Oculus Rift DK2 and the Future of VR

Jeremy spends some quality time with the new Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 and Elite: Dangerous to see how far virtual reality has come and assess where it still needs work.

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64 comments
hvypetals
hvypetals

I love ED and im getting the occulus

hitomo
hitomo

actually, I dont like contrloing video.games with my body ...

merrickx
merrickx

@hitomo You only control the viewpoint the same way you do in real life. Traditional controllers are still used with most games.


You can either play on a TV, which is like staring at moving pictures, or you can actually feel like you're in the game world.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I'm not exactly dancing with excitement over the concept of VR, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested in the slightest. This particular video really made me think about teaming the technology up with Ace Combat.

That gets me a little excited.

dmdcsm
dmdcsm

Ummm TrackIR has been doing most of this for 10 years.


gregglle
gregglle

TrackIR is not even close to vr. You share the same misconception as a lot of people. Thats why it may seem gimmicky

Mud
Mud

@dmdcsm


What TrackIR does, head tracking, is merely one part of Oculus. Oculus is also a head mounted display technology which:

  • Offers 100 degree FOV while blocking off the rest of the world entirely.
  • Has the best-possible stereoscopic rendering where each eye gets it's own display (no LCD shutters, polarized lenses, etc.)
  • Had control over the render output down to the OLED panel firmware, to produce the minimal possible latency.
  • Can do tricks like low pixel persistence to eliminate motion blur caused by the vestibulo-ocular reflex.
  • Includes things like post-rendering image warping to eliminate frame dropping and drastically reduce the discrepancy between head position and the rendered frames viewpoint (which can get 13 milliseconds out of date, even at 75 FPS).


Many of the things it does, like ultra low latency and low pixel persistence don't even matter with TrackIR, because a regular screen is so un-immersive. Watch the part of the video where he talks about how immense the space station feels, how the docking bay feels cavernous, how the asteroid field stretches off into the distance, etc. Look at the 2D video while he talks and notice how flat and small it looks in comparison to his description. That's what a head mounted, wide-FOV, stereoscopic display gets you. It's vastly more immersive.


TrackIR can't do any of that, because it's only head tracking, which again, is one small part of Oculus.


sadface1234
sadface1234

good video, like the optimism i am not there yet... 

ferna1234
ferna1234

is there any estimation on how much would a future consumer version of the OR cost?

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

hey, this video didn't have the crappy GameTech branding on it. Did you give up on it alrady?

GunEye
GunEye

why is everything doubled/mirrored?

merrickx
merrickx

@GunEye Because you see the game the same way you would see things in real life- with both of your eyes. Also, it's not mirrored; each image is slightly different, which is one of the things that makes the game look and feel so real.

serbanfoto
serbanfoto

Oculus Rift and he has a sony tag on the neck :)) goood job

jmosher65
jmosher65

I just can't wait to use this with the movie theater app, it's going to be amazing to feel like your in a movie theater without having to leave your home

holtrocks
holtrocks

Can't wait to pick up the consumer version for Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen.

cvanderson983
cvanderson983

Just give me 4K res VR, Sennheiser's 800 audiophile  headphones, and the capability to play any game whether it has head tracking or not. Sold!

cvanderson983
cvanderson983

Can't wait. Imagine being able to look over your shoulder while unload on a fool in COD. 

joshua6775
joshua6775

I will not have one of these devices strapped to my face, ever.

cvanderson983
cvanderson983

@joshua6775 Sure. Just wait for the sex games. Your ass will have more than just VR strapped on you.

gregglle
gregglle

I wouldnt be so sure of that

merrickx
merrickx

@joshua6775 That's like saying, "I don't want my games or digital entertainment to be immersive."

plasticreality
plasticreality

It should also be noted that a "seated experience" is being pushed by Oculus because it significantly reduces nausea. Any time there is a disconnect between what your eyes are seeing and what your body is feeling you will likely become sick. Because we have physically adapted to driving around in cars, building VR experiences in a cockpit taps into that. No matter how good the resolution/latency is, if you think you're walking around but your body knows it's sitting in a chair, you're going to have problems. Work is being done on omni-directional treadmills and such, but no perfect solution has been presented yet.

