Is VR even worth it?

elvn

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Titles do not have to be made for VR. You can use VorpX to play games like Bioshock, which was really fun.

https://www.vorpx.com/
You can run games that natively have SBS 3D and VorpX also has a SBS 3D emulation mode called "Virtual 3D Cinema Mode" for games that don't have native SBS 3D support. Some have to use Bigscreen or probably Skybox. I prefer Skybox for 3D movies so I'd try that first. Some people with Nvidia gpus used to sideload moonlight instead of running virtual desktop since moonlight uses nvidia gamestream, for native SBS 3D games I'm guessing. From what I've read some people are running Wii and Gamecube games via emulators in 3D mode too... I hadn't though to try that.

Here is a list of supposedly every PC game that supports 3D side by side mode natively: https://www.mtbs3d.com/gg3d/index.php?sdr_dev=&sdr=all

The problem with some rpg games that have a lot of item and ability sheet text placards and other higher resolution fine detail games is the same problem as using most tiers of headsets for desktop/app text use without scaling things large --- the resolution isn't high enough. The farther away outdoor areas or long view areas end up blurry too, or even zooming out high in an isometric. Also screen door effect on the smaller details and text. Even if you had an O+ blending out the screen frame you wouldn't have the detail. Some of the only higher detail headsets are very expensive from Pimax. In future generations of VR headsets we should get more higher resolution model options and competition though.
That still leaves a lot of great PC games without small text and probably some that you can use pc interface choices to scale the HUDs and text larger on. I'm definitely interested in trying out some Wii and Gamecube games as well. It looks like you can run emulators like Dolphin on the quest itself untethered no less. Tethered to a PC would be a lot better performance though. I guess mario games and even mario kart in VR are incredible looking.

 
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bobzdar

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Thanks thats helpful. I think I'll wait for a quest 2 with native PC support then. O+ and daydream works well enough for me at moment. Would be nice to have one device to do it all though with more portable capability than the daydream.
Well... quest does have native pc support now. It will run steam vr games just fine, I just use the O+ for the increased fov and slightly better iq. When I take my quest and laptop I have access to my full library of games, which I don't with the O+.
 

Rizen

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If you are into sim racing or just cars in general, VR is 110% worth it. It's incredible. iRacing in particular is a fantastic VR game.
 

DarkStar02

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Good lord the clarity on that new Pimax 8kX is amazing. Makes the Index look like a DK1
 
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TLoki

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You should try looking at the used market. You can find some for very reasonable pricing like the htc vive.
 

elvn

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The 8k x model's resolution looks incredible from the reviews but the overall kit price is ~ $2000. The cable bandwidth at highest Hz and the GPU power isn't fully capable without upscaling so that is something to be aware of in gaming.

Hopefully higher resolution headsets will become more standard in competing models in the next generation of vr headsets.
 
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cdoublejj

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all i can say is the higher cost setup can be worth it. a friend of mine sunk about 4 figures in to his and the pay back is other friends buying him games and hanging out out his place on weekends, it gets used well. eventually when i get more space i plan to get similar setup with a dedicated room as my friend did.
 

SuperSubZero

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If you are into sim racing or just cars in general, VR is 110% worth it. It's incredible. iRacing in particular is a fantastic VR game.
I can't adjust to manipulating a "floating" control, like a flight stick or steering wheel. In No Man's Sky the ships are near impossible for me to fly using the stock VR controllers. I tried out DCS World (the air war simulator) and I *immediately* bought a HOTAS setup JUST for that game, but the issue there is the flight stick has buttons all over it which aren't visible in VR, so I found myself fumbling over the stick trying to find stuff.

On a side note, one other annoying aspect of VR is when it hasn't been used in a while and things need to update. I recently started tinkering with my VR headset after a long break and games need to update. Welp, the games I tried didn't have in-VR update info or windows at all, so I'm sitting there wondering why the game isn't starting, I take off the headset and there's Steam with the "Play Game" button waiting to be clicked after an update. A couple of the games also staled out my logins so those also just sit at the desktop waiting for a login while VR is just showing blank. *Very* aggravating.
 

elvn

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all i can say is the higher cost setup can be worth it. a friend of mine sunk about 4 figures in to his and the pay back is other friends buying him games and hanging out out his place on weekends, it gets used well. eventually when i get more space i plan to get similar setup with a dedicated room as my friend did.
That sounds cool. Hopefully there will be a new generation of VR headsets by the time I get to the point where I can remodel my garage into a VR and workout space with a space heater for winter and a pillar "R2D2" AC in summer. That will be a while yet. Higher rez headsets should be more common next gen I hope. Not worth breaking the bank atm for me considering my space constraints and my current pc configuration, the roadmap of vr gaming and accessories (haptics, force feedback, etc) , questions about Pimax QC and delivery timelines, support and obviously price/lack of competition for their top segment, etc.

