General VR Catch-All - Year 2: It's Happening!

Pages

Here is your home for all things VR: hardware, software, peripherals, tools, even development if you're so inclined.

VR reaches consumers for the first time this year and I expect it to be the start of something big. Right now we're about 1-2 months from seeing the headsets start to arrive in customers' hands.

Sadly I think Year 1 will be more about interesting experiences and demos than full VR games but we'll learn a lot about what the hardware and software can and cannot do.

Interested in testing your PC for VR-ability? Steam has an app for that. http://store.steampowered.com/app/32... It's built for Steam VR but has similar requirements for the other major headsets.

Some VR Resources:
Reviews
Detailed product review of the Oculus Rift

UploadVR
The Rift Arcade
The Reddit home for general VR
Vive and Rift compared
Info on more Vive launch titles

Oculus Launch Lineup Trailer:

Bank Limit: FZero + ... shooting at your other racers + rollercoasters.

This looks pretty intense (and vomitous)

Obligatory

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CLy25jAUwAAbbSl.jpg)

VR CCG game coming to the Rift and GearVR.

It's not Hearthstone, but I totaly get the appeal of virtual space table top gaming. I'm pretty sure someone is working on a D and D VR app and I would guess Hearthstone and Magic get the VR treatment in the next couple of years.

Based on the trailer it's hard to picture that kind of experience going very far. Its too close to any other mobile or PC card game. Make it more tactile. Make it multiplayer where you can see the other player coveting their hand of cards and considering their next move. Seems like they just threw a VR camera in an existing tabletop game.

Here's a pretty good technical and functional direct comparison between the Vive and the Rift.

http://www.gizmag.com/oculus-rift-vs...

They're remarkably similar when it comes to big things like resolution and refresh rate.

Great overview of the launch titles for Oculus Rift

Also, the Oculus Rift launch trailer. Some cool stuff in there.. some 'What?' stuff.

Those games look quite good. Although I will hold off until all the kinks are worked out. I have a strong suspicion that these things are going to be a mess upon release.

Ooh this one looks interesting. Lucid Trips it takes hand controllers and turns it into a dreamlike movement scheme where you crawl, jump and fly with your hands. I think it probably still falls in the 'neat demo' range of games but it does look like a fun one.

I'm hungry to see some meatier, true game experiences.

Badferret wrote:

I would guess Hearthstone and Magic get the VR treatment in the next couple of years.

Hearthstone absolutely will. Magic Duels will probably pop up there at some point. Magic Online? I very much doubt it. Wizards can't afford to let anything disrupt the production of their paper game. The existing Magic Online client is so awful largely because their patch cycle is 100% dictated by the cards' design and production process. Given the amount of work that it would take to bring Magic to VR, I don't expect to see it for at least a decade or more.

Ok while that Fzero game looks cool, I'm getting motion sick just watching the demo on my phone let alone in VR.

And first person horror in VR? Just nononono!

But overall it really looks cool! Any info on non-gaming applications? I thought I read you might be able to watch sports in VR? That would be a system seller if I could watch a game and see whatever part of the play I'm looking at rather than just the camera feed!

The Verge first look
* not really excited. Nothing bad but not blown away either.

I was worried with that Sony announce video that the first two or three games shown were variations of ShootStuffAndDuck 2016 but it got better. Luge looks interesting and scary but I'd agree that there's nothing that really impresses there.

SSAD 2k16 will have too many representations this year for all platforms. Where's the relaxing FishingOffARowboat game? There's a lot of low hanging fruit I'm not seeing anyone reach for.

I've got (well, Kittylexy has) a VR-capable PC, and a PS4. As of now, I'm leaning PS VR, but it'll be dependent on head to head reviews, and software availability.

Unrelated to the GDC VR stuff, I haven't yet seen any postings for IBM's (what I imagine is) foray into Virtually Reality and it's technology:
IBM is making Sword Art Online For Real

-

I'm pretty excited for PlayStation VR, I have existing move controllers and a camera all lined up for it. Having tested the demo model last year in Seattle, I hope VR doesn't end up as an expensive gimmick, the experience is quite amazing.
As far as watching a movie with 3 levels of zoom, I hope one of the levels is experienced as being [zoomed] way out in a virtual cinema. I could see some pretty fun connectivity opportunities similar to seeing a film at a theatre with friends (while never leaving your couch nor having those friends in the same building). Or similar to how PlayStation Home ran Crackle .

Anyone heard anything about the AMD Sulon Q? Seems kind of hard to believe that they crammed all of that tech into a totally standalone VR headset...

It kind of came out of left field and is apparently launching in the Spring? Its quite interesting. I see it as where all VR headsets will be at some point but I seriously doubt this will be able to run much of what is going to be released this year for dedicated desktop PCs.

It even says it has a higher resolution display (2560x1440 compared to 2160x1200 (total) for the Rift and Vive) so combine a more pixel-dense display with lesser CPU and GPU. Seems like a fantasy machine right now.

Plus, how is it going to keep the heat off the back of your skull?

Tanglebones wrote:

I've got (well, Kittylexy has) a VR-capable PC, and a PS4. As of now, I'm leaning PS VR, but it'll be dependent on head to head reviews, and software availability.

Keep in mind that the Rift/Vive with a high end PC will be able to do things the PSVR can't.

Jeff Cannata on the subject while at GDC:

Jeff Cannata ‏@jeffcannata 8h8 hours ago

In terms of comfort level and ease of on-and-off it is PSVR > Oculus, with Vive a distant third, IMHO.
4 retweets 11 likes

Jeff Cannata ‏@jeffcannata 8h8 hours ago

Okay, using the Oculus this morning drives home how much better it is than PSVR. Not more comfortable, though! Just higher end.

