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

Seanspeed

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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.
Multiplayer VR(and not just games, but general social interactive experiences) could be totally revolutionary. This doesn't have to be some antisocial medium that's only suitable for playing in a dark basement or something. And its perfectly possible that there will be ways to switch back to what's around you if necessary. Like having a little camera that can instantly project 'reality' onto the screen for you.

Special hardware, ok maybe not solvable per say, but hardly some impassable roadblock. If the experience is good enough, it will be worth buying the hardware.

And I don't know why you're talking about 'wasted' processing power. Its going towards creating the virtual reality for you! That's possibly one of the best uses of processing power I could imagine not related to science and research.

This aint your granddaddy's VR. :)
 

StuBurns

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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.
What's simple is irrelevant, Sony can't go for 4k, the PS4 doesn't have the capacity, it will be 1080p, and yes, it'll be pixelated.
 

TheBear

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What sort of rig would be needed to run modern games in 1080p/60fps with an Oculus Rift?
Are single cards sufficient?
 

E-Cat

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Awesome writeup, thanks! Although, I wish there were at least one person who had tried both Valve's demo and Crystal Cove, so we could have a proper comparison.

Edit: How was the FoV compared to the Rift? About the same?
 

wsippel

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May 25, 2006
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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.
I've never even seen a Virtual Boy in real life, dude. The basic concepts and issues are still the same, though. Because they're systemic, and have fuck all to do with the implementation.


What's simple is irrelevant, Sony can't go for 4k, the PS4 doesn't have the capacity, it will be 1080p, and yes, it'll be pixelated.
Which means it'll suck, just like the nonsense we had 20 years ago that never took off. So… what's the fucking point?


This aint your granddaddy's VR. :)
It actually still is, because the main issues remain. And I think the only way to solve those issues is infinite computational performance. Something we don't have, and won't have anytime soon. And by the time we have a solution for that problem, we'll have fucking brain implants or whatever and don't need VR anymore. ;)
 

Durante

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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.
Of all the naysaying I've seen concerning VR, this may be the silliest. All rendering "wastes" tons of resources for stuff "you never see". That's irrelevant. What counts is the final result.

I've never even seen a Virtual Boy in real life, dude. The basic concepts and issues are still the same, though. Because they're systemic, and have fuck all to do with the implementation.
You like using this word, but I don't think you know what it means. What little of your concerns make sense are all implementation issues which will invariably get better with improving technology. They are the opposite of systemic.
 

Feep

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Which means it'll suck, just like the nonsense we had 20 years ago that never took off. So… what's the fucking point?
Again, I am telling you that 1k per eye, unbelievably low latency, and a very large FoV of 110+ degrees makes it not even remotely the same as twenty years ago. It's more than acceptable and creates an extremely compelling experience.

I'm not really in the mood to argue this obvious point, so I'll just carry on.
 

Seanspeed

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I've never even seen a Virtual Boy in real life, dude. The basic concepts and issues are still the same, though. Because they're systemic, and have fuck all to do with the implementation.
These 'problems' you've listed aren't the massive roadblocks you think they are. At all.

Which means it'll suck, just like the nonsense we had 20 years ago that never took off. So… what's the fucking point?
Because it can still be fun?

I understand scepticism, but you sound straight up cynical. Thank you for coming into the clearly labelled 'hype thread' to shit on the hype with lousy, close-minded reasoning.
 

wsippel

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May 25, 2006
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Of all the naysaying I've seen concerning VR, this may be the silliest. All rendering "wastes" tons of resources for stuff "you never see". That's irrelevant. What counts is the final result.
I don't even disagree with you, but I haven't seen these results that would change my mind within the last two decades. So….

You like using this word, but I don't think you know what it means.
I do - that's why I use it.
 

StuBurns

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Jan 9, 2008
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Which means it'll suck, just like the nonsense we had 20 years ago that never took off. So… what's the fucking point?
You think it was 1080p twenty years ago? Do you also think graphic rendering was equal twenty years ago?

I used a VR arcade game when I was a child, it was probably not twenty years ago, maybe eighteen, and it was an interesting novelty, but even Rift DK1, which is a pretty shambolic piece of technology, is such an interesting experience.

Is everyone going to be willing to take the hit on visual treats and IQ? No, of course not, but it is an extremely different experience to playing a video game with a TV/monitor, and that heightened sense of immersion in of itself will be of great value to some people.

