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I HATE my Rift and I'm both confused and disappointed

Level 4
First let me say I don't mean this to be a rant post but rather more of a gut check - in many ways I want to make sure that there isn't something wrong with either me gear (CV1), myself (physically?) or simply my expectations (likely). So let me explain as briefly as I can as I really do want some feedback and input from you guys.

First a bit about me and my system.  I've worked in IT for 20+ years, mostly networking and management.  I've been a gamer since I was about 8, my parents literally had the first consumer Pong game then quickly Atari 2400.  I've been through all the consoles but have mostly been a PC gamer since my 20's with periods of heavy gaming (20+ hours a week) or little gaming (1 hour per 20 weeks).  Currently I have an extremely high end cockpit based sim racing system.  3 27" 4K monitors, 2 Titan Z cards, 6770k, 32GB Ram, RAID0 250GB SSD, etc. etc.  Pretty much spared no expense.  a 5 way ButtKicker vibration system and multiple high end wheels/joysticks from Thrustmaster, Fanatac, etc. etc. (way too much to list).  I'm mostly a sim racer (real racing instructor in real life, race a Lotus Exige) so my entire system is based around racing, mostly Project Cars, iRacing and Dirt Rally.  I do play some flight sims like Elite Dangerous so I was pretty psyched with Eve: Valkerie.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way - don't at all want to seem like a douche/ass/prick, but also want to show that I do know what I'm talking about and am not some total newbie idiot.  I've been sold on VR for a long time, in concept anyway and believe that 20+ years from now we'll look back on it as the 2nd big shift in computing, after the IBM Jr. / Home PC.  I haven't used DK2 in a very long time as when I did it was far too low quality for me with the SDE (screen door effect) way too intense.  I'm somewhat overly sensitive to that as I'm also a home theatre buff and had one of the early home theatre projectors back in the mid-90's, a Sharp HomeVision that was something like 640x480 so at 100" HUGE SDE.  I knew that was a small issue still with most reviews saying it went away almost instantly as everything else is so good and intense.  Ok, let's get started with my issues.

The SDE is HUGE.  As in I can't stand it HUGE.  It's an issue everywhere.  It doesn't go away and I can never stop seeing it.  Even in a dark game like Eve I see it constantly and can't stop letting it drive me crazy.  It's like it's just constantly ruining everything for me.  Next I'm constantly seeing a blur from the lenses to my eyes.  I think it's something to do with the moisture that develops on my cheeks almost instantly.  I keep 3 fans pointed at my face with one pointing up from underneath to get some airflow into the headset and while that helps it doesn't eliminate the sweat.  I'm seated (in my Obutto Ozone cockpit) in a basement room that's very cool compared to the house (probably 65 at the highest) so not a hot room.  After 20+ minutes of time I have to take the headset off for a few minutes to cool my face off and let all the sweat dry enough to get another 10-20 minutes.

When I play Project Cars my thoughts are "this looks horrible, the graphics quality is awful and the SDE is HUGE".  The reviews I read are exactly the opposite, they talk about how amazing it looks, they can't believe their eyes, they are "driving a car" not playing a game.  For me I couldn't feel more the opposite.  When I play my 3 27" setup, on full Ultra at 90+ FPS it looks STUNNING.  Everyone that plays it can't believe how real and amazing it looks.  I put on the headset and it's like I've stepped back 10 years in quality.  It's blurry (as previously noted) and again the SDE is huge.  I swear I keep thinking they put DK2 screens in my CV1 headset.

So, ok, that's enough for now.  I have many other complaints, in fact the only thing I can say good about it is the head tracking is incredibly perfect and smooth.  I am pretty blown away they can do that so perfectly without it ever once jumping or glitching, it really is impressive.  Everything else to my eyes, well, sucks.  I just read someone's first impression of the Dinosaur that attacks you in the theatre and how incredible it was.  My first impression of that was "are you kidding, this looks AWFUL."

Is it me???  If so please help me fix me??  Do I just have far too high expectations??  Help me please?!?!?!  🙂

154 REPLIES 154

Level 5
Well, when you're used to triple 4K, I'm sure that just about anything else seems low-res.

Me? I'm coming from a single 21" 1600x1200 monitor. Would be 24" 1920x1200 if my FW900 hadn't died on me. The resolution isn't even close, and though I could technically drive higher resolutions, the aperture grille pitch would still be a limiting factor.

