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General VR discussion thread

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ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,793
825
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You don't "run around in the house with a VR kit on." Your space just needs to be 1.5mx2m at the minimum and no larger than 5mx5m and you can enjoy room scale. It's not about "running around," it's about having the presence that you are somewhere else by allowing natural movement within a space. You don't go far, but enough to feel like you're there.

You should try it before you assume it's not for you.
Get what you are saying, except...yea, not like we can just run out and try one before we buy.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
45,937
3,084
126
Get what you are saying, except...yea, not like we can just run out and try one before we buy.
They should setup showrooms at Best Buy for people to demo that stuff out (with disposable liners for the headsets). Have like a 5-minute demo so people don't sit there all day & build up a line. Offer a combo bundle for $1499 with an Oculus & gaming PC. I guarantee you those would sell like crazy...people go bananas over my Gear VR, so I can only imagine how they'd react to a 90hz setup running with awesome PC graphics in HD VR.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
325
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Price of both Rift and Vive are a rip off to be honest, this breaks all expectations people had of reasonably priced VR which was promised over and over again.
Yah. Im not seeing a VR revolution at the current pricing scheme. The tech is better, but the price is still well out of mass market range just like it always has been.

My biggest issue with buying in on the gen 1 tech is there still a ton of improvement to be made in the HMD. The 4k displays AMD announced for one. Foveated rendering for another. People are already showing off stuff that is going to make gen 1 obsolete quickly. Its too expensive to just toss after a year or even two of use. If we want to compare it to a high end monitor I expect to get a solid 5-6 years out of a monitor. That's not happening with the cv1 or the vive. In some ways the technically inferior Sony HMD is a better buy. At least you know that the platform isn't going to change for years.
 

Mandres

Senior member
Jun 8, 2011
944
58
91
Still needs a killer app, I'm saving my pennies until a real game exists that I'm willing to spend $700 to fully experience. Maybe when Star Citizen finally drops it will be worth the investment. As cool as all the one-off 'experience' demos are, for me it's not yet worth the cost.
 

exar333

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2004
8,518
8
91
Never buy a first generation product. Applies to cars, phones, and now VR.
Definitely. Better to always follow than lead. :whiste:

New tech is new tech. It is fun, and generally risky. If you always wait for something to be established, its rather boring and you miss out on a lot. A VR headset is an also order of magnitude or two difference between a new vehicle...apples and oranges.
 

exar333

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2004
8,518
8
91
Yah. Im not seeing a VR revolution at the current pricing scheme. The tech is better, but the price is still well out of mass market range just like it always has been.

My biggest issue with buying in on the gen 1 tech is there still a ton of improvement to be made in the HMD. The 4k displays AMD announced for one. Foveated rendering for another. People are already showing off stuff that is going to make gen 1 obsolete quickly. Its too expensive to just toss after a year or even two of use. If we want to compare it to a high end monitor I expect to get a solid 5-6 years out of a monitor. That's not happening with the cv1 or the vive. In some ways the technically inferior Sony HMD is a better buy. At least you know that the platform isn't going to change for years.
~10 years ago, folks were paying $2000 for a 46 inch TV, $3000 for a 50'' and $4000 for a 55''. HDTVs were 'pay to play' and more than what we are talking here. Assume $1000-1500 for a minimum-viable PC + $800 for the VR headset. Its not HUGE, but is a more 'personal' purchase vs. a TV that you can share (simultaneously) with the family or friends. Considering a VR headset is maybe only 30-40% more than a flagship phone, its not all that bad...
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
325
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~10 years ago, folks were paying $2000 for a 46 inch TV, $3000 for a 50'' and $4000 for a 55''. HDTVs were 'pay to play' and more than what we are talking here. Assume $1000-1500 for a minimum-viable PC + $800 for the VR headset. Its not HUGE, but is a more 'personal' purchase vs. a TV that you can share (simultaneously) with the family or friends. Considering a VR headset is maybe only 30-40% more than a flagship phone, its not all that bad...
You could and still can get a perfectly functional TV for less than $300. You can expect that TV to remain useful for upwards of a decade. Apples and oranges. If they were charging that much for an upscale experience in a mature market I would be less worried about it. Its more about the expected lifetime than absolutely cost. Vs phones... well again its a mature market, but also those flagship phones have been driven by subsidies and financing. If you could pick up a CV1 for $200 with a monthly subscription to occulus net (or whatever) I'm sure they would move a lot more of them. Still doesn't change my feeling that everyone that buys a HMD is going to be looking wistfully at the gen 2 units next year.
 

Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,942
35
51
You could and still can get a perfectly functional TV for less than $300. You can expect that TV to remain useful for upwards of a decade. Apples and oranges. If they were charging that much for an upscale experience in a mature market I would be less worried about it. Its more about the expected lifetime than absolutely cost. Vs phones... well again its a mature market, but also those flagship phones have been driven by subsidies and financing. If you could pick up a CV1 for $200 with a monthly subscription to occulus net (or whatever) I'm sure they would move a lot more of them. Still doesn't change my feeling that everyone that buys a HMD is going to be looking wistfully at the gen 2 units next year.
You're assuming that there will be "gen 2" units next year. The CV1 hasn't hardly changed from what we saw over a year ago with Crescent Bay. Nor has the Vive changed from the original design. Considering these designs are limited by other technologies (namely, screen manufacturers) then we're at their mercy of what can be produced. AMD's announced 1440p setup is an interesting step, but that device has yet to be tried by anyone.

