– The THC Vive –

So not too long ago i tried picking up VR again to see whats new in the land of pretend VR and how far things have progressed in the VR waifu department, but the oculus rift DK2 still had god awful windows 10 support and i couldnt get it to work right, so i said fuck it and got myself the HTC vive.

If you havent seen my oculus rift review, you can catch up with it here https://utilizator404.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/the-oculus-rift-dk2-review/ and a follow up here https://utilizator404.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/another-look-at-the-dorculus-drift-donkeykong2/

In this article im going to be comparing the 2 side by side and see how much this stuff has progressed over the years, So lets get into it.

– Seting it up –

Setting this thing up was even more complicated than the oculus, for whatever retarded reason, the thing is still not wireless and theres even more cables than on the oculus. There are no instructions on how to set it up, there is only health warnings, sensor placement guide and a list of the box contents. It took me some time figuring out what to plug where, the sensors have USB ports on them but the provided USB cables are only few centimeters long, ironically enough, the sensors themselves are wireless and the USB ports are only there for firmware updates, but that isnt mentioned anywhere. Also the thing needs not one but 3 fucking power bricks, one for each sensor and one for the headset.
The drivers for it are just as terrible as the ones for the oculus, the thing did not want to work no matter what i did, i was starting to think my vive was broken or something till i remembered that oculus used to be very anal about having multiple monitors, so i tried disconnecting all my monitors, plug the vive in and sure enough, the fucking thing worked… than i could plug all my monitors back in after everything was set up. And even than theres always something, either sound not working right or one of the components not being detected, all kinds of random errors and having to restart Steam VR program multiple times for it to work right. Get your shit together HTC, this is a consumer product, not a fucking development kit.

– The Screen –

Looking back at the oculus and comparing it with the vive, i feel like the example image i made of the oculs screen doesnt do it justice.

This is a more accurate depiction of what you see, only put your face very close to your monitor to get the full oculus screen experience!

While the screen on the vive is an improvement over the oculus, it is still no where near what i would consider a consumers version.

Theres still those huge eye straining gaps between the pixels, making all the fine detail impossible to make out, smaller texts are hard or borderline impossible to read. Theres various virtual desktop applications as well as native virtual desktop support in steam VR, all utterly pointless without being able to read the texts and not strain your eyes, getting a headache after 10 minutes, why dont they just use 4k displays is beyond me.

– Comfort –

Comfort is a thing all the VR fanboys love sweeping under the rug. While the vive is not abrasive like the oculus, and most importantly, has no vomit inducing judder problem, nothing else has really changed here, it is still heavy, unpleasant, hot and itchy plastic box strapped to your face. The weight of it on the front of your head gives you a weird light dizzy headache feeling after taking it off, the screen is going in and out of focus as the box bounces up and down on your head no matter how hard you tighten the straps, straining your eyes. And than theres the constant struggle not to step on the cable, being mindful of how many times you turned left or right so the cables wont get twisted, why they released it like that without making it wireless is beyond me as well.

– Content –

As the whole VR craze died down, so did the promise of future content, and all that remains is a desolate waste heap of shitty halfass tech demos with price tags of real games.
With a few exceptions, one of them being Valve’s LAB tech demo, it includes many highly polished and impressive mini games that make full use of the vive’s capabilities in creative and engaging ways, and its pretty much all you need to play to have a good idea of what VR gaming could be like if anyone made games for it, and best part is that its free! It actually made my cynical mind blown for a moment.


Other kinds of content worth checking out are creative applications and virtual tour type of things such as art museums, google earth, drawing grafitti, playing drums, i think its a far better use of this technology than gaming.

– Gameplay –

One thing the vive has over the oculus is how streamlined it is playing in room scale, combined with its intuitive controllers. This way of playing games solves the ultimate problem of VR, nausea. You move around the room with your own 2 feet and you get places outside the bounds of your room by pointing and clicking to teleport to that location, it is very smooth and doesnt cause any motion sickness. I think ultimately this makes VR a viable option.

I noticed theres a lot of misinformation going around about vive being only for those with the luxury of having a big empty room and room-scale being the only way you can play it. But this is not true, technically the vive is no different from the oculus and they are both cross compatible, the vive just has a longer cord. You can play games that were made for sitting in front of a desk, even if you dont have a big room, you still have the option to play all those sitting position games that were made for the oculus, and even the room scale ones by just sitting in your chair or your couch and using the controllers to teleport around the scene. Of course having a big room is ideal to make full use of the thing.