So when I put on the Rift, it doesn't seem that much lower-resolution, even with only 1080x1200 per eye and not all of those pixels within the effective viewing area. Pixel fill - the gap between subpixels, the "screen door" itself - is also noticeably improved over my Note 4 Gear VR, despite what the lower resolution on paper (1280x1440 per eye on all current Gear VR-compatible smartphones) would suggest.

Also note that for me, "first-generation VR" is NOT the Rift CV1 and Vive, nor is it the DK2 or DK1 before the current Rift.

"First-generation VR", to me, is the Forte Technologies VFX1/Virtual i-O i-glasses! VPC/Victor CyberMaxx trio of the '90s that PC gaming enthusiasts sprang for. My first VR experience was in one of those LAN gaming centers, where I sat down at a computer, started Quake, and instead of just gaming on the monitor as usual, the guy overseeing me put a VFX1 on my head and the bundled cyberpuck controller in my hand. The helmet was actually responding to all my head movements, and pretty well at that!

So when I say I've been waiting decades to have that experience at home, I'm not joking. We've come from 263x230 LCDs that spanned maybe 27 to 45 degrees, depending on your choice of HMD and optics used, to 1080x1200 (or 1200x1080) OLEDs that refresh at 90 Hz and fill a whopping, immersive 90 to 100 degrees of FOV!

And better yet, games are actually designed for VR this time around rather than tacking on support as an afterthought! Those old '90s HMDs? Most games didn't support stereo 3D rendering or use the head-tracking natively, just having mouse emulation at best. But the Rift, the Vive, even the Gear VR? The whole EXPERIENCE is designed with head-tracked stereoscopic vision in mind! You're not looking through a window - you're IN another world, looking around with no bezels or anything else to get in your way!

Surely, I'm not the only one here who's been chasing VR since the '90s and knew what to expect. I knew the screens would still be a bit lacking in terms of resolution, and the optics in need of improvement (you either have more conventional aspherical lenses with godawful chromatic aberration ala DK2 and Gear VR, or you have Fresnel lenses with light shafts/god rays ala CV1 and Vive), but it's finally getting to be good enough for the average user to get that sense of presence.

It's only going to get better from here. Maybe in another five years, once display technology and GPU performance has caught up, it'll be good enough for you.

Level 4
27" 4K monitors have almost triple the DPI of standard 1080 monitors that most people use. 

Level 3

 war thunder and in elite dangerous ...

Damn.. Those are two games I spend 90% of my gaming time in. It was main reason I sold my DK2 in less than a week after getting it - you simply can't dogfight anything, even B-17 was just a blurry cloud even when less than a mile away - you simply spray and pray, no chance to aim for a gunner, or wing or engine... If this is same for CV1 (and, I guess, same for Vive) - I will have to wait for a version with at least 4K resolution.
DK2 sold Rift - preordered, shipment estimate March 28. cancelled. MSI X99A RAIDER, i7-5820K + Corsair H110i GTX, Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 64 GB (4x16GB Quad Channel), AMD Radeon R9 Fury X, SSD RAID0 (2x256GB Sata3 A-Data SX900), OCZ ZX 850W 80+

Level 5

Chivas said:

Chivas said:

There is a reason that Vive and Oculus use similar resolution displays.  People would need super computers to run higher resolutions, and they would have sold twelve units.  One of the main problems with VR is it has to send two different images, at very high constant frame rates.  AMD, Nvidia, Vive, Oculus, Microsoft etc etc are developing ways to improve VR optimizations  like sending dual images in one pass which will allow headset makers to increase the resolutions in future versions of VR headsets.  Being an IT tech, I'm surprised you didn't realize before you bought that their would be resolution problems with our eyes so close to these displays.  Your computer can run complex sims like DCS at 4k with no problem on a single monitor, but it will struggle in VR where it has to run two different images.

This isn't a question of not knowing the raw data. Everyone knew the SDE was there, but the point of the OP is that, until you actually experience it, you don't realize how bad it is. How immersion breaking. How it's basically all you can see at times. And the misleading screenshots of VR games compound the issue for consumers who didn't have a dev. kit. 

I have no doubt that the OP finds the SDE totally immersion breaking, but the vast majority of VR users don't appear to find it a problem.  They say they initially notice the SDE, but soon forget about it.  It also would depend on the type of game you predominately use.  Flight sims users for example would find it very difficult to spot small aircraft kilometers away with current VR resolutions.  Race sim users would have few problems as they are concentrating on areas much closer.

