Community The MetaVerse VR thread (hardware/software/etc, all platforms)

Durante

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Oct 21, 2018
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I thought it would make sense to have a central thread about all things VR -- I don't expect it to have sufficient posting frequency for it to make sense to split it into e.g. separate HW/SW or platform threads. And I'm a huge VR nerd so that's why I'm making it ;)


So what is VR?

Current consumer VR works by rendering 3D scenes in 2 perspectives (one for each eye) and showing them in a head-mounted display (HMD). One thing that made the whole idea feasible in relatively cheap hardware is correcting for much of the distortion inherent in the required optics in software -- that is, showing a distorted image on the screen(s) which then looks correct to the user through the optics.
VR input is a really interesting piece of the puzzle, especially for gaming. Outside of specific simulators (e.g. racing, flight, etc.) most people agree these days that fully tracked VR input is what you want. This generally means you have 2 controllers which are tracked in space (and allow various additional functions depending on their sophistication).


Who are the players?

There are several relevant VR platforms right now, in 4 major categories: PC VR, console VR, standalone VR, and phone VR. Of those, I'm obviously most interested in the first one, but I'll also provide a quick overview of console VR. I don't know much about phone VR and I also don't think it's that interesting from a ("core") gaming perspective, so I'll skip that. The standalone VR space is still in the process of getting really interesting, so I'll write more about that later.

PC VR

On PC, as always, we need to distinguish between software and hardware platforms.
The software platforms are, in order of relevance:
  • SteamVR / OpenVR, the largest platform in terms of number of titles and hardware supported. Pretty much every PC VR HMD works with SteamVR.
  • The Oculus PC store, which is relevant primarily due to the exclusives funded by Oculus. Officially restricted to Oculus hardware, but can be used with most OpenVR hardware using the third-party ReVive layer.
  • Windows Mixed Reality, which is currently pretty much meaningless as a (gaming) software platform.
  • HTC's Viveport, and probably other's I'm missing, which are also practically irrelevant.
There's quite a lot of PC VR hardware out right now, and more upcoming soon:
  • The HTC Vive and Vive Pro. These were designed in cooperation with Valve and are the "native" SteamVR systems currently. The Pro is much more expensive and uses somewhat higher resolution displays. Both have the largest possible FoV in the consumer space right now, outside Pimax.
    Tracking works using 2 "lighthouses" which only need a power connection and allow for good tracking quality in a relatively large space.
  • The Oculus Rift (CV1). Similar in terms of HMD to the Vive, but with somewhat lower FoV (and therefore somewhat higher perceived resolution). Tracking uses external cameras, which need to connect to your PC, and you need 3 of them to get good 360° room-scale coverage.
  • Various Windows Mixed Reality HMDs. These are available from OEMs like Lenovo, Acer or HP. They use LCD panels instead of the OLED panels used in Vive and Rift, with slightly higher resolution but lower contrast. Tracking uses HMD-mounted cameras, which has the advantage of no setup but the disadvantage of losing trackign outside the camera field of view.
  • The Samsung Odyssey and Odyssey+. Also a WMR headset with the same tracking, but uses OLED panels and slightly higher quality controllers.
  • The Pimax 5k+, 8k and XR. These are wide-field-of-view HMDs by a small Chinese company. They use lighthouse tracking and don't come with any controllers right now, so they are mostly an enthusiast upgrade path from Vive setups.

Console VR

The big player in the console space is Sony with the PSVR kit. It is somewhat limited by middling tracking performance (and of course the underlying hardware), but it's also more accessible than PC VR and has a few interesting exclusives. The HMD uses a single OLED panel.
Nintendo of course has the Labo VR kit, which is more of a curiosity than a real VR platform (I can already hear the angry replies :p).
Microsoft initially hinted at XB1(X) comaptibility with WMR, but they seem to have scrapped those plans, or at least delayed them indefinitely.