barleybosh
barleybosh

@plasticreality Do you think we'll still be able to use it to casually play third person games without being nauseated? Like just to use the VR headset to emulate looking at a large 3-D TV to play games like Dead Space or Final Fantasy, where we aren't tricking our bodies with a first person type game- or do you think not having any visual peripheral outside of the screen will still mess with our bodies?

plasticreality
plasticreality

@barleybosh @plasticreality Most definitely. In fact, I played a demo that simulated sitting on a couch while playing a 2D game. I've also watched 3D movies on a virtual screen in a virtual theater. Once they get the resolution high enough, watching virtual reality will be the best way to view 3D content of any kind. 


Imagine living in a tiny apartment with a medium sized television. You could put on the Rift and simulate an IMAX theater for gaming.

merrickx
merrickx

@barleybosh @plasticreality In my opinion, and until things advance a bit more, I think almost ANY game besides first-person games with bipedal movement, will be more comfortable, especially third-person games.  


It seems like the one type of game that most unimaginitive people were saying would be the only games "to work" in VR, are the one type of game that has the biggest disconnect because of the lack of actual body movement contributing to locomotion.


There are a lot of third-person type of games/demos/implementations that actually work really great in the Rift right now in these early days.

plasticreality
plasticreality

I skipped the DK2 because of the nausea I felt with the DK1, but I'm totally sold on this being the future of entertainment (notice I didn't say gaming). Once they reach 1440p at 90 fps with sub 20 milliseconds latency, nausea will not only be mostly eliminated, but the physical feeling of presence will be dramatically improved. Oculus is confident they can achieve this for the consumer version, and with all in the industry talent they have siphoned lately (not to mention the FB money), I am too. VR is really happening.


My advice? Start saving money so you can build a high-end gaming PC, as that is likely the only way you'll experience virtual reality at its fullest. It's a hard truth that Oculus has downplayed amidst the hype, but it will be a major barrier for early adoption (most people can't afford a powerful gaming rig).

hystavito
hystavito

@plasticreality I'm on the side that doesn't think VR will really take off and become even close to mainstream, but everything you are saying sounds accurate and grounded.


It sounds like we are going to need a lot of power to actually eliminate many of the problems right now.  As you pointed out, it's a hard truth because most people currently don't have enough power for that, and they probably won't for some time.  However, it's also important to note that this may not be a big issue for Facebook like it is for "serious" gamers.  They must have plans for things in the near future that are not as VR-ish, more simple things that won't need lots of graphical power, like maybe those virtual concerts or sports events, walkthrus, video based stuff.

plasticreality
plasticreality

@hystavito Yeah, they've admitted that their future goal of mass adoption involves experiences powered by cell phones and tablets, so you're right that it won't matter in a few years (in terms of adoption). Regardless, the best experiences will always be on a powerful gaming PC (until cloud computing is worked out, I suppose).


As for whether it will really take off or not, my feeling is that if people are really tricked into believing they're in another place, many (if not most) people will immediately want it. Think about it. Virtual chat, virtual sex, virtual trips...you get the idea. I really believe they will deliver on the tech side, which is why I have faith in this taking off. If you haven't checked it out, I highly suggest watching/reading Michael Abrash's VR keynote at Valve Dev Days. It's what ultimately convinced me this is the future. 

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

While I do love my dk1 and my dk2 even more, both of them do not have enough res. I am looking forward to a time where we will get a OR with 4k and at least 100Hz with those 4k. Until then I love to play games like Elite Dangerous and wait for the time I am brave enough to boot Alone in the Rift xD

vadagar1
vadagar1

100% agree cockpit games will benefit from this


racing games, space sims, and battle walkers

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

I think VR will be common place but only in certain games. VR will enhance gameplay in simulators and FPS maybe. The rest of us will probably just stick to the old way of doing things.

merrickx
merrickx

@Dannystaples14 There are a ton of different games and implementations beyond cockpits and FPS's, and many of the popular third-person type games are even better when implemented well in VR.

Talok
Talok

Umm, hard to watch these videos with these verizon commecials playing EVERY 5 SECONDS!

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Talok 

Indeed, ad-blocker. You have only yourself to blame if you don't like ads coming into your browser.