Help me choose a VR headset

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wautd
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Help me choose a VR headset

Post by wautd » 2020-09-21 08:41am

So far I thought that getting a VR headset is too early, too gimmicky... until I tried out the Valva Index at a friend and was blown away by the level of immersion. Now I'm seriously considering getting a headset myself (really psyched at the thought of playing a game like Star Wars Squadrons in VR).

However, since it's a piece of hardware I ignored the last couple of years I'm pretty much clueless about what I should get. The Valve Index certainly is a contender and I don't feel like settling for a lot less in quality. The main downsides are its price (2-3 times more expensive than its competitors) and long waiting times. Still, it's sound and knuckle controllers are pretty amazing, and it doesn't seem like it will get obsolete any time soon.

Or maybe I should rather the the new/upcoming Occulus Quest? It appears to be both stand alone and connectable to my gaming PC, is a new generation and is way cheaper than the Valve Index. Would the knuckle controllers be compatible with this set?

Other?

General question, are these also connectable to a PS4? I'm aware that the PS4 has a VR set of it's own, but I understood it's a bit older and doesn't work as good on the PC. Plus with the PS5 coming out it doesn't seem like a good buy.

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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by Mr Bean » 2020-09-21 11:45am

Okay so I'm heavily into VR myself, got most of the headsets the last few years.

The current contenders are the Value Index, the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ and two upcoming (Releasing in the next two months headsets)the HP reverb g2 the soon to be released Oculus Quest 2.

The Value Index has the best tracking, best controllers and best general game support but needs lighthouse tracking and costs 1000$ and has the third best visuals these days.

Your second option is going with the Windows Mixed Reality system (Which is basically just Valve's plus some microsoft stuff on top) all of it is outside in tracking. However you may have to buy used as new headsets have stop being manufactured since COVID so retail prices are pretty high.

Third option is the releasing next month Oculus Quest 2, good software support, good hardware, okay tracking, shite controllers oh and you must give up your data to Facebook.

Last option is the upcoming new 2nd generation of Windows Mixed Reality the HP Reverb G2 which will have the best visuals, upgraded tracking (Still not as good as the Index, likely as good as Quest 2 might be worse) and a decent price point.

TL:DR two new headsets are about to be released if your not going Value Index wait a month for the HP Reverb G2 and Oculus Quest 2. If your interested in just getting into VR track down a used Windows Mixed Reality Headset or Rift S, don't pay more than 250$ for either. Otherwise wait, low end will be 300$ Oculus Quest 2 and all your information to Facebook, middle tier will be HP Reverb G2 at 600$, top tier (Except for visuals) will be Value Index at 1k.

Note due to Facebook's new policies all new Oculus VR accounts must be facebook accounts, if you have an existing one you must link it.

*Edit I don't consider Playstation VR to be worth much of anything, it's tracking is frankly terrible

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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by Mr Bean » 2020-09-21 11:53am

Handy comparison chart from Venture
Image

I didn't mention the HTC Vive Cosmos because it's a shite headset, even now months later the tracking is still no better than Windows Mixed Reality headsets (It's very VERY light sensitive, you need a dedicated room or your going to be dealing with janky tracking) and HTC is clearly no longer caring about the entire consumer market, they very much are business first with consumers maybe like 7th.

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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by wautd » 2020-09-22 04:25am

Thx for the great tips both

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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by wautd » 2020-09-23 03:19am

Mr Bean wrote:
2020-09-21 11:45am

Third option is the releasing next month Oculus Quest 2, good software support, good hardware, okay tracking, shite controllers oh and you must give up your data to Facebook.
Do you have an idea about the compatibility of controllers? The Oculus Quest 2 seems like a good system to get into VR (certainly considering that it's 3 times cheaper than the Valve Index), but I really like the Index controllers so I wonder if it's possible to buy them separately and used them on the OQ2