– The future of VR –

While its a fun gimmick for a while, i dont see any future for VR as it is now, in mainstream gaming, what i do see huge potential in is creative applications, such as, drawing, playing musical instruments, things you wanna try doing but unable to due to your real life circumstances (like wanting to play the drums but not owning a drum kit, or drawing graffiti). Its also a good way to see different places around the world like google earth VR. And most importantly, the porn, YES VR porn is the thing that blew my mind the most, porn movies recorded with stereoscopic 360 cameras, makes you feel like you are really there with a girl in front of you, it feels like theres really another living person in front of you, and it feels so personal. So if anything, VR definitely has a future there, and i think facebook is on to something with their purchase of the oculus rift and vrporn.com website.

– Final verdict –
For a consumer release, it is really inadequate and the insane asking price of 900$ is just inexcusable for the poor quality experience you are getting from it, The form factor, the weight, all these cables and terrible low DPI screen.
The early adopters will ignore all these elephants in their VR room and will try to sell it to you like its the second cumming of Christ. Unable to come to terms with their buyers remorse, they will convince themselves that they are having a blast with it and it wont just sit there collecting dust after a few months. They will tell you how this revolution is just around the corner, year after year, and if you bring up the VR hype of the 80s and 90S, they will say shit like “technology just wasnt there yet” but the truth is that the technology is still not there, we are still strapping screens to our faces and pretending we are inside virtual reality.

So yeah while VR, as it is now, will never be fit to do any real gaming, VR porn is best thing ever and its a revolutionary new way to fap and i think this is the real reason you should at least get the 80$ Samsung’s gear VR, or if you are really broke, get the google card board witch only costs you 5$ and offer you the same kind of porn viewing experience as these overpriced and over complicated dork helmets.

– Another look at the Dorculus Drift DonkeyKong2 –

So i gave the rift another try, i looked into how users of the device cope with motion sickness and nausea, turns out some people slowly adapt to it over time, others never adapt and just have a barf bucket prepared, there are some who dont feel the motion sickness at all due to some pathology in their vestibular system. Theres also pills and Ginger supplements that you can take to minimize these effects. But most people just willingly sit there and torture themselves for up to 30 minutes a day till they either build up a tolerance or just simply get used to being nauseated as a part of their gameplay experience.

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FUCKING RETARDED


Anyway! I found this really nice game that doesnt make me sick after a minute of playing it, its called vanguard V, its about this mecha girl flying through space, blasting stuff and dodging the debris. This game takes an out of the box approach to gameplay using the oculus motion tracker and is a very good example on how to make games for the device that feel fresh, innovative and dont make you sick. It has really awesome music too, i wish the OST was on youtube or something.

vanguard

In a stark contrast, i found a game that i literally cannot take more than 3 seconds off without removing the dork helmet and throwing it to the side in agony. It is called helix, it is the ultimate rolercoster ride simulator, it has lots of forward motion that instantly gets you nauseated.

helix

So here’s what causes motion sickness and how to make games that dont make you wanna vomit.

The Oculus Rift motion sickness is mainly caused by unnatural motion that goes against what your vestibular system is saying, motion that you cannot feel with your body. Basically its camera position movement through space, like for example walking/driving/flying forward or looking around with a controller/mouse/keyboard instead of using the motion tracker and your own head. This type of motion is not cause by you and it cannot be detected by your vestibular system because your real body is stationary.

Games that dont cause motion sickness and nausea.

Games that only use real motion, such as you looking around by rotating your real head or moving it side to side, up and down, these kind of motions are felt by your body and your vestibular system and go hand in hand with what your eyes see, these motions do not cause dizziness or make you sick. Vanguard V is a very good example, you see your character in third person and, most of the movement in that game is natural and(done with your actual head), with the exception that you slowly fly forward, but you fly forward so slow that it doesnt effect you. Another perfect example is the desk demo from the oculus rift settings menu, you get zero dizzyness or motion sickness in that demo because in order to move through space, you have to physicaly stand up from your chair and walk around your physical room to move through space in the desk demo.
So basicaly, its games where you only rotate and move your head, real motions that go hand in hand with your vestibular system.

deskdemo

The most ideal use to the oculus rift system that i see would be if the helmet was made wireless and you were in a big room with motion trackers on the walls, in this room you would move around freely, moving yourself through the virtual space. Also one big boner killer to me was that i couldnt see my hands or my body in the desk demo, i couldnt try to poke through the house of cards with my finger and stuff like that, so it would be a huge plus if in addition to the VR helmet, you also had a motion capture suit on that was also constantly tracked by the motion trackers in the room, that way you would also see your body in game, making you even more immersed in the experience.

