Why all the flash?
It's interesting how flashy this thing is. What is it doing that needs all that?
The inexplicably expensive HTC Vive Pro has arrived, and rather than spend a few hours in virtual world of rainbows and unicorns, the team at iFixit have taken the headset into the very real world of their workshop and taken the thing apart. HTC VIVO TEARDOWN Click to enlarge With a resolution bump to 1440 x 1600 per eye …
Costing £799, that's what.
I was always hoping for the Nintendo Switch to be a "cut-down" VR console, such that we could start getting the components relatively cheap and mass market and gauge usage. But years down the line, the Vive and any other decent VR headset is just far too expensive, and still needs a damn-expensive PC to run it.
VR really suits the kind of grandma-playing-casual-games ethic and I really think they missed the boat. They could have owned the console market for several years just on that alone, and it would have brought VR to the fore as something people start buying to play at parties.
As it is, I host games parties and I seriously cannot justify even the computer capable of running a VR headset, let alone the headset itself, let alone a bunch of them for people to play against each other.
I find it disappointing that 30-years after VRML and those early protoypes, Lawnmower Man, and whatever else has come and gone, we still don't have anything practical in terms of VR at all. What did the guys in all those "hey, look, we have a 3D walkthrough of our new building using this new system" news pieces have on their head 30-years-ago that we don't have the capability to replicate cheaply now?
The HMDs of yesteryear were seriously VR-sickness inducing, had *horrible* screens, resolution and were heavy monsters. And they were about on par with a car in price.
It's pretty much not until the last few years with the occulus, psvr and vive that the hardware needed to dodge the worst of the vr-sicknes became "affordable".
Nintendo also have a failed VR experiment behind them that may have left them a bit VR shy.
So, that's £230 for a console, £280 for a piece of hardware.
That's £510. Against an HTC Vive (£499 + PC) / Oculus Rift (£399 + PC)). Not including the addons, etc. that comes with the latter two, the games (console games were ridiculously expensive last I looked, as I haven't owned one in about 15 years), and the actual difference in capabilities.
Sorry, but £500+ is too expensive for this stuff. Even adjusting for inflation, that's more than the console, every controller and every game I've bought for a console, for every console I did ever own in my life.
Especially if you then only get the one. That's a damn-expensive single-player game.
£500 for a complete TWO player kit. Yeah, then you could be in people's homes rather than an expensive status symbol. But it's twice the price it needs to be. It wouldn't even be so bad if there was a standard and PSVR, Rift and HTC could all play each others games seamlessly across all the platforms (we have USB everywhere now, right?). But that's not true either, so every penny sunk is potentially lost if you chose the Betamax of VR.
I'd happily pay £200 for PSVR if it worked on my PC. The lower res of the screen would actually HELP, I wouldn't need anywhere near as beefy a PC. But the only option to do that is unofficial software that you have no guarantees will work on any particular game.
Whereas if someone had made a proper VR console, with two VR headsets, with the Nintendo name on it, for £500, people WOULD buy it, and it would establish a standard overnight in terms of programming API as well as hardware connection (Wiimotes are just Bluetooth and have drivers for everything now).
"Sorry, but £500+ is too expensive for this stuff. Even adjusting for inflation, that's more than the console, every controller and every game I've bought for a console, for every console I did ever own in my life."
If you haven't spent more than £500 on consoles, peripherals and games in your life then I would say you are not the target market. What you spend is your choice but in terms of total cost that is not a lot at all.
To interject, I had an original Vive and a sufficiently-capable PC in my home, granted to me as part of my employment, for something like a year. Even that had the tendency to make me feel sick, and ditto for many of the other people that tried it — the tracking was incredible, the computer supplied supplied consistent 90Hz video, but it was still enough to make me nauseous within an hour.
Don't believe the hype; VR still isn't particularly compelling. That's why I left that job.
Could you define what a "killer app" for VR actually is? I've said it before, VR is just a playback medium, it doesn't require a killer app in the same way my monitor doesn't need a killer app, or my TV, VR just offers a different way to view content.
If you really want to go the killer app route, maybe it's the VR videos where you're not limited to what the camera points you towards but are able to view the entire world? If you want to go the perverted killer app, Japan got you covered with virtual girlfriends, though that's more likely to kill any relationship you have with anything other than your right hand (not yours as in you, yours as in generalisation)
Would this be any good for actual game, i.e. equivalent of have a 55" screen to game on??
There were those glasses a few years ago that were advertised as large screens in a small body.. wondering if these could give the same benefit.
Currently I've got a huge-ass 65" screen connected to my gaming PC, but it big, generates a lot of heat and doesn't have the greatest refresh, so I'm happily down-side if something could give me the same perspective.
The VR environment eats a bit of performance when you play games on a VR-screen so you need a beefier computer to run the same game at the same framerate, unless its already far enough from capping the computer, but it's entirely possible.
I have been playing games in BigScreen on my vive like that when the kids call dibs on the TV. :D
Using BigScreen or a similar program you effectively replicate an environment with a screen you can resize at will and move closer or further to suit you. BigScreen even has the ability to invite others over so you could have other people virtually there watching a movie with you. Granted, it has limited appeal but to me VR has never been about massive changes and has been more about a massive step in immersive experiences.
Elite: Dangerous is a good example. I've docked ships many times with a normal screen and always thought the dock entrances were pretty small to the point I've scraped the roof / sides many times. When I tried it with VR it was a totally different experience because suddenly the sense of scale was 1:1 and I saw just how massive this dock entrance was on the station along with everything else. That appeals to me a lot in games - adding a deeper level of being in the game than anything else to date.
You get over VR sickness within a couple of weeks. I certainly did and I'm extremely prone to motion sickness but now I can immediately turn off all comfort settings and just play (such as Omega Wipeout - and that's some insane shit right there. I lock my view to pilot (rather than cockpit) and it's still fine for me).
"combined resolution of 2880 x 1600 with a 90 Hz refresh rate... Samsung AMOLED AMS350MU04 panels"
And that doesn't cover the cameras to track the headset's own position and other hardware.
And the fact it's still not commodity hardware.
Doesn't sound so inexplicably expensive to me...
I'd want one for Kerbal Space Program, but considering I got bit for big bucks buying a SpacePilot 3D joystick and it was useless... I'll wait to see someone else get it working.
It'd be perfect for EVAs. I sure would love to step out of a spacecraft and look up at Jool... and the spacecraft... and Jeb... well maybe not Jeb.
"but were drowned out in the excitement surrounding HTC’s emission."
I dunno, moment they announced price i saw only massive criticism and lots of censorship on their pages.
If anything they were drowned in storms of anger
Anyway, glad to see info lenses were unchanged.. really bad move, they were already inferior to oculus,
this shows it's just lazy overpriced upgrade.
As a PSVR owner (with a PS4 Pro) the next VR purchase will have to be wireless for it to be a worthwhile upgrade. Until Dawn: Rush of blood and Resident Evil 7 can still make me jump even at pixelated resolution of the PSVR so improving this is not my main need in a VR headset upgrade.
Lightweight, wireless and ease of putting on/taking off would make the casual games (which the majority of the VR games are) a lot more popular from just the practical standpoint. So my wallet will wait until the wireless bit comes as standard (I think my 1080 Ti should hopefully be able to cope).
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