If you take the PS4 VR headset, and compare the visual experience to a TV, it will pale in comparison, but it's then a question of if the immersion is worth the price of a headset, and the drop in graphics, I think for a lot of people it will be.

It's not going to be the new way people play games, it's going to be a different experience, idea with content designed for it.

EDIT: The Virtual Boy was not a Virtual Reality system, it was a 3D HMD.
 

wsippel

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Again, I am telling you that 1k per eye, unbelievably low latency, and a very large FoV of 110+ degrees makes it not even remotely the same as twenty years ago. It's more than acceptable and creates an extremely compelling experience.

I'm not really in the mood to argue this obvious point, so I'll just carry on.
I actually do believe it's compelling. It was compelling back then, too. It was really fucking awesome, actually - headache and all. But it never took off. I personally believe that was because of the inherent limitations, and the current development doesn't seem to fix those in any way (except for the headache issue) - if it's even possible to fix them.


You think it was 1080p twenty years ago?
No? The shit we had back then were head mounted cathode ray tubes. Insanely heavy and pretty low-res.
 

sn00zer

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I wonder though about how this will effect the brain after continuous use....I cant imagine constantly tricking the brain into thinking it is some place it isnt, is not the best thing for it
 

Hale-XF11

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I think I have VR hype fatigue. I just want to try it myself already. Sounds awesome though.
 

StuBurns

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No? The shit we had back then were head mounted cathode ray tubes. Insanely heavy and pretty low-res.
You said in regards to it being 1080p:
Which means it'll suck, just like the nonsense we had 20 years ago that never took off.
So the fact it wasn't 1080p is pretty important.
I wonder though about how this will effect the brain after continuous use....I cant imagine constantly tricking the brain into thinking it is some place it isnt, is not the best thing for it
It happens for hours every night as you sleep, and you process it perfectly.
 

call_kotaku

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I actually do believe it's compelling. It was compelling back then, too. It was really fucking awesome, actually - headache and all. But it never took off. I personally believe that was because of the inherent limitations, and the current development doesn't seem to fix those in any way (except for the headache issue) - if it's even possible to fix them.



No? The shit we had back then were head mounted cathode ray tubes. Insanely heavy and pretty low-res.
So your argument against someone who tried it and found it extremely compelling and saw it working without significant issue is that you speculate (without any direct knowledge) that it wouldn't be compelling and it would be plagued with significant issues?
 

wsippel

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You said in regards to it being 1080p:

So the fact it wasn't 1080p is pretty important.
It actually isn't that important, really. What matters is that you need very high resolutions to make it look good, and you need to render much bigger FoVs. You have to draw shit most people will never notice. Without peripheral vision, the whole idea is nonsense. Might as well use a 3D TV with polarized glasses or a fucking 3DS if depth is all you care about.
 

Simzyy

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What is the longest amount of time you can use Oculus Rift DK1 before it gets even remotely uncomfortable? And I don't mean due to VR sickness. I'm talking about the general comfort of wearing the headset.

Do we have very good reason to believe this will be improved greatly in the consumer version?

This is pretty much my biggest concerns at the moment. When I get the chance I like to sit down and fully immerse myself in a game for a good length of time, but if after 2-3 hours if I have to take a break it is a little annoying. Probably worth it for the great experience I'm sure VR is though.
 

megabytecr

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Hi! I’m Feep, and yesterday, I went into Valve’s offices in Seattle because we’re like totally bros now.

This is where we’re going.

Special thanks to Valve for inviting me in and letting me talk freely about my experiences. Greatly appreciated, guys.

Ctrl-F: Half Life 3
Can I be your bro?

I envy you, thanks for sharing. I love how Valve is pushing the PC in multiple ways.
 

StuBurns

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It actually isn't that important, really. What matters is that you need very high resolutions to make it look good, and you need to render much bigger FoVs. You have to draw shit most people will never notice. Without peripheral vision, the whole idea is nonsense. Might as well use a 3D TV with polarized glasses or a fucking 3DS if depth is all you care about.
You need about 90 degrees, but wider is better, and yes, a larger PoV does mean more geometry, which is an additional performance concern.