What's hot right now?
I'd say the most significant upcoming events are:
  1. Valve releasing the specs of their VR solution (including a HMD and extremely amazing controllers) on May 1st.
    This is the biggest hardware effort ever from Valve, easily, and extremely exciting. Expectations range anywhere from a solid but unspectacular high-end VR system to revolutionary cyberpunk technology, and similarly pricing speculation ranges from $500 to $1000+ for the whole kit.
    I'm hyped.
  2. Oculus releasing the Quest in "Spring 2019".
    This is easily the most advanced and well-supported standalone VR system so far, and might be a way to get a lot more people to experience "high-ish" end VR.

All of this is just a very general summary, if you have more questions then go ahead. Or post about VR games, experiences, hardware I missed, or whatever else as long as it's VR ;)
 

Mor

Me llamo Willy y no hice la mili, pero vendo Chili
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Nice! at last a VR centric thread in MC, this one will be interesting.

So far I'm a happy owner of a DK1, DK2 and CV1 from Oculus and I depending of the price (although I think I will buy it anyway) I'm buying the Valve Index because what I have seen with the Knuckles (Index controllers, duh) it's what I think is the next step of VR tracking.

Right now I think the most exciting project for the knuckles is Boneworks but can't wait to see more content coming, and If for PSVR games that I want to come to PC ASAP, Ghost Giant and Tetris Effect, I'm guessing 12 months exclusivity for both of them, but still, can't wait.

Great job Durante, can't wait to participate on this thread more often :drinking-blob:
 
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Alextended

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VR is awesome. Durante knows what's up, you lot had proven unworthy as of now for the most part :p

I have an Oculus Rift, I'm fine with it and think it can remain competitive gameplay wise even after all the new stuff (and Knuckles-like controllers) arrive.

I imagine I'll eventually upgrade to a Valve Index or Index 2 or whatever since I'll not do so for a few years and I'll first need a PC upgrade by then to drive the following years' more demanding VR games in even higher resolution and FOV and such that new sets will offer. I love Valve's elegant lighthouse solution so I'll probably go for that over the trendy inside-out tracking solutions that are ok for many but I'll personally want the extra tracking range and precision.

Some nice channels to check out VR videos and/or information are these:

And for sites that post news and shit these:
 
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Dinjoralo

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I haven't done more than dip my toes into VR with a few Android things, but I'll be on it, likely with Valve's headset, when I have the income for it, along with the space. Hopefully by then, the market will have solidified a bit more.
 

Alextended

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Since you mention Labo VR, other than the usual Nintendo haters people who tried it are pretty impressed for the most part. At least few maintain the argument this could poison the VR well or whatever if it's bad as if it was meant to compete with Index as a new VR platform. Game Explain did a great video and VR Oasis has a video for it up too where he goes through all the games (but not much of the creative bits). One of the VR Roundtable folks also discussed it a bit in the last video (they had mostly trashed it when it was known as an announcement only before we got the extensive gameplay trailer footage explaining how it all works) and though he had only tried one of the kits he too found it solid for what it is (though he refused to acknowledge it as VR, but again he had only tried the basic kit, he didn't get to see how the physical camera kit and the 6dof makeshift controller of the elephant kit enhances the experience). Personally going by the footage alone I think many of the devs of the various party/mini games on PC VR should take a look at that stuff and try to make their own as polished and fun and inventive, I think The Lab and other such things completely fail at being great VR introductions, except for Oculus Rift's First Contact introduction which is awesome but purely a tutorial when all is said and done so it too is different. The Nvidia funded/promotional carnival games was too awful even free.
 
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derFeef

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Thanks for the thread!
As a day-1 Vive owner I was looking forward to the Pimax but I somehow could resist myself buying one. I have two colleagues that have it and they are blown away. I have my quirks with VR headsets due to ergonomical issues and I heard the Pimax is not the best in that. Looking forward what Valve has to announce in a few weeks.
 
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Nabs

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I have a Samsung Odyssey+.

Pro: Great screens.
Con: It can be uncomfortable. It applies a lot of pressure to your forehead, making long play sessions difficult. There are fixes to improve on this, but it sucks we have to go through that at all.

Overall, I'm happy with it, especially at the price I got it at. Playing Euro Truck Sim in VR is magical.

