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I Went To Valve And Saw The Future (VR Hype Thread)

Konosuke

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Oct 13, 2009
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I'm so tired of hearing about prototypes. People need to start to talk about consumer versions. It doesn't need to be perfect at the first release.
 

LaneDS

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Jun 11, 2007
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Really enjoyed reading those impressions, so thanks for sharing. Can't wait to try any implementation of VR sometime in the next year (hopefully).
 

SEGAvangelist

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May 18, 2007
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People say that, and while that is true in some respects, I often play games without people around. It's pretty common. I don't think that's a make-or-break for this product.
I think Skype or someway to keep in contact with the real world would be necessary, though. Like if my wife or the rest of my family could call a Skype number to get a hold of me if I'm too occupied to answer my cell, maybe I could get away with a headset. It's pretty nice for Xbox One currently.
 

Feep

Second-hand Citizen
Sep 14, 2006
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Feep does (or did) the DK1 make you sick and how does Valve's compare in that regard?
Not much, but I did start to feel it after awhile on some days. This version had absolutely none of that. With high refresh rate, low persistence, very low latency, and accurate positional tracking, I can't really see motion sickness hitting too many people.
 

phants

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Jan 29, 2007
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I remember playing a motion-controlled Gizmondo game that used the back camera to create its motion data (the Giz had no motion sensors) by simply analyzing the difference from frame to frame (i.e. tilting the Giz left would cause the picture to change in a way that could be extrapolated back to movement.) Would this not work for VR headsets? Or is it too latency-inducing to be considered?
 

Gangxxter

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Aug 26, 2012
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Great write-up, Feep!

It's the only way they could make a sequel to HL2 that's as revered as that game. They'll probably be the first to make a true, from the ground-up, VR experience with HL3. And people will look back on it as favorably as they do HL2, because of that. They aren't going to top the world immersion HL2 provided with more graphics, but they almost certainly will with well implemented VR.
This, this, THIS!
I hope so much, HL3 will be designed exclusively for VR, it's the only next logical step for revolutionizing first person shooters.
 

syko de4d

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Nov 5, 2010
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Is that going to be the consumer version or is that for the future? I just hear about so many versions of VR that it's hard to keep straight.
No, Consumer version of Oculus Rift will be better than Crystal Cove. It was just a prototype, showing low persistence and tracking.

Chances are good we will see dev kit v2 at GDC and a consumer release not to far away from it (end of 2014).
 

BobTheSpy

Banned
Nov 6, 2012
130
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I honestly don't want Sony to release a VR headset, because then I will be faced with a difficult choice - stay with my gaming PC or go with the more affordable PS4 VR. Most of my friends have PS4s, so I don't know what I would pick.
 

Mr.Green

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Dec 13, 2007
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I honestly don't want Sony to release a VR headset, because then I will be faced with a difficult choice - stay with my gaming PC or go with the more affordable PS4 VR. Most of my friends have PS4s, so I don't know what I would pick.
They'll have to tone down gfx pretty drastically for the PS4 to be able to render in stereo at an acceptable framerate for VR. I'm no PC master race fanatic but the choice seems pretty simple to me on this one.
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
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They'll have to tone down gfx pretty drastically for the PS4 to be able to render in stereo at an acceptable framerate for VR. I'm no PC master race fanatic but the choice seems pretty simple to me on this one.
It's also worth considering that because the PS4 is fixed spec, while a possible VR headset might get updates over the course of the generation, it'll be nothing compared to the difference two years will make in PC VR, so missing Rift CV1, and picking up CV2 down the line while having a PS4 VR might be preferable, depending on how conservative someone's entertainment budget is.
 

ashecitism

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Jun 29, 2013
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Great writeup! Do you know if they plan to make this demo public, as in bringing it to shows/events or will they keep it for their HQ?

Also, for people thinking HL3 will be made for VR from the groundup; since Oculus is targeting seated experience, how would an FPS do with that?Would make more sense with their demo, but that's not feasible for homes for a while...
 

chaostrophy

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Jun 21, 2004
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I'm so tired of hearing about prototypes. People need to start to talk about consumer versions. It doesn't need to be perfect at the first release.
Consumers can buy a dev model Oculus now though, right? On their website, you just have to check a box, it doesn't look like you have to apply for one like a console devkit. Not sure what's stopping anyone who wants an imperfect one ASAP.
 

