Should I?

Bearsahrk

n00b
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Apr 22, 2017
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5
Been watching VR tech for quite some time, but haven't jumped into it yet. Seems the tech is a bit stale at the moment since I haven't seen any new products in a while. I was intrigued by a post on Hot Hardware about a fan-made MOD for Half Lige 2 and adapting it for VR. This apparently has Valve's endorsement at some level.

I loved the Halflife series and played them all... many times. To replay HL2 in VR sounds like a re-birth of the game for me if I decided to take the plunge.

HL2 VR Mod this fall

My question to anyone who wants to answer is "Should I jump into the VR ecosystem, now?" Or wait for some more maturity in this HW genre?

Thanks

-BearShare
 

sharknice

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It depends what you actually want from it and how much you're willing to spend, but I would generally say yes, it is worth getting into now.

The tech isn't stale at all, there is a lot of new hardware in the works and releasing soon. And there has been a lot of new hardware released over the past few years. There is ridiculous amounts of money being put into VR hardware R&D.


VR isn't just about the headset, the VR controllers and moving around IRL is a big part of the experience.
If you're only playing sit down games using a keyboard/mouse/gamepad you're missing out on a lot of what VR has to offer.

IMO the best thing to do would get a Meta Quest 2. You can play it without a PC, but you can also play it using a PC with a cable, or wirelessly.
The Quest 2 is the cheapest ($400), easiest to use, and most convinient to use. You can just put it on anywhere and play.
With something like the Valve Index you need your PC setup properly, you need wired base stations setup around the room and calibrated, you need to manage the cord going to your headset, you need a space dedicated to it and it costs a lot more.

There currently isn't really a "best" VR headset to get right now. No matter how much money you spend they all have advantages and disadvantages over each other.
There are going to be some big headsets probably coming out next year.
There is a Quest Pro rumored to cost $1500, Apple's headset rumored to cost $2000, and some others.


BTW Valve made Half-Life Alyx exclusively for VR.
 
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I'm still waiting. When most say the best game to play on VR is still HL Alyx, which came out 2 years ago, you get the impression that there's just not many quality games yet.
 

Koldur

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I'm still waiting. When most say the best game to play on VR is still HL Alyx, which came out 2 years ago, you get the impression that there's just not many quality games yet.
The best pancake game is still from years ago too. Best games are often hard to top. But it is your choice of course, I am in awe each time I put on my headset and play whatever game I enjoy.

If you like racing/simracing, VR is so absurdly cool. There is a full world of extra great games to enjoy in VR.
 

noko

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The best pancake game is still from years ago too. Best games are often hard to top. But it is your choice of course, I am in awe each time I put on my headset and play whatever game I enjoy.

If you like racing/simracing, VR is so absurdly cool. There is a full world of extra great games to enjoy in VR.
MS Flight simulator comes on its own in VR. I just have not had too much time to fiddle in VR. Too many side projects:(
 

|Tch0rT|

[H]ard|Gawd
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There's so many different types of units everyone will say something different.

I have a HP Reverb G2 and it's pretty sweet despite being tethered. I got it for $400 on sale. It seems to get that low pretty often. It's not wireless like the Quest 2 and it doesn't have the finger controller like the Index. The screen is pretty sharp but color reproduction isn't the greatest (I'm used to an OLED) but it's good enough. Setup is kind of a pain and having enough room can be challenging. I have to move things around a little bit before playing, I put fans to my side so I can kinda keep track of where I am. The main thing other than potentially hitting/knocking things over is after a while it gets really hot. It's kinda deceiving and you play longer and get hotter and might start feeling sick. It's good to take breaks when you don't feel quite right. The tether is a pain and I need to figure out a system for it but that'll be for the next place I move to.

Games that I checked out with it that are absolutely amazing:

Half-Life Alyx (felt like playing HL2 for the first time with the wow factor imo)
Moss
The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners
A Fisherman's Tale
Microsoft Flight Simulator (this is a system killer.. 5900x & 3090 and I can't max it :rage:)
Star Wars Squadrons
Assetto Corsa

There's also some non game VR stuff that's kinda cool like:

DeepStates VR
Nerertari: Journey to Eternity
Eye of the Owl - The Hieronymus Bosch VR experience
Ayahuasca (LOL I did 4g of shrooms and checked this out and holy shit :alien:)

I also played Arizona Sunshine and that's pretty cool but TWDS&S is better. I also tried Karnage Chronicles for a short bit, that was kinda cool. Blade & Sorcery, Hot Dogs, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Boneworks, and Bonelab look great too.

