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Thread: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    I owned a Rift for a couple of years, and was pretty impressed with it. The additional level of immersion when you're sat in the cockpit of an F-15, or on the bridge of your Anaconda in Elite Dangerous is impossible to describe, other than it's pretty damn cool!

    For some reason I was fine with flying games, but struggled with motion sickness in racing games where you have the ground/floor as a frame of reference. No idea why, as I don't get travel sickness. I can't see how that could easily be solved, but if it could then I'd definitely look at VR again (although not an Index, with its absurd price).

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy75 View Post
    For some reason I was fine with flying games, but struggled with motion sickness in racing games where you have the ground/floor as a frame of reference. No idea why, as I don't get travel sickness. I can't see how that could easily be solved, but if it could then I'd definitely look at VR again (although not an Index, with its absurd price).
    Out of interest, which racing game was that?

    I find I can play the likes of Assetto Corsa all day, but Dirt Rally where you really get thrown around in the car can be quite vomit inducing.

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Out of interest, which racing game was that?

    I find I can play the likes of Assetto Corsa all day, but Dirt Rally where you really get thrown around in the car can be quite vomit inducing.
    Yep spot on, it was Dirt Rally. My gut feeling (pun intended) was the pitching was the main culprit, when you have the ground as a reference. I didn't try any track racing games, but am confident I'd be fine with those.

    In Elite Dangerous I could fly around in ships all day, even when close to planet surfaces. As soon as I landed and started hooning in and out of craters in the buggy though, it was vom city (never actually puked, but had to stop within 10 minutes max, otherwise I would have).

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy75 View Post
    Yep spot on, it was Dirt Rally. My gut feeling (pun intended) was the pitching was the main culprit, when you have the ground as a reference. I didn't try any track racing games, but am confident I'd be fine with those.

    In Elite Dangerous I could fly around in ships all day, even when close to planet surfaces. As soon as I landed and started hooning in and out of craters in the buggy though, it was vom city (never actually puked, but had to stop within 10 minutes max, otherwise I would have).
    I *think* there was a setting in Elite that made the buggy better, but yeah I forgot that was a motion sickness source. From a quick Google it sounds like it was "lock horizon", can't remember. But I do drive the buggy about (Not played for ages, and my Asp is currently 22000ly from the bubble so no buggy for me for about 450 jumps )

    In Alyx I have only tried the basic movement mode, and I have played that for hours at a time. As I said above about room size, I could do with more space around me for ducking behind walls etc in a firefight, but movement is a key part of that game.

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Why would they? I know a lot of people with a VR headset, but we are pretty much all on our first VR headset.
    How have you found the resolution/screen door effect?

    I was ready to pull the trigger last year but tried out one (I think it was a Rift) and whilst I could live with the screen door effect (I could ignore it in the same way as you can ignore a visor in front of you) I got fustrated with everything being so lacking in detail in the distance - i.e. the resolution was just too low.
    I'd love to try out a valve index but that's not an option even post lockdown as I know of nowhere that will let you try one.
    "In a perfect world... spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship."

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by badass View Post
    How have you found the resolution/screen door effect?
    It isn't ideal, but I quickly tend not to notice. Once the action starts, it doesn't matter.

    First time I fired up Elite I found the pixels felt huge, specially when used to a 1440p monitor, and was squinting at the numbers on the displays. Some setting tweaks improved the contrast to improve that, but more pixels would be nice.

    Recently I've been playing Elite on a boring screen because my old Rift has the external sensors which are now mounted on the wall downstairs making moving it a bit of a pain. I do miss the immersion, this feels like playing a game whereas in VR it felt like flying a ship. Right now I am just slogging my way back to my home system so I can live with it, but there is no way I will be able to stomach eg combat in the asteroid fields playing in 2D.

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I *think* there was a setting in Elite that made the buggy better, but yeah I forgot that was a motion sickness source. From a quick Google it sounds like it was "lock horizon", can't remember. But I do drive the buggy about (Not played for ages, and my Asp is currently 22000ly from the bubble so no buggy for me for about 450 jumps )

    In Alyx I have only tried the basic movement mode, and I have played that for hours at a time. As I said above about room size, I could do with more space around me for ducking behind walls etc in a firefight, but movement is a key part of that game.
    I haven't played ED for a long while now, but I think I tried the lock horizon option. From memory it helped a little, but not enough to stop me going green around the gills after a few minutes

    Off topic, but there's a big paid update coming in January isn't there? Guessing it'll either be space legs or atmospheric planetary landings. I really hope it's the latter, even if it's only for uninhabited worlds, as that would get me playing again, but my hunch is space legs.

