The VR thread

Aazealh

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I've been told someone recently bought a VR headset and wants to talk about it, but no dedicated thread exists! So here's one. Let's talk about virtual reality!
The current news is the release of the Oculus Quest 2, an all-in-one device from Facebook that offers great value for $299.

 

Walter

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I've been told someone recently bought a VR headset and wants to talk about it, but no dedicated thread exists!

That'd be me! I think $299 is a sweet spot for VR. Particularly because the Quest can run most games all on its own, untethered to any other device. That freedom of movement makes it far more appealing to me than any other headset, because it's not just me that's excited about VR. My son can't wait, either. He doesn't know I'm getting this. The last time he tried VR was the GearVR with my Nexus 6 phone (which I pretty much got just for the Blade Runner reference), and only for minutes at a time. This is going to be a huge upgrade.

The price point pushed me over the edge, but naturally so did Half-Life: Alyx, for which the Quest alone isn't enough. It needs a decent PC with a modern graphics card tethered to the Quest to get a good experience. I've been in the process of PREPARING for this moment since last year, around the time that Alyx was announced as a VR exclusive. I upgraded my PC part-by-part over about 6 months, and now I've got a machine that's more than capable of running anything I throw at it at a decent framerate. All that was missing was, of course, the VR headset. And right around the time Alyx landed, so did COVID-19, and I lost my job. Dropping $400 on a Quest seemed imprudent—reckless even. So I waited.

Since then, I've landed a great job, and the Quest 2 was announced and priced yesterday at $100 less than the Quest. That's bonkers, but still I'm glad I ended up waiting. I immediately pre-ordered. Now, just don't tell my wife.
 
I'm thinking of getting psvr on ebay today. I'll need a new graphics card for my pc and can get a bundle for ps4 with a game for less than 200 bucks. If it resonates I'll likely start upgrading my computer for something a little more legit.
 

Aazealh

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I'm thinking of getting psvr on ebay today. I'll need a new graphics card for my pc and can get a bundle for ps4 with a game for less than 200 bucks. If it resonates I'll likely start upgrading my computer for something a little more legit.

Honestly I wouldn't recommend getting a PSVR today, especially if you don't already have a PS4 (or do you mean you'd get a PSVR bundle for $200?). PSVR's all but retired at this point and it's just old and shitty compared to the state of the art. It also requires accessories to function that you might not get with the headset if you buy it used. Lastly, Sony's working on a PSVR2 for PS5 which they will probably release next year, so really... not recommended.

Currently the best VR HMD you can get is the Oculus Quest 2, and it also happens to be among the cheapest (which is pretty insane). It works by itself without a computer or console too. I think you should probably rather get that.
 
I just can't support facebook which I believe is required. If I'm way off the mark and its not required then I apologize. Yes, the bundle for 200 or less. Comes with everything you need or should have as well. More for a run to see if this is an avenue I want to approach more. Many hobbies I start cheap and then go extreme if I like it.

At the very least my kids may get a kick out of it and then I can work on something substantial down the road.
 
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Aazealh

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I just can't support facebook which I believe is required. If I'm way off the mark and its not required then I apologize.

Ah well they manufacture the headset, so buying it gives them money for sure.

Yes, the bundle for 200 or less. Comes with everything you need or should have as well. More for a run and see if this is an avenue I want to approach more.

Yeah I'm familiar with these bundles, they retailed for that price last year with like 5 games included. It's your choice of course but it's a bad deal to me. Since you don't have a compatible PC I'd recommend either waiting for PSVR2 or until you get a better graphics card.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Since then, I've landed a great job, and the Quest 2 was announced and priced yesterday at $100 less than the Quest. That's bonkers, but still I'm glad I ended up waiting. I immediately pre-ordered. Now, just don't tell my wife.

Congrats man! I can't wait to hear what you think of Alyx as a real Half-Life fan (I probably wouldn't have played it if not for the VR angle =). Quest 2 looks awesome, but yeah... don't tell the wife. It's like coming home with magic beans during the plague and it's not something that blends in the background like your other games; one reason I can't easily get a PS5 is because that stupid white design stands out too much (stick with interchangeable black boxes, Sony =). Hey, at least this is a solution for our own dreadful reality!

Yes, the bundle for 200 or less. Comes with everything you need or should have as well. More for a run to see if this is an avenue I want to approach more. Many hobbies I start cheap and then go extreme if I like it.

At the very least my kids may get a kick out of it and then I can work on something substantial down the road.