I'm sure its nice on a top tier setup right now but my personal roadmap for that level of gear is farther out where I probably start shifting future upgrades toward better VR editions rather than a PC desk setup. I'd really like valve, oculus, or samsung to come out with a very high resolution headset (like the pimax 8k+) but with a quality HDR OLED screen that can be used for movies as well. Perhaps with curved OLED screens if that works better for games. I'd also like some advanced high interpolation and perhaps eye tracking foveated rendering, etc. to go along with very high Hz rather than having to play at non-native resolutions on a very high rez headset. I'd prob build a mini itx just for VR at some point. That and something like a 7nm 3080ti to drive it, both with hdmi 2.1 and/or adaptable dp 2 I'd hope. Definitely some things to look forward to in the future.

I can't adjust to manipulating a "floating" control, like a flight stick or steering wheel. In No Man's Sky the ships are near impossible for me to fly using the stock VR controllers. I tried out DCS World (the air war simulator) and I *immediately* bought a HOTAS setup JUST for that game, but the issue there is the flight stick has buttons all over it which aren't visible in VR, so I found myself fumbling over the stick trying to find stuff.
I would definitely invest in a flight stick if you like flying games, even a modestly priced stick, and a steering wheel if you are into driving games - which you said you did. As someone who can touch type without looking at the keyboard (in fact all of my special keys are blank on the top), and who uses a many keyed mmo mouse without looking at any buttons - I'd say learn your flight stick buttons so you can use them blindfolded.

On a side note, one other annoying aspect of VR is when it hasn't been used in a while and things need to update. I recently started tinkering with my VR headset after a long break and games need to update. Welp, the games I tried didn't have in-VR update info or windows at all, so I'm sitting there wondering why the game isn't starting, I take off the headset and there's Steam with the "Play Game" button waiting to be clicked after an update. A couple of the games also staled out my logins so those also just sit at the desktop waiting for a login while VR is just showing blank. *Very* aggravating.
I've had some setup pains flipping my headset off to get around a dozen final settings set up in a SkyrimVR ultimate mod pack so I can understand the back and forth aggravation. Especially since my PC is in an adjacent room to where I put the headset on usually. If I had the virtual desktop type setups mentioned below it would have been no problem. Some other things to note are that if I break the guardian zone with my oculus quest headset it goes to a black and white camera view of the real world which can be useful to check on things in a pinch. For the moment I ended up propping up my 8.5" tablet with the instructions I needed for skyrimVR settings and just tilting the headset up a bit to read as a workaround.

Virtual screens , apps, windows...
=================================

There are a bunch of people I've seen playing VR games on twitch and in youtube videos that are using virtual desktop technologies to pin clones of their monitor in the VR world. Not only can you have a virtual desktop on your VR headset as a stand-alone app - - what I am talking about is that it's possible to pin a virtual screen or screen window in virtual space that will still show during the game, within the game (Walking dead: saints and sinners VR twitch player I was watching for example). This is most commonly narrowed down to a large (virtual) tablet or giant "phone" screen that they tie to their forearm just behind the controller which shows the channel's chat window and nothing else. This "screen" actually moves as if it's strapped to your forearm and the player tilts his arm up as if he's checking his watch sort of. I've also seen posts where people have a screen with their baby monitor feed or other screen in the upper right of the virtual game world. I've even seen people pull up triple monitor setups in VR (on a desktop anyway not in game so far) . However zooming in on a single screen is probably necessary for any detailed text due to the VR resolutions/virtual distance limitations. The singular windows and chat windows seem fine though since you are bending your forearm close to your face "checking your watch" which in this case is what looks like a larger tablet strapped to your forearm. Anyway the point is that you can have screens pinned or hotkeys or motion triggers that pull up your desktop display or window in different ways. That is one of the things on my "To Do" list so that I can take peeks at my desktop , steamVR or whatever is running while in the game.
 
