back to article Mega VR roundup: Lots happening in the virtual and real worlds

Every year for the past ten years has been the one when virtual reality will finally break out. Based on the pace and number of recent announcements, it looks as though that time has finally come – well, will soon come. Probably in 2018, maybe. Earlier this month, HTC matched a $200 price cut in its high-end Vive system to …

  1. Kaltern
    Mushroom

    In b4 VR is dead, VR is pointless, I look like a tool wearing a headset, and other such shortsighted opinions on an emerging tech.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Twitter is pointless as well, but it's hanging around just fine.

      I am starting to think that VR now has a decent chance at becoming something used, instead of the geek gimmick it has been up to this point. Of course, it's the hardware that is making that possible - and using smartphones to push it is a good, though obvious, idea.

      I still hate it though.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      I just switched jobs from one that provided a Vive and an appropriate computer in my home to one that does not. So mine has been returned. But it was just just occupying space so no big loss — the novelty wore off pretty quickly and the things it adds through freedom of movement (within bounds) and a more immersive display just run against the things it takes away, such as the ability to use software for more than twenty minutes without nausea, or to do anything that requires you be less immersed, like have a conversation. We hadn't used it in months.

      I think it'll end up like 3d cinema though. It's not an expensive thing to add, and a certain audience will continue to want it. You just might have to pay an extra £10.

    3. DropBear
      Devil

      Well yes...

      ...except VR really IS dead: for quite a while Kickstarter used to have a "Virtual Reality" pseudo-category / hashtag / thingie you could browse by - they've quietly deleted it just a few days ago. Poof! Gone. As it's no doubt a stats-based decision, it should tell you all you need to know about the interest of the public at large in VR, when it's not being aggressively pushed by some megacorp in their "me too!" collective hallucination of VR grandeur.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Well yes...

        Or that they realised that it isn't something that Kickstarter projects can do - who would thriw money at Kickstarter when they can just go and buy a Rift, a Vive or a thing to put their phone in from their local online retailer.

        Or even Dixons in the airport.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dixons in the airport.

          No, please no.

          How many readers have wandered into their outlets in Airports and bought something that seemed cool/great/useful at the time but was total shite?

          They were still selling (or rather trying to sell) Nikon 100-400 VR lenses (the very old V1 model) six months after the replacement was released and at a price well in excess of Jesspos had it for months earlier.

          I travel a lot on business and about three years ago I decided that I would not buy anything in the Airport unless it was some food or drink. It is just too expensive in the long run.

          A Beer or three especially nice if I'm off to Saudi.

  2. Gommster

    The Vive has just taken a price drop of $200 but it was $799 before so it is now $599 (still $200 more than the Rift).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try some of the latest games and you may change your mind

    Lone Echo on the Vive is stunning and is what VR games should be like. No video demo on YouTube does the game justice. You have to see it in VR.

    The biggest drawback to VR currently is the cost, the headsets do require a beefy PC to run and also that some conten tdoes makes you queasy (not easily fixed that one)

    I think once they can do 4k per eye and 180 degree FOV, VR could look real.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Try some of the latest games and you may change your mind

      It's not resolution, it's latency.

      People were fine with NTSC resolution for decades.

      People are not fine with visuals being 1/10th second behind their head movements, and barf.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Try some of the latest games and you may change your mind

        Still, better res is nicer. I just, this second (yey for car boot apps and impulse buying) upgraded a fraction from a 1050p to a 1080p. While the difference is a tiny fraction, I'm not regretting it.

        That and brightness/colour as tech naturally progresses.

        But yes, the most important thing is latency, then resolution.

  4. Sir Runcible Spoon

    Motion Sickness

    I get nauseous even when I'm driving myself sometimes, and it was certainly a struggle playing Battlezone on ps4 vr at first. However, by stopping when I felt ill and trying again the next day I got my VR legs in about 3 weeks. Now nothing bothers me in VR. In fact, it's actually helped me deal with it in RL as well.

    VR is the nuts.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    AR or VR? That is the question?

    I get the feeling that AR will be more useful to most of us in the long run.

    The reports of what Apple are doing with their ARkit might make it commonplace.

    VR OTOH, has its uses but for most of us? Er... Well, the jusry is out at best.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: AR or VR? That is the question?

      The problem with AR is you need at least some form of usable reality to build on top. For most of us, we would not be "gaming/VRing" if we did want to keep some of reality in it. ;)

      Though there are still some nice things even VR cannot do (see icon).

    2. Gordon861

      Re: AR or VR? That is the question?

      I agree these VR systems should be moving towards some form of AR. With an AR setup there is no reason I couldn't use a full HOTAS setup and be able to see what I'm doing with my hands whilst using the VR part to look out the windows etc.

      You need a pair of cameras on the headset that allow you to see through the VR into the real world. This could also stop you falling over the dog or furniture when you move from your seat.

  6. PhilipN Silver badge

    Movies please

    I can think of quite a few movies* I would like to watch through a VR headset. As an indication, when I first watched a movie wearing good stereo earphones** it transformed the experience. More than once I turned my head having heard something behind me.

    *And stop sniggering at the back. I did not even mention p***

    **Many years ago Sony made wireless 'phones using infrared. Bloody uncomfortable but good sound (see above).

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