The Best VR Headset Money Can Buy Video, Varjo VR-3

noko

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Impressive! Looks true next gen, Eye/hand tracking, eye resolution whatever that means, no Godrays, Astounding clarity from edge to edge, OLED, Works with Valve Base Stations and Index Controllers. Too bad meant for Business use.
 

noko

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$3195 plus a subscription is like the brick in the wall for these. Anyways they look to be the most impressive of all VR headsets. They take two DP1.4 to drive. Specs for the Display shows a combination of uOLED and LCD for the peripheral which seems interesting.

https://store.varjo.com/vr-3

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MaZa

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I bet that even consumer version would cost something like 2000 bucks if it existed. This contains some very impressive technology but it is definetly not cheap. Not yet anyway.
 

noko

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Yep, that price tag makes anything at $1000 and under look like a bargain. For me it is to Vive Pro II or not. I think I will give it a few months to see how things pan out more.
 

Shadowarez

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that sounds like the Pimax 5K-8K its not cheap and they too have a business model is that a ting are business's using these things for virtual meetings? or dev?
 
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Nice specs, but that price tag is already more than I ever paid for a car - and that's not even getting into the required annual subscription.

Seriously, what the hell? It's hardware - if it physically works and shouldn't have to rely on any services more than any other SteamVR headset, then they can GTFO with that subscription nonsense.

As it stands, my GTX 980 isn't really up to the task of driving a Valve Index, so I dare not imagine what it takes to drive the VR-3 if some games already require an RTX 3080 to remain smooth on an Index-level HMD with significantly lower resolution (but possibly significantly higher refresh rate).
 

MaZa

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Nice specs, but that price tag is already more than I ever paid for a car - and that's not even getting into the required annual subscription.

Seriously, what the hell? It's hardware - if it physically works and shouldn't have to rely on any services more than any other SteamVR headset, then they can GTFO with that subscription nonsense.

As it stands, my GTX 980 isn't really up to the task of driving a Valve Index, so I dare not imagine what it takes to drive the VR-3 if some games already require an RTX 3080 to remain smooth on an Index-level HMD with significantly lower resolution (but possibly significantly higher refresh rate).

This is for business, not for consumers. And unfortunately such subscription models are common. For example in auto repairshops, if you want to have a device that can get deep into your cars computer then you need to pay subscription for both the software (be it Autocom, STAR or so on) and the device. Probably no need to say but pirated versions and cloned devices from China are very common in smaller repairshops.
 
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This is for business, not for consumers. And unfortunately such subscription models are common. For example in auto repairshops, if you want to have a device that can get deep into your cars computer then you need to pay subscription for both the software (be it Autocom, STAR or so on) and the device. Probably no need to say but pirated versions and cloned devices from China are very common in smaller repairshops.
Oh, I'm well aware about the subscription fees to update bidirectional scan tools costing literal thousands of dollars just for the hardware.

Makes me fortunate that my newest vehicle at the moment is 1996 and only really needs a basic OBD2 scanner (a CCD-compatible scanner could read more data, but there's no ABS to bleed or calibrate, no integrated body control module to test or anything else you'd expect from the CAN bus era), and the second newest from 1990 has its own little diagnostic blinker box (put a probe into one of two terminals, hold the button for a second, count the LED blinks to read the fuel or ignition computer codes, clear the codes with the same button).

Still, even if something is targeting business customers, that doesn't mean it should require a subscription to function if it's just hardware. The aforementioned scan tools, for instance? Those should still work with whatever you've got the software on file for without phoning home, even if it's not updated for the latest model year changes.

To me, this is more akin to seeing all those off-lease business laptops on eBay suddenly being made unusable because their subscriptions expired. It would be planned obsolescence at its worst, a kill switch installed solely to coerce people into buying new equipment at full price.

Subscriptions for extended support periods, in case you're using the equipment a long time? Yeah, that totally makes sense - downtime costs money, and most businesses don't have the time or talent to spare for repairing equipment in the field. (I know that if things get busy and I'm prepping computers like mad, I don't want to be bothered with having to break out a soldering station to swap a chip or a broken port and make something work again.) Same for subscriptions where it's a service (cloud storage, Office 365, etc.) and not necessarily an end product.

But yeah, if I were running a business, unless I needed absolutely bleeding-edge hardware, I'd be buying the Index or Reverb G2 instead at a modest level, and if the StarVR One and XTAL VR don't require subscriptions at the similar business high-end, looking into those instead. Those subscriptions will cut into the bottom line over time.
 
