Oculus Oculus Oculus…

Oculus really needs to learn that irritating their customer base generally isn’t the best way to make their product popular.  Yesterday they released Oculus Home 1.4, which introduced some DRM features that broke a 3rd party ‘hack’ called ReVive, which allows people to run their Oculus games on the Vive, and other OpenVR compatible headsets.  Interestingly, the developers of ReVive managed to break the DRM for Unreal Engine VR games already and are planning on doing one for games made in the Unity engine as well.  In the end all that adding the new DRM did was cause a lot of anger against them in the Vive, Rift and some of the PC gaming subreddits on Reddit.  It doesn’t appear that the anger has spread too far beyond Reddit, but I feel that those people represent a non-insignificant number of people that would have purchased games from the Oculus store.

My Rift arrived on the eleventh, I haven’t gotten to use it or my Vive much because I came down with a fairly nasty bug the previous Saturday.  It is a very nice piece of tech, but it’s difficult to want to buy games for it after reading how Oculus has been treating their biggest fans.

I used to be a big fan of Oculus, but between the huge shipping delays (My device arrived more than a month after they started shipping, 7 minute preorder.), Retail bundle orders, allowing purchase of a Rift at retail stores before day 1 preorders finished shipping, and now the new DRM… yeah they have not been treating their customers very well.

I’m not saying that HTC has not had any of these troubles with the Vive, but they have been largely responsive to issues that have appeared and there is usually only 1-3 days of drama before the issues are fixed.  Oculus on the other hand has almost been solid drama since late March, as they don’t reply to issues often, and when they do, their response is very sub-par.

After I have had more time to try out the Rift, I’ll put up a review, and my thoughts on the headset itself, this mostly has been what I’m thinking about the company today.  As I said before, the headset itself is very nice.  it is very well built, and the fabric is a nice touch, and the image is very clear on that headset, more to come in a later post.

Also, here’s an interesting image posted by the user ‘Damo3000’ on the Oculus Subreddit for this event…

View post on imgur.com

For now, have a nice day.  There’s more to come soon.

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Vive review – one week on

Well, I have had my Vive for one full week so far, and it is still extremely fun to play on.  I was hoping to have my Oculus so that I could do a comparison of both headsets, but as of right now, I have no info on when it’ll arrive, aside from the ‘estimated shipping’ being between today and May 12th.

Roomscale – This is a game changer, at least for people with enough space.  It needs a 1.5×2 meter space to move around in.  I have had the good fortune to have a 2×2 meter area to play in so I actually exceed the minimum area a bit.  Being able to move around to interact with the environment adds a lot to the immersion.  On the other hand, roomscale needs, well a decently large empty room to move around in.

Motion controllers – The Vive wands are very interesting devices, very reminiscent of the Wiimotes from the Nintendo Wii.  The Vive wands are a little larger than a wiimote, thanks to the circular tracking part at the top of the controller.  This part is what allows the wand to track properly.  The accuracy is amazing, part of me wants to see if I could juggle them in VR, though I really don’t want to break one of them…  They have large touchpads that can be used in different ways by various games, they also double as buttons, there is also a ‘menu’ button directly above the touchpad and the system button is directly below the touchpad.  On the back side of the controller is the trigger and grip buttons.  Overall these controllers work very well, though it’d be nice if they had larger batteries or replaceable batteries.  They haven’t died on me in game yet, but they do show that they’re running low on power fairly quickly.

Base stations – You set these up outside of the outer corners of your roomscale area.  If you don’t need roomscale, you can get buy with just one, but it is highly recommended to have both for proper tracking.  It can be annoying having the headset drop to a gray screen if tracking is lost by, say looking away from the base station.  People on Reddit have been complaining about the base stations being loud, in my experience they are quieter than the fans on my computer, so mine are very quiet.  Ambient sounds easily drown out any noise made by the base station motors.  The large amount of space that they allow for tracking is awesome, though there can be dead zones depending on where you mount them.

The headset itself – It looks like something straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, and works awesomly.  I have seen people complaining about the screen door effect and ‘God Rays’, so far the SDE is there, but it’s far better than it was on the Oculus DK1 or DK2.  You will only see SDE if you look for it, when playing games I usually don’t notice SDE issues.  On the issue of God Rays, I only really see any of those when there is something overly bright against a dark/black background.  Usually game scenes won’t have that much contrast in their environments, so the god ray issue isn’t really all that bad.

In the end, I’m extremely happy with the Vive and the games that are currently available for it.  I’m looking forward to what’ll be coming in the future.  The Vive is a taste of what’s to come in my opinion, things can only get better from here.  Now I wait to see what the Rift will be like…

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