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Standalone VR Vs. High-end PC VR

kevinw729
Level 15

With the success achieved to date with some 2m Quest2 units in the field, and a new diverse and broad VR userbase joining the fray. It would seem a good time to through out a question for discussion. What is the way forwards for VR some five years since GearVR and CV1?

1. Standalone VR
Is this the path, a VR headset using mobile phone processing, with the capability to be tethered to a PC with limitations.
- examples – Quest2, Pico Neo3, Deepoon E3, HTC Focus+, Panasonic Eyewear[not released]

2. High-End PC VR
A dedicated VR headset, configured for usage with a high-end (but expensive) PC to achieve the immersive experience.
- examples – Index, HP G3, Pimax 4K, Varjo 4X, VRgineer, HTC Elite

…and the third and fourth options:

3. Console VR
A device connected to a console platform, with the ability to be untethered, benefiting from the console manufacturers content development resources and cost reduction for console bundling.
- examples – Sony PSVR2[not released]

4. XR Platform
The creation of a headset about to achieve see-through and complete VR experiences, linked by 5G to a mobile edge computing (MEC) solution.
- examples – Lynnix, Apple Glass[not released]

Comments (please stay on topic)?

https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959
56 REPLIES 56


@kevinw729 wrote:

> "it's not about good VR, it's about great VR"


This is always the quote I go back to that started this latest phase of VR adoption. It under pins the argument against the race to the bottom fallacy.


It has always been about the "experience" - the ability to immerse.

My only question now is, are we striving for good enough VR or great VR?
If squeezing VR into the XR2 chipset means compromise, then how much compromise is acceptable. As we have seen, a number of AAA developers feel the compromise is too much for them, and are focused on PCVR / PSVR2 projects - but I suppose it comes down to will 'Medal of Honor VR' work as well converted to the Q2 as some promise?


 

This big misconception with these statements is the fallacy of equating "video games" with "great VR." 

 

Consumers are still falsely believing that "video games" and "entertainment" is the path forward for "great VR." This is why conversations like this always end up referencing video game consoles like PSVR, and AAA titles.

 

The reality is that "if" the future of "great VR" is relying on gaming consoles and video game titles like MoH, then the VR Industry will remain stuck in "good VR. " 

 

Luckily, Facebook sees far enough ahead to realize that true "greatness" comes from expanding to multiple avenues of life. For VR to become great it must go beyond mere video games and entertainment. It needs to be at the workplace, in our education systems, and in our social experiences. Every single one of these aspects of life is being accounted for in Facebook VR.

 

Valve and the PlayStation are stuck in video game land with VR. Hence, they are stuck in simply "good VR."

 

Dedicated PCVR HMD's and software like Half-Life: Alyx... that's all just catering to gamers. But gaming is not an indicator of what makes life great.

 

Computers have achieved greatness. Because they are the backbone of infrastructure across industry and education; including healthcare and government operations. In the grand scheme of things, video games is childsplay. So hedging one's bets on video games to make a technology achieve greatness is exceedingly futile. 

nalex66
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

Regarding the hope that PSVR2 will lead the charge for "high end" titles... The first confirmed game for PSVR2 is Pavlov Shack. That's a Quest game, and the PSVR2 version will enjoy cross-play with the Quest version, but not with the PC version of Pavlov.

 

I tried the App Lab version over the weekend. It's not bad--the guns look and feel good, the locomotion options allow me to set up my preferred lefty control scheme (movement on the right stick), and guns can be picked up and used in either hand. I'm sure the PSVR2 version will enjoy some higher-res textures and higher-poly models, because I hear that's all it takes to make a great VR game.  😉

i7 5820K @ 4.25GHz | EVGA GTX 1080 SC | Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 | Corsair DDR4 3000 32GB | Corsair HX 750W
SSDs: Intel 660p M.2 2TB, 3x Samsung Evo 1TB | Startech PCIe 4x USB 3.0 | Startech PCIe 2x USB C 3.1 gen2

Luciferous
Level 12

I just consider the Quest as a VR console equivalent. Consoles have never been my thing but there is certainly a large market for consoles and the relatively hassle free gaming they provide.

 

I would never want one personally, not for social apps either or work. Now the new AR glasses coming up from Facebook that could be very interesting.

