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Gabe Hawkins
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What are your thoughts on VR gaming? Do you own a VR headset/system? Do you think it is the future of gaming or just a cool fad?
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Gabe Hawkins
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I think gaming in VR is an exciting thing, and I'm impressed with how well it works -- in some instances at least -- already. I don't own any VR headsets or systems, nor do I game in VR. I've actually only tried it once. It was an interesting experience, and it's something I hope to see grow as time goes on. However, I sometimes get motion sick playing games in front of my TV, and any more than 10 minutes in VR will be enough to do me in, I think.

I do think VR will become more ubiquitous over time and will make up a fairly large niche, but I also think gaming will primarily be sitting down in front of your TV or computer with a controller or mouse and keyboard for a long time to come. There are plenty of games people enjoy that aren't really conducive to a VR experience. Or, at least, VR wouldn't offer a notably "better" experience than playing it in a more traditional way. One day in the future, VR could likely become the primary way to play games, and that would probably mean whole new genres of video games. But it will take a considerable amount of time.

I think VR 10 years from now could be something really incredible, if still a pretty niche way to game.
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I've never tried it, and I'm not particularly interested.

I'm sure it'll be a big step toward the holodeck, for those who want that sort of thing. But for a strategy gamer like me, it's a step in somebody else's direction.

I've occasionally enjoyed simulation games, and I might end up trying VR someday if it's convenient enough. But for me, that kind of gaming is just a brief interlude between my main games.

In those main games, I want to be a god hovering over the world below, in control of things down there. I don't want to be a character in that world, having individual experiences. That's what real life is for.
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Simon Woodward
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I've never tried it, but I was thinking about it yesterday! I looked up best VR games for PS4 after seeing someone was playing Skyrim VR. I just worry it would be expensive and not fun enough.
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wayne r
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I think it will be a fad like 3D tv was.

I've tried them at my college and years later at another university. I enjoyed the experience and may pick up the Switch VR goggles sometime down the road but it depends on how great the VR compatible game is.
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Eryk B
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VR right now is at very early developement stage, even when you ook at most recent games, it just lacks polish, I hope to see some good VR implementations in 3-5 years, when this technology matures and gets a bit more accessible.
Don't get me wrong, I liked what you could do with Reckles Disregard For Gravity in VR or how Tabletop Simulator VR plays.
It's just that both of these games (and almost all other VR games ) are very lacking interms of longterm gamesplay, especially when compared to their standard monitor-keyboard-mouse counterparts. That's just sad, and I hope it will just evolve, if given enough time.
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I've never tried it, but would be worried it'd give me a headache.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I wish that there is more gaming with holograms. I like VR gaming and I think it will evolve into something better. I've played VR but do not own one myself.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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Tried a few games on one occasion. It's the kind of thing I'd like to own for a few walking sim / exploration kind of games, but it's far too expensive to actually buy for the limited entertainment value it offers.

It looked like the future of the industry for a while there, but that clearly didn't happen. It would need to be much more affordable and approachable - the physiological problems people have are a huge barrier to entry, and worse of all one solution to a problem usually doesn't fix it for all users.

So it looks like VR is doomed to fail unless we figure out (ie. invest heavily in it, while not really getting money from it) how to overcome a bunch of tricky hurdles.
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maf man
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tried it, its phenomenal.
My friend has a PC rigged for it with 4 censers in a large room I believe its the oculus rift.
I'm just so scarred its before its time and it'll die before it properly takes off.
All I think its missing is the omni track I saw ages ago, software, and ergonomics more universal.

I am worried that half assed steps has made it harder for people to feel ok with this types of stuff. I still hold the wii partially responsible; I like it but it would have been outstanding if aiming just didn't have lag.
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Aaron Tubb
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Before last summer, I thought VR was mostly a fad. I had tried Samsung's Gear VR (phone VR) and some older VR arcade stuff and I wasn't really impressed. But then I tried out the HTC Vive last year and was blown away. I bought an Oculus Rift and I think where VR currently is is amazing. There is a huge difference between phone VR or other cheap VR and VR running off of a current gaming PC. I can see why it hasn't caught on with more people, though. There aren't many actual full-length games made for VR right now. Most VR games are either low-effort gimmicky games, or tech demos. There are great games, too (e.g. SuperHot VR, Beat Saber), but they are outnumbered by the low-effort ones. The only AAA developers that have made any actually substantial games for VR so far are Epic Games (Robo Recall) and Bethesda (Fallout 4 VR, Skyrim VR. These are ports, but they are well-made ports). Also, both the hardware and the software will probably be frustrating for a lot of people to set up, because you have to set up sensors and tweak things and figure out what to do about the headset cord. There are cordless, standalone VR sets, but they are significantly less powerful than a gaming PC would be, and they aren't really made for gaming.

VR tech is still making big improvements, with more big improvements needed for it to really take off:
-Either wireless headsets that run off of a gaming PC, or more powerful standalone set.
-Higher resolution displays.
-Accurate motion tracking sensors built into the headset itself, so you don't have to fiddle with sensor positions around your room.
-More full-length VR games.