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by badass View Post
    How have you found the resolution/screen door effect?
    I know you weren't asking me, but I'll give you my 2 cents anyway as I had a Rift for a couple of years. Honestly, it never bothered me in the slightest. With the right games, you're so quickly and fully immersed that you don't even notice the screen door effect (and even if you do, it's far outweighed by the benefits of playing in VR).

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    ive been on the VR wave for a while had the CV1 and then got bored, had the 1st public oculus not enough software and i stepped away from it, it was kinda gimmicky and boring at the same time.

    Got myself an oculus quest and Half life Alyx. WOW, just wow this is SNES > N64 type change.

    This is going to blow the lid off VR, you need to try to belive.

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Half Life Alyx is an amazing game and it really has come out as a "Killer App" for VR headsets...once you have played it.

    You don't need lots of space to play it (I do not have space for "room scale"), it doesn't take long to setup, and I am playing on an original Rift CV1 which doesn't cost anywhere near the £1000 or so the index does. There is a "faff factor" but its not as bad as most people imply - takes all of 2 minutes to get my VR setup in place, and as I don't have the HTC kits I don't have wires all over the place

    Alyx is a "proper" half-life game, with an interesting story, good combat, lots of interesting puzzles, stealth, horror...it has it all. When you first encounter the combine and have the opportunity to fight them, it's so incredibly immersive...ducking/hiding behind columns, timing jumps behind trains, hearing the "dead mans click" and scrambling for a new clip...so much fun. Whilst we're on it, have to mention reloading - with the pistol you need to eject the current mag, pull a new one out of your bag (over your head..), ram it home into the gun and then cock it manually - and it is so satisfying. Similar for the shotgun but instead you flick it open/closed.

    It's the first VR FPS game where i've also not had motion sickness after 30 min or so - I am lucky in that I can cope with most games, but Alyx is just really comfortable to play.

    I don't use my headset every day or every week even, but thats OK - when I fancy escaping I can, be that into an FPS like Alyx, into a Racing Game like Project Cars, a puzzler like Obduction, exploring the wasteland in Fallout VR....its a lot of fun.

    VR may not be the future for everyone until the size of the headsets drops significantly, but that is coming...

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    That is the actual problem with VR. You need a bit of space. House space costs real mortgage money, not hundreds like computer parts.

    We have a "study" in this house, it is pretty small and that is where the headset lives. If I were single I would just set up the living room for VR, but with a family you can't really do that. Or at least I don't think I can.
    Is your study like mine? A stupidly expensive PC surrounded by cheap Ikea furniture built with a hangover and not bolted to the wall as the drill is too loud along with bits of circuit board lying next to hammers?

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    Is your study like mine? A stupidly expensive PC surrounded by cheap Ikea furniture built with a hangover and not bolted to the wall as the drill is too loud along with bits of circuit board lying next to hammers?
    The PC is pretty low end for a gaming rig. The room was intended for games consoles. It is fairly narrow, there is a TV on one wall and a 2 seater settee wall to wall on the other and with that it is full

    It also has a dangly lightbulb and shade from the ceiling which gets beaten relentlessly during VR games where you reach up. A real advert for the robustness of LED bulbs, but I should shorten that cable right back.

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Why would they? I know a lot of people with a VR headset, but we are pretty much all on our first VR headset.
    Then when the next better one comes out in a few years time,or the next shiniest game which needs the improved headset tech,then you will need to upgrade.

    Out of dozens of people I know,only one/two friends of a friends owns a VR headset. I don't know anyone who has one,even if they can afford it. A few who said - "another Half Life game". Then realised it needed £100s into a VR headset and improvements to their computer,and went "meh",maybe one day. It's not even a priority - I know more people who might want a new console...than a VR headset.

    No gamer I know owns one. That includes lots of people who don't build PCs,and own prebuilt desktops and laptops. I think its more a selection bias as you are an enthusiast/computing chap and probably will move around with such people. Most of the gamers I know are not enthusiasts,etc. Very few people I know overclock,etc or even care that much about keeping upto date with computing technology. They are probably typical of many gamers.

    The same with all the 120HZ/144HZ gamers - I know only a handful of people who even care about those things,or those needing 4K ultra quality monitors. Most I know don't seem to care. Go on the internet,and its like everyone is spending £100s on a fancy gaming E-PEEN monitor. The numbers don't seem to tally with this.

    Even Steam shows this - over 98% of their own install base does not have a VR headset,and that is despite a new Half Life title,and a LOCKDOWN.

    Most people I know who tried it,and said it was nice,said it was more than what they were willing to spend on an occasional use toy. The fact is if you think £300+ is nothing on a monitor,that puts you in a minority of people who buy monitors. 88% of Steam gamers polled,have 1080p or worse monitors. Most CPUs polled run under 4GHZ,meaning they are at stock.