 

 

I agree that the Quest will be seen as a Console equivalent when the PSVR2 enters the fray. I think by then we will have an inclining of what the Apple entrant will be and, and also we should have seen the first leaks of the Samsung Standalone. For me, the sudden pivot by Microsoft to re-consider a VR addition to the XBONEX is going to be one of the wild cards. A possible Quest3 that connects to other systems would seem an obvious course of action if the take-up does falter.   

https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

Quests are both stand-alone and PCVR, that's what's driving their sales. I don't see that changing no matter how people want to categorize their individual modes of use.

Unless Apple have some sort of epiphany and allow their device to be used for PCVR, Sony too, I don't see Quest take-up going anywhere except the same that has been the case thus far.

Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v20H2 (19042.964)

>"Moving this market from niche to mainstream!" - I think that was the reported quote from the killing of the CV2 project. Focusing on mainstream through a single solution (Swiss-Army-Knife approach).

We see that Quest2 wants to be seen as mainly a Standalone (cut the cable, simple to jump in), and also to plicate the PC VR community, unhappy with the path from CV1. Offering a window to existing PC VR content be seen as a PCVR with a cable (Link). Obviously shooting down the wireless aspirates (for the time being) dented this slightly, and I am sure that this will be resolved with the Quest Pro (and Quest3).

I still have to say, making the assumption that this is a given and has been achieved is a dangerous assumption.

There is still a strong support for a dedicated PCVR solution, and the sales numbers reported from HP and Varjo are very compelling towards that argument. A market excluded to Quest2 because of the artifacting and compression issues, (but again could be sorted by Quest Pro).

With the surprise closing of Go, the window of opportunity on some Oculus for Business opportunities have shifted over to other solutions, though I also feel the Quest2 can jump into that vacuum very nicely and offer a more versatile solution. Not so jumping into the vacuum of the Rift-S / CV1 - as can be seen on the forum, most of the dedicated PCVR supporters have moved on to HP or Index (or other). Not mainstream, but still a lost generation who were encouraged to wait for CV2.  

https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959

nalex66
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

@kevinw729 wrote:

>"Moving this market from niche to mainstream!" - I think that was the reported quote from the killing of the CV2 project. Focusing on mainstream through a single solution (Swiss-Army-Knife approach).

We see that Quest2 wants to be seen as mainly a Standalone (cut the cable, simple to jump in), and also to plicate placate the PC VR community, unhappy with the path from CV1. Offering a window to existing PC VR content be seen as a PCVR with a cable (Link). Obviously shooting down the wireless aspirates (for the time being) dented this slightly, and I am sure that this will be resolved with the Quest Pro (and Quest3).

I still have to say, making the assumption that this is a given and has been achieved is a dangerous assumption.

There is still a strong support for a dedicated PCVR solution, and the sales numbers reported from HP and Varjo are very compelling towards that argument. A market excluded to Quest2 because of the artifacting and compression issues, (but again could be sorted by Quest Pro).

With the surprise closing of Go, the window of opportunity on some Oculus for Business opportunities have shifted over to other solutions, though I also feel the Quest2 can jump into that vacuum very nicely and offer a more versatile solution. Not so jumping into the vacuum of the Rift-S / CV1 - as can be seen on the forum, most of the dedicated PCVR supporters have moved on to HP or Index (or other). Not mainstream, but still a lost generation who were encouraged to wait for CV2.  


 

I wouldn't count Quest 2 out for wireless PCVR use. I did expect that we would've seen an official solution for it by now, but then again, we're only 6 months since release, and they took that long to reveal Link after the release of the original Quest.

 

In any case, what they have done recently is allow the Virtual Desktop PCVR streaming solution to be included in the Oculus store version of the app, so users no longer need to side-load a patch to enable it. With that change, we can now consider Virtual Desktop to be the officially sanctioned way to use Quest for wireless PCVR. As long as you have a decent setup (AC or better wifi router ethernet-connected to your PC, and a GPU that adequately supports hardware encoding), it works incredibly well, and keeps getting better with every update.

 

(Edit: A week after I posted this, they've announced that Oculus Air Link, their native wireless PCVR streaming solution, will roll out with the v28 update.)

 

Link, too, has seen steady improvement since the release of Quest 2, with support for 72, 80, and 90 Hz, adjustable bitrate and render resolution (which can be set to very high res), and excellent performance. It always surprises me when I see people claim that it suffers from "artifacting and compression issues" that exclude it from consideration for "high-end" PCVR. I can only assume that those people have either never tried it, haven't tried it recently, or haven't tried it on a half-decent PC. The image quality (both with Link and Virtual Desktop) is so much better than my CV1 that it pains me to use my old headset now. Quest 2 is a massive upgrade, and I don't think I'll ever go back to a tethered PC-only headset. Even if Valve cut the price of the Index in half, I wouldn't bother with it at this point.