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bobzdar

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I mean, I'd be up for spending $3k on it, but not a subscription. I do most of my gaming in VR, which is 80% racing, so might as well. It's way cheaper than racing real cars. I'd spend $3k in one weekend doing that, and that was for dirt cheap (Lemons/Champcar) racing, not even SCCA or NASA stuff.
 
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I mean, I'd be up for spending $3k on it, but not a subscription. I do most of my gaming in VR, which is 80% racing, so might as well. It's way cheaper than racing real cars. I'd spend $3k in one weekend doing that, and that was for dirt cheap (Lemons/Champcar) racing, not even SCCA or NASA stuff.
Sounds about right.

Just thinking about a proper race car build makes my wallet hurt. Custom computer builds are so much cheaper by comparison, even at today's ridiculously inflated GPU prices due to shortages and scalpers.

Even if you're sim racing with high-end VR HMDs and a direct-drive wheel costing thousands each, you're still saving a ton compared to racing a real car, and you don't have to worry so much about the inconveniences of potentially wrecking a bespoke race car and killing yourself in the process.

To break it down for everyone else, let's say I wanted to build up my old Volvo 240 for racing, which is an established platform in its native Sweden for folkracing and rallying, so there's a performance aftermarket - even if Americans like myself have to import a lot of the stuff at great cost.

-$1,000-1,500 for coilovers of some sort, more toward the higher end if going with BNE/Kaplhenke. Double that if BNE puts the rear coilover conversion back into production.
-$800-1,000 for a LSD to cram into the rear Dana 30.
-$1,500-2,500 all-in to swap the notoriously weak Volvo M47 gearbox with a World-Class T-5 often associated with the Fox body Mustang, and that's just adapter plates for the trans bellhousing, clutch, and flywheel, not including the cost of modifying the driveshaft to make it work.
-Probably $500 minimum to well over $1,000 for whatever turbo setup I can bolt to the ol' redblock, likely much more if using a modern twin-scroll turbocharger and a custom stainless steel manifold to suit as opposed to whatever the 240 Turbo had up through '85 (and mine's a 1990 model, so no factory turbo for me, gotta slap it all in Turbobricks-style).
-$250-300 to replace the factory LH-Jetronic 3.1 ECU with MegaSquirt for better tuning of said turbocharger installation.
-$220-ish for a VX3 cam, or any number of alternative performance cam grinds.
-$300-ish for performance brake pads that'll probably be used up by the end of the track day.
-$1,000+ in performance tires that will also likely be used up by the end of the track day.

Note that these are all normal prices for the parts involved, no scarcity or scalping involved whatsoever.

That's not even getting into what Gingium did with his 240 wagon, which discards the old redblock for the typical turbo LS swap with a T-56 gearbox and a methanol injection kit for even more horsepower. There's a lot of money thrown into that street sleeper build, and certainly more than I have to make this free Swedish brick of mine a sleeper of equal measure.

And for a track car build?
-Hundreds just for the entry fee to said track day.
-Hundreds more for racing seats and harnesses.
-Possibly a thousand just to install a rollcage to spec, and since it has to be welded, you can forget about making it a street car again.
-A few hundred more for additional safety items like a helmet to protect your head from said rollcage, as well as a fire extinguisher, a kill switch and anything else you need to install to pass regulations.

The kicker? It doesn't become significantly cheaper if you buy a more typical performance car like a Miata, a Mustang GT/Cobra, an E46 330i ZHP or M3, an S13 or S14 240SX, a 350Z/370Z, an MR2, or any number of other sportier, more well-known platforms that actually put some real power down to the wheels to begin with. Adjustable coilover suspension with high-end shock absorbers, performance tires and brake pads are no expensive no matter what you're driving, and then there's the entry fees and safety equipment for track days.
 

l88bastard

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^^^WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ? I have firearms more expensive than that volvo!

Welp in other news.....VR-3 is ordered, cant wait to see how it stacks up against the G2 :)
 
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^^^WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ? I have firearms more expensive than that volvo!

Welp in other news.....VR-3 is ordered, cant wait to see how it stacks up against the G2 :)
I mean, it was a free car, so just about anything would've been more expensive by default - at least before I factor in the few hundreds spent on a new battery, new tires, and some other stuff to get it running and safely drivable after at least a decade of sitting. You know, just "I'm going to make this run and drive as a cheap daily driver after 10+ years of doing nothing" stuff, not "I'm going full sleeper build race car" with it, the latter of which will make any car expensive.