    Also the fact is all evidence shows most people are still using cheap 1080p monitors,so if people CBA to even buy a better monitor,why do you think that people will keep spending £350 to £1000,every couple of years on a new VR headset??

    You want to look at the sales of the PSVR which is cheaper. Sony have sold 5 million,which is almost double the number of VR headsets on Steam. There are around 110 million PS4s.

    It's only another monitor type which is useful for a niche of games. People can justify money on a new phone,as its a device which does multiple things,which a VR headset isn't. You have to be really into gaming to justify it and be in that crowd of people. If you are not in that crowd of people you probably care less.


    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherDave View Post
    Longer term I firmly believe that AR is where we're heading. VR has a place and will continue to edge its way into the mainstream, largely thanks to Sony's efforts, but I don't see it ever moving too far beyond a gimmick unless there's a far bigger adoption by developers or the cost of entry comes down a lot.
    AR will succeed as it can be done on phones. Games like Ingress and Pokemon:GO have done very well for themselves. There is no additional cost in hardware.People here think cost isn't an issue,but the PSVR was the most successful VR headset as it was cheaper than using a PC setup for VR. The problem is that until cost goes down further,it is a chicken and an egg situation,as more developers will only properly jump on board if there is enough headsets,but then many people won't want to jump onboard due to cost,not enough games,etc.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 06-05-2020 at 09:27 PM.

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Just wanted to chime in here as someone who is somewhat frugal with money... I've got a friend who is pretty crazy when it comes to tech - he's a tech enthusiast and whilst he's not rich, he does splash on some big purchases every 5 years or so. His previous workplace actually gifted him a HTC Vive back when he left which was amazing - I can't imagine how much they must have respected him to present a gift like that. That was pretty much my first "real" experience with "proper" VR. My tastes however did not align with his and the tech demos and the horror games that he threw me in, whilst technically amazing and immersive, did not persuade me to part with my money or even think about buying a VR headset.

    Prior to that, I remember experimenting and managing to wireless stream Metro 2033 to my Samsung S8+ using one of those cheap VR headsets and also getting it to work with my Xbox 360 controller. Again, I was impressed by how easily I managed to do that but I've never been a controller fan so whilst I impressed myself, it's not something I'd play properly that way anyway and it was only out of curiosity and my friend's enthusiasm that prompted me to try.

    Over the last few years, I've not really paid attention to VR although my tech enthusiast friend would talk about the PIMAX and other stuff and get really hyped up over them. I'd also see some coverage about those on YouTube but that was it. To me, it was still early days and being the OCD guy that I am, I was waiting for a wireless solution that was also reasonably priced (< cost of a decent monitor or phone). I just don't see the logic in paying more for a VR headset than I would for a decent monitor or a phone, both of which should have a good screen and/or sensors. I guess that's how I perceive value - by comparing similar things. I appreciate the technology for them are all different such as the lenses etc but I'm an ignorant consumer who doesn't care about that.

    Anyway, fast forward to coronavirus and being stuck indoors. I don't like going to the gym as I find repetitive exercise super boring so I just try and walk around and go on holiday relatively regularly and partake in photography which gets me exploring and walking. Obviously being in lockdown no longer allows me to do that and my parents are really paranoid about it so rather than stress them out more, I have even given up my 1 walk a day to ease their paranoia. As I'm in the fortunate position of being able to WFH during lockdown, this unfortunately means I'm sitting at my desk for pretty much the whole day now as I work and then game on the same PC and desk. That's when I decided I can't just keep continuing like this and remembered I really wanted to try Beat Saber. I've always been into physical rhythm games - e.g. DDR, PIU, Guitar Hero and the like. As I'm more into pop songs, I was more orientated to DDR and PIU. I did some research and found that the Oculus Quest had come out and it was close to meeting my personal "requirements" for a VR headset - it was £400 and wireless. Whilst cost was still over what I'd like to spend, I persuaded myself that it was pretty much what I wanted and looking at eBay, I could not see them any cheaper second hand so decided to go for one.

    Unfortunately, that's when I realised it was out of stock everywhere in the UK! Amazon, Scan, Argos, Currys PC World, Overclockers. Literally noone had it! I'm normally quite patient so I was willing to wait but then I did some further reading and people were recommending second hand Oculus Rifts and that was when I began my sniping on eBay and managed to get one for £215.