These technologies take time to develop. Miniaturization in the screen space with high refresh rates isn't easy and requires new production methods. If and when true Gen 2's come along, I'll happily buy them up at the current price point (or higher, depending on if the economics of scale for new technologies pan out) with the rest of the early adopters.

Until then, I'll be wielding a light sabre.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,793
825
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You could and still can get a perfectly functional TV for less than $300. You can expect that TV to remain useful for upwards of a decade. Apples and oranges. If they were charging that much for an upscale experience in a mature market I would be less worried about it. Its more about the expected lifetime than absolutely cost. Vs phones... well again its a mature market, but also those flagship phones have been driven by subsidies and financing. If you could pick up a CV1 for $200 with a monthly subscription to occulus net (or whatever) I'm sure they would move a lot more of them. Still doesn't change my feeling that everyone that buys a HMD is going to be looking wistfully at the gen 2 units next year.
Very possible, but then that is what early adopters do, it isn't a big deal. They are either going to like it and use it until the next better thing, or decide it's not all that and forget about it. I am not usually an early adopter, but knowing people who had the dev kits and how much they raved about them, I jumped on it. I honestly don't expect to use it that much. If people think gen 2 is going to be cheap, they are in for a rude awakening. It will be the same price if not more, as gen 1 goes down in price. We are still 5 years out before prices are mainstream, if that. Video cards to run them are still $300-600, it's only going to get worse the more advanced they get.

The PS4 version may be the best thing for VR in terms of adoption but that remains to be seen since we don't know the cost. Unfortunately it isn't going to drive much advancement in technology and will show it's age quickly. At least on the PC side it won't just be the normal devs working on things.
 
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Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,942
35
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The Vive has changed considerably from its initial reveal.
It was refined for commercial production and the camera was added. I didn't get to try the initial demo (Pre only) but those who have say the screens are the same or very nearly. So, essentially unchanged performance and capability wise.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,972
623
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If people think gen 2 is going to be cheap, they are in for a rude awakening. It will be the same price if not more, as gen 1 goes down in price. We are still 5 years out before prices are mainstream, if that. Video cards to run them are still $300-600, it's only going to get worse the more advanced they get.
The future just depends on the goals that we'll strive for in regards to VR, and those goals are what will drive the cost. For example, if we're just looking to mostly raise the performance of the HMD, then we'll most likely not see much of a reduction in cost as we're still working on the bleeding edge. However, if we have a goal to create more cost-efficient components, we could see a reduction in end-user cost.

I wouldn't be surprised if what we see is fragmentation. I know that a lot of people think of fragmentation as a bad thing, and to a degree, they're right. However, what's important is that we set a standard of what we're looking for, and I think we kind of have that with our 90 FPS minimum. We may just end up with something like the TV market where you can pay a premium for a higher resolution, but in the end, you get just about the same thing.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,337
3,003
136
I wouldn't be surprised if what we see is fragmentation. I know that a lot of people think of fragmentation as a bad thing, and to a degree, they're right. However, what's important is that we set a standard of what we're looking for, and I think we kind of have that with our 90 FPS minimum. We may just end up with something like the TV market where you can pay a premium for a higher resolution, but in the end, you get just about the same thing.
Fragmentation happens as soon as we hit a place where they are good enough for the common market. At that point you will have the race to push price down. That will create fragmentation as companies experiment with what corners they can cut to make a cheaper unit while others continue to push the technology forward with bleeding edge units with bleeding edge prices.

Having never seen any of the 1st gen unites in person I can't really tell if that is the case already, but I am guessing we will know soon as enough people get these in their hands to form a real consensus.
 

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
8,103
296
126
So, after reading the Anandtech review of the Rift, I'm starting to have doubts on buying a VR headset right now. Is there any reason to hold on to a pre-order that would probably ship March 28th?
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,793
825
126
So, after reading the Anandtech review of the Rift, I'm starting to have doubts on buying a VR headset right now. Is there any reason to hold on to a pre-order that would probably ship March 28th?
Not if you have doubts. If you are expecting perfect, this won't be it.
 
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Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
325
126
You're assuming that there will be "gen 2" units next year. The CV1 hasn't hardly changed from what we saw over a year ago with Crescent Bay. Nor has the Vive changed from the original design. Considering these designs are limited by other technologies (namely, screen manufacturers) then we're at their mercy of what can be produced. AMD's announced 1440p setup is an interesting step, but that device has yet to be tried by anyone.