Well, Aaz won't recommend this either, but if you aren't already set on PSVR for your kids you might do what I did and split the difference with a cheap Windows Mixed Reality headset off eBay (you can get them for $100-200). I've tried PSVR as well and Aaz is right that it's lacking, and while WMR is certainly no Quest, if you're looking for a cheap entry point to try it I think you'd get more value out of a PC setup unless your card truly can't run anything; except for Alyx and some others it's not impossibly demanding to run average VR games, but it'll be a lot better than PSVR. Anyway, if Quest 2, maybe the best deal in gaming, isn't an option and the comfort and accessibility of the PS4 is paramount though I get it.
 
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Aazealh

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Well, Aaz won't recommend this either, but if you aren't already set on PSVR for your kids you might do what I did and split the difference with a cheap Windows Mixed Reality headset off eBay (you can get them for $100-200).

I would have actually but he said his PC wasn't up to snuff! Although to be frank you scored a pretty nice deal all things considered, I'd say you lucked out... Most of those early WMR headsets were... not great.

A used quest isn't that bad.

Get it for cheap though! $150 might be a good deal if you can find one for that price.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Ok ok. You guys have convinced me to wait. A used quest isn't that bad.

Yeah, and like Aaz indicated, the asking price ought to be coming down.

I would have actually but he said his PC wasn't up to snuff! Although to be frank you scored a pretty nice deal all things considered, I'd say you lucked out... Most of those early WMR headsets were... not great.

I got luckier than I even knew at the time since I didn't fully understand the value of specs like FOV that can really compromise the experience and I just happened to get one comparable to Oculus in that regard. I probably wouldn't be too happy if I was only seeing 90 degrees around me. Anyway, it was a nice way to jump in without breaking the bank, now Quest 2 let's one go top of the line for starter money. Win/win whether you've already got a VR setup or not.
 

Aazealh

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I'm just waiting until they finally get rid of that stupid blur.

Not sure what you mean by that, but resolution has gone up drastically over the past few years. Perceived quality isn't on par with a 4K monitor yet, but it will be in a couple generations.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
I've written a lot about Alyx and other VR games in the "What Are You Playing?" thread, but let's cover some more inside stuff.

Revive - This is a program for steam that was meant to let you play Oculus Rift games on an HTC Vive, but can also be made to work on Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which is how I used it. It works with some tinkering, but running each game will pose a different set of challenges, plus the controls are being translated from two other headsets, so it's not really worth it for casually, or accurately, trying Rift games.

Sidequest - This allows you to side load files, software and mods on yo your Quest that it doesn't regularly support. It takes some setting up, you have to sign up as an Oculus developer to enable it on your Quest, but unlike Revive with WMR it's well worth it in the long run as it let's you do some incredible things with your Quest to greatly improve your VR experience. Not least of all...

Virtual Desktop - Now this is the big one. It's a simple name and idea, Virtual Desktop lets you access your PC desktop on your headset... but can't you usually do that anyway? Well, this let's you stream it wirelessly to your Quest, and more importantly, let's you access your PC Oculus and Steam libraries in a simple, intuitive all-in-one menu as well, your actual desktop be damned.

I was skeptical of this working functionally at first, it's one thing to stream your desktop to your Quest, but the most demanding VR game on your PC is another matter, and the odds of it running and/or looking like shit seemed high. But, I'd had enough success with PS Now and Steam Link that I knew it could theoretically work, and the upside, wireless PC VR, was irresistible after tasting the untethered Quest goods.

So, I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised when not only did it work, but actually ran demanding games like Alyx better! I used to start Alyx only after a reboot and make it the sole thing running, but I first fired this up casually in the middle of a bunch of other shit and it worked better than it ever had under those conditions, pretty much flawlessly. I don't know why that is other than maybe it's actually somehow less taxing hardware-wise, cuts out all the "middle men", as long as you got the 5GHz connection to move the data (or it could be Alyx weirdness, like how spectator cam causes stuttering for some). I was cautiously optimistic at first because I didn't want to get too excited about it if it was too good to be true, but Alyx was clearly working better as I went on, even loading notably faster, which probably accounted for the high performance otherwise.

The trade-off is there are some visible artifacts of the streaming at times of course, especially in the dark, but that relatively minor graphical difference is barely noticeable in action, and relatively little compared to the difference between Quest and Rift versions of games, let alone the difference between tethered and wireless. I mean, it's basically the Quest Edition of whatever PC VR game you want, except you probably won't be able to tell the difference.

