VR for the seated gamer


Supreme [H]ardness
May 20, 2011
Tell me about VR games for the seated gamer.

One of the things I note about the VR games that [H] have highlighted is that they require room. American houses may have a lot of space, but British ones do not. Modern British houses have small rooms: this room, my study, technically a second bedroom, is 8 foot by 12 foot with the last 2 feet of that as a built-in wardrobe with a mirror surface. My living room is slightly larger but has chairs, sofas, my plasma TV, pictures, etc etc, and is not the place to put up permanent poles. So expensive things can easily get broken. All this restricts my putative VR experience to one with me seated here.

So tell me about the VR experience I can expect.
There are many games that are made for seated, but also as a standing experience:
Steam Search

You´ll have much of the same VR experience as everyone else, except for those that REQUIRE a certain roomscale size.
Room scale VR is pretty neat, but isn't the be all, end all when it comes to VR gaming. Most games that require some movement will still work in a very small space and use teleporting to get around (i.e. they work perfectly fine in a small ~1.5 meter circle that you turn in). Also, I'd say that only 5-10% of the VR titles out their actually *require* a large play space. The vast majority of VR games are seated or standing experiences.

VR games for the seated gamer are plentiful and ROCK. If you are into simulation games (flying/driving), then getting a VR setup is a no-brainer.

I definitely would not let the lack of space sway your decision against investing in VR. Also, owning both the Rift and the Vive, I'd say the Rift has the edge in fit/form/function as for seated VR experiences. Having built in headphones is really nice, they are also lighter and much easier to take on/off. You also don't have to install poles around the room with a Rift. Finally, once the Touch controllers start shipping in Oct/Nov, the Vive will no longer rule as to a room scale experience. Right now though, if you have the room, the Vive gets my nod as to a complete solution that does it all.
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If you like racing and spaceflight simulation games, you'll be pleased with the current seated offerings. If not, you should wait for the tech to improve unless you have an especially strong stomach. Seated experiences rely on artificial locomotion at this stage, which has a tendency to make users nauseous. Some people get used to it (said to be gaining one's "VR legs") and many others, like myself, never really acclimate to it. All of my favorite VR games right now are room scale.

The other thing to note is that many people have made compromises in their living spaces to accommodate room scale setups. My living room sounds like it could be roughly the same size as yours. I moved all of my non essential furniture and wall hangings to other rooms to make a play space possible. You're definitely not the only one with a cramped house, but if you are willing to compromise you can make it work.