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Virtual Reality headsets for the cramped chair-user.

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#1 ShadowTiger

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 05:54 PM

Got a strange question for the hideously bored yet informed. 

 

My home computer setup is small, cramped, and entirely absurd.  I have no options to put motion-tracking cameras anywhere or anything like that.  It's not going to happen.  I don't have a way to use those fancy HTC Vive controllers, or anything with an Oculus Rift.  No controllers for me.  Just a mouse and a keyboard sitting on a weird tray across the armrests of my lap.  Yeah, it's bad.

 

Basically, I'm just looking for a way to put on a virtual reality helmet and be "in" the game.  It doesn't have to move around with the motions of my head.  It just needs to look 3D.  Maybe it has headphones built in or something.

 

Any tips?

 

EDIT:  For reference, I'm on an i5-7600k CPU,   have 16 GB DDR4 2400 MHZ,  and a 6 GB VRAM Windforce 1060 video card.  Win10 is on a 240 GB M.2 SSD.



#2 Lüt

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 06:36 PM

Partial solution: I'll trade my space for your rig.


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#3 Migokalle

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 09:50 PM

Sounds like the Vive is out of the question then, as the base stations (trackers) needs to have a certain amount of space between them, not to mention the need to be completely stabilized, preferably mounted to walls. That said, and don't make any purchases based on what I'm saying because I haven't had much hands-on with the Rift, but I do believe the tracker it uses can be placed on the desk in front of you and still work just fine. If that is the case, then assuming you have enough room for it (it's not huge) then this is probably what you're looking for.

 

You can get cheaper VR with things like the GearVR and emulate SteamVR through your phone, but it's just not going to be a very nice experience, plus the Rift and Vive has much more advanced tracking. While you might not have room enough for a roomscale experience, and while it may sound like a small addition, your head actually moving with your head in-game in all dimensions is incredibly important for immersion in VR. Not to mention, the emulation method isn't smooth at all, in terms of frames per second and tracking in general. In other words, it's not playable. The lack of proper head tracking is the difference between being 'in' the game and watching a 360 video on Youtube.

 

The Rift comes with an Xbox controller I believe, so if you think you can fit the tracker next to your monitor or something then it's probably your best bet. It doesn't absolutely require motion controllers, nor does the Vive but that's probably out of the question regardless.

 

You'll be a little limited in terms of games though, especially moving forward. Motion controls in VR is just as important for immersion as everything else, I'd say. But Elite: Dangerous is still my favorite VR game and it has a very basic implementation of it. But it is exactly what you're describing: a game that lets you be 'in' it without requiring you to change anything else about the way you play it. There's also ways to get non-VR games to work within a VR-environment, though this generally requires the use of a driver like vorpx, which isn't free, so I haven't played around with this much. From my understanding you can expect everything from games simply running on a 3D monitor floating in front of you in a void-like environment, to almost fully VR supported experiences. For example, apparently you can run the regular Fallout 4 in VR without all the motion controls and stuff of the VR edition of the same game. Then again, I have not tried this, so it's worth taking a look into the various drivers' support for the games you see yourself wanting to be playing if this is a big deal.

 

Edit: Forgot to mention, if you have the patience, I know several companies are working on inside and out-tracking or whatever it is they call it, where the headset itself keeps track of where it is, rather than relying on separate trackers. No idea when these might hit the market but I don't think they're too far away


Edited by Migokalle, 25 January 2018 - 09:58 PM.

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#4 ShadowTiger

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for the information, as always, Migo. :thumbsup: ;)  Much appreciated.  

 

My general plan for VR would be something like Subnautica, Fallout 4 VR (Assuming mods would work in it.  It's quite a dealbreaker if they don't. :P ) and eventually, yes, Elite: Dangerous, which I can't seem to bring myself to get into despite loving that kind of game.

 

Also, I don't have a smartphone yet.  Call me crazy.  I only even need one to take decent (Non-crappy) pictures, and to use as a GPS.   I have a much, MUCH cheaper TracFone that handles everything else I need, so I don't even need a data plan for the smartphone, assuming the GPS doesn't use data and I don't have to call anyone outside the United States! :bounce:  (My phone doesn't do that.)



#5 Migokalle

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 11:22 AM

Heh. Well regardless of the smartphone availability, I'd say if you want to get into VR, do it proper. And the Rift and the Vive are the big players right now, but as mentioned there's more coming, some of which will have built-in tracking. So it might just be worth it for you to wait a little bit, though I can't imagine they're gonna be any cheaper than the older models so if price is an issue and you could fit its tracker on your desk, then once again the Rift looks like the most reasonable option for you.

 

Anyways, you won't be running Fallout 4 VR without motion controls and roomscale, that's just the unfortunate truth of that. The game does (kind of) support modding but it's not official mod support and it varies depending on what the mod does. Some just won't work, apparently. But like I said, you can use drivers like Vorpx to get the flat-screen version of Fallout 4 to run in VR, just without the motion controls of the VR-only edition. This comes with the added benefit of supporting all mods, so that's a plus! Games like Subnautica I believe support VR in the same way that Elite: Dangerous does, ie basic but working implementation, probably no motion controls etc. Haven't tried it myself though.

 

There's supposedly free alternatives to Vorpx as well, though I haven't experimented with it myself yet:

I really should try this out sometime. Fallout 4 VR is great, but I imagine it might be easier to get into if you could actually sit in a chair while playing.


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#6 Ben

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 11:31 AM

I got a Rift. Current VR tech is still a bit blurry; even those who have trialed the Vive Pro say that while the improved resolution is better, it's still noticeably blurry.

 

The Rift works great with an XBone pad and originally even shipped with one; I also got the Touch controllers and as of yet have no space to really do much. Robo Recall is a really fun game but it's tough with just a 4x6 space...

 

If you're playing a game where you're in a cockpit all the time, like Eve: Valkyrie, Elite: Dangerous, or even something like EVERSPACE, the Rift will do just as well as the Vive would for a sit-down experience since they currently have the same resolution.

 

Overall the tech is still pretty new; I'd wait for a couple more iterations. I still can have fun with this early hardware and it shows a massive amount of potential but I'd honestly just wait and save money.


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