A PS4 VR experience isn't going to ever be on par visually with something like KZ Shadow Fall or whatever, the question is how willing are people to reduce the visual refinement of their gaming experience for this new immersion aspect, and the uncoupling of camera control from the reticule. I honestly don't know, I'm inclined to think when people experience modern VR, they're going to be totally fine with it, but we don't know yet.
 

Leb

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wsippel's list of systemic issues is right on the money.

The wildly unsuccessful O&W Wright faced a similar set of systemic issues:

1. set of lifting surfaces
2. mechanisms for stability and control
3. means of propulsion

All three of which had to be achieved on the same frame.

As history tells us, they were on a fool's errand, as these issues were systemic and had fuck all to do with the implementation.

Now if you'll excuse me, my blimp leaves in a hour.
 

TrojanBlade

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Posting again ....

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?
 

wsippel

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So your argument against someone who tried it and found it extremely compelling and saw it working without significant issue is that you speculate (without any direct knowledge) that it wouldn't be compelling and it would be plagued with significant issues?
No? I said I tried the old shit two decades ago and the new shit we have today, and I actually do think it was and is pretty awesome. I just believe it's a massive waste of computational performance in a real world scenario and I don't think it'll sell. Because it is as "awesome" now as it was twenty years ago, and it didn't sell back then, either. In fact, most people don't even seem to remember that VR really was a thing back then and how old the whole thing actually is. It didn't work. The question is: Do Occulus or the Valve thing or the Sony thing actually fix the issues that prevented VR from becoming mainstream in 1992? I personally don't think so, but you're free to disagree.
 

kyser73

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You need about 90 degrees, but wider is better, and yes, a larger PoV does mean more geometry, which is an additional performance concern.

A PS4 VR experience isn't going to ever be on par visually with something like KZ Shadow Fall or whatever, the question is how willing are people to reduce the visual refinement of their gaming experience for this new immersion aspect, and the uncoupling of camera control from the reticule. I honestly don't know, I'm inclined to think when people experience modern VR, they're going to be totally fine with it, but we don't know yet.
Isn't it the case tho that a simple VR environment can deliver greater immersion than a complex 2D render simply by virtue of the fact you're in it?

The point in the OP I keep thinking about is the sense of scale. Even in the best bits of KZSF during The Agent, while it conveys a convincing illusion of scale ultimately you know you're watching an image on a TV, it's also why I don't rate 3D TV - the abrupt image edge always gets in my way as I always want to see 'around' the TV.

I remember the games The Sentinel and Driller on the C64, and both of them despite being simple had good scale illusion.

I wonder what a VR Sentinel would be like?

Wandered off there...my point being that you don't need KZSF level visuals to immerse you.
 

E-Cat

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No? I said I tried the old shit two decades ago and the new shit we have today, and I actually do think it was and is pretty awesome. I just believe it's a massive waste of computational performance in a real world scenario and I don't think it'll sell. Because it is as "awesome" now as it was twenty years ago, and it didn't sell back then, either. In fact, most people don't even seem to remember that VR really was a thing back then and how old the whole thing actually is. It didn't work. The question is: Do Occulus or the Valve thing or the Sony thing actually fix the issues that prevented VR from becoming mainstream in 1992? I personally don't think so, but you're free to disagree.
This is such a moronic argument that it's actually unworthy of a thoughtful response.
 

StuBurns

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Posting again ....

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?
I can't answer for myself, because my Rift experience is minimal, but I can say that the Rift designer says no, it's not great for retrofitting into existing game design.
Isn't it the case tho that a simple VR environment can deliver greater immersion than a complex 2D render simply by virtue of the fact you're in it?

The point in the OP I keep thinking about is the sense of scale. Even in the best bits of KZSF during The Agent, while it conveys a convincing illusion of scale ultimately you know you're watching an image on a TV, it's also why I don't rate 3D TV - the abrupt image edge always gets in my way as I always want to see 'around' the TV.

I remember the games The Sentinel and Driller on the C64, and both of them despite being simple had good scale illusion.

I wonder what a VR Sentinel would be like?

Wandered off there...my point being that you don't need KZSF level visuals to immerse you.
I agree completely.

To take it to an extreme, I would wager even Proteus in VR is hugely immersive. VR is at the point of providing that cliche of being 'in the game' people have been talking about for decades.
 

