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General VR discussion thread

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CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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There is another fun easter egg in Alyx, you can find Emerald 3dxp video cards in Russell's office. :D I had a Diamond Voodoo2 back in the day.

I also played Deus Ex MD VR. It's a short tech demo where you walk through a few places in the original game, but it makes me wish for a full blown Deus Ex game in VR. The map detail (like the original game) is fantastic, even better than Alyx.
 
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lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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Nightmare getting Deus Ex VR running. Would not work with Virtual Desktop. Complained about Steam.

When it finally loaded not one button on the controller worked at all.

I did get to see the intro scene that shows the controller mapping for the Vive.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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I had a Diamond Voodoo2 back in the day.
Evidently I had a Diamond Monster 3D (Voodoo 1), add on card that did 3D only which also required a seperate 2D card. When the combo cards that could do both came out I didn't trust them. In spite of this it looks like I also had a Diamond Viper V550 card.

The Monster 3D came with a softpack of games on optical disk. Never will forget the sound of the car in WHIPLASH when it did a loop "Woaoaoaoaoaooaa". I still have the disks but the hardware is long gone.20210411_124446.jpg
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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So a 5-year update on VR from the start of this thread:

1. I'm still using my original Vive, as well as an Oculus Quest 2 (both with apps & Virtual Desktop for wireless PC gaming). This lets my wife & I game together, which is cool!

2. I still really like VR. However, I feel like the VR game market has stagnated (again). It's a chicken & egg problem: developers go where the money is, which is mobile, console, and desktop gaming. VR is anticipated to quadruple in market size in the next 5 years, which is good news, but for right now...there are a few really neat games that have come out & are coming out, such as MS Flight Sim, but it's not like we're getting huge regular releases to really look forward to. imo this is what killed the original Nintendo Wii...a few amazing games & then it just kind of died off, and as humans, we all get bored & want new stuff!. Such a great platform (I still have my original Wii!) but just lack of development made it slide off the radar. They've done a better job with the Switch, plus the Switch is mobile, which helps.

3. I think one of the difficulties is that most VR games fall into a few very specific categories, so most VR games feel like a variation of other VR games (motion with cars/planes/boats/spaceships, walkaround games, shooting games, rhythm games, etc.), and even though regular Steam games also exist in categories, it feels broader when you're using a screen instead of VR. I believe this is partly due to limited physical space, body motion, and so on. There are some really excellent examples, such as Alyx, Lone Echo, etc. but it's not often that we get AAA type of games for VR these days.

4. I think AR is going to be huge, once they figure it out. I have several customers testing AR solutions for IT projects, so I've gotten to play with a lot of random goodies like Vuzix, iPads with LIDAR, etc. I think they're going to be able to figure out an affordable, not-terrible AR glasses setup within the next couple of years, sort of like the great job they did with the Quest 2, price-wise & quality-wise. I have a couple AR projects in development & while the technology isn't quite there yet (nor the price, looking at you MS Hololens!), I think it holds a lot of potential & promise.

5. I think we still have a long way to go with VR to get it where it needs to be. We need Retina-quality screens where you can't see the pixels. We need an affordable omni-treadmill platform that realistically fits & can be installed in most living/game rooms. We need better finger detection (I really wish Oculus had gone with Leap Motion, as I have the USB version & it's absolutely fantastic at tracking fingers!). I think with Retina-quality screens, that would be a huge boost for Virtual Desktops for WFH people, because you could sit on your lazy boy recliner with a lap pad holding a wireless keyboard & mouse and have multiple screens, email apps, whatever floating in VR without having to be locked to your desk, so there's huge business potential there.

TL;DR: Still fun, got cheaper/better, wish there were more AAA games, looking forward to better VR hardware & cheaper AR hardware in the future.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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I think the PC VR market is becoming niche, and most of the development now seems to be focused on Oculus. PC VR will always exist as a high end option but I'm not sure if we'll get more big budget releases specifically designed for it like Alyx. There will be ports from Oculus and sim/vehicle games that work equally well in VR or flatscreen.

Evidently I had a Diamond Monster 3D (Voodoo 1), add on card that did 3D only which also required a seperate 2D card. When the combo cards that could do both came out I didn't trust them. In spite of this it looks like I also had a Diamond Viper V550 card.

The Monster 3D came with a softpack of games on optical disk. Never will forget the sound of the car in WHIPLASH when it did a loop "Woaoaoaoaoaooaa". I still have the disks but the hardware is long gone.
You have Descent 2 there as well, looks like the OEM version with 8 levels. One of the best games ever, I played and modded it for many years.