These technologies take time to develop. Miniaturization in the screen space with high refresh rates isn't easy and requires new production methods. If and when true Gen 2's come along, I'll happily buy them up at the current price point (or higher, depending on if the economics of scale for new technologies pan out) with the rest of the early adopters.
AMD is already demoing HMD with 4k per eye. There are multiple companies demoing eye tracking and foveated rendering. These are a big deal, especially the foveated rendering and it'll be ready for market soon. Yah OVR and HTC haven't shown us any radical new designs for awhile, but it doesn't mean they aren't developing them. At some point you have to get a product to market with the tech that you have now. The point is that VR is going to be a very rapidly moving space for the next few years. If HTC and OVR don't step up someone else will and hook into the open VR standard.
 

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
8,103
296
126
Not if you have doubts. If you are expecting perfect, this won't be it.
It is more of a reality that I'm not even sure I would get much use out of a VR headset without actual games that interest me. For $629, there are probably some other "toys" that I'd rather invest in given that spring is here and I don't need to be stuck indoors. Nothing against the technology, but more a personal realization.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,972
623
126
So, after reading the Anandtech review of the Rift, I'm starting to have doubts on buying a VR headset right now. Is there any reason to hold on to a pre-order that would probably ship March 28th?
Hm... I didn't get that vibe from the first look. The only complaint that I saw was with games that have extremely fine detail, which their only example was Project CARS. Although, later in the article, he mentions that even with the negative aspect, he still wanted to play more.

Fragmentation happens as soon as we hit a place where they are good enough for the common market. At that point you will have the race to push price down. That will create fragmentation as companies experiment with what corners they can cut to make a cheaper unit while others continue to push the technology forward with bleeding edge units with bleeding edge prices.

Having never seen any of the 1st gen unites in person I can't really tell if that is the case already, but I am guessing we will know soon as enough people get these in their hands to form a real consensus.
Yeah, I agree with you here. I just wouldn't be surprised if we see the fragmentation happen soon with the previous model being considered a "budget model" with hardware advances allowing them to lower the price. Essentially, it's the equivalent of the slim console version that we usually see.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
325
126
Hm... I didn't get that vibe from the first look. The only complaint that I saw was with games that have extremely fine detail, which their only example was Project CARS. Although, later in the article, he mentions that even with the negative aspect, he still wanted to play more.
I get the feeling that it'll be much like buying a console on launch. It'll be a year or two before titles come out that really make use of it well. I had a dk2. It was enough to glimpse that VR is the future. It was also enough to see that content really needs like to develop.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
45,937
3,084
126
So, after reading the Anandtech review of the Rift, I'm starting to have doubts on buying a VR headset right now. Is there any reason to hold on to a pre-order that would probably ship March 28th?
Well, that's definitely a personal decision. VR is is bleeding-edge, early-adopter technology; it's not going to be perfect, but if you're really into it, then you'll be pretty hot to trot for the gen 1 gear. At some point, we'll hit Michael Abrash's 120-by-120-degree FOV @ 8K-by-8K resolution, along with a wireless connection & long battery life, but it's going to be a few years before we get there.

I got hooked with the Viewmaster, then picked up a Gear VR, which I absolutely love (just wish there was more content!). Looking forward to the Oculus & Vive combo; not sure which I'll keep long-term (I suspect the Vive, due to the Lighthouses & controllers). If you have your doubts about it, keep in mind that it is a pretty hefty investment - $630 shipped for the Oculus, plus a $1,000 gaming computer (assuming you don't already have a rig that meets the specs). $1,630 would amount to an awful lot of buyer's remorse if you're already not sure about it now.

On the flip side, Playstation just announced that their VR headset launches in October for $400, so if you don't mind console games, that might be a better solution for you:

http://www.engadget.com/2016/03/15/sonys-playstation-vr-headset-launches-in-october-for-400/
 

Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,942
35
51
AMD is already demoing HMD with 4k per eye.
Where have you seen that they're demoing it? All I've seen is that they're trying to work with a manufacturer for it at the moment. Also consider that Palmer said the driving price factor for the OR is the screens. Where do you think a 4k based headset will be placed, price-wise?

There are multiple companies demoing eye tracking and foveated rendering. These are a big deal, especially the foveated rendering and it'll be ready for market soon.
"Soon." The OR was supposed to be coming "soon" after we saw Crescent Bay, which was 18 months ago.

Yah OVR and HTC haven't shown us any radical new designs for awhile, but it doesn't mean they aren't developing them. At some point you have to get a product to market with the tech that you have now. The point is that VR is going to be a very rapidly moving space for the next few years. If HTC and OVR don't step up someone else will and hook into the open VR standard.
You simply can't change the economics of it. Samsung worked quite hard to get an OLED screen small enough, with a decent resolution, and with reasonable cost to work in the current HMDs. The ability to make a similar sized and cost 4k screen isn't going to magically happen overnight, or even within the next year. Being technically possible doesn't change that it's expensive.

It'll be a year or two before titles come out that really make use of it well
How do Hover Junkers, Fantastic Contraption, Budget Cuts, or Everest VR not "really make use of it well?"
 
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ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,793
825
126
I predict much like Wii controllers and people taking selfies in stupid places, there are going to be a number of VR related ER visits and broken computers, and/or TV's when users lose track of where they are or get scared/etc in a game and trip/fall/fall into things.
 

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