Firearms aren't cheap either, though - especially not the ammunition, that really adds up in this post-pandemic market.

I'll be looking forward to any VR-3 reviews you may write, especially its integration with the existing Valve Lighthouse ecosystem. After plunking down for an Index full kit, the Lighthouse 2.0 base stations and "Knuckles" controllers are still very nice and usable, but there's room for improvement on the HMD side of things, areas where Varjo and the other really high-end VR companies could sell an improved HMD as an upgrade.

Something just dawned on me, though: the VR-3 doesn't appear to have the near-field earspeakers that the Index and the Reverb G2 do, and I cannot overstate just how surprisingly good those things are. It'd be a shame if they focused so much on the visual side of things that they neglected to put some decent audio in there as well, and in turn force users to deal with the additional kludge of putting on separate headphones afterward.
 

MaZa

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^^^WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ? I have firearms more expensive than that volvo!

Welp in other news.....VR-3 is ordered, cant wait to see how it stacks up against the G2 :)

Apparently the Varjo software is crackable because MRTV's loaner unit is unlocked without a need for subscription? Because if it isn't then I would call you insane for buying it for 3000€ and paying 800€ yearly. :eek: 3000€ I can stomach because if you want the best you have to pay for the best but the yearly subscription is just too much. Oh well, remember to post a review so I can feel jealous when you receive it. :D
 

l88bastard

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I mean, it was a free car, so just about anything would've been more expensive by default - at least before I factor in the few hundreds spent on a new battery, new tires, and some other stuff to get it running and safely drivable after at least a decade of sitting.

Firearms aren't cheap either, though - especially not the ammunition, that really adds up in this post-pandemic market.

Something just dawned on me, though: the VR-3 doesn't appear to have the near-field earspeakers that the Index and the Reverb G2 do, and I cannot overstate just how surprisingly good those things are. It'd be a shame if they focused so much on the visual side of things that they neglected to put some decent audio in there as well, and in turn force users to deal with the additional kludge of putting on separate headphones afterward.
Oh so I have a lot of firearms that are more valuable than that volvo lol

Yea, my legal full autos have been in the safe for years now due to stupidly priced ammo

I have a Reverb G2 and have been pretty impressed with it, the sound is very good too. I had the vive pro 2 but sent it back for refund without even testing as the reviews of Glare and narrow vertical FOV were a turn off. I think the reverb g2 is probably the best value/quality in vr right now.
 

l88bastard

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Apparently the Varjo software is crackable because MRTV's loaner unit is unlocked without a need for subscription? Because if it isn't then I would call you insane for buying it for 3000€ and paying 800€ yearly. :eek: 3000€ I can stomach because if you want the best you have to pay for the best but the yearly subscription is just too much. Oh well, remember to post a review so I can feel jealous when you receive it. :D
I am insane and will use it for work / pron / gaming / wife escapism lol
 

l88bastard

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Lol still waiting for unit....was told eta would be around two weeks....ordered on 7
Ok, it's been a week! Where's the review? Please pull away from the pr0n for a few minutes and give us your feedback.
NEVER, lawnmower.....errr Pronmower man 2021!

CHANNEL XR said eta would be about two weeks after order, it actually shipped today, so should have it sometime next week....pretty excited for it!

I've been reading this one dudes reaction thread on Open MR
https://community.openmr.ai/t/twack3rs-varjo-vr-3-impressions/35834/523

A couple issues I read in there:
1) Second 70ppd oled screen not working with Steam VR unless your run 500% 6kx6k resolution.
2) Some users reporting a good bit of pupil swim, which looks dependant on facer shape and pupil distance

I think its got some teething issues to go, but looks like Varjos got their techs on them. Even without oled display fully functional users say it is the hands down best display right now
 

MaZa

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Lol still waiting for unit....was told eta would be around two weeks....ordered on 7

NEVER, lawnmower.....errr Pronmower man 2021!

CHANNEL XR said eta would be about two weeks after order, it actually shipped today, so should have it sometime next week....pretty excited for it!

