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VR discussion: Oculus Rift, Vive, Morpheus and more!

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Sam Posten, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Message #201 of 315 May 8, 2018
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    CraigF

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    You want performance, you need power. With the current state of the art, that pretty much means tethered, or a big honking battery pack and a time limit. So you can't expect miracles with an untethered device, yet. And I don't think the Go is "really" VR, it's more like an introduction to the possibilities of VR, so you'll look further into it. And I think that's a good thing. More interest = better/more products.

    IMO this is VR, a real example (from a PSVR game) just for bigshot: you pick up a lighter and a cigar. You light your cigar, take a few puffs to get it going; smoke comes out of your mouth when you exhale, maybe blow a few smoke rings, then set your cigar in an ashtray. Trivial, but pretty "VR" if not very PC (as if many games are). It's just for fun, like sword-fighting in VR...that's when I really wish I was untethered.

    But really, many VR games are no more "VR" for a large part than anything the Go can do, developers are still figuring it out, or trying to find out what people want. The social aspects of VR are already extremely popular on other platforms, mostly with a demo that also considers Facebook-type things as "socializing". Maybe it's just me, but I consider putting on a VR headset as more like an "isolation tank", kind of the opposite of socializing.
     
  2. Message #202 of 315 May 8, 2018
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    bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I'm looking for convenience and entertainment. Those are the same things that excited me about the iPod when I first heard about it. I'm sure the Go will look primitive in the future, just like the scroll wheel iPod looks today. But I think people will look back on it as the beginning of something really cool. It may not be "real" VR, but it sure isn't the same as television or flat gaming consoles or text based social media like Facebook and Twitter. It's inexpensive, it is easy to use, it has a big library of things to play with and it's unlike anything else. That's plenty.

    Not even close. There is no way that I can create a room and invite friends in and watch TV or play games and chat with them. I can't put on an event like a lecture or screening and invite people from all over the world to attend and participate in a discussion afterwards. The social aspects are entirely different in the Go. That's the part that interests me the most. There are better gaming consoles. There are better home theaters. But there's no better social media format than this. I've been exploring AltspaceVR every day. I'm speaking with amazing people. Maybe later it will become overrun with dumb kids and I'll have to sort my friends list like on Facebook, but right now virtual space is populated by some visionary people who are interesting and who are working on some fascinating projects.
     
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  3. Message #203 of 315 May 8, 2018
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    Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I am a long time member here but am new to this thread. I have a question to ask.

    I am tangentally involved with building/designing current and future VR controllers. Do any of you that play VR games have any input into what would make the controllers better for you?

    And no, this is not some spam bot :)

    The company I work for has worked on a portion of the HTC vive controller and Steam controller, and are currently working on the next generation of controllers for a number of different companies.

    We would love to improve the VR controller experience. We are trying to come up with some really cool or unique ideas for the next year or so. Input from actual users is very helpful.
     
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  4. Message #204 of 315 May 8, 2018
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    CraigF

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    ^ You're familiar with the Move controllers from the PS3 and PS4? The biggest complaint people have with them is they don't have joysticks, everybody wants those, or something equivalent (??) that allows you to actually move (ahem) in virtual space. Because you can't always physically walk in a way (for a long distance) that is realistically simulated in virtual space, though it's being worked on. i.e. to get from place to place in a game.

    Take a look at the Aim, where the left hand goes if you're right-handed...that sort of thing except in a one-handed controller (you would have one in each hand). There are already controllers quite similar to this, but they're a bit pricey, and the PS ones are on a good track to being fairly inexpensive, plus they're very good on batteries now (they upgraded the battery significantly, in practice, from the PS3 ones). Maybe we need a whole new controller paradigm, I guess that's what you're working on, I'm stuck in the current paradigm and just trying to make it better for what uses we currently have...
     
  5. Message #205 of 315 May 9, 2018
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    Scott-S

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    Hi Craig,
    We are not really involved with the type of stuff you were talking about. That sort of thing would be decided on by Sony. We are more involved in the R&D of new ideas such as all finger tracking like this dev kit.