I had a Diamond V550 too. I recall it came with Motorhead, which had some cool graphical effects for its time.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,919
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Some of the Alyx mods are amazing. I have been playing Return to Rapture, which is a full port of Bioshock. It uses the regular Alyx enemies and guns but the environments are fantastic. The game is a perfect fit for VR. C17yscape is also very impressive.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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Top 20 apps this month:


Some longer games:


A few classic recommendations:


And some starters:


BeatSaber now has multiplayer crossplay for Oculus & Steam:


Some Airlink improvements for the Quest:


Unplugged (hand-tracked Guitar Hero) looks interesting:


I feel like VR is going the way of the Nintendo Switch...absolutely incredible gaming platform, but not much manufacturer support to keep A-list titles being released month after month after month.

1632249162831.png
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
30,012
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I've been using my Quest 2 quite a bit lately as it serves as a nice workout device. My game of choice lately has been Synth Riders mostly due to my BMBF install refusing to add songs to Beat Saber. (Note, I am on the correct version; it just doesn't ever download the songs when syncing my list with BSaber.) The advantage to Synth Riders is that it supports custom songs by default, so there's no worries about updates breaking support! However, the game does have far, far less custom songs, but given Beat Saber's popularity, that is not surprising. The games are both musical rhythm games, but they really aren't too similar after that point.

I did also try out Ragnarock, but I find that it'll take quite some time to get used to attempting to hammer on stationary drums while focusing on the note lanes.

I've also got a few other games that I need to try out such as Swarm and Yuki.

I'm intrigued but I'm out on facebook. Is that basically the only good option right now?
In its price point, yes. The problem is that most PC-only solutions start at $500, and they're tethered by default. (You can often get a wireless adapter, but that's usually another $250 or more.) I'd argue that the biggest advantage of Valve's SteamVR outside-in tracking (i.e. uses external IR emitters to allow a device to determine its location) is that it provides better tracking overall. The Quest and other inside-out tracking devices (i.e. uses cameras on the device to determine the location and the gyro to approximate if they move out of view) can be a bit of a mixed bag with this approach, but I believe the consensus is that the Quest has the best inside-out tracking. (The biggest issue that I hear with other inside-out HMDs is that the controller tracking can be finicky.)

In my time with VR, I've used a Vive (SteamVR), Vive Pro (SteamVR), Odyssey (WMR), Quest (Oculus), and Quest 2 (Oculus). The two that I would recommend out of that list would be the Vive Pro or the Quest 2. (I'd like to try the Index at some point to see if I like it better than the Vive Pro.) Where I think the Vive Pro outright destroys the Quest 2 -- ignoring the required Facebook integration of the latter -- is fit and finish. It's pretty obvious that Facebook/Oculus did a lot to bring the price down on the Quest 2 (it costs $100 less than the original), and one area where this is the worse is with the default strap. There's no way to mince words on this... it's an awful strap, and you pretty much need to spend another $50 just to get something good. (I use a Deluxe Audio Strap from my original Vive with 3D-printed adapters and Logitech IEMs for audio.) The Quest 2 also only supports 3 IPD settings, which are "selected" by physically moving the lenses. This is slightly problematic for me, because the Quest 2's maximum IPD is 68 and my IPD is 71. So, I always feel a little cross-eyed while using it.

Ultimately, the biggest benefit of the Quest 2 is its price. It's quite a bundle for $300, and especially now that the base unit has 128GB of storage. (Prior to the unit being pulled due to a recall, the base Quest 2 had 64GB.) The ability to take it anywhere is nice if you want to travel around, show it to friends, etc. You can also still stream VR games from your PC via Oculus (free) or Virtual Desktop (not free) either wired or wireless.

Overall, I'd recommend the Quest 2, but just make sure to grab an aftermarket strap to use. Also, if you do decide to use it, find someone that already owns one to refer you. I believe the promotion is still in effect, but last I checked, if you refer someone and they buy a quest, BOTH of you get $30 in Oculus Store credit. Essentially, you get a free game of your choosing. Oculus also gives out a decent amount of targeted 30% off coupons. Outside of that, their deals aren't up to par compared to stores like Steam. Although, some games do support cross-buy, so if you can get the Oculus PC version, you get the Quest version for free.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,919
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I've been trying to get Lone Echo working, but it crashes constantly (through Revive on SteamVR). I thought it was something with Revive but the game just seems buggy in general. Many people report crashes with it.

I feel like VR is going the way of the Nintendo Switch...absolutely incredible gaming platform, but not much manufacturer support to keep A-list titles being released month after month after month.
Yes, I'm not sure if we will get a lot more big budget games on VR going forward. It should still be good for sim/vehicle-type games though, which don't need to be made for VR specifically.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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I'd like to dip a toe into the VR ecosystem, so I'm curious if things like the Valve Index will work as a sort of Uber monitor if you use just the headset portion and leave off the tracking hubs and controllers (just use a standard controller or kb+m to game).