Now for games that you move through space unnaturally, maybe they could make a chair that moves and tilts and shakes in sync with the motions you are experiencing in the game, to fool your vestibular system into thinking that you are actually moving, i think this would eliminate the majority of the motion sickness.

 

The judder problem in DK2

So yeah, now that i found my game, i still cannot enjoy it because of a big judder problem with the DK2. I did some research and it turns out that this is mostly happening to games and demos made with the unity engine. There also seems to be different casuses and different solutions from person to person, some solve it by setting the rift to extend mode and running things direct to oculus and otehrs fix it by changing their primary monitor’s refresh rates and disconnecting all aditional monitors. The way i “solved” my problem was using clone display mode and disconnecting all my other monitors, just leaving my main monitor and the rift connected. But the problem now is that the rift needs my desktop to be in portrait mode and it looks like this, so basicaly every time i want to play a game i have to disconnect everything and do this to my display.

desktopflip
In its current state the dk2 is a broken piece of shit, only the desk demo and a handful of other demos that were not made using unity works right, i really hope that ts just an issue with the drivers that will be fixed with later updates and not the units themselves.

– The Oculus rift DK2 review –

So i got the overhyped dork helmet the other day and i feel like sharing my Oculus rift experience with you guys.

dk2-product

While it looks a lot better, its still a huge ugly plastic brick strapped to your head, it still has a bazillion wires that you have to connect and it still has hard abrasive parts pressing against your face(its like some sort of a face torture device) Now i understand that this is just an early wrok in progress but these things have to be addressed, the unit has to be made more compact, lightweight and comfortable to wear, it needs to not have a bunch of wires and be more simple and easy to set up and go, if they want this to really be a viable product that the average non sci-fi geek person would actually be interested in.

Aesthetics and comfort arent the only and arent the main problems with the Oculus right now though, The improvements they made over DK1 are just not enough. Mainly the screen, its still a cheep terrible low resolution rgb dot matrix LCD screen. While you can now sorta read texts in game menus and stuff, the slight increase in dot matrix resolution is not enough.

normal

dotgrid
I mean, just fucking look at it, you might not notice this at your very first moments using it but the longer you use it the more it becomes painfully apparent.

The only real improvement so far is the ability to now track head position too, not just rotation. This gives you the full immersion and you can look around an object from sides an stuff, like in reality.

But enough about the terrible hardware, lets talk about the performance.

Now while my very first impressions of were HOLY FUCKING SHIT ABC YOU SHOULD SEE THIS, THIS IS SO REAL, HOLY SHIT MIND BLOWN when i looked around my virtual desk with my virtual pencil and my virtual plant and house of cards. But a few minutes after i have acclimated myself to it, and started noticing the terrible display resolution and blurred edges and my head started getting dizzy and some weird head tracking lag kicked. The edges of the screen are blurred and you have this weird color shift thing going on. Its impossible to read texts in menus that arent in the center, the black grid of gaps between the RGB dots starts to really strain your eyes and the more you move around, the more nauseated you get form all the motions. Theres also some issue where the head tracking stops being smooth and becomes all choppy, after a while you just wanna take it off and throw it somewhere and run to the bathroom to hug your toilet.

Overall while impressive at first, the whole Oculus rift experience is very unpleasant.
Its a cool toy for a few minutes but i do not see how anyone could seriously use this to play videogames, its impossible to understand whats going on the screen most of the time because of all the blur, color shift and low resolution, you cant aim and shoot at things that are at a distance because they are smaller than the size of the RGB dots, you cant read texts that arent in the center of your screen, such as game chats and small HUD texts, and it just makes you wanna vomit all over the place after just 10 minutes of playing.

Even if they give it a proper display, i think motion sickness will probably still remain the biggest issue with the device, its a real showstopper and you cant really fight basic human biology, your visual sense of motion has to be accompanied by the vestibular or your brain will freak out, meaning only those few lucky people who manage to cope with it or do not experience motion sickness, will be able to actually use it.

I do not see a very bright future for the Oculus rift, (now even more so since fagbook privatized it) It has been in development for so long and it still in its baby stages and it doesnt seem like its going anywhere fast. Im not really even sure if this is a real Development Kit or just a clever cash grab since, how are people supposed to actually develop anything for it when the development kit itself is in early stages of development and is subject to constant revisions.

Read more about why the Oculus rift future looks bleak here. http://annoyedadmin.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/oculus-and-the-rift-are-probably-dead/ Its a pretty good read.