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Why Virtual Reality is NOT niche

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by ears, May 16, 2016.

  1. A statement I see a lot from PC gamers....

    "only a few people own a VR device, or can afford one, so they shouldn't be supported or developed"

    Imagine a world where the people at the forefront of developing technologies listened to such narrow minded selfish claptrap?

    How would you travel? There would probably be no cars, buses, planes.

    You actually wouldn't be able to post that opinion anyway because there'd be no computers.

    And even if there were computers there'd be no internet because there'd be no telephone lines or telephones to connect everyone up.

    That would be quite boring. So maybe you'd spend more time watching TV. Except, of course, that there would be no TV.

    VR is groundbreaking. It has huge potential. Already it enhances the sim racing genre of games to levels I never thought I'd experience. Yet people - people who have never experienced it - are so narrow minded as to not only dismiss it as something they're not interested in, but publicly express a desire for development of it, and for it, to stop.

    Despite their best efforts, VR will continue to develop. Comparing headsets available five years down the line to the current Rift CV1 and Vive would be like comparing a 1970s TV set to an OLED 4k tv. And some game genres, more than others stand to benefit from this.

    None more so than sim racing.

    There's so much scope for immersion. The connection between the driver putting on a helmet and the player putting on a headset. Placing that headset takes you into the racing world. Into the car, onto the track. The co-ordination of the physical wheel in the real world to the virtual one, beautifully modelled and accurate to the virtual car being driven.

    While other genres will not lend themselves to VR due to the relatively limited hand tracking technology, sim racing rises above it as it knows already what you're doing with your hands and feet due to input from wheels, shifters, pedals. And its recreating of this in the virtual world is startlingly accurate.

    Popular genres such as first person shooters will only really flourish when advanced treadmills, capable of tracking the player's walking, running movements are ready. A sim racer doesn't need to worry about that. A racing driver sits in their seat, puts on a helmet, then stays in that seat until their race or session is complete and they remove the helmet.

    Several game studios have worked to incorporate and develop VR integration after the release of a title. Whilst I'm sure some of this is out of support for existing owners of the title, at least one eye will be on the growing VR owning, non sim racing community. These people, who own VR, want the best experiences in VR and racing sims / games are right up there. Studios will be looking to this group and thinking they can sell copies of their minority appeal game to a wider community.

    And the 'niche' tag may be a little wide of the mark - even now. It doesn't take much research to discover that the two main manufacturers of PC VR devices can't keep up with demand. They can't make them fast enough. I ordered one in January and still have not received it.

    The cost to the existing gamer is not as high as some might suggest. You could say that by the time you do your next PC upgrade, it will be ready for VR. AMD and nVidia have invested in VR technology and the new range of nVidia cards were developed to support it. You probably already have a CPU capable of running VR, if you're playing rFactor2, Assetto Corsa, Project CARS.

    Your average sim racer only stands to gain from the development of VR. OK maybe you're not ready to invest now, but play the long game. The price of the technology is going to come down. The cost of putting a PC together that can handle it will come down. The games / sims will establish and improve VR support over time.

    Those who are not ready for VR yet can only gain by sitting back, letting the technology and software develop further, then diving in when they are ready. But compaining, de-prioritising and declaring its insignificance isn't helping, and is also inaccurate.

    Would they be willing to stand by those claims one, two, five years down the line? Do we still hear people tallking of the expense, inaffordability and minority appeal of cars, TVs, personal computers now?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
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  2. You're spot on, VR is here to stay, it's early doors. The current price of entry is high as it is with all new tech. It will come down and new manufacturers will enter the market. The Rift and Vive are taking advantage of their position but that won't last.

    Other than some indie offering that are built just around VR, most games will end up supporting both monitor and VR to cover all audiences, and I predict a whole lot of first person shooters with VR support are in development. Afterall It's where the money is. And fortunately us racing simmers will be right there riding the coattails of those more profitable genres.

    It good times, this time next year everybody will forget all this fuss and VR will just another bit of normal tech.
     
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  3. Andy Jackson

    Andy Jackson
    Sponsored by BRUT Premium Member

    Of course VR is still a niche product, despite what anyone says. Hopefully it will become less niche when it becomes less expensive and more people have the hardware to run it. I look forward to the 3rd or maybe the 4th generation of the technology.
     
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  4. Well said OP. Couldn't agree more, I've loved using my Vive in PCars since the day I got it. VR is the future of Sim Racing, it'll probably be 3rd or 4th gen before it becomes the norm but it definitely will. All the derision and discounting of VR is just the usual cancer that infects the sim racing community.
     
  5. Marcel Kleene

    Marcel Kleene
    Premium Member

    I don't agree and I think VR will be the same as with 3D TV. Hyped at the beginning...a lot of people own it, but never use it after an initial use.... It might be good for several other use but not for racing games. I had VR as well, but for me it's anyway not the right thing. Got motion sick within 2 laps.
    And I didn't see any of the real F1 or Race Drivers swapping to VR for their simulators for example....and I don't expect them to do so.... projectors and curved screens or triples is much better in my opinion...much more natural driving experience....do you turn your head for example to watch in the side mirrors, or are only your eyes going to move a bit... does VR support that? You have to turn your head like a silly one to see what in real live your eyes would just see without turning your head that much. And at the end, you are racing, focusing on the road... so VR might be nice before racing to look around your car...for the wow effect...presence is great.. no doubt, wow, you can even look what is behind you... but you will never use it during a race. So in 3 years we take this post again...and see..
     
