What are your thoughts regarding 'Virtual Reality' (VR) in Gaming? Watch

BroJoeJoe
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#1
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Apologies for the title being rather vague, but I think it'd be really interesting to rally up the opinions of 'Virtual Reality' (VR) and the potential it could have in enhancing (or ruining) the gaming medium as a whole. The inspiration for this post particularly came from TIME magazine's recent decision to focus on VR, as it's front-cover story. http://time.com/3987022/why-virtual-...?pcd=hp-magmod

To try and keep this semi-organised, I tried to quickly compile a few questions to start us off, but feel free to just talk about what you want, and pick and choose any amount of questions you like, as mine below are merely suggestions or 'thought-provokers'.

1) What is your opinion on current models being proposed for VR, with main examples being the: Occulus Rift, HTC/Valve's Vive and Sony's Project Morpheus? Have you even been fortunate enough to see any of the main models in action? What do you think needs to be improved before you would consider purchasing any of these models, if at all?

2) Are there any ways we could perhaps encourage VR to be more accepted when it is eventually released to the general public? Or conversely, will VR forever be doomed with its presumed association of being for the 'white middle-aged obese male who then prefers to lose contact with the outside world' (See: South Park's episode regarding World of Warcraft). As a side note, actually, how do you feel about portrayals of VR in popular culture and media? The main ones that spring to my mind are the animes/manga of 'Sword Art Online', and '.hack'. Would you say these portrayals, or any other similar portrayals, have a chance of being fairly accurate?

3) Is there anything in particular you would look forward to being simulated on Virtual Reality? (Maybe it's just a particular experience, such as diving underwater, as opposed to a traditional game or genre!)

4) What are your hopes, dreams, and expectations for the future of VR in its final stages or "Golden Age", which would presumably take place a couple years down the line? Or on the contrary, will it even get that popular at all? Or maybe you think that VR is just inherently a bad idea, perhaps due to it encouraging people to isolate themselves further from society, but up to very extreme levels. Will VR reach a stage where it will be abused?

5) Do you have any other thoughts regarding VR?

Thanks in advance for your time!
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Jammy Duel
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1) I used a rift DK2 at an event last year, to me it showed promise but I had the usual complains (although people with lesser eyesight don't seem to have the complains as much): too low resolution, too low frame rate, both of which seem to be being resolved for CK1, although Vive seems to be doing a better job ther e(hence why I would be getting a Vive over a Rift), Morpheus, well, looking at the spec sheet it seems like it would be a massive flop (bar the fanatics that refuse to see wrong), although what I hear is it's not that bad, I will probably go into Game when it's released to see, given they will probably have one there to try.

2) I expect that VR won't really pick up for another 5 years on the basis that it will be a predominately middle class PC gamer toy until the next gen consoles. I expect things will tick over just enough for VR to be developed again for consoles at that point when they truly have the power to utilise the technology.

3) Nothing in particular, although I must say I will probably be spending too much time on novelty sims like Job Simulator

4) What I am looking forwards to is a few years down the line when we're going to be looking at even higher refresh rates and resolutions (144Hz UHD at least would be nice) along with some form of G-sync/free-sync like tech, which I think this sort of product will really benefit from, otherwise fps drops below the refresh rate of the panel will be awful (when I used DK2 the load was quite light on a decent GPU so no such issues, but I expect I will be turning some settings down when I get a vive).
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trek240
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Waiting for the full-dive era
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ozzyoscy
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It's exciting, the tehc is there for full motion VR now, but no one really gives a **** now. VR kits need to come with consoles for them to catch on. Other than that, Minority Report-style holo-porn will be the game-changer.
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NotNotBatman
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I think it's just a gimmick.
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Swindle
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I don't see it gaining traction among the mainstream. I think the average gamer would be quite uncomfortable with the idea of strapping a cumbersome, vision restricting head unit onto their face.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Swindle)
I don't see it gaining traction among the mainstream. I think the average gamer would be quite uncomfortable with the idea of strapping a cumbersome, vision restricting head unit onto their face.
The vision restriction is kinda the point... moves you from, what, about 60 degrees of visibility to I'm not actually sure how high, and they aren't even that cumbersome, get it on right and it's just like a headset or anything else, you could almost forget it's there.
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Swindle
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
The vision restriction is kinda the point... moves you from, what, about 60 degrees of visibility to I'm not actually sure how high, and they aren't even that cumbersome, get it on right and it's just like a headset or anything else, you could almost forget it's there.
I just don't see it flying with the average X1/PS4 user. It's a novelty experience at best, but not one that will be compelling enough to lure people away from their standard controllers.
I also think most people are generally uncomfortable with the idea of being blindfolded. A VR head unit is essentially a digital blindfold.