There's some cool stuff and shit stuff and then there's stuff that feels kinda like a high end amusement attraction it's cool but once and done. Tho MSFS, SWS, and AC, where highly immersive and I want force feedback wheels and shit now.
 

mazeroth

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If you're a fan of Skyrim, then playing it in VR is absolutely amazing. Download Wabbajack and you can choose from a few different mod packs on there. I'm currently playing with FUS and it's great.
 

Jelly

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If you're a fan of Skyrim, then playing it in VR is absolutely amazing. Download Wabbajack and you can choose from a few different mod packs on there. I'm currently playing with FUS and it's great.
I'm using Wabbajack for the following games:
Skyrim: (Ultimate VR Essentials)
Fallout 4: (Fallout 4 VR Essentials)
And another mod pack I use (Not Wabbajack based)
No Mans Sky: (Step No Man's Sky)

I gotta say Skyrim and F4 completely change the game to a whole 'nother level.

NMS mods are just QOL and fixes mostly.
 

flegg

[H]ard|Gawd
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If you can afford a varjo vr-3 at $3.5k - yes. Otherwise wait.
IMO that level of quality is the tipping point for mainstream adoption (not at that price point obviously)
 

sharknice

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If you can afford a varjo vr-3 at $3.5k - yes. Otherwise wait.
IMO that level of quality is the tipping point for mainstream adoption (not at that price point obviously)
Quest 2 already has mainstream adoption. It's sold over 10 million units, more Q2s were sold than Xboxes last year.

I personally wanted to get into VR for a long time. I tried out an Oculus Rift DK1 in 2013 and it was really cool but just too low resolution. The resolution sort of felt like playing NES games to me I tried headsets whenever they were released and the Quest 2 was really the first one with resolution good enough that it didn't bother me. Yeah higher resolution would be better, but it's good enough you don't think about it while you're playing.
 
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flegg

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Quest 2 already has mainstream adoption. It's sold over 10 million units, more Q2s were sold than Xboxes last year.

I personally wanted to get into VR for a long time. I tried out an Oculus Rift DK1 in 2013 and it was really cool but just too low resolution. The resolution sort of felt like playing NES games to me I tried headsets whenever they were released and the Quest 2 was really the first one with resolution good enough that it didn't bother me. Yeah higher resolution would be better, but it's good enough you don't think about it while you're playing.
Meh nobody talks about all the fun times they are having in VR yet and the Quest2 resolution is still gross to me.
 

sharknice

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Meh nobody talks about all the fun times they are having in VR yet and the Quest2 resolution is still gross to me.

They do though. Just look at any social media, kids are constantly talking about it. I hear it from coworkers that aren't even gamers, even my doctor talked about it.

If you own a $3500 and think the cheap headset is "gross" that 10s of millions of people enjoy you're not mainstream.
 

Andrew_Carr

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If you're really into gaming and can afford it, then you might enjoy it enough to justify the price tag. I still think we're a generation away from it being generally good enough (I like the valve index controllers, I like the base station accuracy, I dislike tethered headsets, and I think they're still too heavy and the resolution/image quality needs improvement). That's my experience with the valve index. Every other competing headset else seems to be an improvement in some areas (visual quality for some, wireless for others) but a step back in others (FOV, accuracy, etc.). The varjo seems great but it's also super expensive and is still relatively heavy.

Right now it reminds me of something like the kinect or playstation move. Still kind of niche, not all the bugs are worked out, and it's still too expensive if you want a quality experience. It's also highly dependent on if you get motion sick or not. I can play for hours and it can be an amazing experience. Other family members got sick within 15 minutes and had to stop.

TLDR: If you have the money to blow it can be worth it, if you're trying to time when is the best time to buy in for the perfect experience, wait.
 

equinox654

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The quest 2 resolution could be better, but is leaps and bounds better than what we had with the cv1 and the Vive and quite a bit better than the odyssey and index.
I have owned all but the index, but used a friends.

For the next gen if I had to make a choice. I would choose greatly improved lenses over more resolution. I hate fresnel lenses with their god rays and concentric rings and small sweet spot.
Though it may be that it is the optimal solution already.

So, for me it was all about resolution and more is always better, but damn if I wouldn’t love to see the pixels we already have clearly.
 

sharknice

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The quest 2 resolution could be better, but is leaps and bounds better than what we had with the cv1 and the Vive and quite a bit better than the odyssey and index.
I have owned all but the index, but used a friends.