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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by Mr Bean » 2020-09-23 06:52am

wautd wrote:
2020-09-23 03:19am
Mr Bean wrote:
2020-09-21 11:45am

Third option is the releasing next month Oculus Quest 2, good software support, good hardware, okay tracking, shite controllers oh and you must give up your data to Facebook.
Do you have an idea about the compatibility of controllers? The Oculus Quest 2 seems like a good system to get into VR (certainly considering that it's 3 times cheaper than the Valve Index), but I really like the Index controllers so I wonder if it's possible to buy them separately and used them on the OQ2
A hard no so far since it's not officially out yet. However Index controllers use Light House tracking the same Valve and HTC worked together on for the first VIVE. The Index uses 2.0 lighthouses which you will have to buy plus the controllers. So 300$ to buy the hardware retail. There exists 3rd party programs to manage it for WMR and the Rift S and there is even a very janky version for the Quest 1 but it's very much duct tape and happy thoughts to get the lash ups to work since the tracking system is not supported.

So for now no, six months from now maybe we might have a nice working verions but you will need, 1. The Index controllers 2. the Lighthouses to track the controller 3. A third party program to make them play nice with the Oculus software which as of writing does not yet exist since the quest 2 is not out mass market yet.

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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by wautd » 2020-09-23 07:05am

Mr Bean wrote:
2020-09-23 06:52am
wautd wrote:
2020-09-23 03:19am
Mr Bean wrote:
2020-09-21 11:45am

Third option is the releasing next month Oculus Quest 2, good software support, good hardware, okay tracking, shite controllers oh and you must give up your data to Facebook.
Do you have an idea about the compatibility of controllers? The Oculus Quest 2 seems like a good system to get into VR (certainly considering that it's 3 times cheaper than the Valve Index), but I really like the Index controllers so I wonder if it's possible to buy them separately and used them on the OQ2
A hard no so far since it's not officially out yet. However Index controllers use Light House tracking the same Valve and HTC worked together on for the first VIVE. The Index uses 2.0 lighthouses which you will have to buy plus the controllers. So 300$ to buy the hardware retail. There exists 3rd party programs to manage it for WMR and the Rift S and there is even a very janky version for the Quest 1 but it's very much duct tape and happy thoughts to get the lash ups to work since the tracking system is not supported.

So for now no, six months from now maybe we might have a nice working verions but you will need, 1. The Index controllers 2. the Lighthouses to track the controller 3. A third party program to make them play nice with the Oculus software which as of writing does not yet exist since the quest 2 is not out mass market yet.
OK. Still, I'll probably go for the OQ2 for its price and higher mobility (as in, connection to a PC optional rather than required and not having to install lightboxes somewhere in the house)

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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by Marko Dash » 2020-09-30 02:23am

Half Life:Alyx is what has pushed me into wanting a full VR system and I'm leaning towards the Index.

after watching a few different letsplayers using various hardware the valve system seems to win out on quality of tracking and better hand controls.
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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by Mr Bean » 2020-09-30 07:12am

Marko Dash wrote:
2020-09-30 02:23am
Half Life:Alyx is what has pushed me into wanting a full VR system and I'm leaning towards the Index.

after watching a few different letsplayers using various hardware the valve system seems to win out on quality of tracking and better hand controls.
No question Index has the best hand controls, no one even comes close but external tracking setup and needing at least eight square feet of floor space is not something everyone has.

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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by Marko Dash » 2020-09-30 08:56pm

that's one advantage i will have, since my desktop is in the livingroom and no-one uses the tv there anymore most of the furniture has been moved to one side of the room I've got maybe 16 and change square feet of clear space to move around in.
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Re: Help me choose a VR headset

Post by bilateralrope » 2020-10-18 07:02pm

Some news about the Oculus Quest 2 that might affect your decision:

Facebook Is Permabanning Oculus Quest 2 Owners for Owning an Oculus Quest 2
By Joel Hruska on October 16, 2020 at 4:38 pm

Back in August, Facebook announced it would begin requiring a Facebook account to use future Oculus devices. This was received with all the love Facebook’s abysmal data practices and willful disregard for the negative impact of its own policies deserves. Nevertheless, the company pushed ahead.

What happened next couldn’t be more on-the-nose if it’d happened in a movie. End-users who are signing up for Facebook or attempting to link their accounts to Facebook are finding themselves permabanned from the site. Furthermore, the automated ban tools Facebook uses are telling them that the decision is permanent and cannot be undone. Users have taken to reddit and Twitter to discuss the problem.