Dr.Acula

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The question is: Do Occulus or the Valve thing or the Sony thing actually fix the issues that prevented VR from becoming mainstream in 1992? I personally don't think so, but you're free to disagree.
What issues were there in 1992 that haven't been solved? Zack Morris' phone sucked, television sucked, computers sucked, game boy sucked, everything is literally 100 times better. Everyone who's tried the latest VR tech (beyond OR dev1) has been positive. I'm willing to step aboard the hype train.

To me, the issues of cost, computational power, resolution, and form factor have absolutely been solved.

God dammit.

I wish I could just put myself in cryosleep so I didn't have to wait for this stuff to be in my home.
 

Snicky

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Thanks so much for posting this, great read! Most excited I have ever been about VR! Sounds like the experience was much more impactful than Oculus Rift, not to knock Oculus Rift as it sounds like they have a fantastic product that is close to being ready for consumers.
 

Gangxxter

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Because it is as "awesome" now as it was twenty years ago, and it didn't sell back then, either.
Just to pick a single factor here: price.
Back in 1994 the Forte VFX1 was released for about $900. Adjusted for inflation that would be about $1,400 by today's standards.
On the other hand the Oculus Rift targets a retail price of $300.
 

StuBurns

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What issues were there in 1992 that haven't been solved? Zack Morris' phone sucked, television sucked, computers sucked, game boy sucked, everything is literally 100 times better. Everyone who's tried the latest VR tech (beyond OR dev1) has been positive. I'm willing to step aboard the hype train.

To me, the issues of cost, computational power, resolution, and form factor have absolutely been solved.
I was just reading up about old VR, Dactyl Nightmare in 1991, a popular VR arcade machine, they sold for $60k.
 

jediyoshi

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I've never even seen a Virtual Boy in real life, dude. The basic concepts and issues are still the same, though. Because they're systemic, and have fuck all to do with the implementation.
Implementation a non factor? What kind of bizarro world did I enter coming into this thread?
 

AmethystEnd

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I've been scared and worried as VR creeps closer and closer, just as I was scared and worried when I thought 3D gaming was going to become the norm.

Let me explain. I don't have binocular vision. My right eye may as well be covered with a patch. I've never been able to experience 3D movies nor games and as far as I know, I never will be able to without ridiculously expensive therapy and/or surgery. If gaming had gone 100% 3D, I would have lost my favorite hobby.

So can anyone who has had any experience with VR solutions like Oculus Rift chime in regarding whether or not it would even be possible to enjoy the VR experience with vision in only one eye?
 

bj00rn_

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it is as "awesome" now as it was twenty years ago
No it wasn't. You're not the only older gamer around here.. I tried it back then, and I've had a devkit for a while. There was no such thing as VR 20 years ago. Well, yeah, they called it "VR", but it wasn't, especially compared to what we have today. Even the "shitty" DK1, there really is no comparison between that and "VR" 20 years ago. You should try to understand that point, because it's an important one, the difference really is that big. Your resistance doesn't really make any sense.
 

Zeth

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Great write-up - thanks for sharing! This is the most exciting thing in gaming right now and probably the foreseeable future.

Rift release date at GDC please!
 

Seanspeed

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I've been scared and worried as VR creeps closer and closer, just as I was scared and worried when I thought 3D gaming was going to become the norm.

Let me explain. I don't have binocular vision. My right eye may as well be covered with a patch. I've never been able to experience 3D movies nor games and as far as I know, I never will be able to without ridiculously expensive therapy and/or surgery. If gaming had gone 100% 3D, I would have lost my favorite hobby.

So can anyone who has had any experience with VR solutions like Oculus Rift chime in regarding whether or not it would even be possible to enjoy the VR experience with vision in only one eye?
Pretty sure you'll be just fine. Doesn't work like 3D does.
 

BobTheSpy

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Nov 6, 2012
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I've been scared and worried as VR creeps closer and closer, just as I was scared and worried when I thought 3D gaming was going to become the norm.

Let me explain. I don't have binocular vision. My right eye may as well be covered with a patch. I've never been able to experience 3D movies nor games and as far as I know, I never will be able to without ridiculously expensive therapy and/or surgery. If gaming had gone 100% 3D, I would have lost my favorite hobby.