    We basically come up with technology (like the independent finger tracking) and work with the companies to try and integrate it into their future controller designs.
     
  6. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    bigshot - most of the stuff you described (sharing video, having a lecture, playing games, group discussion) can actually already be done with a variety of services provided by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. Sure, you don't have your phone or laptop attached to your face, but you actually can do all of them. Google Classroom, Skype (used to by Lync for Windows), FaceTime, Live Video on Facebook...all of that basically exists. In fact, Oculus is essentially tapping into Facebook's pre-existing tech, mixing in avatars, and creating social interactions. Also, Facebook and Twitter are text-focused, but they offer photo, video, and livestreams, too.

    Again, I'm not saying that the Go is a bad product or that it does these things poorly, but rather I'm not sure the regular consumer (as in, not you or I) will see the value in this. Calling something an "entertainment device" is an incredibly broad term and I think it does an injustice to what specific things people want. Does the Oculus Go connect with iTunes, Google Video (which, interestingly, is essentially YouTube), or Amazon Prime streaming? Because those are the things that most people go to for entertainment.

    You talked a bit about how you can't get certain experiences from other social media platforms. Just out of curiosity, how much do you use those other platforms? Have you ever done a group video call in Skype? Have you ever livestreamed on Facebook? Used Twitch? Played any of the game consoles online with a friend? I think the Go offers a neat alternative to those other formats but doesn't really do much that is THAT new or, honestly, THAT exciting. I don't have much interest in watching a Netflix movie with some avatar friends in a VR room, nor do I want to play a mid-tier virtual pool game simply because it's what is available.

    I know that the Go simulates the experience of sitting in a theater, but I am not sure that many people who live with others, have regular interruptions, or want to share the experience of watching something would prefer to use the Go on a remotely regular basis. If you have a small apartment, live alone, or want to use it while traveling then it makes sense. But if you have a family that might need to interrupt you, if you are just trying to kill a few minutes somewhere, if you're on public transit...I doubt it.
     
  7. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
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    Your video is pretty cool. I guess the dream would be to have that wrist mounted, so that our hands are truly free. I hope we can get there.

    It's also essential I think, for the 360 degree treadmill market to get better.
     
  8. Scott-S

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    Dave, the video is just for our Development kit so engineers can play with the tech at their desk. This technology is currently being used in a controller that is secured to the hand. Look up some videos on the Knuckles Controller that Valve/Steam sent out to developers for a idea of how the hand straps work.
     
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  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Very cool Scott! I think you know I have all of the major vr sets including the Vive. When you guys are ready for beta testing please keep me in mind!

    My only feedback is this: Simplicity and verisimilitude =)

    Simplicity: The fewer wires the better. The less configuration steps the better. The easier it is to get new people to try out the better.
    Verisimilitude: The feeling of presence and truthfulness. Low latency and high accuracy leads to the feeling of 'being there'.

    Current visual fidelity is about a quarter of where it needs to be for mass acceptance.
    The level of tech adeptness to set up a room scale vive is off the charts. A very small percentage of the population has that level of skill, dollars, computing performance AND a semi-permanent environment in which to house it. Portable VR is one alternative, but currently loses that room scale and 6dof.

    We'll see a lot of baby steps chipping at these problems for a long time before VR goes mass market. It's important to under-promise and over deliver on how effective each of them is towards the whole.
     
  10. Message #210 of 315 May 9, 2018
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    bigshot

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    The advantage of the Go over Skype and the Google meetings service is the image quality. I want to organize screenings with filmmakers that people can attend from all over the world. I want to be able to have the movie display in high resolution and be able to talk over it with commentary in real time. If there is an easier and more cross platform way to do that, I'm all ears. The things I'm seeing in AltspaceVR are very exciting. I attended an event there that was exactly the sort of thing I want to do. When people entered the chat, the video synced up right to the exact spot everyone else was seeing. It wasn't like the video was playing in a separate player and everyone started the video at a different time. (if I'm describing that clearly)

    The Go isn't linked to all of the content providers yet. It isn't even fully linked to Facebook. I'm sure that stuff is forthcoming.