I can't wait to see what Valve shows off in a few weeks. I don't know if I'll be jumping in any time soon, but you never know. I hope we get some games soon.
 
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Arulan

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Dec 7, 2018
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Thanks for creating the thread. I was just recently looking for a Meta VR thread.

I've been very happy with the HTC Vive from day one. I remember reading that they were demoing it to the public a few months before release in Toronto. I got in my car the next morning and drove for ~4 hours. I just barely arrived before all the day's time slots were gone. I've been enthralled with VR, presence, and room-scale ever since.

The Valve Index will certainly be my next VR purchase.
 
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Kuro

SEKIROから逃げるな
Dec 22, 2018
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Definitely hyped for that Index, if it is within my wallet boundaries, pre-ordering one.
I'll admit I haven't done much in VR outside videos and VRChat lately, but I did play The Forest which was great and looking forward to getting BeatSaber sooner or later and the Spice&Wolf game that's coming up in June.
If there's any essential games you think are worth checking, hit me up with those recommendations.
 
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Prodigy

sleeper must awaken
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I only own the Dk2, but I am really interested in the Index headset, and also interested in the plan Sony has with their VR.

Thanks for the thread, great to have a spot to post questions.
 
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Durante

Durante

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I think The Lab and other such things completely fail at being great VR introductions
I really strongly, fundamentally disagree with this.

Why? Because back when the Vive was released (and for several months after that) I demonstrated VR to various (mostly non-gamer, sometimes >50 years old) acquaintances using primarily the Lab, and basically everyone loved it. By far the most popular parts were interacting with the robot dog in the main area, the archery minigame, and the scanned real environments.

I guess one point to note there is that I guided them the entire time, so maybe it's not as effective when not guided.


Thanks for the thread!
As a day-1 Vive owner I was looking forward to the Pimax but I somehow could resist myself buying one. I have two colleagues that have it and they are blown away. I have my quirks with VR headsets due to ergonomical issues and I heard the Pimax is not the best in that. Looking forward what Valve has to announce in a few weeks.
The Pimax is really an enthusiast/tinkerer device. It's pretty amazing if you have the time and patience to get it set up just right for you (in terms of HW IPD, software IPD, lens/eye distance, ...) and for every game (in terms of its great many rendering settings). And then you need a lot of performance. And some things still might not work.

I like mine a lot, and even with the Index announcement I'm still happy I got it (at least at the kickstarter price), but I'd never suggest buying it to most people.
 
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helloCLD

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Great idea for a thread. I've been tinkering with VR stuff here and there since DK1 came out (and following VR since the early 90's), but have yet to bite on purchasing a headset for myself (I'm pretty lucky in that my work and the coworking space I operate out of get me access to a Vive Pro among other fun toys). Unless something horrible is announced on May 1st, odds are good I'm gonna pick up an Index for myself.
 
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Alextended

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I really strongly, fundamentally disagree with this.
Here's First Contact if you haven't experienced it (it's also getting the occasional update so if I find older videos it's got some different stuff than what I got).

Indeed you definitely don't need a guide with it, it explains pretty much all you need elegantly and lets you practice it at your own pace too. This is what comes up right after you do the setup process on the PC with the Oculus software guiding you through it, it then telling you to grab the controllers/wear the HMD to continue the process. After adjusting the IPD switch with visual help (a cross so you adjust the HMD position and IPD switch until both the horizontal and vertical part are clear as they can be) and this is next. It's not this guy's first time so it's not quite how it would go down and he uses the cartridges in a weird order/repeats one/does some messing around/doesn't do other stuff he could have checked out and doesn't look at directions given that your eye would normally be drawn to when it's your first time and movement is what's eye catching, but yeah. The perspective is off in 2D videos too, you know how it is though.

Then after that it throws you in your Oculus Home where you learn the teleportation locomotion and snap turning that is commonly comfortable for newbies.

If someone intends to get a Rift at some point don't watch this, the experience is really cool when you've gone in blind even if you've watched other VR games. Though I read the tutorial on the Rift S is completely new, I've seen videos and it's true, I'm not sure if they totally exclude this First Contact thing. I think it's a mistake, they just need to adjust it a bit and it'd still be a great introduction for Rift S new users.
 