Link to embedded tweet with picture

Stunning Arrogance
Demanding that end-users begin using Facebook accounts as though this represented some kind of improvement to the end-user experience took chutzpah enough, but look at that bit circled in red. “We have already reviewed this decision and it cannot be reversed.”

1). Yes, it can be. Any decision to ban an account can be lifted. Deleted accounts can be recovered. Since Facebook insists on a real-name policy, the company could institute a 72-96 hour period before it unlocks an available user name, just to allow for an appeal/review process. If it doesn’t, it’s because it doesn’t want to.

2). No human has reviewed this decision. That’s obvious. People are being banned by automated bot. Upon being banned, they are told that because a computer has made a decision, that decision cannot be appealed to a human. This is a perfect example of how the assumed infallibility of computers makes life vastly more difficult for humans.

Facebook has since admitted that it may have screwed up and asked customers to reach out and contact it. But consider the implications: Facebook’s default is to claim that its computers are so infallible, no mistake could possibly be made. It’s confident enough in this claim that it feels safe slapping it on a broad notice to be sent to anyone whose account has been banned, regardless of the reason.

Customer service used to be something people expected. Today, customer service is something internet companies mostly can’t be bothered to provide. Got a problem with Gmail, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, or Microsoft? Good luck ever speaking to a human if you aren’t a massive business customer, and sometimes, even if you are. Help resources for these services are confined to a list of FAQ answers to questions you’re unlikely to be asking and maybe some forums for end-users to post their problems so they can be ignored.

Another embedded tweet

According to one Reddit reader, starting a ticket with Oculus just leads to getting an email directing you to check the Facebook Help Center. If you want to appeal a Facebook ban — because apparently some bans *are* appealable, despite the wording — you have to submit photographic proof of ID. This doesn’t change the fact that the company tells people, up-front, that bans are final.

Personal Opinion
As far as I’m concerned, Oculus is dead. I do not care if the as-yet-unannounced Oculus Quest 3 grants X-ray vision and craps gold doubloons. Facebook’s conduct has made it impossible for me to recommend anyone become entangled with the service for any reason, including giving it more information about any part of your life. There’s also the minor fact that Facebook no longer cares about PC gaming specifically, has canceled future Rift development, and didn’t bother to build proper IPD adjustments into the Quest hardware. Nothing says “F*** off” quite like refusing to build hardware that works with the full range of human eyeballs.

I have loved Oculus hardware, but I am not an unbiased observer on this issue, and I won’t pretend to be. I resent the fact that the best consumer VR company has decided to become the worst consumer VR company solely to suck down just a little more personal information nobody wants to give them. This is not the official opinion of ExtremeTech. My colleague Ryan has a review of the Quest 2 coming soon.

Presumably, Facebook will fix this account-banning issue, but readers who encounter it are advised (by myself) to box their Quest 2 back up and return it to the store. If you’ve been away from Facebook or never signed up, treat this encounter as emblematic of how you can expect to be treated by the company.

I will never recommend an Oculus product again, under any circumstances. If given a choice between a free Oculus Quest 2 and the $900 Cosmos Elite from HTC, I’d take the Cosmos every single time. That’s strictly my opinion, and I’m not going to pretend everyone shares it. Plenty of people will say “Eh, what can you do?” and buy a Quest 2 anyway. I’m under no illusions. Nevertheless, there comes a point when a company has acted so poorly, so often, it is no longer possible to recommend anyone become involved with it if they can help it. As far as I’m concerned, Facebook blew through that barrier years ago. The mandatory data integration is the last straw. I will not turn over data to Facebook on my own gaming habits.

I respect that a lot of people aren’t going to agree with that, but part of being a reviewer is being honest about where you stand on products, even if you aren’t actively reviewing them at the time. I loved the Oculus Quest. If the Oculus Quest 2 lacked mandatory Facebook integration I’d be willing to recommend it to anyone whose eyes could use it.
I'd say stay away from Oculus until we at least get an explanation of what went wrong here and what has been changed to prevent it happening again.

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