So, either this just works great and should be standard, or I just got lucky with my setup, connection and signal, but I highly recommend trying it as this is a game changer. It literally changes how you play not having to worry about a wire underfoot or overhead, I was moving around and seeing things in VR like never before, and I will never go back. The biggest issue I have with VR in this setup is battery life, as it sucks the fully charged Quest battery after only a few hours, which obviously isn't a concern while tethered, but the enhanced quality of the play experience is well worth it.

Doom 3 Quest - Another benefit to Sidequest is installing games and apps not available in the Oculus store, and a big one right now is Doom 3 Quest. Doom 3 already has an infamously storied VR history as a proof of concept that unfortunately ended in a bunch of ugly lawsuits that meant any official port was indefinitely deferred. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of Team Beef, if you own Doom 3 on Steam you can now install a VR mod engine that somehow makes for a better port than official ones for Skyrim and Fallout 4, and for arguably one of the games best suited for VR ever. Some say this is the best Quest game period at the moment... and they may be right (note this mod is Quest only, you can't play it tethered as far as I know). I didn't even like Doom 3 that much when it first came out and yet it's so good in VR it kind of feels like this was always its destiny, it was just in the wrong format at the wrong time. Anyway, it's pretty much a perfect version of an immersive Doom VR game. Suddenly those Imps really do feel like, and definitely sound like, xenomorphs hunting you in an Aliens scenario, and with it's awesome dynamic lighting, your flashlight in one hand and your gun in the other, it's like Half-Life: Alyx before it's time. It's got some genuine scares too, though I may need to bump up the difficulty if it doesn't ramp up soon because with lasersight aiming in VR you can surgically cut those demons down.
 

Aazealh

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It's finally been officially announced. I'll say, I'm genuinely excited to replay the game from in this new medium. I think it's really well-suited to it and will make for an amazing experience. Especially since many parts of the game that weren't very scary as a third person shooter will now be much more nerve-racking.
 

Walter

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It's finally been officially announced. I'll say, I'm genuinely excited to replay the game from in this new medium. I think it's really well-suited to it and will make for an amazing experience. Especially since many parts of the game that weren't very scary as a third person shooter will now be much more nerve-racking.
There are more than a few rooms in that game that I’m really not looking forward to playing in VR. :magni:
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
I'll say, I'm genuinely excited to replay the game from in this new medium. I think it's really well-suited to it and will make for an amazing experience. Especially since many parts of the game that weren't very scary as a third person shooter will now be much more nerve-racking.

This could indeed be awesome (or weird if it doesn't quite translate), and I'd be interested in replaying RE4 at this point anyway, but especially as a new first person experience in VR. Though, I didn't realize it until I watched the trailer and how specifically they mentioned Quest 2, but it seems this is not going to be available for Rift or Quest 1/tethered play. Looks like they're pulling a Sony and keeping the game exclusive even from their own systems! It's getting as bad as local sports broadcast rights; soon companies will be paying Capcom exclusive contracts not to release games at all.:shrug: Ok, I'm mainly bitching about Sony and the exclusivity pretzels they've tied themselves in to ostensibly sell a system they can't even make available, while this obviously makes more organic sense than that, but I don't like the business of upgrading and abandoning viable hardware as a strategy to grow one's consumer base. I'll merely be disappointed if I can't try it, but if I had paid $4-500 for a Quest or Rift S not too long ago and then they arbitrarily held it back from those I'd be pretty pissed.

BTW, on that note, if they really want to get our dicks harder than VR porn, how about RE8 VR (or VII for that matter; at least it released this decade)? One can already play any VR game wirelessly on an old Quest using third party software, and they're working on presumably an even better official solution, so let's not hold anything back or settle for merely the best games of 15 or 20 years ago. I mean, if the big exclusive VR announcements this year are Doom 3 and RE4, well... it's no brand new Half-Life game. =)

There are more than a few rooms in that game that I’m really not looking forward to playing in VR. :magni:

Muerte... Muerte... Muerte... :SK:
 
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Aazealh

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This could indeed be awesome, and I'd be interested in replaying RE4 at this point anyway, but especially as a new first person experience in VR. Though, I didn't think of it until I watched the trailer and how specifically they mentioned Quest 2, but it seems this is not going to be available for Rift or Quest 1/tethered play. I hope they don't pull a Sony and start holding games hostage from even their other current systems (several sites seemingly confirm it's Quest 2 only).

Yep, it's Quest 2 only. It might still come to the Rift platform though, and therefore be available on Quest 1 through tethering. Anyway, so far they've insisted studios develop for both systems, but the problem is that Quest 2 is literally twice as powerful, so for a game like RE4 I think Quest 1 was just not feasible. But otherwise they've reiterated yesterday that they strongly recommend all developers to publish games for both headsets. I expect Quest 1 to be supported like that until next year, and then for more and more Quest 2 exclusives to be released.