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  6. Complete and utter drivel. The view you get through a VR headset is very similar to the view a driver gets through a racing helmet when they are racing. Do you think a racing driver in a GT3 car doesn't turn their head to view the mirror on the opposite side of the vehicle to which they are sitting? And you can still glance around your field of view with your eyes in a VR headset, you don't have to sit with your eyes fixed in one direction when using a VR headset as you suggest in exactly the same way that a race driver doesn't sit in a car with their head orientated in only one position and only using their eyes to look around. The above post is a perfect example of what the OP is talking about. Thanks very much for illustrating the point perfectly.
     
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  7. Marcel Kleene

    Marcel Kleene
    Premium Member

    I had VR as well and I have my opinion about it.... VR Fanboys will always say it's the future, as 3D TV Fanboys did....only the future will tell if it will succeed. Me personally, I don't believe in it. But as mentioned, let's see in few year who was right. Sure I might be wrong as well.

    I now have a Simpit Avenger dual projector 180 degrees curved screen...and it feels much more natural..Presence and Immersion is not far away from VR. And I didn't use 3D yet, as I'm not a fan of it as well. And I can see my wheel, buttons, my drinks, ashtray... etc...

    Can you tell me why real drivers in simulators don't use VR but projection screens?? If VR would be that good, I'm sure real drivers simulators would moved to VR as well already...but haven't seen one yet.
     
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  8. They don't use it presently because it doesn't match the FOV or resolution that can be achieved by other means. It's like you didn't even read the OP. This is the first iteration of VR, is your 'Simpit Avenger dual projector 180 degrees curved screen' the first iteration of that technology? No it's not. The first iteration of what most of us currently use to play our games, was a crappy 10" black and white CRT television. The point the OP is trying to make, which seemingly travelled about 2k's over your head, was that given time the technology will improve to meet the needs of everybody. And by the 3rd or 4th generation VR in terms of FOV and resolution will match visually what we have now but with the added benefit of presence and immersion. 3d on your curved screen is nothing comparable to the 3d effect of wearing a VR headset. The Op was pointing out that all of the tech we used to game today started somewhere, it didn't just appear as we see it now. It took lots of iterations to get to where it is today. VR is no different, it will take time for it to reach a level that is comparable to the other tech we use to game. Discounting it after it's first iteration would be as narrow minded and foolish as discounting the first ever sim racing wheels.
     
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  9. Except this isn't the first iteration. It's the 3rd and, as you pointed out, it still doesn't match the FOV & resolution that can be achieved by other means. It is getting closer to the promise, though.
     
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  10. A dev kit does not count as a full release. This is the first commercial iteration.
     
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  11. LOL, no, I was talking about the VR goggles from prior decades, not the current crop. Remember, VR goggles were initially developed back in the '80s. You really can consider the current crop to be the third generation.
     
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  12. The reason why real drivers in simulators don't use VR yet is because up until recently usable VR technology simply wasn't available. Like, at all.
    The Oculus CV1/HTC Vive are probably the first seriously usable VR devices, and might be comparable to a good projector setup. However, in a few years time, when VR devices will have smoothed out their drawbacks like resolution, they will be by far superior to even the greatest projector or screen setups. At a fraction of the cost and without any of the space requirements of a high-end screen setup.
    It is very easy to see this if you understand how the technology works and have even the tiniest bit of imagination.

    It is such an obvious, no-brainer upgrade in technology that it surprises me that there's any debate on whether VR is the future at all.
     
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  13. Rodent

    Rodent
    Premium Member

    VR will probably be a niche product yeah, it's not something you'll be running on the family PC/work laptop for years to come. But then again the same can be said for triples, and even our wheels. Simulator fans should be no strangers to buying niche hardware. :)

    The real struggle is to wait while the kinks are worked out. :D
     
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  14. Marcel Kleene

    Marcel Kleene
    Premium Member

    Do you think a real driver has to move his head as in this video...never ever....
     
  15. You've never worn a HANS device, have you?
     
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  16. Rodent

    Rodent
    Premium Member

    GamerMuscle is also the first to admit that he doesn't actually race like that outside of the "holy **** vr is cool" phase. And in the case of the video above it's more about demonstrating a piece of tech rather then winning races.

    For comparison here's a gopro strapped to the head using triples while not trying to demonstrate anything.


    Likely proper VR racing would have similar amounts of head movement with the added benefit of depth perception.
     
  17. He's moving his head so much in that video to show the effect to the viewers.

    And here a video of a racing driver not moving his head one little bit. He's keeping it completely still and only moving his eyes ;)



    You don't like VR, that's fine but don't make up some BS story about real drivers not moving their head in the car. They do, as we all do when we race sims, whether it's one screen triple screen or VR.
     
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  18. VR is the future and the future is here.

    The immersion factor is unbelievable and since i have the CV1, i haven't used my triple 46"55"46" tv's anymore. Simracing is perfect for VR. Looking into the corners feels SO natural and the depth perception is great.

    A lot of people that haven't tried VR make the mistake that you would like to see your gear and you real hands. When you're in VR, you have the most beautiful steering wheel right in front of you and your sitting in the cockpit of a real race car. You don't want to disturb that immersion with buttonboxes showing up through the VR dashboards. Your hands are fully tracked as long as you keep them on the wheel.

    Everybody who has tried it in my rig was blown away.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
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  19. PicoBp

    PicoBp
    #26 | HSRC - Banzaaaiii Touring Car Crew Premium Member

    Does anybody really think that an OR CV1 or an HTC Vive is the technology level that's available for racing teams and car manufacturers that have multi-million dollar simulator setups? C'mon... VR is immersive, but it's nowhere near practical for serious "business".
     
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  20. Do you think a computer game requires the skills of a real driver?

    Don't forget that driving a racing car, and playing a racing game are not the same thing.