So can anyone who has had any experience with VR solutions like Oculus Rift chime in regarding whether or not it would even be possible to enjoy the VR experience with vision in only one eye?
You'll be able to enjoy the Rift fine. You should have no issues. Well, the only issue you'll have is a lack of depth, but uh... no offense man, you have that issue in real life too.
 

bj00rn_

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I've been scared and worried as VR creeps closer and closer, just as I was scared and worried when I thought 3D gaming was going to become the norm.

Let me explain. I don't have binocular vision. My right eye may as well be covered with a patch. I've never been able to experience 3D movies nor games and as far as I know, I never will be able to without ridiculously expensive therapy and/or surgery. If gaming had gone 100% 3D, I would have lost my favorite hobby.

So can anyone who has had any experience with VR solutions like Oculus Rift chime in regarding whether or not it would even be possible to enjoy the VR experience with vision in only one eye?
Even though stereoscopy is one part of the experience, yes it is more than possible to enjoy it without.

Imagine how you use your vision today. Look around you. Well, VR is in its basic form no different. You have the FOV and the 1:1 scale, and the high quality tracking and fast updating visuals, which are THE most important aspect of VR.

Anyway, 2D gaming will not go away because of VR.
 

wsippel

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Just to pick a single factor here: price.
Back in 1994 the Forte VFX1 was released for about $900. Adjusted for inflation that would be about $1,400 by today's standards.
On the other hand the Oculus Rift targets a retail price of $300.
Yeah, the headsets were really expensive early on. But nobody wanted them even when they were heavily discounted, and even the Virtuality arcades (or whatever the name was) went out of business very quickly.
 

StuBurns

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I've been scared and worried as VR creeps closer and closer, just as I was scared and worried when I thought 3D gaming was going to become the norm.

Let me explain. I don't have binocular vision. My right eye may as well be covered with a patch. I've never been able to experience 3D movies nor games and as far as I know, I never will be able to without ridiculously expensive therapy and/or surgery. If gaming had gone 100% 3D, I would have lost my favorite hobby.

So can anyone who has had any experience with VR solutions like Oculus Rift chime in regarding whether or not it would even be possible to enjoy the VR experience with vision in only one eye?
VR isn't exclusively reliant on 3D in that sense, it's much more about the effect of head-tracking, obviously your perception of depth wouldn't be as great as someone with perfect vision, but multiple elements of the immersion effect, head-tracking and isolation from your actual environment, should be fine.

I would say don't buy one without checking yourself personally, but yeah, you shouldn't be missing out on much of the experience, at least relative to your normal experience of vision.
 

E-Cat

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Yeah, the headsets were really expensive early on. But nobody wanted them even when they were heavily discounted, and even the Virtuality arcades (or whatever the name was) went out of business very quickly.
...?? Therefore, the VR that we have today sucks? You're not making any sense, dude.
 

YuShtink

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Even though stereoscopy is one part of the experience, yes it is more than possible to enjoy it without.

Imagine how you use your vision today. Look around you. Well, VR is in its basic form no different. You have the FOV and the 1:1 scale, and the high quality tracking and fast updating visuals, which are THE most important aspect of VR. Unless there's something I don't know about, you will be able to enjoy it.

Anyway, 2D gaming will not go away.
Yep, and parallax effects as you move your head around will give you a sense of relative distance, just like it does in real life. Only problem is that you aren't blending two rather low res halves together, just getting the one half of the screen's overall resolution, so it will probably look more low res to you than to someone getting image from both sides.
 

StuBurns

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Only problem is that you aren't blending two rather low res halves together, just getting the one half of the screen's overall resolution, so it will probably look more low res to you than to someone getting image from both sides.
I don't think that true, when you play a 3D game on a TV, the image quality is the same as the diminished quality of the single frame, it's not like the two frames somehow collate in quality to match the flat frame.

To use a more relatable example, in 3D, the 3DS has double the resolution, but personally, the perception of resolution doesn't alter between 2D and 3D.
 

wsippel

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...?? Therefore, the VR that we have today sucks? You're not making any sense, dude.
No? Read more than one of my posts. The VR we have today is the same VR we had twenty years ago. The basic idea never changed, the main problems never got solved. Yeah, it's cheaper and lighter and the resolution is better now, but I don't think that's enough. That's all I'm saying. It doesn't suck now, and it didn't suck two decades ago. But it didn't sell back then, and I don't think it'll sell now.