They've also confirmed they won't release a new headset this year, and that if they release one next year, it'll be a more expensive model akin to a "Quest 2 Pro". It would feature new sensors for eye and face tracking (so people can see your expressions in social experiences) and maybe RBG cameras for augmented reality experiences, but wouldn't be a bonafide Quest 3. Might be aimed more at devs and enterprise than consumers. I think the idea is for Quest 2 to be their "main device" for the next two to three years basically, and maybe supported for four years.

The key thing to understand the Quest/Quest 2 situation is that while Quest came out 2 years ago, it's using a chip from 4 years ago. That seriously limited its staying power (including because that chip stopped being manufactured), and that's why Facebook released a follow-up so quickly. In comparison, Quest 2 was bundled with cutting edge, future-proof components, so it'll endure longer.

BTW, on that note, if they really want to get our dicks harder than VR porn, how about RE8 VR (or VII for that matter)? I can already play anything wirelessly on an old Quest using third party software, and they're working on a presumably even better official solution, so let's not hold anything back or settle merely for the best games from 15 or 20 years ago.

They've released the Air Link beta this week actually! I'm not sure I have the update yet but I'm curious to try it. That said, most users want something they can play on-device, plus Capcom probably was much more easily convinced to release an RE4 port on Quest 2 (which is being developed by a third party studio) than to meddle with their upcoming tentpole game.

I'd guess that if RE8 were to have a VR version at launch, it'd be a PSVR2 exclusive paid for with big bucks. But PSVR2's not here yet so no dice. Who knows though, maybe a PCVR and PSVR2 version of RE8 will come out next year, Bethesda-style. =) The key challenge is redoing the entire user interface and adapting game assets and gameplay accordingly. That's why RE7's VR mode wasn't very good overall, because it was just tacked on.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Yep, it's Quest 2 only. It might still come to the Rift platform though, and therefore be available on Quest 1 through tethering.

That's all one could ask for. I get why they can't keep holding Quest 2 apps to Quest standards, otherwise there's little point, but for big games like this I feel like PCVR compatibility should also be an option.

They've released the Air Link beta this week actually! I'm not sure I have the update yet but I'm curious to try it. That said, most users want something they can play on-device

Great news! And yeah, all-in-one, on-device availability is a must, but again, there's also a not insignificant amount of PCVR players that want to take advantage of their hardware for the highest level experiences and/or only play at home anyway, especially in these times. I just hope there's enough of us to be considered here.

I'd guess that if RE8 were to have a VR version at launch, it'd be a PSVR2 exclusive paid for with big bucks. But PSVR2's not here yet so no dice. Who knows though, maybe a PCVR and PSVR2 version of RE8 will come out next year, Bethesda-style. =) The key challenge is redoing the entire user interface and adapting game assets and gameplay accordingly. That's why RE7's VR mode wasn't very good overall, because it was just tacked on.

You've cured me of my delusion; none of that makes me hopeful for RE8 VR! :ganishka:
 

Aazealh

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Great news! And yeah, all-in-one, on-device availability is a must, but again, there's also a not insignificant amount of PCVR players that want to take advantage of their hardware for the highest level experiences and/or only play at home anyway, especially in these times. I just hope there's enough of us to be considered here.

The feeling I get is that they're trying to content both PC players and Quest players, but standalone is their priority at the moment. Still, they released Medal of Honor a few months ago and Lone Echo II is coming out this year. Both are PCR only. I'd expect their Air Link tethering functionality to be fully working by the time Lone Echo II is out, and once tethering becomes easy and convenient maybe we'll see a resurgence of big budget PC games. The end-game there might even be VR cloud gaming, where you forgo the PC and stream ultra high quality games on the Quest directly. But that's +5 years off.

You've cured me of my delusion; none of that makes me hopeful for RE8 VR! :ganishka:

What I'd really love is a Dead Space game for PCVR. Now that'd be a sight to see.
 
Oh man, a good VR horror game, would love to try it! The only other one I've tried was Phasmophobia VR and it was such an awful game.
 

Aazealh

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Oh man, a good VR horror game, would love to try it! The only other one I've tried was Phasmophobia VR and it was such an awful game.

Lies Beneath is pretty good if you have a Quest, it's inspired by comic books and has sort of a Lovecraftian vibe going on. Not on RE4's level as far as budget goes obviously, but pretty neat.
 
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