Oculus seems to be focusing more on entry-level VR for the future, but Microsoft has more recently decided to get into VR development and are working on improved versions of their Hololens, which is now compatible with most big VR titles on Steam.

Moving around in VR does take getting used to, and VR will NEVER replace normal flat screen gaming or computing, IMO. If you are into the immersion/escapism/exploration aspect of gaming, though, VR is amazing.
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James Lowry
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Call me when we have full-dive VR.
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Seth Brown
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Rindis wrote:
Call me when we have full-dive VR.

This is basically how I feel. What we have now is cool, but not cool enough for me to get it. The future possibilities, however, continue to tantalize.
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Trying to consider VR on its own, I share some of the hesitations already mentioned. Worried it would give me a head-ache or motion sickness, or that I'd walk into something in my living room, or whatever.

Add to that, I don't see the obvious leap forward from the kinds of experiences I enjoy on screens.

Where the negativity really starts for me is when I think about the industry's awful, awful record when it comes to optimizing technical performance. When gaming moved from cartridge to disc-based media, there were large and compelling gains, but they came with galling load times. We lost something important to me, but it was supposed to be temporary. Instead, we now have some of the worst load times we've ever had. We can't get behind any kind of frame-rate standard either - the more powerful the hardware, the more developers **** on it (on average, anyway). We have sheer idiocy like 4k, which provides a tiny, tiny presentational benefit over 1080p, but erases all kinds of performance gains.

So I look at VR as the industry continuing a kind of strip-mining cycle where they never clean up their ****ing messes. They can demure when it comes to tech standards as long as there is excitement for tech frontiers.

And in that way I see VR as necessary not for game developers but for marketing teams. To quote the late Bill Hicks, "kill yourself."

(not really, but if you haven't seen him do that bit, you should)
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When I was in high school I used to be super excited for VR. There was talk of VR glasses for the Genesis and I was really looking forward to it.

Now that VR actually does exist I've never even bothered trying it or looking into it.
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Ian S.
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I’m really not interested in VR at all. I don’t want or need that level of immersion in my games. It still has the smell of “gimmick” on it, too.
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Ryan S
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I do not own a VR system, but I have played the PSVR a decent amount (maybe around 4 hours total).

It's not something I see taking the world by storm quite yet, and it seems like in 2019 it's kind of died off yet again. Companies have been trying to make VR relevant for 30 years, and I just don't think it's there yet. Having to wear bulky hardware, and being tethered to something and not being aware of your surroundings is pretty obnoxious. The combination of VR and Augmented reality is a bit more interested to me, where you essentially see digital things showing up in your real world while you look around.

The best VR experience I've had so far was Resident Evil 7. Being able to duck and peek through doors and such really added to the experience. The resolution is still not all it should be though, so it still has some pixelation which takes you out of the immersion.

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I'm interested in it to try it out if it's available. But not enough if I'd have to invest in my own hardware. As mentioned, not all VR are created equal. They vary quite a bit, much like general vg.


The ones I've tried include:
---Oculus Rift: Elven Assassin VR and Castle Be Mine VR. Experiences here...
https://videogamegeek.com/geeklist/220038/item/5148023#item5...


---Oculus Rift: Don't Let Go. Experiences here...
https://videogamegeek.com/geeklist/227165/item/5500625#item5...


---Another one for PS4, using its own VR hardware. This one is just a headset, and 2 handheld VR controllers. I played one game that's a rails shooter. This could've been a "regular vg", but the VR element did make it that much more immersive and scary! Unlike Oculus VR above, this one only tracks head turning. It Does NOT track body movement!


---I played Space Pirate Trainer, a "life simulator", and a Time Crisis like VR game while at a mall. It was fun, but I only played for that many hours since I knew I was never headed back there again anyways.
(I thought I put in a GL entry for the "what game did you" series. I guess not?)



EDIT:
The best way I can describe if VR will be a hit or not is like with graphics... Some people get immersion from 4K graphics and extra globs of textures, detail, lighting, additional_graphic_settings_terms. Others, 1K is where its at. Yet others, n64 levels are fine. Others are old school and can find enjoyment in 8 to 16-bit flicks. There's no one standard


Another thing is there was a mall where they actually had a VR arcade! The shop set up a bunch of stations with Oculus Rift gear, and a selection of Steam Games. This is probably an excellent way to try out the game for the shorter term. However, IIRC they charged about $15 to $25 per hour? And then you gotta pay for parking :\ The awful moments were they would tap on your shoulder every 20 to 60 minutes even when your time wasn't up yet. Just let me stay immersed in my game!
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Matt Utting
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I've been quite tempted to give it a whirl as I picked up Tetris Effect but don't know if it's worth shelling out for the PSVR if I'm just using it for that game (and unclear about how I'd really feel about VR once I got it).
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We own a HTC Vive.

