Virtually There

The past

I've had my launch Oculus Rift since day-ish one. (That initial launch/shipping thing for the Rift was a mess.) I've loved VR. I haven't played as much VR as I thought I would, but I've enjoyed it. If you asked me before I got the Rift, I thought I'd end up living in VR and only play VR games. Why not? I'd say it was mostly down to the types of games plus the resolution and fov weren't there for spending a ton of time in VR. Also getting your VR legs is a very real hurdle.

My main use for VR has been iRacing and other racing sims. For that it has been 100% worth it and and I've spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in VR racing over 3 years.

That was pretty much my recommendation for VR in the past as well. If know you're into VR and have the PC for it, go for it. If you're into sim racing, go for it. If you're kind of interested, wait for the next headsets.

The present

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Now the next headsets are here. When Oculus announced the Rift S this was not the next headset I was looking for. Sure resolution is upgraded, but at a lower hz and no IPD adjustment. Sure inside out tracking gets rid of the horrible USB requirements with the Rift, but not without some serious tracking problems. Their headphone/speaker solution is laughable.

The way the Rift S was outsourced to Lenovo seems more like a budget saving in manufacturing decision while Oculus focuses on the Quest.

The Quest seems cool for an untethered VR experience. I have a nice PC and I'm in VR to for the fidelity that the mobile processing can't hit. I have a pretty large play space so playing tethered hasn't been a problem for me. Plus the games available on quest are games that I already have on Rift.

The HP Reverb seems like it should be great for simulation games on PC. It has a huge resolution and with a wheel and pedals you don't have to deal with those Windows Mixed Reality controllers and the limited tracking shouldn't be an issue. The problem there is that I do like to do more than race. That WMR tracking and controllers won't cut it.

The future

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The Valve Index kind of snuck up on me. I was always thinking of moving over to a SteamVR headset to move away from the whole Facebook tie with Oculus. The Vive Pro didn't really have the upgrades I was looking for at the price it was released at. Then the Valve Index leaks happened and when they dropped all the details they had my attention. A great fov, a nice resolution upgrade, better optics, the right idea with head fit and some great looking headphones/speakers. Head speakers?

Then there are the Index controllers. (Not sure why they changed the name from knuckles but probably has something to do with VRChat.) These truly have some pushing things forward kind of tech that makes me excited about VR. The two main future looking features are the close to full finger tracking and the hands free-ish ergonomics.

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As an example, after already playing some of the car building game Wrench, the idea of being able to more precisely pick up bolts and parts seems like a great idea. Granted the game will have to support that first.

For me, the Index seems like an all around upgrade for all the things I care about in VR. Super looking forward to seeing the better resolution and fov.

I got lucky. I happened to be working from home the day the Valve Index pre-orders went live and got mine in at the 12 minute mark. So I'll be getting one in the first shipment. We'll see if that ends up arriving on June 28th, shipping on June 28th or something else.

I'm really excited and have actually been playing VR more lately to clear out some of my Oculus exclusive games in my library. I'll post up some impressions/reviews as I go through them when I can. Bring on the future, later this month.

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