VR: Pulling the trigger

In my last post I talked about my dreams of VR and worries that if I waited too long to invest, I’d be too old to really enjoy the technology.

Mind you, I own Playstation VR so I had an inkling of what I was missing out on. PSVR is a solid enough system for what it costs but it has some technical limitations, and it’s not super convenient for me. (If you have a dedicated gaming room or live alone you won’t have the same issues.)

So I was thinking about this waiting game I’ve been playing when I set up the PSVR to sample No Man’s Sky in VR. I was a fan of No Man’s Sky when everyone was losing their shit over ‘broken promises’ and so forth, and I’m still a fan today. I was excited about the VR mode.

I wasn’t disappointed by the VR patch, but it does really stress PSVR. It’s like there’s a fog on your space helmet’s visor and anything more than 10 yards or so away appears as a blurry blob of pixels. The PS4 just isn’t powerful enough to support the game the way it should be supported. Still, it was enough to show me how well NMS works in VR.

That’s when I pulled the trigger. Is it crazy to spend $400 to play one game? I guess it depends on how much you love the game. Plus I knew it wouldn’t be the ONLY VR game I played.

So I ordered the Oculus Rift S in spite of reading a lot of posts about issues with MSI laptops (which I have). My superstitious side doesn’t even want to write these words, but so far I’ve had no significant problems.

There is a huge jump in quality going from PSVR to the Rift S (as you’d expect, given the price and age of the two systems). The inside-out tracking (instead of external cameras/sensors pointing at the visor, the visor has cameras looking out at the environment) is about 1000 times easier to deal with than the PSVR’s fussy camera.

So far I’ve found VR using this system very comfortable. I can wear the visor for long periods of time without any hint of simulation sickness, though physically I don’t find the Rift S as comfortable as PSVR (I’m still playing around with the proper way to wear it, though).

I still struggle to clear enough room to be really comfortable with “room sized” VR (Rift needs a 3′ by 3′ clear area and we need a larger apartment) but I played No Man’s Sky sitting in a swivel chair for quite some time and it was amazing. Hello Games has done a great job.

It’s early days yet (I got the system on Friday) but so far no regrets. I know the technology will get better and the Rift S will be obsolete soon enough, but I’ll worry about that when the time comes. For now I’m really happy I took the plunge. I’m not getting any younger, y’know.