 

Anyone looking at the VR market with an unbiased eye has to concede that Oculus has knocked it out of the park with Quest 2. As a stand-alone device, it is unparalleled, and provides a much better experience than the naysayers give it credit for (once again, people who have never tried it decry it as very weak, only suitable for children, etc). As a PCVR headset, it offers more bang for the buck than anything else on the market. In 6 months, it has outsold all other Oculus headsets combined, and has become the most popular PCVR headset in the Steam survey with almost 25% market share (out of about 3 million VR users). That's approximately 750,000 people using Quest 2 for PCVR, which is more than 1/3 of all Quest 2 owners if they've sold 2 million units.

 

No other PCVR headset is anywhere near as close to reaching mainstream status. PSVR2 will probably be the only realistic contender for overall user count, and I wish them every success. Facebook and Sony are better positioned to push VR forward than any other companies in the world.

 

Oculus has clearly defined the path forward with Quest 2, and I believe that every other manufacturer will be chasing their success for the next several years. Those that focus on PC or console will move towards emulating their wireless solution, and the industry will shift increasingly towards stand-alone solutions (which will see steady improvement to narrow the gap with PCVR). At least, that's my take on the matter.

i7 5820K @ 4.25GHz | EVGA GTX 1080 SC | Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 | Corsair DDR4 3000 32GB | Corsair HX 750W
SSDs: Intel 660p M.2 2TB, 3x Samsung Evo 1TB | Startech PCIe 4x USB 3.0 | Startech PCIe 2x USB C 3.1 gen2


@Luciferous wrote:

I just consider the Quest as a VR console equivalent. Consoles have never been my thing but there is certainly a large market for consoles and the relatively hassle free gaming they provide.

 


 

Not really. There are no consoles that you can connect to a PC to play PC Games. Yet Quest lets you do just that, connect a cable to your PC to play PCVR titles. Quest is not equivalent to a Console at all. Now, Oculus GO... that was a console. But Quest? Nope.


@kevinw729 wrote:

I agree that the Quest will be seen as a Console equivalent when the PSVR2 enters the fray.


 

Hmm, that seems a dangerous assumption that denies the reality of things today. PSVR already exists. And Quest 2 already exists, and has sold over 2-million units. Quest 2 is currently "seen as" a Hybrid. And it is seen this way because it can play games on both the Mobile Platform (equivalent to Consoles) and PCVR (SteamVR, OculusVR, etc).

 

The release of yet another Console (PSVR2) won't suddenly change the perception of Quest as it exists today. If that were true, then Quest would already have a changed perception based on the fact that PSVR already exists. The release of PSVR2 isn't going to magically prevent Quest users from connecting to a PC to play PCVR titles like MSFS 2020 and HL:Alyx. Yet PSVR2 users still won't be able to do any of that PCVR goodness.

 

A lot of the assumptions being made in this discussion completely overlook the actual reception Quest has received as a Hybrid device. There's a difference between PCVR enthusiasts "wanting and hoping" Quest to be viewed as a mere console product, versus what's actually taking place in reality: Quest is a successful Mobile and PCVR HMD.

 

It seems to me that this overall discussion is geared less towards analyzing the market and more towards voicing displeasure with Facebook and Oculus' direction; while downplaying their success, achievements, and the blatantly obvious market dominance of Quest in the Mobile, Stand-Alone, and PCVR Markets.

PITTCANNA
Level 12

Heres my take:

 

PCVR is highly over rated, and you need a massive rig to support it to the best extent.  If your not on a 3080 with i9 and 32 gb ram, to get the fullest extent out of vr, then your going to be dissatisfied.  The quest 2 is absolute perfect price point to quality and functionality.  

 

Let me explain, if the average to above average consumer has the ability to walk into best buy/etc to put together a full vr experience.  They are greeted with 2 paths piece meal a computer/vr setup that is tricky to dial in and cost thousands to get right.  Or walk up to quest put down less than 400 dollars and walk out with an all inclusive setup, that is arguably the most freeing experience, they having to set up base stations, cables and other considerations.

 

Also i expect there are plenty of things behind the scenes we are not seeing, facebook cracking down shadow services, they might already have a plan to push pcvr to quest 2 with no additional hardware. 

The xr 2 chip is 120 hz, and using a server farm to do rendering and stream vr content over wifi 6 you can definitely push resolution.