For the next gen if I had to make a choice. I would choose greatly improved lenses over more resolution. I hate fresnel lenses with their god rays and concentric rings and small sweet spot.
Though it may be that it is the optimal solution already.

So, for me it was all about resolution and more is always better, but damn if I wouldn’t love to see the pixels we already have clearly.

Fresnel definitely isn't the current best solution. Most of the upcoming headsets use pancake lenses or some form of them. They're not only improving image clarity but also way thinner which leads to a lot of other benefits with the headset. They can make it lower profile, lighter, have a tighter center of gravity, the headset can be a lot more comfortable.
Also they'll have things like varifocal lenses in the future (they have working prototypes now) and having your real focus distance change based on what you're looking at actually makes a bigger difference in realism and comfort than you would think.

There are tons of improvements coming and it isn't limited to just pixels.
 

Ripskin

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I wish the tracking on my G2 was better, but the resolution is solid for the price and keeps me from getting a migraine. However having to disassemble each time makes it a rare fun event since I dont have time to haul it out, undo my surround monitor grouping, disconnect monitor, plug in headset, play then take apart put away plug in monitor, restore surround grouping, move apps back to where I keep em for productivity etc.
 

DPI

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My question to anyone who wants to answer is "Should I jump into the VR ecosystem, now?" Or wait for some more maturity in this HW genre?

It's not the big scary investment it once may have been. Very good options are available in the $300-400 range. And if you're that much of a HL fan, then you're missing out on what to me was a once-in-a-lifetime gaming experience.

As for which HMD to buy, people tend to be biased by what they own (Quest 2 owners will tell you to get a Quest 2, etc), but having used many different HMD's personally, and owning both a HP Reverb G2 and Quest 2, and having used an Index extensively previously, if I could play HL:A all over again I'd do it on HP Reverb G2 since it has the best visual quality at its pricepoint, and the tracking is perfectly adequate. The tracking quality delta between Quest 2 and G2 tends to get overblown. Index controllers are arguably "best" for absolute controller precision, but to me that delta no longer matters with the Index's visual quality too far behind current offerings now.
 
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bobzdar

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Coming from an owner of a high end consumer headset (varjo aero), which I really like, the quest 2 is the best overall. You can run it wireless (including pc), has the most games, and the iq is decent, even if there are others with better. It has the least major compromises imo, and the price is right.
 

vorpel

Limp Gawd
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Jan 7, 2006
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408
Great thread and responses. My son's birthday is coming up (10) and he wants to try VR. With the recent changes for the Quest 2 (not having to use a Facebook account) I guess we will give it a try. I'm thinking that the price is decent for getting started and it sounds like the Quest 2 will be a pretty good experience.

Thanks everyone!
 

rhkcommander959

Limp Gawd
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337
As a CV1 (sold) and now a Q2 owner, I really wish I could try out the Pimax headsets. Wider FOV is what I am reallllllly wanting. For the kid, Q2 is great though.
Was it worth the swap?

I still enjoy my cv1 but hate the screen door. Wish the newer oculus head sets would still use the external sensors too...
 

aliaskary77

Limp Gawd
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Dec 18, 2006
Messages
386
Was it worth the swap?

I still enjoy my cv1 but hate the screen door. Wish the newer oculus head sets would still use the external sensors too...
I do like airlink and being wireless. I can't say i noticed that much difference visually between the two. Maybe slightly less screen door, but i can still see some godrays in the darker scenes. External sensors were more accurate, but not having cables all over the place is a good trade-off. I would have liked the SteamVR base station style...need power supply for the sensor, but not a USB cable back to the PC.
 
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jdempsey

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143
Fresnel definitely isn't the current best solution. Most of the upcoming headsets use pancake lenses or some form of them. They're not only improving image clarity but also way thinner which leads to a lot of other benefits with the headset. They can make it lower profile, lighter, have a tighter center of gravity, the headset can be a lot more comfortable.
Also they'll have things like varifocal lenses in the future (they have working prototypes now) and having your real focus distance change based on what you're looking at actually makes a bigger difference in realism and comfort than you would think.

There are tons of improvements coming and it isn't limited to just pixels.