    I've spoken to several people who have the playstation VR and they all say that they stopped using it because the games they wanted weren't available. I can totally understand that. I think that games alone won't put the medium across. In fact, I think that games are probably the Go's weakest point. If you're primarily looking at it as a gaming system, you'll be disappointed. I'm really enjoying the 3D immersive movies. They take a few minutes to download, but there's stuff in there I don't know where you'd be able to see otherwise... voodoo ceremonies in Haiti, trips by canoe to remote south american tribes in the jungle, people hiking in the Himalayas, floating in space. There seems to be a lot of interesting movie content.

    Perhaps the Go is different than other VR devices because it's easier to pop in and out from the real world to VR. When you're feathered with a bunch of wires, it's hard to say "Hey! Look at this!" and hand the headset to a friend. In AltspaceVR, I regularly see avatars slump and go gray, which means that the person has taken off the headset and stepped away for a minute. The Go is easy to do that with. It hasn't been a solitary experience for me at all. I'm generally interacting with people in VR and in the real life room with me at the same time.
     
  11. Message #211 of 315 May 9, 2018
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    CraigF

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    Yeah, that's what I kind of thought, more R&D. From what I can see, VR tech seems to be divided into stuff the average person can use for mostly entertainment, and VR gear you would use for practical purposes (training etc.). I was hoping some bright minds would see what the mass-market wanted to do and come up with something "better" to do it. I mean, that's if you want to make mass-market money vs military/gov't. (etc.) money! I have no idea which is better, but one is probably "easier" or more "guaranteed".

    Anyway, in the mass-market, my point is some very very basic things, like locomotion, are not at all well implemented, for the most part they don't seem "real". I was just using common Sony gear as an example of stuff that is not well done (the Moves), vs something that is (the Aim, not developed by Sony!). Some of the other VR systems use futzy and fancy methods to do stuff that people don't really need for entertainment purposes (the ones we can talk about). Sure some people want haptic this and that etc., and we can all imagine why, but that's not going to draw a lot of people in (I probably underestimate though), it needs to be relatively simple (like Sam said, and the Go as an example) and easy/quick to use. And we need fun apps that people actually want to play/use, way too few of those, and those there are are mostly shortish and not really VR (more like 3D/360º surround with "avatars").
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Again, I think the video players are interesting concepts but in practice the quality is not even remotely close to a cheap flat panel.

    I just sw this on Reddit. It seems pretty accurate based on my experiences. Retina quality these VR headsets are not.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Click through for full size image.
     
  14. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    bigshot - I totally agree that the Go is perfect as a device that you can quickly show off to someone. But so was Google Cardboard or Samsung VR...from 2-3 years ago. How is the Go different? If someone walks into a store and they see the new Oculus Go, which costs twice the price of the Samsung VR add-on that they got 2-3 years ago, what will entice them and draw them in? I'm talking a regular consumer.

    All VR platforms support 3D/VR video. Just curious, but what exposure to VR have you had before the Go? I've been watching 360 VR videos on my PSVR since it came out in 2016. They've been supported on Samsung VR and Google Cardboard since before that.

    For the purpose of everyone watching a movie while a director talks about it live, that sounds cool. But you could already do that on a computer or a phone. Sure, you won't see people's avatars, but...there's literally nothing stopping that from happening right now.

    Also, I talk about gaming a lot (being the Gaming Forum of the HTF) but I'm not saying we need to solely consider gaming on the Go. I don't think gaming, real serious hardcore gaming, would be a remotely attractive prospect on the Go because of it's control interface and power limitations. I can see casual games, party games, etc. working but not much else. When I talk about gaming, it's because gaming has created the audience for VR and solved a lot of the problems that we see with making interactive VR content. So please don't misinterpret my comments as saying "it doesn't play cool games so it's stupid."
     
  15. Sam Posten

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    Again, I have seriously different worldviews than Morgan does and disagree with just about everything he is saying. Again I don't see go becoming a mainstream fad but I think the things it actually gets right outweigh his concerns, for the type of person likely to try and buy a Go anyway.