My son has been pumped about one for 3 years. Saving money for it, while the price went down from 1.000 to 600. January was his 13th birthday, and we decided to chip in the missing part. My son subsequently relocated voluntarily to the smallest bedroom (which was our 'in house office and game room') so his big room could become designated VR-room!

Personally I am mostly a strategy player. Overview, maps. Then some FPS shooter games, but hey, can't beat mouse&keyboard, can you? Although I must admit I also own a TrackIR, which has immensely improved my combat flightsim experience - the times when I fly. So I wasn't that much looking forward to VR. A gimmick, which I doubted that I would use. Now, I've tried my son's VR and I must admit: I too am blown a-way! Awesome!

As prices keep dropping more people will commit and and more and more developers will experiment with this. I see a growing community. And I suspect the people who say VR will stay a niche product, are like the early 1900 people calling planes a fad!

Beat Saber is a total blast. And although my time in VR is limited (most of my current game time goes to a strategy game), I must admit that it is immensely more immersive to reload your weapon by going through all the moves than by just pressing 'R'...

The VR potential also far exceeds the boundaries of recreational gaming. To name two:
- the IT firm I work for, is building a VR-version of a certain town. The township has signed a contract; the VR environment will be used to make new plans more than visual; planners and policy makers can actually walk through new neighborhoods (traffic included!) and see what it will be like, while the old one hasn't even been torn down.
- a friend of mine, single mom and physiotherapist was less than thrilled that my son now has VR. "Kids should move more" & all. Last weekend, we let her try Beat Saber. She was amazed. "That's a total body workout! And you need to co-ordinate hand-eye and left-right! We should have one at our physiotherapist centre!"...I think VR just got a new ambassador...

It's true there are at this point few good games. Most top notch graphical games are short enough to feel like an interactive trailer. Or they are very sandbox like: tools are provided, figure out yourself how you're going to amuse yourself in this VR world. But there are great titles with active communities - even though graphics may be crap and feel like we're going 25 years back in time. But it's maturing pretty fast. My son already has a space strategy game where you direct fleets of ships from planet to planet. You are in that universe, giving strategy a whole new feel. Haven't tried that one out yet, but looking forward to it!
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Phil
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I have a first generation Vive and it doesn't get used much anymore. Not because it is bad but because I lack the time to set it up (have to hide it and all the cabling from the kids as my setup is in the living room) and I don't want to be immersed without noticing anything around me when the kids are home. So there are only a few days a year where I feel comfortable playing with them.

Any good? Sure. It is a fantastic feel but it has some limitations. Text is hardly readable to playing something like Elite Dangerous is not really good, even though thanks to a decent HOTAS setup it would be doable otherwise. There are some hectic games, mostly cover shooters or arcade like games, but I don't like those as it becomes a chore. I don't want to sweat when playing games, I have sports for that. So what were the best games so far? Vivecraft (a mod for Minecraft) is pretty nice but playing alone sucks and I don't have the time to build something meaningful. Then there is Doom 3 VR (another mod) and it is a blast. It was the first time I had any fun with that game. Otherwise some "walking simulators" meet "horror games", even though they lack gameplay. But it is really intense.

Also loved to play pool with a friend who also has a VR set. Playing such social games is a fun experience as you can see your friend in the 3D setting and also some of his gestures etc which adds a complete new layer. Fun times.
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John Middleton
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I had my first go 'round with the Playstation VR and was extremely impressed. I expected to need a sickbag, but nope. The highlight for me was Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. Being in a cockpit meant that being seated was not an immersion killer, but also it was huge benefit to dogfighting to be able to look over my shoulder at the enemy, see where they were in their turn to know how to pull in behind them. If they made the whole game playable in VR, it would be an instabuy...
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middletonner wrote:
...but also it was huge benefit to dogfighting to be able to look over my shoulder at the enemy, see where they were in their turn to know how to pull in behind them...
Basically why I bought my TrackIR. And I'm a mudshooter first.
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Phil
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Tried the Playstation VR (my brother has it) and it wasn't that good. Not being able to turn around and move is a big disappointment. It ruins the immersion imho.

Still looking for a great arcadey first person flight game with VR and HOTAS support. Something like Strike Commander would be great. But so far all games I found were either trash or too much a simulation than something I could have fun with.
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Caroline Berg
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I used to test VR (and AR for that matter) and I absolutely loved VR! I get motionsick in real life when traveling, but not in VR (it's an inner-ear pressure thing, so I can move in VR with no ill effects!) I could easily see myself getting addicted to it and living only in virtual worlds. Which makes it dangerous, and not something I will go out of my way to purchase anytime soon.

The biggest issue for me are the controllers. I'm a lefty, and they need better left-handed support before I fully dive in. I'd also prefer some kind of controlling gloves while in VR, rather than sticks or controllers (most of which were too big to comfortably fit in my hands anyway). The controllers were definitely designed with larger hands in mind.
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