It'll be popular among the PC enthusiast community but beyond that no one will really care.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Swindle)
I just don't see it flying with the average X1/PS4 user. It's a novelty experience at best, but not one that will be compelling enough to lure people away from their standard controllers.
I also think most people are generally uncomfortable with the idea of being blindfolded. A VR head unit is essentially a digital blindfold.

It'll be popular among the PC enthusiast community but beyond that no one will really care.
It won't fly with console gamers because they will only have very limited access to it, but when they do get their hands on it they will probably jump on it, especially since it will probably be relatively inexpensive by then, just like how they claimed to not care about 60fps or shinier graphics (and will now probably shift to 120/144Hz and even shinier graphics), well, I used the past tense for a reason.
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Swindle
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
It won't fly with console gamers because they will only have very limited access to it, but when they do get their hands on it they will probably jump on it, especially since it will probably be relatively inexpensive by then, just like how they claimed to not care about 60fps or shinier graphics (and will now probably shift to 120/144Hz and even shinier graphics), well, I used the past tense for a reason.
You can't really use the desire for 60fps and better graphics to suggest that console gamers will eventually have a similar desire for VR.
Beyond the purchase of a new console, framerates and graphics require no investment from the end user.
VR tech requires people to go out and purchase an additional piece of hardware and also ensure they have enough room to set it up.
The average gamer isn't going to go through all that to experience the novelty of being in a VR environment.

Look at Kinect. Billed as the next big thing and it's far easier to setup than VR and yet no one gives a toss about it.

VR doesn't offer anything that makes it a compelling alternative to the standard controller.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Swindle)
You can't really use the desire for 60fps and better graphics to suggest that console gamers will eventually have a similar desire for VR.
Beyond the purchase of a new console, framerates and graphics require no investment from the end user.
VR tech requires people to go out and purchase an additional piece of hardware and also ensure they have enough room to set it up.
The average gamer isn't going to go through all that to experience the novelty of being in a VR environment.

Look at Kinect. Billed as the next big thing and it's far easier to setup than VR and yet no one gives a toss about it.

VR doesn't offer anything that makes it a compelling alternative to the standard controller.
Kinect was only billed to be the next thing by Microsoft, not the consumer who had seen it before in a less mature form, it added little that wasn't already available with the Wii, on the other hand, most people who use VR seem to think it's a good thing and plenty would be more then willing to go and buy if the price is right. And VR is hardly harder to set up, you put some sensors out with some models, plug it in, put it on, just like with a TV you plug it in and turn it on.

The 60fps point was more that console gamers like saying that things that PC have don't matter only for as long as they don't have it; although saying they have good looking 1080p60 isn't particularly true, so I shall amend that to until they experience it on their platform.

You sound an awful lot like one of the masses yet to experience it.

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Swindle
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Kinect was only billed to be the next thing by Microsoft, not the consumer who had seen it before in a less mature form, it added little that wasn't already available with the Wii, on the other hand, most people who use VR seem to think it's a good thing and plenty would be more then willing to go and buy if the price is right. And VR is hardly harder to set up, you put some sensors out with some models, plug it in, put it on, just like with a TV you plug it in and turn it on.