I've been reading this one dudes reaction thread on Open MR
https://community.openmr.ai/t/twack3rs-varjo-vr-3-impressions/35834/523

A couple issues I read in there:
1) Second 70ppd oled screen not working with Steam VR unless your run 500% 6kx6k resolution.
2) Some users reporting a good bit of pupil swim, which looks dependant on facer shape and pupil distance

I think its got some teething issues to go, but looks like Varjos got their techs on them. Even without oled display fully functional users say it is the hands down best display right now


MRTV did say in his podcast (which is quite good BTW) that the super sharp center screen indeed was not active in his tests but apparently the LCD is so good and sharp that it may not be even needed and if there ever is a consumer version the OLED section could be safely omitted from it. Looking forward to your impressions though.

And pupil swim is a known issue with all spherical lenses but you gain perfect clarity and no god rays. Honestly, I think fresnel lenses were a mistake. Yes you do not have pupil swim but you get poor edge to edge clarity, fiddly sweetspot and godrays which I absolutely hate. Fresnel was two steps forward and five backflips backwards.
 

l88bastard

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Yep, the most annoying part of my G2 is the faint visible fresnel rings, also the G2 is just slightly too low PPI for me to be 100% comfortable in Flight sims looking off into the distance. Games like hard bullet and sniper elite the G2 is great.....I'm just a greedy pig wanting MOAR of the good stuff!

IMHO fresnel lenses make things look....cheap...but thats exactly what they are designed for...an inexpensive low foot print way to magnify.

Im not overly worried about distortion pupil swim as my eyes are 66 apart which is within adjustable range and my face is shaped like a human lol. Also, i'm in the takin it easy so i dont barf kinda stage of VR movement, so not like im gonna be wrenching my head too and fro and having the headset bobbing all over my face.
 

bobzdar

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So, basically $4k for the headset (3200+800 for 1 year enterprise subscription) and then it shuts off after a year unless you upgrade the subscription... I have my mouse hovering over the buy button but want to see a few more reviews. I also don't have steam base stations, so that'd add another couple hundred.

Also not sure my 3090 could even push those oled center displays unless foveated rendering is added to steam/openvr, even if just static to the center of the view. I think I'd be willing to drop the $4k if it all worked, but not willing to spend that much and wait for support and/or battle technology.
 

l88bastard

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So, basically $4k for the headset (3200+800 for 1 year enterprise subscription) and then it shuts off after a year unless you upgrade the subscription... I have my mouse hovering over the buy button but want to see a few more reviews. I also don't have steam base stations, so that'd add another couple hundred.

Also not sure my 3090 could even push those oled center displays unless foveated rendering is added to steam/openvr, even if just static to the center of the view. I think I'd be willing to drop the $4k if it all worked, but not willing to spend that much and wait for support and/or battle technology.
1628088145531.png
 

MavericK

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This thing is ridiculously priced, I mean they are selling the face gaskets for $50 apiece for fuck's sake.
 

l88bastard

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My VR-3 came today...opened the box and there was a VRodent Stowaway right up in my face!

I didn’t receive my Varjo subscription activation key from the authorized retailer yet, so I have a $4,000 paperweight on my desk. I got an email back from them and varjo should have it straightened out Friday.

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MaZa

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My VR-3 came today...opened the box and there was a VRodent Stowaway right up in my face!

I didn’t receive my Varjo subscription activation key from the authorized retailer yet, so I have a $4,000 paperweight on my desk. I got an email back from them and varjo should have it straightened out Friday.

View attachment 382163
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Every package should come with a stowaway like him/her as far as I am concerned. 🤗
 

DPI

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When you don't have any competition you can charge whatever the hell you want.

View attachment 381633
View attachment 381634
Undoubtedly the VR-3 looks and is great, but the G2 and Pimax don't actually look that bad. It's a bullshit comparison by a bullshit Youtuber. I consider Sebastian/MRTV a running joke at this point. And I'm basing that on observing the guy and his behavior through his entire online VR "reviewing" existence, lots of his dumb Reddit comments, admitting he begs for free hardware. Every HMD that gets sent to him is "the BEST ever you guys", while willfully skewing the comparables to look worse so the sponsored product stands out more. Hype for clicks, financial desperation - he's not trustworthy. There are far better VR reviewers, that have actually tried to standardize their TTL (through the lens) methodology.

Edit: he backpedaled after his TTL was called out as bullshit. He calls it a "mistake", except the behavior is chronic.

