which time we may be in generation two of headsets.  


3.)Gear VR: Really enjoyed it.  Came for free with phone.  I like the short experiences and some of the news/sports items the best.  Hell, the trailer for some horror movie (Insomnia 3?  Something like that) is the best demo of the Gear VR I've seen yet.  Most of the games make me sick. I had to turn off Dreadhalls.  Oddly enough, Valkyrie I was fine with.  Still, you can see the potential almost immediately.  


4.)As opposed to PC, PSVR is actually getting great exclusive content.  X-Wing VR is a dream come true.  My kids and I will be playing Robinson non-stop, assuming we don't get ill.  Dinosaurs in VR!  Yes!  The trailer for Resident Evil 7 VR is awesome.  The headset design is light years better than Oculus and Vive.  Seriously.  The first time you put on the PSVR you will wonder why the fuck the ski mask style of Vive/Rift weren't discarded during the production process. Just some basic things, like a slim window for you to look down and see the room without having to take the headset off, are great.   It just feels like a professional product, while the Vive is quite clunky in many respects.  The camera tracking was not a problem for me, but I can see how it could be.  Your room set-up is probably going to favor one or the other.  

Within 60 seconds, I knew the visuals were going to be adequate.  The screen has resolution issues (I would say it's PS3 quality), but in some ways just looks better.  I can't quite put my finger on it.  I would say "smoother," but that's unscientific.  It clearly is not up to the visual par of the Vive, but looks fine.  I imagine the PS4 pro version will also represent an upgrade.


CONCLUSION

Went with PSVR.  Price and room set-up considerations were high on the list, but also I'm getting irritated with PC gaming shit.  I look at the launch of both the Vive and Rift (incomplete product and/or absolutely no effort to have anything compelling at launch) and it seems like amateur hour.  I have also grown extremely disappointed by the fractured, buggy presentation of many PC gaming experiences.  For 400 bucks I get a gaming rig that's the equivalent of an AMD 480 (PS4 pro).  That is a good deal, imho.  Plus, the VR set is only 500 bucks for a game, two controllers, camera, and the headset.  I can stomach 500 bucks for a niche/novelty product for 3-4 years.  BARELY.  The cost of the Vive/Rift, plus a new computer?  Too much.

We'll see how it goes.  
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#23
AFinally hooked up PS4 pro with psvr today. Loving it. The engineering of the headset is fantastic.
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#24

If anyone has questions, post them and I'll answer.  Over the last two days I now have pretty extensive experience with the PSVR and I've spent a few more hours with my buddy's Vive.

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#25
Quote:

Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
 

If anyone has questions, post them and I'll answer.  Over the last two days I now have pretty extensive experience with the PSVR and I've spent a few more hours with my buddy's Vive.



Any side-effects after playing for over an hour or two (slight headache etc)?



Do your eyes adjust pretty quickly to the light from the VR screen or do they get sore when you take them off?

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#26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
 


Any side-effects after playing for over an hour or two (slight headache etc)?



Do your eyes adjust pretty quickly to the light from the VR screen or do they get sore when you take them off?



The only game I've had any nausea with so far is Drive (I'm kind of dreading Robinson: Jurassic Park on Alien Planet), which was somewhat unexpected.  No problems with Eve, Jackal, most of the PSVR demo disk, most of PSVR worlds, aand a bit of Arkham Asylum.  I am actually avoiding games like Tether and Eagle Flight because my experience with Gear VR (specifically, Dreadhalls and the one horror mansion game) was so negative that I've now got a bit of a complex about VR nausea.   If Robinson makes me sick, I'm basically going to have to abandon entire genres.



One thing that I believe really helps, even though people say it's a negative, is the ability to look down and see a little window outside PSVR.  It doesn't distract from the VR experience, but it seems to kind of "ground" me in a way that prevents nausea.



Also, after playing around with the Vive some more, I can't emphasize enough just what an ergonomic improvement the PSVR is.  Night and day.

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#27

I have found myself playing London Heist repeatedly.  Just picking up the lighter and smoking a cigar in an English pub with your virtual hands is incredibly surreal.  And Area X in Rez Infinite is beautiful beyond words.

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#28

Okay, the Battlefront Star Wars VR mission is basically a dream come true.

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#29
AI will say, though, an hour or so is about my comfort limit with VR. It is not a relaxing way to play games.
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#30
Quote:

Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
 

Okay, the Battlefront Star Wars VR mission is basically a dream come true.



Yeah, that's the kind of thing I've been waiting for from VR. I wish EA would give that mission out to us non-VR people too, though.

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#31

Is the nausea that people talk about from PSVR and VR in general something that lasts a few minutes after you take the headset off, or does it last significantly longer?  Like, where you have a headache all day?

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#32
A[quote name="Overlord" url="/community/t/155777/oculus-playstation-vr-and-htc-vive#post_4186215"]I will say, though, an hour or so is about my comfort limit with VR. It is not a relaxing way to play games.[/quote]

That's gotta be a major concern and a barrier to this iteration of the tech in taking off.
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#33

I must be the exception.  I haven't had the VR queasiness yet.  And I can play for a good long while.  My only problem is I haven't played a game yet that has held me captivated for that long.  Granted, I still want to get Eve and Drive Club, but Rush of Blood I just kiind of suck at, and Batman was like an hour.  That's another thing I am getting kind of bummed about.  A lot of these things are VR experiences, and not too many full games yet.  I loved the Star Wars experience, but after the second play through I just set it aside and went back to Destiny.

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#34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 


Yeah, that's the kind of thing I've been waiting for from VR. I wish EA would give that mission out to us non-VR people too, though.



I wonder if it would have the same impact.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RCA View Post
 

Is the nausea that people talk about from PSVR and VR in general something that lasts a few minutes after you take the headset off, or does it last significantly longer?  Like, where you have a headache all day?



I experienced a ton of nausea with the Samsung Gear VR.  With PSVR, other than Drive and a few bits here and there in Rez Area X (which is amazing), there hasn't been any.  The real problem is that VR is exhausting ... at least for me.  It's just a different way to play games and I find I'm amped up and hyper-alert while playing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post


That's gotta be a major concern and a barrier to this iteration of the tech in taking off.


It is a concern ... but I look at it is a different type of gaming experience, not a replacement for a traditional set-up.  Maybe I'm just getting old, but I can't imaging Skyrim-ming for extended stretches multiple times a week (for example).  VR is awesome, but it isn't relaxing.  The content has to be designed for VR. Too much going on and I think it would just become white noise.  

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#35
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
 

I must be the exception.  I haven't had the VR queasiness yet.  And I can play for a good long while.  My only problem is I haven't played a game yet that has held me captivated for that long.  Granted, I still want to get Eve and Drive Club, but Rush of Blood I just kiind of suck at, and Batman was like an hour.  That's another thing I am getting kind of bummed about.  A lot of these things are VR experiences, and not too many full games yet.  I loved the Star Wars experience, but after the second play through I just set it aside and went back to Destiny.



Eve is fucking great.

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