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goat

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I've owned a Rift for over a year now. It might no seem like it from the outside looking in, but VR is the real deal. Modded Skyrim in VR is unbelievable (except for those damned spiders, get the shivers just thinking about them). I'm keeping an eye out for Valve's headset as I'm interested in upgrading. Hopefully the knuckle controllers will be ready by then.
 
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Durante

Durante

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I've owned a Rift for over a year now. It might no seem like it from the outside looking in, but VR is the real deal. Modded Skyrim in VR is unbelievable (except for those damned spiders, get the shivers just thinking about them). I'm keeping an eye out for Valve's headset as I'm interested in upgrading. Hopefully the knuckle controllers will be ready by then.
It's confirmed that the Index HMD will ship with the Knuckles (now called "Index Controllers", which is a bit more boring).
They'll also be available separately for e.g. Vive owners to upgrade just their controllers.

Here's a recent video showing finger tracking on Knuckles:
 

「Echo」

漂う夢のまにまに
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Mt. Whatever
Patiently waiting for Valve to unveil their HMD before jumping into PCVR myself. I've dabbled with PSVR and it took a while to get over the weird stomach feeling, but the lack of AA and the screendoor effect bugged the heck outta me too. o_O
 

Joe Spangle

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Elite Dangerous in VR is one of the best gaming experiences of my life. I cant wait for the future when frame rates/rez/HMD are all improved to the point that it will feel like being in space. I love space.
 
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derFeef

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It's confirmed that the Index HMD will ship with the Knuckles (now called "Index Controllers", which is a bit more boring).
They'll also be available separately for e.g. Vive owners to upgrade just their controllers.

Here's a recent video showing finger tracking on Knuckles:
Dang, so excited. Hopefully the Index will be available in Europe day 1.
 

Mor

Me llamo Willy y no hice la mili, pero vendo Chili
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Here's a recent video showing finger tracking on Knuckles:
This video right here blew my mind yesterday, something that natural that wasn't available previously and all the sudden PAM! it's here.
Knuckles will be a "before and after " situation in VR, interactions will change dramatically.
 
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Durante

Durante

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I personally think the finger tracking won't see too much use as an actual gameplay element, but it will be huge for social interactions in multiplayer VR.

For gameplay, the big thing will be being able to completely let go of the controller. Between that, the force sensors, and the capacitive sensors, it should be possible to finally completely nail grabbing and throwing in VR.
 
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Kuro

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Knuckles look so damn comfy, can't wait to get my hands on those.
Hands are so sweaty after long session since I keep gripping my Touch controllers, these should change that.
 
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Durante

Durante

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I'm actually a bit concerned how sweat would affect the capacitive finger tracking.
Of course, the games in which I sweat a alot (e.g. Beat Saber) aren't really ones where I need finger tracking.
 
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Alextended

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Isn't it resistive since it also tracks squeeze force? Unless it's both, capacitive for the sensitive/precise finger tracking to work and resistive underneath.
 
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Dinjoralo

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It's confirmed that the Index HMD will ship with the Knuckles (now called "Index Controllers", which is a bit more boring).
They'll also be available separately for e.g. Vive owners to upgrade just their controllers.

Here's a recent video showing finger tracking on Knuckles:
What is this black magic? Hopefully tech like this becomes standard on PC, at least.
 

Alextended

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Not even magic. Just another super elegant and clever design like their lighthouse tracking. Others are trying to do skeletal 3D tracking with cameras or devise full VR gloves, Valve simply goes touch (and force) sensitive since they know that when your fingers aren't touching the controller at all they're likely extended (duh). It's not perfect 1:1 but it's close enough and is with impeccable tracking at any moment rather than having to be within a fancy sensor's full view or whatever. They go in-depth with the sensing so that they apparently also adjust the fingers by how the rest of your palm presses the controller's sensitive areas, so that the threshold from extension without any fingers touching to the point they start touching the controller and are then easily tracked is smoother.