The 60fps point was more that console gamers like saying that things that PC have don't matter only for as long as they don't have it; although saying they have good looking 1080p60 isn't particularly true, so I shall amend that to until they experience it on their platform.

You sound an awful lot like one of the masses yet to experience it.

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You just have to look at history to see where controller alternatives have ended up. Kinect, EyeToy and PlayStation Move all claimed to offer new, immersive gameplay experiences and what happened?

A few crappy games and some shoehorned alternate control schemes later and the standard controller still reigns supreme.

Where are those technologies now?
On the gaming scrapheap of peripherals that failed to really take off. VR head sets will join 'em soon.

You sound like someone who only hangs around with PC nerds.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Swindle)
You just have to look at history to see where controller alternatives have ended up. Kinect, EyeToy, PlayStation Move all claimed to offer new, immersive gameplay experiences and what happened?

A few crappy games and some shoehorned alternate control schemes later and the standard controller still reigns supreme.

Where are those technologies now?
On the gaming scrapheap ofperipherals that failed to really take off.
VR head sets will join 'em soon.

You sound like someone who only hangs around with PC nerds.
I would rather "hang around with PC nerds" than think that the primary lure of VR is the input element of it. It's also nice of you to basically list the same peripheral three times to say that peripherals beyond the already established ones are doomed to fail.

As I said earlier, I'm yet to see a significant number of people who have used VR not praise it or where it is going, something that could not be said of Sony's dildos, eye toy or kinect

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Swindle
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
I would rather "hang around with PC nerds" than think that the primary lure of VR is the input element of it. It's also nice of you to basically list the same peripheral three times to say that peripherals beyond the already established ones are doomed to fail.

As I said earlier, I'm yet to see a significant number of people who have used VR not praise it or where it is going, something that could not be said of Sony's dildos, eye toy or kinect

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So just because a bunch of PC people praise VR, that means it will be a roaring success?
It's clear you have some sort of irrational contempt for console gamers.
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ozzyoscy
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I see you've encountered Jammy Duel.
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BroJoeJoe
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I think it's important to mention that attempts were made of popularising VR way back in the 90s, where ultimately, it flopped.

The main difference however, is that back in the 90s, VR was actively pursued in order to capitalise on the latest science-fiction movie obsession with the possibilities of VR, and companies tried to throw money at it without there actually being the capable technology available. So that consumer expectations were vastly different to what was physically available from a technical standpoint.

Facebook did purchase Occulus Rift (and other huge companies purchased similar devices), and this will likely help with making the technology more marketable, mass-produced, and gradually more affordable and optimised.

I think the expectation from those companies investing, is that VR will ultimately 'sweep' up the industry, and effectively become the next Nintendo Wii, or bigger. Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) also mentioned not just the possibilities for gaming and immersion, or "facebook games", but also for real-life applications, such as making convenient doctor appointments, help with "phobias" and trauma, a way to practice public speaking, and various other previously unknown possibilities.

Overall, it's my opinion that VR still has quite a while to go, especially with the major gaming consoles, and as someone else mentioned in the thread before, it'll probably take at least the next-generation of consoles for it to be accessible there. Where it could be perhaps be seen, as a major selling point. I'll play it safe and predict we won't see anything revolutionary in terms of what's portrayed in science-fiction movies etc. for another 15 - 20 years or so.

When/If Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo decide to implement VR to their future consoles, it will most likely have to be a necessary part that comes with the console, that can't be "optional". Otherwise I feel developers face that question of whether developing dedicated VR games for consoles are worthwhile financially or not, and we won't see any dedicated gaming experiences. This all does rely upon VR technology becoming cheap enough to arrive with a console, while still placing it at competitive costs to consumers.

If that doesn't happen to consoles, I imagine it'd turn into something just about as "gimmicky" as Kinect or Playstation Move, as pure examples.
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