It the headset feels and works OK, I might piece together a complete kit of used parts at some point.

I have very little interest in VR and I don't really see it as much more than a niche, but for the right price and over time I'd be curious to try it out so long as I don't have to drop $1000 in one go.

$300 is about what I'm willing to do to break into a hobby or gadget and see if there is any genuine interest there.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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I'd like to dip a toe into the VR ecosystem, so I'm curious if things like the Valve Index will work as a sort of Uber monitor if you use just the headset portion and leave off the tracking hubs and controllers (just use a standard controller or kb+m to game).

It the headset feels and works OK, I might piece together a complete kit of used parts at some point.

I have very little interest in VR and I don't really see it as much more than a niche, but for the right price and over time I'd be curious to try it out so long as I don't have to drop $1000 in one go.

$300 is about what I'm willing to do to break into a hobby or gadget and see if there is any genuine interest there.
The screen resolution isn't quite there yet to be a true monitor replacement, but you can do it using apps like Virtual Desktop:


This also lets you buy a cheap Quest & wirelessly stream Steam VR from your gaming PC, which is awesome because then you get both the Quest store & the Steam store. Quest has Airlink, which is similar, but doesn't let you do remote desktop in quite the same way as the $20 Virtual Desktop app does.

I'd recommend getting the larger 256gb Quest 2 for $400 (128gb is $300) because there's no expansion ports for USB sticks or memory cards, so you're stuck with the size you get. Even 256gb fills up pretty quick. Although if your budget is $300, the base version used to be 64gb, so even the cheaper one is better than it used to be!


 
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GodisanAtheist

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The screen resolution isn't quite there yet to be a true monitor replacement, but you can do it using apps like Virtual Desktop:


This also lets you buy a cheap Quest & wirelessly stream Steam VR from your gaming PC, which is awesome because then you get both the Quest store & the Steam store. Quest has Airlink, which is similar, but doesn't let you do remote desktop in quite the same way as the $20 Virtual Desktop app does.

I'd recommend getting the larger 256gb Quest 2 for $400 (128gb is $300) because there's no expansion ports for USB sticks or memory cards, so you're stuck with the size you get. Even 256gb fills up pretty quick. Although if your budget is $300, the base version used to be 64gb, so even the cheaper one is better than it used to be!


- Eh, anything Facebook related is basically off my radar, I deleted that stuff ages ago and am in no rush to go back. I wouldn't mind buying into Valve's Index ecosystem a bit, but everything says you *need* the headset, controllers, and locator things... not sure how the headset works all its own.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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- Eh, anything Facebook related is basically off my radar, I deleted that stuff ages ago and am in no rush to go back. I wouldn't mind buying into Valve's Index ecosystem a bit, but everything says you *need* the headset, controllers, and locator things... not sure how the headset works all its own.
You can simply sideload stuff on the FB Quest by putting it into developer mode. Like, as long as you don't factory-reset the headset, you can use the Oculess app to unlink Facebook from your headset after the initial setup:


You lost access to Facebook's Oculus Quest store, but you can throw Virtual Desktop on there through the alternative SideQuest app store:

 
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CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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That looks useful, but I think you need an existing Oculus account, and it's no longer possible to make one. The only reason I have a Facebook account is for the Oculus store, and the one game I wanted to play on there (Lone Echo) doesn't even work. :p

The Reverb G2 is $500 now and has some of the early USB issues fixed with a new cable design. I think it's still the best headset for seated games and non-gaming apps (Google Earth, Space Engine, virtual desktop/movies, etc.). You do need a good video card for it though. The Index and its controllers are better for roomscale games. The Vive Pro 2 is also better in some ways but has its own problems and costs $1400.

I don't think the Index works without the full package, you need the tracking stations for sure, and probably also the controllers just to move around in the home area.
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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That looks useful, but I think you need an existing Oculus account, and it's no longer possible to make one. The only reason I have a Facebook account is for the Oculus store, and the one game I wanted to play on there (Lone Echo) doesn't even work. :p

The Reverb G2 is $500 now and has some of the early USB issues fixed with a new cable design. I think it's still the best headset for seated games and non-gaming apps (Google Earth, Space Engine, virtual desktop/movies, etc.). You do need a good video card for it though. The Index and its controllers are better for roomscale games. The Vive Pro 2 is also better in some ways but has its own problems and costs $1400.

I don't think the Index works without the full package, you need the tracking stations for sure, and probably also the controllers just to move around in the home area.
Wow $100 off! $499 G2, awesome!!

 

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