That's amazing to me, honestly. I can't think of the Rift as anything but a novelty at this point because of the binocular FOV and the SDE pixels. I still think it's really cool and a great indicator of where VR will be in 5-10 years, but I was a consumer who never had a dev kit and was hoping that VR would be the immersion-enhancing experience I've been waiting for. It's not. But I'm excited for the potential and for what will probably be a Gen. 3 headset. 

Level 10
To the OP I think you are confusing SDE, which is being able to see a space between pixels, and seeing the pixels themselves . On the Rift the SDE is basically gone, but you are able to see the pixels and subpixels if you look for it.
I am a spacesim/flightsim/racesim enthusiast first 🙂 I9 9900k@5.0, 32gb RAM/ 2080ti Former DK2, Gear VR,CV1 and Rift S owner

Level 11
@FokkerFace I can't speak for War Thunder, but the CV1 resolution is fine for Elite.

@maxpare79 I brought up the same thing back on the first page of this thread.  I'm pretty sure the OP is referring to seeing pixels and not SDE, but either way he's unhappy with the perceived resolution.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C Clarke

Level 4

minimoo said:

Reponse to OP:


it's just you and I don't get why you had to introduce all your professional and gaming careers just to say "I'm annoyed by the SDE and it looks awful" 

I mean... I thought something was going to coming out based on your professions or something. 

not quite relevant .... 

I suppose I was simply framing who I am and where I'm coming from.  Personally I find it rather difficult to have a meaningful conversation or debate with someone when I know nothing about them.  In those cases, like this comment here, I can only assume someone is either a trolling 12 year old or uninformed grandfather.  Sure I could have just made a simple complaint but I doubt that would have garnered the extensive conversation this thread has and without the vast majority of those comments being very insightful and intelligent.  Well with a few notable exceptions I guess.

I learned long ago how ones perceptions affect ones reality.  I've known that to be true in matters of opinion for most of my adult life and am now learning it's also true when it comes to ones perception of technologies.  As that is a real entity I wouldn't have thought so but this thread is proving otherwise.  How one can perceive something as "amazing" while another things it's, well, much less than that - that is surprising to me.  

That said I'm thrilled that so many are enjoying the technology as that's what will push it forward.  If the majority of users had my opinion it would jeopardize the technology from moving forward into what it needs to be to satiate everyone that wants to experience it.  I look forward to that day and think it will be far sooner than the 5-10 years many have said here, my thinking is 3-5 at most.


Level 5
I hope you're right about the timeline - we're not getting any younger! 🙂

My expectations for early VR were not very high so I was pretty blown away by the DK2. I can relate to what some say about having waited so long to arrive at this point in time where we can actually experience VR in our own home and using the amazing controllers and feedback systems we now have is something I wouldn't even had imagined then. You don't have to go very far back in time to realize how mind-blowing it really is and many people don't even know it exists yet. It's just a matter of perspective I guess.

Level 7
I am also like Exigeous, in the IT Pro 26+ years.  I also do a lot of HPDE.  Except I am a Rotary guy 🙂  I have a cockpit setup 4k etc...etc..etc..etc..

The only difference is, my expectation wasn't that high.  Because back in the 90s, I already bought in the VR.  With the Virtual I/O IGlasses which I bought at the time in the 90s at over $800(NEW).  In any case, back in those days, it was 640x480. If you thought SDE is bad, this is like CFE (Chain-Fence Effect).  It was super bulky, frame rate was crap, and those 3dfx Voodoo still can't handle the games... Actually all I remember the game was Descent.

Although I am still waiting for my Rift CV1, I know it still be better than the 1990s VR.  My only real complain is that I don't see why there isn't a real push for VR SLI
i7-6900k @ 4.4ghz | Kingston Hyper 64GB DDR4 @ 3000mhz | SLI Nvidia Titan Xp | ASUS Strix Gaming X99 | Samsung 950 Pro 512GB PCIe/NVMe | 3x Samsung Pro 850 512GB RAID0 | 2x Samsung Pro 850 1TB RAID1 | Corsair AX1500i | Custom Water Cooling | Thermaltake Core X5

Level 11
I wonder if it would be possible for Oculus as a company to release two versions of the same HMD? If it would be a viable option? One with high spec 4K screens or and then the CV1 version with 1080P screen? 

This might seem strange, but if you think about it other companies already do this now, like Sony released Sony Z5 mobile and also Sony Z|5 compact, and the same goes for all the other companies that make mobile phones and tablets.

This gives you the consumer choice, and so people could choose based on their budget and PC spec?

What do you guys reckon?

I like the idea!! 🙂
UK: England - Leeds - - RTX 2080 - Rift CV1 & Rift S - Make love, not war - See you in the Oasis!