Anybody that's ever used a stereo binocular/microscope I'm sure will be more than in enthusiastic agreement. The difference between having a great crisp image with decent DoF or having a permanent migraine with vertigo is a tiny fraction of a focus turn away. I *highly* suspect, independently variable focal lenses will have a massive impact on the number of people that have significant motion sickness as well, personally. I don't suffer from motion sickness with VR headsets myself, but I spent the overwhelming majority with my OG Vive, trying to really find the "sweet spot", and always suspecting I wasn't quite there. I have relatively narrow IPD but within the supposed range of it, but I could never quite get both my eyes in the zone together like I can on my Leica stereo zoom scope. If it weren't for using a scope so much, I doubt I'd actually know what I was missing, that said, it took me quite a long time to figure it out with the scope as well. I used to use a Meiji EMZ series that was much easier to get both eyes locked in, at the expense of significantly reduced DoF. Even that took me days of trial and error with expert instruction, and a concerted effort to simply relax my eyes and mind and let the two images meld. Eventually I was able to step up to the much nicer Leica, but I was damn close to swearing the scope off entirely. All this to say, I can only imagine how frustrating most headsets are to many people without that perspective, but I do believe varifocal lenses are the answer to most of the problems. It sure would be nice however if some standardization eventually existed, that would allow optometrists or optics specialists to make custom lenses for headsets for individual eyes, and considering how critical this component is to the tech itself, it's surprising nobody seems to be considering this, when in every other industry or product related to optics, this is pretty standard fare. Hell, you can easily get prescription inserts for welding hoods. 🤷‍♂️
 

sharknice

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Anybody that's ever used a stereo binocular/microscope I'm sure will be more than in enthusiastic agreement. The difference between having a great crisp image with decent DoF or having a permanent migraine with vertigo is a tiny fraction of a focus turn away. I *highly* suspect, independently variable focal lenses will have a massive impact on the number of people that have significant motion sickness as well, personally. I don't suffer from motion sickness with VR headsets myself, but I spent the overwhelming majority with my OG Vive, trying to really find the "sweet spot", and always suspecting I wasn't quite there. I have relatively narrow IPD but within the supposed range of it, but I could never quite get both my eyes in the zone together like I can on my Leica stereo zoom scope. If it weren't for using a scope so much, I doubt I'd actually know what I was missing, that said, it took me quite a long time to figure it out with the scope as well. I used to use a Meiji EMZ series that was much easier to get both eyes locked in, at the expense of significantly reduced DoF. Even that took me days of trial and error with expert instruction, and a concerted effort to simply relax my eyes and mind and let the two images meld. Eventually I was able to step up to the much nicer Leica, but I was damn close to swearing the scope off entirely. All this to say, I can only imagine how frustrating most headsets are to many people without that perspective, but I do believe varifocal lenses are the answer to most of the problems. It sure would be nice however if some standardization eventually existed, that would allow optometrists or optics specialists to make custom lenses for headsets for individual eyes, and considering how critical this component is to the tech itself, it's surprising nobody seems to be considering this, when in every other industry or product related to optics, this is pretty standard fare. Hell, you can easily get prescription inserts for welding hoods. 🤷‍♂️

You can get prescription lenses for the Quest 2, I'm not sure about the other headsets. I don't think they can really standardize it between headsets since the headsets are changing so much with every new model and it would put limitations on the design improvements.
 

LurkerLito

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I am late on this topic but let me just add one thing to the discussion. I recommend if you want to play VR to get into it as early as possible. The one thing I can tell you for certain is that we all get older and I really wish VR at it's current level happened 15-20 years ago. I am now old enough to have issues with my knees and back from the debt incurred to my body by my younger self and the bill is past due lol. I love VR and can still play but I haven't played in a while now (about a year) because the most immersive parts of it are no longer viable (crouch button or no buy now :(). Getting old just sucks, so if you can swing it, go for it while you can enjoy it to the fullest and don't forget to stretch to warm up and cool down before and after you play.
 

DPI

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I am late on this topic but let me just add one thing to the discussion. I recommend if you want to play VR to get into it as early as possible. The one thing I can tell you for certain is that we all get older and I really wish VR at it's current level happened 15-20 years ago. I am now old enough to have issues with my knees and back from the debt incurred to my body by my younger self and the bill is past due lol. I love VR and can still play but I haven't played in a while now (about a year) because the most immersive parts of it are no longer viable (crouch button or no buy now :(). Getting old just sucks, so if you can swing it, go for it while you can enjoy it to the fullest and don't forget to stretch to warm up and cool down before and after you play.
FWIW there are some great seated VR experiences!
 
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