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Standalone VR Vs. High-end PC VR

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)? "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities"

Level 16

For now, I'm starting to think that solution 3 might be the most interesting.


Currently many PCVR games are being cut-down to fit mobile gpus, and also the lower price point of Quest 2 allows more kids to purchase it potentially decreasing the average age among VR users (many have complained on Reddit about kids with high-pitched pre-puberty voices flooding multiplayer games like Onward, Population One and more). Even if Facebook requires you to be at least 13 years old, it seems many parents just don't care and allow kids to play. This may increase adoption, but may change devs focus to more simple and children-appropriate games. Also games lacking textures and polygons look very cartoon-ish and therefore childish to me. Most Quest games have graphics looking like simple cartoons for young kids to me. 


Getting PSVR2 will cost more, and therefore be somewhat harder to get - maybe it'll cost about $800 - 1000 for both PS5 and PSVR2, and thus the average users may be somewhat older. Also PS5 may have close to RTX 3080 rendering capabilities, especially when devs can focus on just one gpu milking it for every ounce of performance. Reasons for PS5 + PSVR2 as the savior of high-end VR gaming are also that Nvidia and AMD totally have failed delivering next-gen gpus to the PC market. But even if we could get RTX Series 30 cards, the Quest users are so dominating that I still think we won't escape getting flooded by low-end Quest ports. For now this mean my old GTX 1080 is as powerful as ever - but that's not what I want, lol. Sure Valve may be the savior again (in 3 years...) - but Valve is so incredibly slow, while Sony has the funds and the gpu power to become the next-gen leading force in high-end VR gaming. Also the new PSVR2 controllers look much like Touch and Knuckles - thus Sony seems on track to merge high-performing gpu power with PCVR-like equipment.



The upcoming PSVR2 controllers look much like Touch + Knuckles - and they are black 😉 The design is now much more in line with other serious VR solutions, while the original PSVR controllers simply looked like cheap toys for kids. 


I'm convinced that PSVR2 will provide a hmd with at least same res as the Valve Index (which is now 2 years old), which basically would make PSVR2 close to RTX 3070/3080 + Index solution (fov, sound and tracking will probably be the most interesting parts to discover).  

Of course PS5 VR games may be available for high-end PCVR gaming too, but right now I'm starting to believe that much may depend on PS5. Unless we get a high-end Quest3/4 hmd soon and Facebook again starts to focus on high-end PCVR, but I just don't see that happening. 2c. 

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

Thanks for that @RuneSR2 
As one that has to evaluate the new VR releases in development I was surprised that there may not be as many Quest2 games being "converted" to perform on the platform. Against new releases, a lot of developers are sitting on the fence till they see "real" metrix on sales. I think the attempt to claim success, without quoting a number will not work, even if its in Bloomberg. The reality is that FB will have to admit the 3m milestone met in June, and then we will see more interest from AAA developers. Unless of course Sony applies some very large incentives to encourage support of the PSVR2. We know of at least two surprise AAA devs working on important PSVR2 launch titles.

As you said, scaling down a current release to work on the XR2 processor is still a challenge even with the great performance achieved from the optimisation on the Quest2, (well done to all involved in that at Oculus). The missed opportunity of sharing the Qualcomm XR2 standard on the Quest is a shame - especially with Pico, Samsung and Panasonic Standalones VR systems in the wings. Not allowing cross platform support will be a missed opportunity that will bite in coming months. 

Regarding the "Hi-end" Quest2Pro or Quest3 - not sure it would be a good idea to dangle that infront of the audience being targeted. Oculus has left the Rift-S and CV1 crew back on the boat, not sure trying to encourage across to a Quest3 which would be diffierent to Quest2, and so be another development wrinkle to consider for AAA devs. Just seems a busted flush at that point. Better to keep to the real roll out plan with serious improvements to position against the Apple and Samsung releases 2023? (IMHO) "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities"

Level 16

All of the above.

I personally would love to see someone develop a true hybrid PC-VR and Mobile headset.

No Link type connection needed, plug right into Display Port and USB for PC-VR. Unplug for mobile.

Rift CV1| Rift S| Quest| Reverb G2| Index| Vive Pro 2

Level 8

Just a thought concerning PS5 being as capable as high end PC VR, I have no doubt that this will take shape very quickly once Sony has released their updated HMD. Given that Epic with their upcoming Unreal 5 engine have totally embraced development on the PS5 with Nanite and Lumen technology (also for the PC), this will usher in graphics and real time lighting like never before seen in the gaming world...and at frame rates and detail that yesterday's devs would die for.


Presently, only AAA devs are able to work with UE5 behind closed doors in prep for next gen game releases...and not available to anyone else for now until probably mid this year at earliest. Exciting times for gaming are very near...I would even say that this new gen will be a turning point towards cinematic quality gaming that will look so real that one will think it's been filmed. We will see this starting later this year depending on the state of the pandemic that is. Be prepared to be blown away by games made with UE5, both on the PS5 and PC including Xbox.