1628281192276.png
 
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DPI

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I bet that even consumer version would cost something like 2000 bucks if it existed. This contains some very impressive technology but it is definetly not cheap. Not yet anyway.
$2K for aspheric lenses, no center screen and no subscription, easy buy. But that would probably be my max. Hell, I'd buy in for $4K were it not for the dread of another HMD with aspheric lenses being announced the following week - probably for sub-$1k - which would drop the ass out of the VR3's resale.

But it's great we have choices at these various pricepoints, it's all still net-positive for VR, having choices to argue over. Quest 2 with its Facebook controversy, controversies over reviewers, over which HMD and tech specs are best for the pricepoint, these contentions are all signs of growth actually.
 

reaper12

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Undoubtedly the VR-3 looks and is great, but the G2 and Pimax don't actually look that bad. It's a bullshit comparison by a bullshit Youtuber. I consider Sebastian/MRTV a running joke at this point. And I'm basing that on observing the guy and his behavior through his entire online VR "reviewing" existence, lots of his dumb Reddit comments, admitting he begs for free hardware. Every HMD that gets sent to him is "the BEST ever you guys", while willfully skewing the comparables to look worse so the sponsored product stands out more. Hype for clicks, financial desperation - he's not trustworthy. There are far better VR reviewers, that have actually tried to standardize their TTL (through the lens) methodology.

Edit: he backpedaled after his TTL was called out as bullshit. He calls it a "mistake", except the behavior is chronic.

View attachment 382360

Basically this. I would never buy a headset based on an MRTV review. I would go so far as to say he deliberately skews the reviews so that the headset he likes is shown in the best light. While glossing over or completely ignoring the problem areas. He always makes "mistakes"
 

DPI

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Basically this. I would never buy a headset based on an MRTV review. I would go so far as to say he deliberately skews the reviews so that the headset he likes is shown in the best light. While glossing over or completely ignoring the problem areas. He always makes "mistakes"
The big problem I have with his pattern of showing intentionally poor comparable "TTL" shots, is the chilling effect it can have. Consider the people that don't know anything about VR and are watching a video trying to decide which headset to buy. You see those shots and think "wow so it seems like you need to spend $4K for decent looking VR. I guess I'll have to wait a few more years until prices to come down to sane consumer levels, and won't buy anything now". Meanwhile the G2 and Quest 2 look and perform incredibly, and are incredibly fun, for sub-$500.

My thing is I want everyone to experience and enjoy VR, I don't care which headset you buy - or which is the "best" at any given moment - the experience is magical. And MRTV misinformation can hurt the VR space as much as it appears to promote it.
 

l88bastard

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Sebastian redid his pictures...here are the before and afters....man that Pimax still looks rough!

BEFORE
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AFTER
1628294997443.png
 

l88bastard

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I am having credential issues and its not recognizing my subscription. I have been back and forth with customer support and its something in their system they need the have the engineers work on but the engineers are based in Helsinki…so could be another day to sort out. I was angry…well more like super pissed I won’t lie, but given the amount of complexities they are dealing with across the board from hardware to software…I am understanding…thankfully they set me up with some temporary credentials to use while they fix things.

I had to put the index controllers to charge, so limited on what I can test at the moment.

I just flew an F15 around Guam for a bit in MSFS2020…AMAZING! And after the session my eyes feel great and I don’t have any nausea like I was getting from the HP Reverb G2! WOWOWOW.

The sweet spot is utterly fantastic…it feels like the entire fov is a sweet spot! …Detail is super crisp, super sharp…excellent resolution and we are not even using the oled panel…WOW. This thing is absolutely wonderful for flight sims, distant land geometry looks great, aircraft spotting is super sharp…I’m very impressed.

Negatives so far:

  • FOV is defiantly lesser than the pimax, but I never tested a pimax so cant tell you how dramatically less…it feels on par with my G2.
  • Image warping as others have said. The amount of image warp is a direct correlation to how well the headset sits on your face and what content your looking at. Its very noticeable on the flat menu selection screen on MSFS2020…in contrast the G2 has near perfect geometry…so that is one of the great drawbacks of aspheric lenses, but we already knew that.
  • Its heavier than the G2 and probably not the headset I would want to use for high frantic movement games. Ill have to do some more testing.
    Ill test project cars 2 tomorrow and see how this looks for racers…and I will play some FPS and see how that goes as well.
Long story short, its a keeper and I can’t go back to the G2. I can already tell you that much.
 
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