And, Tested's first video from GDC on the Oculus event:

Woot VR thread!

I have both Oculus anbd Vive on order. I should be in the first shipments of each. I've tried the near-final Oculus CV1 (engineering sample) and I'm really curious to compare to the Vive.

Anybody want my DK2?

As far as "full VR games" go, there are some interesting things this year for sure. And GDC was wall to wall VR.

Vanishing Realms looks really interesting.

Apparently Playstation VR sold out in a few minutes. Im not sure if they had a reasonable amount on sale or just wanted to guarantee that headline.

http://uploadvr.com/playstation-pre-...

The last line of the article indicates there may have been 15,000 sold but the language is such that you don't know which headset they're talking about.

That seems odd, I just placed my pre-order not 30 min ago and it processed just fine. Then again I chose Game Stop, solely because I figured Amazon's supply would be gone by the time I went to lunch and I wasn't wrong...

It must be just from Amazon then, and probably just Amazon.com. Other regional versions probably track their own stock.

Got my order in on Amazon this morning. Stock lasted about 5 minutes there.

I managed to get some play time with the Occulus at GDC last week. It was my first VR experience. I was able to try out two different games. The first was Defense Grid 2. I know what you're probably thinking to yourself, "Why would you play that game in VR?" I tried it out because I wanted to try out a game that wasn't initially designed for VR in mind. I walked away from that experience as you might expect, sorely let down. While it was definitely cool being able to look around you and see random set pieces, they had absolutely no bearing on the game. Once that initial coolness factor faded, the game itself was exactly the same as normal DG2, albiet with a slightly blurrier screen (more on that in a bit.)

After that let down, I tried out Bullet Train. The game was extremely easy (it was impossible to die) and it felt more like a tech demo than an actual game. That said, the VR experience was amazing! It really felt like I was in a virtual world. I quickly forgot that I was standing in a room with a headset on. It was only when I felt like moving around that my brain quickly caught me and reminded me that I shouldn't do that lest I trip on a wire or crash into something. Otherwise, I was seamlessly looking around me for threats, quickly grabbing the pistol on the table to my right and jumping around the world with the teleport mechanic.

At one point, a bullet whizzed right in front of me and I jumped. That elicited a laugh from my handler (the Occulus employee helping me out.) Another time I grabbed a grenade off a table and chucked it at the enemies. That elicited another laugh as he quickly chimed in, "You have to pull the pin."

I walked out of that experience with my adrenaline flowing. It was a fantastic experience. While the difficulty of the game would have made it a poor experience given a longer play time, the actual experience was amazing. Which I think leads me on a similar line of thought as to me experience with DG2.

VR has the potential to pull off some amazing, new ideas but games won't just be better because they are in VR. The best games will be built up from the ground with VR in mind. They will really immerse you in the world as opposed to keeping you as an outside observer looking in.

With that in mind, I think there are several problems that VR needs to address before it will really take off:

1) Remove the cord(s) - The occulus I tried was connected to the computer with a cord. While not the end of the world, I can easily see someone moving a little too much and tripping over the cord which might lead to some bad outcomes.

2) Comfortableness - While by no means uncomfortable, I certainly wouldn't want to wear it (Occulus) for long stretches of time. It's kind of like a mediocre pair of headphones. You can wear them just fine with no complaints, but after playing for an hour they start to become uncomfortable and you almost audibly sigh when you take them off.

3) Blur - This might have been caused by improper setup, but I found the screens to be noticeably blurry. I was able to adjust the screen positions relative to my eyes to help, but I still found it slightly blurrier than a normal monitor. Even if this blur can be completely eliminated with proper setup, I'd still be worried by it if you plan on letting various people use the same headset.

4) Price - Right now the sets are too expensive. While there will be plenty of people that can afford it, I believe the price is too high for the masses. This in turns means that I don't believe you will see many large budget games for VR for some time to come. There just isn't enough of a market share to allow game companies to realistically get a good return on their investment. I'm afraid that while there will be several cool and unique experiences in the coming year or two, it won't be until we see a significant price drop in the hardware that we will see a larger catalog of games for the medium.

Thanks for the review and comments. Very informative!

I was really considering camping Amazon this morning to try to preorder the PSVR, but ultimately my practical side won out. Five hundred bucks is a lot of money in my current financial situation for what is basically a toy. And one I have yet to actually try as cool as it seems. Guess I won't be an early adopter on this one, but I'm really eager to hear opinions once this thing is finally in people's living rooms later this year.

Orphu wrote:

Woot VR thread!

I have both Oculus anbd Vive on order. I should be in the first shipments of each. I've tried the near-final Oculus CV1 (engineering sample) and I'm really curious to compare to the Vive.

Anybody want my DK2?

Tempting.

But what I really want are your hands on experiences comparing how the final consumer kits work with Elite, because that's the game that's forever tempting me to splurge and buy one or the other.

FYI the core unit for $399 will be on pre-order 3/29 at 10am EST as well... so if you missed this go around you have another shot.

Ask Ars: I can’t choose between Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR!

It’s still too early to judge what’s "best," but we can still help you pick.

Worth reading if you are thinking about which system to go for.

Kinda sucks on the PC side that we have no real standard.. so in the end many consumers will probably pick the "wrong" unit... hopefully we have some sort of system where games created for one will show up for the others.

Pages