UE5 should be able to provide the power to create VR content with mind blowing detail + fps due to Nanite and Lumen. Nanite enables 100's of billions of triangles to be displayed at high frame rates with no loss of detail, while Lumen adds the realistic lighting to complement. All this on a PS5...and with PC that will take it even further. Cheers!!!

i7 8700k; 5ghz (water cooled), Asus Rog Strix Z370-E Gaming, Corsair 270R case, EVGA 3090 FTW3 Ultra, 32 GB Corsair Veng DDR4 2666 Ghz, Adata SX900 SSD, 1TB M.2 SSD, Adata Su800 SSD, Adata SU650 SSD, BarraCuda 2TB HD, Toshiba 3tB HD, Rift (dead), Rift S, Win 10 Pro 2004, Inateck KT4006 USB3.0

Seems we're on the same page regarding the PS5 🙂 Also take away 50% of the polys here, and it'll still look at least 50 (100?) times better than the average stand-alone Quest game, lol:



- actually I'm weak, gave in and bought another PCVR Quest port last night - devs said they had used 4k textures, but man did that game look awful - no dynamic shadows, so few polys you could nearly count them with the naked eye on several objects, and the game felt like made for 7 year old kids. As an adult I do enjoy the humor in Vacation/Job Simulator, but there is a fine line not meant to be crossed. Floor Plan 2 really did not feel like made for 13+ year old persons:



The game looks a lot better in the trailer than in VR. I did not see any 4k textures (but the text was sharp - does text count as 4k textures? 🤔 ) - actually many surfaces were just the usual even-colored Quest surfaced, I can't take that low-poly cartoon-ish look anymore! 😬

Did help quickly getting an antidote in Alyx - I just sat there staring at my gun for some minutes - felt at least like 8k textures, lol - details so fine I'm sure Apple would call it retina-quality-gaming 



For the future of VR, I'd like to see more realistic environments - better textures, higher poly count, better light and shadows - to fuel immersion. PS5 may be able to deliver just that, while Quest stand-alone gaming is taking so many steps back I've lost count. 

Games like Floor Plan 2 aren't fun simple games to me - but close to my worst nightmares. 



Now, I think Quest 2 is great for the Oculus Link feature - but the great problem is that devs are cutting down PCVR titles to work as Quest 2 stand-alone titles - and then PCVR users get a bottom-end Quest port. Exactly like Floor Plan 2.


Finally getting a RTX 3090 and then nothing but Quest ports launches - that would be some kind of worst-case scenario, unfortunately I don't think it's a low-probability scenario right now, unless something like PSVR2 happens... 


Right now I'm taking it very slow with C17YSCAPE, because I have no idea when I'll experience true VR again - seriously (I do hope they don't destroy Lone Echo 2 though) - and even PSVR2 will probably not be here before sometime in 2022:



Btw, being exposed to many bottom-end Quest games, it's easy to forget how VR looks when it's best - here're a few memory-enhancing images 😉



Guns simply look beyond amazing



Similar gun, but with the early-bird pre-order textures - so much better 😉



That actually looks like real bread, right?



Even the toilet paper looks cool, lol



There's even liquid inside - easy to see when you tilt the bottle - and again textures are simply amazing



This is how you do ground textures!


Check the surfaces on the nearest walls - it looks amazing



Poly levels on standard and quite boring objects, still Valve doesn't lower the standards



Light and shadow



More light and shadow - when it's done right 


All images are in-game shots from Alyx and exemplify the gaming quality that I hope PS5 can support and continue. 

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

@kevinw729 wrote:

I think the attempt to claim success, without quoting a number will not work, even if its in Bloomberg. 

This seems like a double-standard. We've seen many other attempts at claiming success without quoting a number, in areas such as Competitors Products (e.g. Vive, Index) and flailing sub-industries (e.g. VR Arcades, OOH). If others have a strong track record of claiming success without quoting a number, then why is Facebook/Oculus held to a different standard?


To-date, Oculus and Facebook remain the leaders in VR. Whatever opportunities may have been missed, they don't compare to the opportunities missed by the other competitors (e.g. Vive, VR Arcades, etc). Vive failed to launch with decent hand-controllers and exclusive titles, so that missed opportunity cost them dearly; as we now have seen with their Google buyout and complete shift in the VR competitive lineup. VR Arcades failed to develop a proper business model and continue to struggle with business closures due to the pandemic. The opportunity missed to rise above an archaic venture has caused VR Arcades to fall off the radar of mainstream VR roadmaps entirely.


The reality is that every single business venture and attempt at innovation will have opportunities missed. It's expected, understood, and planned. There's an entire methodology built around minimizing the impact of missed opportunities so that they are remedied at the right place and time. It's called: Iterative Life-Cycle.


As for trying to "predict the way forward," at this stage one would think that it's obvious. Many of us have been watching multiple attempts at trying to predict the way forward over the last 5+ years. Everything from claims that PCVR will lead the way to OOH VR taking over the entire industry. Yet after 5+ years of those proclamations being made, none of that has come true. In fact, the opposite is now true. Quest leads the industry in every way, and OOH VR has fallen off the map.  So the obvious truth is that... predicting the way forward involves watching Facebook's plans. Facebook is clearing leading the charge, for better or worse. All other attempts at competing with Facebook have either failed, or just end up becoming a niche within a niche (e.g. PCVR).