    The seller was nice enough to post it via Parcelforce 24h but due to covid19, it didn't quite arrive in 24h but I'm not going to blame anyone as the seller shipped it as soon as they could and I know the parcel companies are working as hard as they can and it's not like they are paid a royal amount. Anyway, I digress, I received this at the end of March - 2 weeks into lockdown. I'm now on lockdown day 51 and I've been trying to play Beat Saber every other day for around an hour. By just playing Beat Saber and eating smaller breakfasts (same lunch and dinner portions) I've actually lost around 2kg over the last month. I'm not particularly concerned with my weight as I'm 22 BMI (around 185m and 75kg) but have noticed that I was becoming more flabby over the last few years.

    So yes, I'm more than happy with my £215 spent as I've already done 19 sessions of Beat Saber in the last 5 weeks and if I think back to my uni days where I'd happily drop £5 on the DDR/PIU machine, 19 sessions of Beat Saber for the equivalent amount of songs would have cost me £95!

    This is only just the beginning too, there's definitely a lot more to the VR headset than slicing virtual blocks along to my song of choice so I know if I ever get bored of that, there's more. However, my favourite genre of gaming is annoyingly MMORPGs so I won't be moving to VR for mainstream gaming just yet.

    On a side note, when flagship phones are now £1000 or more and even companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus are moving to these ridiculous prices, combined with graphics cards above GTX1070 tier costing £500+, relatively speaking, a VR headset suddenly doesn't seem so expensive to me. I'm actually amazed at how cheap monitors are becoming though! There are plenty of 144Hz 27-31.5/32" panels now which to me is the sweet spot. 4k is just for the pure elite whilst 1080p is too basic.

    Anyway enough rambling, better click the post button.

  15. #31
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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Then when the next better one comes out in a few years time,or the next shiniest game which needs the improved headset tech,then you will need to upgrade.
    Erm, yeah, that describes literally every single component in my system. Remember, I just upgraded from a FX8350 which I got not long after release, so unless I need another machine and can shuffle processors around this 3700X is my machine until probably 2025. I am far from a rampant upgradaholic. And this is a display device. In all my decades I don't remember *ever* upgrading my monitor because a new game came out.

    I have had the headset for over 2 years now. That works out at just under £150 per year, but I don't see me upgrading it any time soon so expect it will work out way better than that. Time will tell.

    So your friends all need expensive upgrades? When I set the VR system up downstairs it was based on a 2200G and a R9 380 4GB that I had lying around. Ram was cheaper at that point so I think it was £55 on ram and about £70 on the motherboard, found an old case and PSU out the garage that my daughter used to use. That's the baseline, a machine that stuttered a bit and flashed warnings from the VR software that it wasn't really fast enough but it could play games. If your friends have a better machine than that, and I suspect if they are gaming then they do, then they should get a smooth experience. I since splashed out on an RX570 8GB and a 3600, which is overkill but pretty cheap components (a 2600X might have been a more sensible choice).

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    Re: Half-Life: Alyx precipitates 1 million VR HMD boost in 1 month

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    *snip*
    I couldn't agree more.


    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Erm, yeah, that describes literally every single component in my system. Remember, I just upgraded from a FX8350 which I got not long after release, so unless I need another machine and can shuffle processors around this 3700X is my machine until probably 2025. I am far from a rampant upgradaholic. And this is a display device. In all my decades I don't remember *ever* upgrading my monitor because a new game came out.

    I have had the headset for over 2 years now. That works out at just under £150 per year, but I don't see me upgrading it any time soon so expect it will work out way better than that. Time will tell.

    So your friends all need expensive upgrades? When I set the VR system up downstairs it was based on a 2200G and a R9 380 4GB that I had lying around. Ram was cheaper at that point so I think it was £55 on ram and about £70 on the motherboard, found an old case and PSU out the garage that my daughter used to use. That's the baseline, a machine that stuttered a bit and flashed warnings from the VR software that it wasn't really fast enough but it could play games. If your friends have a better machine than that, and I suspect if they are gaming then they do, then they should get a smooth experience. I since splashed out on an RX570 8GB and a 3600, which is overkill but pretty cheap components (a 2600X might have been a more sensible choice).
    The point isn't really that x amount of people have a computer capable of running VR, it's that the majority aren't even interested beyond thinking it looks cool, if at all. And if they were, it's still another major investment in a very limited use item on top of whatever they already spent on their PC.

    People with specs like those you've mentioned, just about able to cope with VR, almost certainly aren't the people who have the spare money for a VR headset. They will largely either be type who don't care/are happy with what they have, will make do with what they have, or upgrade here and there every 3 to 5 years. In my experience, none of those people can justify the expense. Even those who upgrade will be far, far more likely to go for a better graphics card, processor or RAM, or even a case or monitor.

    The expense, specs, space and games required to get the most out of VR means that it's only a small group within a small group within a small group who would even consider it. There are just too many things that put people off and not enough to tempt them in at this point.

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