    The convenience factor alone is different with Go. You no longer have to dedicate your phone for this purpose as well.
    I don't believe installed base is nearly as important as Morgan does. The Xbox is doing just fine despite the delta to Sony's lead.
    The games I have played so far on Go are fun and are not simply casual games. In fact, I'd say Go appeals more to dedicated console games than to a mobile device casual player.
    The graphics quality is significantly better on go than Cardboard etc.

    I've actually played with Go for a considerable amount of time rather than just looking at videos and specs. YMMV.
     
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  16. Message #216 of 315 May 9, 2018
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    bigshot

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    Isn't the Go a self contained Samsung? If someone has that, they probably don't need the Go. I'm not familiar with those other VR devices, but did they have an app store with as many apps available as the Go? Not all the apps are great, but there's a surprising number that are. Every day I'm trying new things, and it seems to go on and on. The real limitation is download speed. Some of the movie apps take a while.

    The Go looks much better on that screen cap. Too bad they used an image that is at a lower resolution than the screen is capable of.
     
  17. Morgan Jolley

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    Samsung's VR offering was basically a plastic shell with some optics and Oculus' software. As far as I can tell, it was basically the beta version of the Go.

    Sam - as a device, the Go certainly seems to do exactly what it sets out to do, and does it well enough that the reviews are generally impressed by it. My bigger concern is how big this becomes. You can buy an Xbox One, which is the third console from a giant multinational corporation, and be pretty content that you'll get a lot of value out of it. (Sidenote - recent info suggests MS has sold under 30 million units, compared to PS4 at roughly 73 million) But with the Go, as with any hardware/software/platform, I'm not sure how long this device will last if it doesn't have a broad base. THAT is my bigger concern with it. Sure, even at $200 and the amount of stuff available right now, it will offer plenty of value. But is this going to become another device that you "need" to upgrade every 1-2 years? Or will this be a strong enough and viable platform that lasts longer?
     
  18. bigshot

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    Yesterday I bought a game from the Go store that didn't have trackpad functionality. I sent out a couple of messages and today I heard from the developers of the game about their plans for an update and Oculus refunded my money. They were johnny-on-the-spot in correcting the error.

    For $200 I don't mind upgrading to a better model in a couple of years. I do that with my phone and the Go is a lot cheaper than that.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Morgan's point is fair if you are 'invested' in systems. I am not and never will be. I believe it is a red herring and only leads to disappointment and fanboyism. Anyone who buys into ANY VR system looking for long term viability is fooling themselves. Buy based on what you can do today and the experiences you expect to undertake with it, and let the developer situation handle itself.

    If that IS your concern, understand that Go will have a user base in the multiples of Vive, Rift, and PSVR combined. It will be a healthy ecosystem for a while. And sooner than later it will be upstaged and that is OK.

    VR lifecycles will be waaaay faster than console ones. There is no getting around that.
     
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  20. Morgan Jolley

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    See, I don't know what would make the Go attractive enough to a larger base than the pre-existing VR platforms, which is why I wonder how you can say it "will have a user base in the multiples of Vive, Rift, and PSVR combined." Being decent VR with a couple social apps and only $200 is not enough to convince millions of casual users to buy and use it. The casual VR fad kind of passed already so the industry needs to find ways to keep people invested and engaged in the existing platforms (there's a difference between upgrading your current Oculus, Vive, or PSVR system to a newer model versus buying into a brand new platform like the Go) or develop a new, approachable platform that really wows people right away.

    There's a reason why so many people bought curved TVs but are still confused about whether 4K also means HDR. There's a reason why the Wii U had phenomenal games and a decent price but sold poorly from a truly awful name and mixed messaging on the brand. And there's a reason why the Switch sold incredibly well while the PS Vita, which came out earlier, for less, and did a ton of similar things, sold poorly (in the US). You need an attractive brand and value proposition tied to a killer feature or idea that people can immediately grasp. Oculus Go doesn't seem to have that.
     

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