Oculus Touch much more than the Vive wands is like an early prototype of that, where it can tell where your thumb is resting (or is doing a thumbs up instead) as all the face buttons (and also the area left of the buttons) are also touch sensitive and the first trigger is also touch sensitive and analog so it can tell if your pointer finger is pressing it, how much, just resting on it, or if you're roughly doing a finger gun, but the rest of your hand is more abstracted since you need to hold the controller at all times and it's your middle finger that dictates the rest movements by resting on, releasing, or squeezing the second analog grip trigger.

It's quite convincing for hand presence, at least when software utilizes all these. Many games don't bother and just have the token open palm vs fist mode, maybe with the common thumbs up or other gesture on top. Maybe it's mostly games that are made to also work on Vive which don't do much of that I guess. I hope games utilizing Knuckles will still take advantage of what Touch can do rather than gimp them further by not bothering and treating them as wands.

I watched a video with various Oculus Touch prototypes and they actually had one with a strap to keep it in place, that would have brought it closer to the knuckles even without the full body of the controller becoming touch sensitive, I bet since the Knuckles announcement they're smashing their heads against the wall for considering that design but not going with it due to concerns of having to wear and adjust the straps being too cumbersome, haha.

There are third party/dyi battery covers with straps for Touch to give people the same intuitiveness in some things (when you let go of the controller then clearly you also let go of the analog grip trigger so the VR grip is opened just the same and you can throw stuff more naturally without having to consciously keep hold of the controller) but the ring design isn't made for it so it's not as comfortable and of course it still lacks intricate finger tracking beyond that stuff.
 
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Durante

Durante

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Isn't it resistive since it also tracks squeeze force? Unless it's both, capacitive for the sensitive/precise finger tracking to work and resistive underneath.
Yeah, it has both capacitive sensors for getting an idea of the finger position when they're not touching the controller, and force sensors for, well, determining with how much force you grab it ;)
 

z1ggy

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Im gonna jump into VR late this year, hopefully with a somewhat affordable Valve Index. Then ill quit my job/life to play No Mans Sky VR 24/7
 
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FunktionJCB

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Im gonna jump into VR late this year, hopefully with a somewhat affordable Valve Index. Then ill quit my job/life to play No Mans Sky VR 24/7
Yeah, I'm tempted to get a piece of VR hardware later this year, when I'll hopefully complete my move to another house. Ideally, Valve's solution will be good, price-wise, and compatibility-wise.

But, I'm not sure I'll follow you in that whole "quit my job" thing. :grimacing-face:
 
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213372bu

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DolphinVR doesn’t get enough credit for how well some games are in it.

Even aside from games like Prime, returning to SoulCalibur II was a treat.

It’s a shame that 2D videos won’t ever capture the strong feeling of presence that can be added to those experiences, because runs through some of those games are just as valid as other “real vr” games.
 
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low-G

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I'm far more interested in anything software coming than hardware (as software drives what I'll be able to do with the hardware). But of course Index Knuckles look great. I think primarily nice for freeform gestures in VRChat (which I assume will require reboning?). I think it'll help immersion somewhat but Touch and a firearm or melee weapon aren't too far off...

So I'm really anticipating Boneworks. I'm thinking about buying Final Assault and Vacation Simulator, but I haven't pulled the trigger on those yet. I really hope Valve has cool stuff up their sleeves.
 
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Redmoon

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Apr 19, 2019
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Hoping to jump into VR later this year with Valves new stuff and properly try out VR and all its games. It's time I retire my scuffed phone streaming setup that I've used for the past year or so.
 
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C-Dub

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I have a PSVR and I love it, but the Move controllers are crap. No sticks, and the tracking is rather mediocre at best.

The Aim controller works decently, mind.

I think I need to grab a PCVR solution soon. I haven’t decided what, but I reckon it’ll probably be an Oculus Rift S, as Oculus’ exclusives appeal to me a fair bit, and I won’t be missing out on all the good Steam games either.
 

fantomena

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Relly looking forward to hearing about the Index. Already own the PSVR and Rift already, but I really want higher res and wider fov.
 