The Boat

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Sep 22, 2010
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Thanks for the write-up, this technology is very interesting, but it will take a lot for it to be implemented correctly, achieve mainstream success and become affordable, so I'm trying not to get too hyped about VR.
 

Brick

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Jan 26, 2012
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I'm so tired of hearing about prototypes. People need to start to talk about consumer versions. It doesn't need to be perfect at the first release.
I would much rather wait longer and have it be perfect on first release, but that's me.
 

Afrodium

Banned
Apr 21, 2009
4,470
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Sounds cool, but you may punch me in the face. My wife would go nuts if I ignored her completely while playing video games. I mean... you are literally shutting yourself off from the rest of the world.
As excited as I am for the inevitable VR future, you're absolutely right. There's something strange about putting goggles on and entering another world. I imagine that people will enter states that make WoW addictions look tame. There will be news stores about VR addicts, I'd bet my life savings on it.
 

wsippel

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May 25, 2006
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I'm old. I remember VR arcades, I remember VR games, I remember all that shit. It was already supposed to be the "next big thing" two decades ago. This road leads nowhere.
 

Iced_Eagle

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Apr 8, 2007
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Thanks for the write-up Feep! That sounds absolutely fantastic.

Were all of the demo's done while standing up, or were any sit-down demos?

I have to imagine that a big reason why Oculus says they are targeting seated scenarios for V1 is because of the tether. Once they can get a solid, low-latency wireless connection things will get much more interesting.

I honestly don't want Sony to release a VR headset, because then I will be faced with a difficult choice - stay with my gaming PC or go with the more affordable PS4 VR. Most of my friends have PS4s, so I don't know what I would pick.
Both will hopefully be good choices. Just wait to hear details on both pieces of hardware before fully deciding.

However, due to the closed nature of consoles, I think if you're going to get one, and you have a gaming PC, then PC will be the better option. There are already a flood of demo's out for the current Rift, and there will be a lot of games when CV1 launches, and they'll just keep rolling in afterwards. With PS4, my fear is that there may not be a large amount of content rolling in regularly due to the fact that even indies need to get approved by Sony, or some content won't be made for VR but will simply work with VR (a big difference).
Plus, I doubt Sony will allow the VR porn to exist on the PS4, which already exists for the Rift in early form. Just sayin'.

Second, your PC is upgradeable. VR will require a fairly high-end machine to run at a solid refresh rate, but a lot of the specifics as to how high-end are unknown without final hardware specs and games to test with. On consoles, developers will do a lot of optimization to hit this target, and it may end up sacrificing some visual quality (which honestly isn't necessarily a bad thing if done correctly -- as feep mentioned, even that untextured toddler head gave a sense of reality). If you want to run Star Citizen at the highest quality settings in VR at full res with AA and every switch flipped to max, you'll likely need more power than what a console can provide (the game is shooting for 2015 high-end visuals after all and if you've seen their content it looks amazing by any standard).

Now, I think one thing that could be a complete game changer for Sony is if their headset is super high quality (so many unknowns here), and is usable on the PC and integrates with SteamVR (which is an abstraction layer over the specific headset hardware). If they do that, that should mean that all Steam games that use SteamVR will work on both the Rift and the PS4 headset. You then also have the ability to play PS4 exclusive games using that same headset, which is something Sony probably won't let the Rift do as they want to push their hardware of course.

At the end of the day though, just take a look at both options before blindly committing. GDC is close and we are definitely getting info from Oculus, and potentially info from Sony. An interesting time is ahead as a VR enthusiast!

I'm old. I remember VR arcades, I remember VR games, I remember all that shit. It was the "next big thing" two decades ago. This road leads nowhere.
Yes, but we had nowhere near as sophisticated technology two decades ago. That's what changes everything. Due to the rise in mobile phones, small high resolution screens are prevalent, along with all of the sensors that typically go inside a phone. This also makes them more affordable. Seriously, my phone has an insanely higher resolution screen than my desktop did two decades ago. Not to mention that the general computing power has increased thanks in part to Moore's law. We also have common distribution platforms, as well as SteamVR which abstracts the hardware, meaning every game won't be specific to a single piece of hardware. Way back when, it was a free for all.