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elvn

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lfU3Oih.jpg

from https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMixxsn8IVQ

------

In this video I show you how you can have Twitch Chat or YouTube chat display in Virtual reality with any Virtual Reality game. This will allow you to then interact with Your stream audience without having to take your Virtual Reality headset off or use a Desktop view. Download Link for Open VR Desktop Display Portal - https://github.com/Hotrian/OpenVRDesk... Download Link for Open VR Twitch chat (I recommend using Desktop display portal instead) - https://github.com/Hotrian/OpenVRDesk... Download link for Restream Chat ( this lets you view both YouTube and Twitch chat at the same time) https://restream.io/chat

https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe-seYTX3HI
 
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SuperSubZero

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I would definitely invest in a flight stick if you like flying games, even a modestly priced stick, and a steering wheel if you are into driving games - which you said you did. As someone who can touch type without looking at the keyboard (in fact all of my special keys are blank on the top), and who uses a many keyed mmo mouse without looking at any buttons - I'd say learn your flight stick buttons so you can use them blindfolded.
Touch typing isn't the point. The game draws a stick, and it doesn't match the stick on my desk. As well, the game doesn't do a particularly good job of mapping everything, so a lot of stuff is still on the keyboard, which again, I can't see. Even part of touch typing is knowing where the home row is, and when your hands are on a flight stick, well.. what home row? Also, the stick controls change per plane. Keyboards don't change per app. That aspect simply wasn't fun for me, I decided to play other games, and the HOTAS just collects dust now (Mechwarrior Online "sort of" supports it but piloting a mech with a flight stick is weird).
 

elvn

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It can be momentary on a toggle , depending how you set it up that is. Like pulling up a minimized window. There are a bunch of options on how you do it I believe.

You obviously want the apple experience out of everything as opposed to PCMR and sound like you are doing a linus tech take your ball and go home when you aren't spoon fed. VR is not AR mapping your room and controllers, at least not yet.
 

elvn

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From researching this so far it seems oculus desktop has their own virtual desktop screen/window pinning called Oculus Dash which might be a little less resource intensive, there is OVR Toolkit for steam which I will probably go with, and Virtual Desktop app also has this kind of functionality.

Among other things, with some of these virtual desktop pinning apps you can:

-Pin windows or desktop views at different sizes and transparencies (i.e. "see through" or not).
-Can pin a view to somewhere stationary in the game world environment.
-Can pin a view to your headset so it follows you around at whatever relative location, size and distance you specify.
-Can pin a view to your controller/forearm similarly
-The size/location options and especially the transparency makes it less obtrusive
- Depending on which app, you can show multiple monitors and/or windows shrunk and zoom in on one, or manually cycle which monitor is shown on one view panel.
- Depending on which app, you can see UAC popups and can click through them from the pinned view window in the VR headset's view.
- You use your controllers like a laser pointer and click things on the desktop. You can also use the "laser pointer" controls with a virtual keyboard on the desktop.
- You can now, in beta/experimental stage at least, enable hand tracking in the oculus quest interface so you don't have to use the controllers to manage windows and watch movies, point-typing on virtual keyboard, etc.
- Considering the pin location freedom, I'm thinking that you could probably pin a screen below your knees or on the floor below you so you could look down to check on your desktop but not have it in your view during gameplay. Otherwise a show/hide toggle would be nice for a more direct viewing position too. I'll have to experiement with the apps.

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Oculus Dash seems to do almost everything without using more resources like the others. For just checking on your desktop for messages/errors or prompts, progress meters, etc you could just pin a window or desktop view the oculus dash screen so that when you pull up the oculus menu (pausing a playing app or game), you could see your desktop/monitor views or pinned windows.
However I've also learned that there is a row of buttons in the lower right corner of each desktop window that gives you extra panel functions: Pin , Pull up virtual Keyboard, and Minimize. Minimized windows appear on your oculus dash bar and can be restored from there. To maximize an already shown window, point at it and pull the trigger or tap the button. This is like a show/hide taskbar type of setup, where you can have multiple minimized virtual desktop/window views without having them always in your game view.
 
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polonyc2

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why is the Valve Index so much more expensive then all the other VR kits?...is it worth it?
 

ProfessorUtopia

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why is the Valve Index so much more expensive then all the other VR kits?...is it worth it?
The cost is higher than most other headsets for several reasons:
  • It's one of the few headsets still using external base stations for tracking.
  • The panel supports a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz.
  • There are more features for customizing the fit and focus.
  • The controllers are technically complex.
  • The general build quality is very high (though, there have been QC issues).