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Alextended

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DolphinVR doesn’t get enough credit for how well some games are in it.
Is there a fork that's updated more frequently? The one I see most linked was last updated in 2016. When I saw that I hoped that VR was implemented in the main release instead but I don't see any relevant options there. I wish someone continued support to make it more robust and also work on supporting the VR controllers in regular 2D/Bigscreen style gaming so I can ditch my failing wiimote/nunchuck already rather than buy a new set (ugh, why so expensive).

Playing Ghost Squad/House of the Dead with Oculus Touch and no big glitches would be dreamy as long as the aiming worked properly calibrated like a real lightgun (which you could sort of do decently enough with a wiimote & a nice gun shell as long as you made sure to not move around at all after calibration).

I have no idea why nobody's making games like that for VR, all the classics are so much better than your average wave shooter clone. There are a couple experimental indie stuff that try to go for that old school feel, at least one Virtua Cop style and one Gunblade NY style, but they're not that great to me.

Apparently you can have actual arcade lightgun stuff in New Retro Arcade: Neon but I'm not able to configure that shit properly, it's too complicated for me.

I almost got things to work in non-VR emulators like Demul that can use a mouse to emulate a lightgun. But when running those in a VR desktop app like Bigscreen or Virtual Desktop or the Oculus Home desktop (where the Touch controllers appear to replace the mouse and therefor the cursor appears to be tracked pretty decently), rapid trigger presses aren't recognized as individual mouse clicks which makes it unplayable. The desktop view also has a lower framerate even if the actual desktop app and the emulator itself run fine, but the control response is the bigger issue here. So close but so far.

Found another guy doing retro lightgun stuff in VR but this is a shelved project too, ffs. Look at how nicely it worked even as a three years old wip.

Don't make me buy a CRT and real lightguns in the 2020s just to get some of these games going :(
 
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derFeef

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There will be some Arizona Sunshine news today - I guess DLC announcement.
I think this is one of best produced VR games out there. Pretty excited!

 
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Alextended

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Either DLC or more stuff about the location VR experience AS thing.

I didn't like the original honestly. Whatever it is I hope they've upped their game. I've tried all the popular zombie VR stuff and I didn't have fun with any for more than just the premise alone allows (ie, first few zombie headshots in VR were cool, how can they not be). Arizona Sunshine, A-Tech Cybernetic, Dead Trigger VR, etc. Playing Doom 3 in VR was the best zombie game yet to me. Still not too great given it's a fan mod but at least a solidly designed game under the VR hook.

Having a real VR Resident Evil would slay. Not even VII which they said would come to PCVR and then it didn't though, something with the full 1:1 hand tracking gameplay with the RE production values, gameplay depth, variety of situations and tense scenes all with the same high quality the series is known for. Pls. RE2 Remake is already so good with the first person mod, if only it was possible to fully convert it to VR (not just head tracking), but that's too much work.
 
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Alextended

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Durante

Durante

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Arizona Sunshine DLC is very welcome.

The first was a nice chunk of gameplay, and quality co-op VR campaign stuff isn't particularly common.
 

Arulan

Lizardman
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It's almost time!

I enjoyed Arizona Sunshine. I'd be happy to play more content. I didn't get a chance to play co-op though, but that has more to do with my friends not owning a VR headset yet. :(
 

Alextended

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Valve Index - Upgrade your experience - Valve Corporation

Yikes.

Index HMD + Controllers + Base Stations 1079 EUR.
Index HMD + Controllers (for people who have Base Stations from Vive I guess, or maybe as a second set for local multiplayer), 799 EUR.



Oh well, like I said I'm not planning to upgrade my VR set any time soon, maybe in like 5-6 years after a PC upgrade, hopefully the price is good by then, ha.
 
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Kuro

SEKIROから逃げるな
Dec 22, 2018
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Looks sexy as expected, but it's also double the price I was expecting so yeah, will be waiting for sure.
Damn shame, I thought they wanted to cut costs to bring more people in.
 

SRossi

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Dec 9, 2018
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why can't i put it in the basket and preorder. the pages are already online and seen by everyone so just let us preorder valve! come on!