This is like looking at the internet as it existed in the 70's and saying "This will never be the next big thing". Sure, in the 70's you only saw potential and people talking about how great it will be one day, but it wasn't until the technology improved, companies created products specifically for using the internet and standards started forming that it really took off in the 90's.
 
Mar 5, 2009
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Did you feel like an Aperture test subject?

This sounds thoroughly amazing, though. Technology like this is what's going to advance gaming to the next level.
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
69,543
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As excited as I am for the inevitable VR future, you're absolutely right. There's something strange about putting goggles on and entering another world. I imagine that people will enter states that make WoW addictions look tame. There will be news stores about VR addicts, I'd bet my life savings on it.
Cyber smack heads, like Strange Days.
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
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I'm old. I remember VR arcades, I remember VR games, I remember all that shit. It was already supposed to be the "next big thing" two decades ago. This road leads nowhere.
But that technology was garbage. I don't think it's an apt comparison.
 

YuShtink

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Feb 16, 2007
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I'm old. I remember VR arcades, I remember VR games, I remember all that shit. It was already supposed to be the "next big thing" two decades ago. This road leads nowhere.
Well, you sure haven't gotten any wiser with age.
 

syko de4d

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Nov 5, 2010
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They'll have to tone down gfx pretty drastically for the PS4 to be able to render in stereo at an acceptable framerate for VR. I'm no PC master race fanatic but the choice seems pretty simple to me on this one.
I dont think better hardware is the best part about VR on PC. The best part is that the PC is so open. You will see crazy stuff, and i am not only talking about Games or Porns ^^. VR will be driven by Indis and people trying out new stuff and thats where the PC is the strongest Platform.
 

wsippel

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May 25, 2006
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But that technology was garbage. I don't think it's an apt comparison.
The main problem wasn't the size or price of the system. It is an apt comparison because the main problems remain: You need special hardware, you're alone, and you waste insane amounts of processing power computing shit you'll never see. And those are systemic issues.
 

Feep

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Sep 14, 2006
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The main problem wasn't the size or price of the system. It is an apt comparison because the main problems remain: You need special hardware, you're alone, and you waste insane amounts of processing power computing shit you'll never see.
Kind of like a console, huh?

You should try the thing before rendering such harsh judgment, I think.
 

TrojanBlade

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Dec 14, 2008
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I have not been fortunate to get my hands on OCR or any VR so I am hoping someone can answer this:

Do you think any VR solution can be used for mainstream games like COD or other FPS etc where you usually play for hours and not get sick? Or there would be specialized gaming experience in bite size that will be more suited to this VR experience. I know a lot of people get motion sickness even playing current FPS shooters etc (including myself on some of them) and I can imagine this will be much worse if played for long hours.

I really love the idea of VR but don't think a person can just put it on play COD MP for hours and not get sick in the process. Maybe I am wrong?
 

Kimosabae

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May 9, 2009
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I'm so tired of hearing about prototypes. People need to start to talk about consumer versions. It doesn't need to be perfect at the first release.
So this.

It's hard to get excited about this when people keep talking about how far away this tech is from being marketable.
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
69,543
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The main problem wasn't the size or price of the system. It is an apt comparison because the main problems remain: You need special hardware,
This is true of every console too, they sell great.
Of course I don't have the data, but I imagine most gaming is done 'alone'.
and you waste insane amounts of processing power computing shit you'll never see.
This is kind of true, but I wonder to what degree the owner of hardware cares about 'where' his/her compute performance is being directed, they care about the experience.
And those are systemic issues.
Those aren't issues at all, at least not issues that have any track record of informing purchasing habits.
 

