I’ve had a few months with the oculus rift now and I've tried all kinds of VR experiences in that time. Because of the limitation of the Rift not having motion controls I have only played games that use traditional controllers. That being said it's time to give a report on where I think VR is at now. I am forever the optimist and I do think VR will be big in the future but as of right now it is not ready.

Hardware wise it's ok, the rift fits well, weighs almost nothing and is super easy to put on and take off. Playing it feels like any other console, you turn on the console in this case the PC, slip on the headset which is like reaching for that consoles controller then pick up the Xbox controller and you are good to go. The main menu is easy to navigate, all games are easy to access, it feels right. The rift has become as second nature to start up as any console I have ever had.

The whole point of VR is the immersion factor, if I don't feel like I am there then what is the point. Every time I put on the headset I get that wow feel if just for a minute. It's so cool to see a whole track and small cars battling it out right in front of you in blaze rush. The feeling of watching a cartoon world come to life in luckys tale. It is all great but it's not that level of magic I expected, I wanted the feeling that my world is gone and I am somewhere else. The second I sit on my chair I feel that magic is gone, I instantly go into game mode. The fact that I am using a normal controller doesn't help either, most immersion is gone the moment  I am just doing the same actions I have done all my life, now the screen so happens to be on my face. Motion controls are a must for the potential of VR to be realized.

Space sim games do take place sitting on a cockpit with joysticks which I own so as of now that is the most accurate VR experience I can have. That said I still feel like I am playing a game with the added benefit of being able to quickly move my head to follow ships which from a gameplay perspective is great. But I don't know, I never felt like I was piloting an actual ship, I am too aware I am playing a game. Maybe I need more physical feedback?

The best immersion moments for me have come when watching videos or basically when I am not in full game mode. Most of these I experience while standing up, The dinosaur experience still freaks me out;  when I see aliens get near me in Farlands I feel my personal space get invaded and I have to physically move, that's the power I expected from VR all the time. But when I play HL 2 and I run right into an enemy I feel nothing cause I am in game mode. The cutscenes in Edge of Nowhere do an amazing job of using sight and sound to really creep you out and in those moments when I wasn't playing I was extremely tense and felt physically uncomfortable. While playing the game I felt nothing different than I would while playing any normal game.

Then there is the issue of VR sickness, I seem to be immune to most of it but even I get it. To some it happens with even the slightest of movement, for me it usually has to be something incredibly fast and not actually made for VR like HL2 or old doom. When you get it it feels like a pressure in your head, a mild headache that lingers all day. I've only had it a few times but it was enough for me to stop playing for a day or two. Depending on the person this could be the deal breaker.

In the end though only one thing matters, the one thing that has always mattered, the games. As of right now the games aren't great. I have always compared VR to the early 3D days, game devs trying to come up with the standards of how to play games in a new way. This can't be comparable to that era because back in the late 90s ALL the greatest developers in the world were working on 3D games. We saw the greatest minds in gaming create the standards we use today. We don't have a miyamoto creating the standards of a 3D camera and movement. We don't have all the major game companies putting their best effort into this new tech.

Instead it's mostly a group of indie devs or C teams given small budgets to make some gimmick game. Chronos is about the only fully fleshed out VR exclusive game and even that feels like it can exist on any other device just fine, it doesn't need VR. Sony is going to put some muscle behind VR but even they just have small teams working on it, none of their great games are coming to VR. Hell no even knows how to move in VR games, where is the dev team that will solve this issue? Right now VR is just a haven for random experimentation which can lead to some really magical moments but there are no landmark games. What I have found is that it doesn't matter what kind of screen you use, what input device you use, what graphics chip is powering it, none of it matters, games are what matters.

So do I regret getting a rift, no, it's still super awesome tech and I enjoy being on the cutting edge of stuff like this. The games will get better, motion control is coming for rift and I will continue to explore this brave new avenue in gaming. Has my outlook on the future of VR changed some, yeah, it's not ready, maybe this movement jumped the gun and it could cause more harm for the tech than good. Also seeing the success of AR with Pokemon Go just shows how much easier that is to implement and create a phenomenon. VR is something that in years, like 10 - 15 years, will slowly creep into normal home tech that most people have. For now it's just a novelty item until a game or app of note is made for it.

Posted by Dvader Thu, 14 Jul 2016 00:06:14 (comments: 24)
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Thu, 14 Jul 2016 02:44:31
Nice overall impressions. That was kind of the general impression that I've been getting from a lot of people. I'll be waiting on the big devs and watching closely when Sony does their thing. They might have the software devs to do something big.

Or its just a matter of waiting for Nintendo to do something the space.
Thu, 14 Jul 2016 09:40:17
Now we need your VR porn review. DO IT
Thu, 14 Jul 2016 09:42:55
I think it's difficult for VR to become a phenomenon because it's essentially a solitary experience and the sheer cost of getting into it
I'd still like it bundled as standard with a new console. But that would cripple its performance vs another console which doesn't have vr.
Fri, 15 Jul 2016 00:43:50
gamingeek said:
Now we need your VR porn review. DO IT

Was very interested in I t, then I got really really interested in it, then I was like OMG... Then I didn't care for it anymore. And repeat.

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:22:20
But why? Details plz
Fri, 15 Jul 2016 13:11:52

He jerked off too much,  the end.

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 14:05:36
gamingeek said:
But why? Details plz

It's a joke.

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 21:19:19
Damnit man. One does not simply joke about VR Porn.
Mon, 18 Jul 2016 18:29:36

I tried PSVR over the weekend and was super impressed. The headset is better, the peripheral view is slightly wider, the helmet fits super comfortably on the head and the way the lenses fit feel far more advanced than the rift. It also doesn't ruin your hair! The only issue is the separate headphones. Image quality was about the same, maybe less screen door effect.

I played battle zone, this game where you are in a future tank and gliding around a battle field firing on enemy ships and tanks, super fun. It felt great. The quality shows that it's made by a big time company.

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 18:37:06

^Sounds like battle zone.

How did they handle goggle hygiene where you tried it?

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