Right now, PCVR is alluring for only 2 reasons: Fans of SIM games (flight, racing), or videophiles who want the best graphics. However, outside of SIMs, the AAA title selection remains quite tiny. And it is not a mainstream business model to sell 10's of millions of headsets to people who want sub-par software with great graphics.


Facebook and Oculus continue to pave the way forward; and that will only change when a real competitor shows up ready to offer up something truly compelling. But if the competition keeps pivoting around whatever "missed opportunities" Facebook/Oculus reveal, then the competition will always be lagging behind.

@kevinw729 wrote:

a lot of developers are sitting on the fence till they see "real" metrix on sales.

We need to put a number to "a lot of developers." As you said, attempting to claim accuracy without quoting a number will not work. We can't just say "a lot of developers" without quoting a number. Especially considering how many developers we have today releasing software in the Quest Store, Side-Quest, and now App Lab.


We can say with certainty that Side Quest has "a lot of developers." We can actually count them:


But without an actual number to verify exactly how many developers are on the fence with building to Quest, then it's safe to assume the obvious: these are small dev studios (likely, one-man studios) that don't have the resources to commit. These are typically the type of developers that build to the SteamVR store; which tend to be products on the polar opposite end of a AAA experience. These are usually more bargain bin apps.


I could be wrong; but without numbers and facts, then all we can do is apply what we've already seen with SteamVR.

Yes, I totally agree with you on every level noted and concerning the PS5. While I don't plan on getting a PS5 due to what I already have, I must say that the combo of PS5 with UE5 will be a force that many devs that use other engines are going to have a hard time competing with. I'm know that Xbox won't be left out of the UE5 dev scheme, but with PS5 being the console choice for's future looks to be quite well laid out.


While the Quest 2 is definitely shaping up to be the VR HMD of choice for majority (and rightfully so due to mobile + tethered), I still prefer my Rift S for dev and G2 for unequaled clarity. I'm unwilling to sacrifice the quality of my project to try to bring it to mobile VR just to try to reach a larger crowd. Sacrificing texture resolution and other things will certainly not be the same experience in my eye's.


I totally agree with you concerning the VR games that are for the Quest looking very cartoonish and geared for children. We all no the reason for this is due to the limitations of current mobile VR hardware and the software driving it. Once again, I direct the conversation back to UE5, which will also be able to dev for the Quest series. With the power of UE5, Quest games should take on a more realistic look in the future due to UE5's ability to render much more detail while not requiring such sophisticated or as powerful hardware. This is the whole reason I mentioned prior, to be ready to be blown away by UE5. Myself, I'm eagerly waiting for UE5 to be available to the masses so that I can move my project into UE5 development. My project's environment already looks very realistic as it is in it's early stage, I'm just hoping I have the endurance to make it through the incredibly long process of creating, let alone making what is created work at the high fps that VR presently requires. It is very satisfying though to walk or fly through (in VR) what you have been creating and to see things differently in VR (as compared to on monitor) during the design process. VR just makes things come alive.


Alyx is definitely what devs should be striving to (not copy) but use as a template for what VR should at least look or even play like. Valves formula of low poly meshes with very high quality textures works perfect given today's hardware limitations. Unfortunately, the Quest is unable to deliver on the very high quality textures due to memory limitations, again UE5 should at least change that for the better though.



i7 8700k; 5ghz (water cooled), Asus Rog Strix Z370-E Gaming, Corsair 270R case, EVGA 3090 FTW3 Ultra, 32 GB Corsair Veng DDR4 2666 Ghz, Adata SX900 SSD, 1TB M.2 SSD, Adata Su800 SSD, Adata SU650 SSD, BarraCuda 2TB HD, Toshiba 3tB HD, Rift (dead), Rift S, Win 10 Pro 2004, Inateck KT4006 USB3.0

@PhoenixSpyder wrote:

I totally agree with you concerning the VR games that are for the Quest looking very cartoonish and geared for children.

The irony here is that all of these video games are geared for children.


Anyone playing video games is engaging in a childish activity. Those of us who are adults and still enjoy gaming are in fact embracing our inner child. 



And as you may recall, PCVR suffered a lot of bad reviews during its first 2 years. VR overall was predicted to fail because all it did was cater to childish games. Between SteamVR and Oculus, it took quite a few years to get out of the "VR is for children" stigma. It wasn't until Lone Echo that VR gaming started to get a more mature acceptance by the mainstream media. Alyx has also helped with that, but the biggest apps that have moved VR out of "games for kids" has been Fitness Apps like Beat Saber and Thrill of the Fight. 


If someone is against childlike gaming, then the options are SIMS (racing, flight) and fitness. Everything else is pretty much for kids. But some of us are adult kids who will spend a lot of money to see fancy graphics while engaging child activities lol