On the more speculative side, Valve might not enjoy the economy-of-scale Oculus and some others may have.

Whether it's "worth it", is subjective. I am very satisfied with my purchase.
 

Hagrid

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The cost is higher than most other headsets for several reasons:
  • It's one of the few headsets still using external base stations for tracking.
  • The panel supports a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz.
  • There are more features for customizing the fit and focus.
  • The controllers are technically complex.
  • The general build quality is very high (though, there have been QC issues).

On the more speculative side, Valve might not enjoy the economy-of-scale Oculus and some others may have.

Whether it's "worth it", is subjective. I am very satisfied with my purchase.
The base stations gives you much more accurate controller placement than the sensors on the HMD. People always say it works fine while playing beat saber but never any games that require much more arm placement.
 

elvn

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It's sort of like having a 7.1 surround system and a big oled tv and a sectional couch compared to a modest smaller TV with built in speakers, or using a console gaming system rather than a loaded expensive pc with an expensive monitor. Personally I'd rather wait before going higher end, for the next gen of headsets where hopefully higher resolutions per eye becomes more standard along with higher bandwidth ports (displayport 2 or hdmi 2.1), perhaps hdr, better oled (and maybe even curved oled) and other enhancements.

The pimax 8k x is very attractive but the company's timeliness/support, the unit's durability/build quality, etc have mixed reviews and a full kit with index controllers and 2 lighthouses is very expensive $1600 - *$1900 + tax vs a $250 samsung or a $350 - $500 oculus Quest that has untethered gameplay to boot). The 8k x seem to have much better fov and resolutions but like I said, hopefully those features will be available in headsets from more manufacturers in the next generation of vr headsets and with higher bandwidth ports and when more powerful pc gpus like a 3080ti are available so that you wouldn't necessarily have to rely on up scaling in order to support higher fps and higher Hz.

Of course I'd love a full 8k x kit or a full index kit but I have to pick my battles. I really can't see such a pricier purchase being worthy of the limited space I have available right now either. However I'm hoping to remodel my connected garage into a vr/workout area sometime this year so I should be set up a lot better for room scale eventually on my quest and eventually a better VR headset. That might motivate me to do a miniitx build around a future 3080ti purchase, or save money by moving my whole desk setup to the garage. I'll have to insulate the new room and especially the doors, installing a wall space heater for the winter and using my old pillar style stand alone air conditioner in the summer.

I'm looking at it like building a home theater hardware setup or a modest gym in a house. VR isn't quite yet there for me for that level of spending. For now a Quest was a good way to dip my toes in very affordably.
 
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RanceJustice

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Just letting everyone know as they discuss the topic - Humble Bundle is offering a VR Bundle at time of writing!

https://www.humblebundle.com/games/vr-bundle
It includes a handful of well-reviewed VR titles via Steam, at current.

$1=
Cosmic Trip - VR sci-fi RTS
Smashbox Arena - Lighthearted arena combat and minigames

BeatTheAverage $14 =

Gorn - Gladiator combat physics sandbox, humorous "Devolver Digital" published.
Budget Cuts - Sci-fi stealth action title, inspired equally by the Portal series and Metal Gear Solid.
Space Pirate Trainer - VR take on an old school arcade shooter like Galaga, mixed with rhythm gaming into a hectic attack-and-defend setup.

Full Package $15 =

Superhot VR - VR entry in the Superhot series with completely different content/features compared to the standard title. Lo-res hacker gun-kata adventure where time only moves as you do!
Moss - Storybook-like adventure tale of a mouse off on a quest, designed specifically for VR.

Especially given that many VR titles seem to cost more and don't go on sale as quickly/dramatically as conventional play, this is a fantastic deal - its no surprise that the "average" is so close to the fulll package. I personally have been waiting to see discounts for Gorn, Superhot VR, and Budget Cuts so I'll definitely pick it up, interested to try out the rest as well. This is the first time I've seen a bundle with "big name" titles anywhere near this inexpensive - mostly its exclusively the 'very limited tech demo" types, if bundled at all.

This may give owners of VR hardware an affordable pack of titles to showcase some of the benefits thereof, at least on an entry level. There are lots of other games and experiences that can extend things beyond, but certainly a good start to illustrating the value of VR on the cheap.
 
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