AllIsOneIsNone

trying to get banned with edgy takes, to earn anti-GAF cred. Keep posting Kylo, it warms our hearts.
Jan 12, 2010
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The main problem wasn't the size or price of the system. It is an apt comparison because the main problems remain: You need special hardware, you're alone, and you waste insane amounts of processing power computing shit you'll never see. And those are systemic issues.
Yes, you need a headset to use VR. The consumer rift will be around 300 dollars. I game alone half the time anyway, there are plenty of people that won't mind this. Do you read books socially? The processing power isn't wasted. If anything it magnifies the output exponentially considering it gives you full depth of field. People need to stop clinging to the past.
 

wsippel

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May 25, 2006
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Kind of like a console, huh?

You should try the thing before rendering such harsh judgment, I think.
No, not like a console. For starters, consoles don't waste 70% of their processing power to draw shit you'll never see. Which is also why the whole Sony VR rumors are bullshit. The PS4 has a hard time drawing anything at 1080p as is, let alone 2 x 1080p with a field of view several times as big as what you'd need on a TV. And I did try those things, just like I've tried the old shit 20 years ago. It's the same nonsense, and it'll never catch on. It makes sense in certain fields, but not in games. Not now, not anytime soon.
 

StuBurns

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Jan 9, 2008
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No, not like a console. For starters, consoles don't waste 70% of their processing power to draw shit you'll never see. Which is also why the whole Sony VR rumors are bullshit. The PS4 has a hard time drawing anything at 1080p as is, let alone 2 x 1080p with a field of view several times as big as what you'd need on a TV. And I did try those things, just like I've tried the old shit 20 years ago. It's the same nonsense, and it'll never catch on. It makes sense in certain fields, but not in games. Not now, not anytime soon.
The PS4 isn't having a hard time doing 1080p, and PS4 VR would not be 2x1080p, it'd be two halves of a 1080p panel presumably.
 

epmode

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Jun 7, 2004
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I can't wait until VR takes off and we can look back at these inexplicably pessimistic predictions* and laugh.

*Inexplicable because this is a gaming forum, presumably where the readers are uniquely suited to grasping the potential of a new gaming medium.
 

Kuro Madoushi

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Nov 21, 2004
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So how can you work this into Sequence 2?

;)

Thanks for the write up though. I haven't see not heard from any other source so I wonder if some blog will post this soon.
 

xJavonta

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May 25, 2012
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No, not like a console. For starters, consoles don't waste 70% of their processing power to draw shit you'll never see. Which is also why the whole Sony VR rumors are bullshit. The PS4 has a hard time drawing anything at 1080p as is, let alone 2 x 1080p with a field of view several times as big as what you'd need on a TV. And I did try those things, just like I've tried the old shit 20 years ago. It's the same nonsense, and it'll never catch on. It makes sense in certain fields, but not in games. Not now, not anytime soon.
Tales from wsippel's ass

Really though, I'd say try it before coming down on it like that. Just because you used a Virtual Boy back in '95 doesn't mean things are the same now as they were back then.
 

kyser73

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Sep 29, 2013
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Awesome OP and that last vid is exactly the kind of head-bending environment I want from a VR experience.

FWIW - a couple of the transform sequences reminded me of a time when on acid I stared at an ashtray for about an hour watching civilisations rise and fall in and endless cycle as I tracked round the ashtray.
 

Feep

Second-hand Citizen
Sep 14, 2006
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For starters, consoles don't waste 70% of their processing power to draw shit you'll never see.
*citation needed*

Edit to further respond: the screen I used was almost certainly 1k for each eye, in other words, one full 1080p screen divided in two. The FoV for all modern VR systems is well beyond 70 degrees. Most are 110, IIRC. It's more than enough.
 

wsippel

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May 25, 2006
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The PS4 isn't having a hard time doing 1080p, and PS4 VR would not be 2x1080p, it'd be two halves of a 1080p panel presumably.
I'm afraid it's not that simple. ;)

Physics are a bitch. If you want to do VR, you have to realize that the screen is extremely close to your eyes, and you have to take peripheral vision into account (VR makes no sense otherwise). You ideally want two very high resolution screens and a huge FoV to get it right, or you'll end up with a half-assed and/ or pixelated mess. Half an HD screen and a 70° FoV won't cut it.