Weekend Question: How do you feel about the state of VR in 2020?

PCG Jody

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week the question is: How do you feel about the state of VR in 2020?

Almost a year ago we asked if Half-Life: Alyx made you want a VR headset. After an initial burst of interest inspired by Valve's game, the pickup rate of hardware slowed, thanks in part to the Index shortage. Now the Oculus Quest 2 is out, we might be about to see another step toward the normalization of putting your head in a sweaty pair of goggles for hours at a time. What's your take? Have you bought a headset in the last year, or are you planning to? Have you found anything to play after Alyx? Has Beat Saber made you any fitter?
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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I got an Oculus back when it came out but had a terrible time with it. It *barely* fit over my glasses, making it extremely hard to put on or take off. It's really great when I got it on... until it steamed up and there was nothing to do for it but spend another 5 minutes taking it off. It didn't take me long to give up on it.

The effect is definitely great, though, and I see it as THE way to go for many types of games. Other types, like fighting games, really don't need the surround or head tracking part but could still benefit from putting everyone in 3D in front of you (3D Vision style). I consider VR/AR way more interesting than going from 2K resolution to 4K resolution.
 
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Apr 4, 2020
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2 Months ago I bought an Oculus Rift S, used, so I'm new to VR. But man...I still love it. I remember trying DCS. Just sitting on the runway in your P51 was unreal. Well, no, it was real. Very much real. For the first time in my life I almost felled like I was a fighter pilot, a missed childhood dream. If they are able to optimize those VR handgloves, I'll probably never leave my room again. VTOL VR is a better experience, if you want to use the VR controllers. DCS requires you to use a joystick (and mouse), the VR controllers are not really useable. I've never actually played Alyx, yeah...a shame, but I will in the near future. One last thing: VR is GREAT if you want to occupy your children :)
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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Half-Life: Alyx was touted as VR's killer app but from what I hear it's fairly brief and has a few shortcomings of its own. It wasn't enough to tempt me into getting a VR headset. And even though I spend at least a few hours a day staring at a screen, I don't much like the idea of having light injected almost directly into my eyes from a pair of VR goggles.

I don't know. VR games still seem like glorified tech demos to me. Most aren't all that interesting and barely worth spending more than 5 minutes on. There are exceptions of course, and actual games aren't so few and far between anymore. Still, the financial barrier to entry is pretty steep. Or it was, anyway. Oculus Quest 2 is affordable and comes with inside-out tracking, which is the way forward. It's also wireless and works with PC on top of being a standalone unit. It's a lot of product for the price.

Just a shame I don't trust Facebook. Until they open up that particular walled garden they're not getting my money.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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VR is doing fine. Sure sales slowed during the slow season, but they are going to pick back up now that Christmas is around the corner. A huge percentage of retail on items like this takes place around Christmas. Also, most headsets were out of stock for a long time due to the surge.

My only complaint right now is the emphasis by game developers on shooters, which is by far my least favorite kind of VR game.

But with Christmas right around the corner and the Quest 2 being affordable, this will probably be the best season for VR yet.

What PC Gamer needs to realize, though, is that the Steam hardware survey only picks up a fraction of the PC VR users. Besides the fact that there are a lot of Oculus users who don't use Steam, there are also a lot of misses with the survey. It basically never registers my VR headset, and I've had VR since the beginning (and use it on Steam, too).
 
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Jun 26, 2020
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I just got myself a Quest 2, it's my intro into VR. I always said that once it became affordable and I didn't need sensors around my room, I'm sold. So far I'm really impressed. It's a great little self contained device but works great with the link cable, too. I will say that to get the most out of it I had to buy the link cable, the fit pack, and the elite strap. But it was worth it. The elite strap makes it a lot easier to find that sweet spot and hold it firmly and comfortably. I've seen a lot of complaints about the black levels, but I guess having nothing to compare it to, it's fine. Playing Phasmaphobia was my first time getting truly immersed, and man it's something special. I have yet to jump into some of the major games like Half Life Alyx or Saints and Sinners (I plan on playing this over the weekend), but the few I have played were nothing short of impressive.
 
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Aug 8, 2020
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I got an Oculus back when it came out but had a terrible time with it. It *barely* fit over my glasses, making it extremely hard to put on or take off. It's really great when I got it on... until it steamed up and there was nothing to do for it but spend another 5 minutes taking it off. It didn't take me long to give up on it.

The effect is definitely great, though, and I see it as THE way to go for many types of games. Other types, like fighting games, really don't need the surround or head tracking part but could still benefit from putting everyone in 3D in front of you (3D Vision style). I consider VR/AR way more interesting than going from 2K resolution to 4K resolution.
So do these sets actually fog up your glasses? (I'm not clear if that's what you mean by "steamed up" or not) I'm curious because it's not something I really considered before, but as a glasses wearer that would probably be a deal breaker for me honestly.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Yep, sometimes my glasses would fog up. Other times, not as much. I didn't know any tricks back then, though, like a little film of soap on the glasses. Corona has taught me a thing or two!
 
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Jun 26, 2020
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So do these sets actually fog up your glasses? (I'm not clear if that's what you mean by "steamed up" or not) I'm curious because it's not something I really considered before, but as a glasses wearer that would probably be a deal breaker for me honestly.
you can get prescription lens inserts so you don't need to wear your glasses if they don't fit in the headset
 
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