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Virtual Reality headsets

I recently got myself an Oculus Quest VR headset, and it’s the most mind-blowing new computer / gaming experience I have had since my first computer ever back in the day (Amiga 500 :wink: )! It’s the closest thing we got to a Star Trek holodeck!

The Quest only came out this May. The great thing about it is that it is stand-alone, only the headset + wireless controllers, and relatively affordable (around $400/€450). No need for an expensive, powerful PC, etc., no annoying cable attached to it that you can step over. Everything is built-in in the headset itself. And you can get exclusive or converted games in the Oculus store.

The tutorials alone, where you learn how to use the controllers and what is possible in VR, made me smile like a kid at Christmas. Haven’t had such an experience in a long time.

The “Guardian” system, where you define your playing area in augmented reality is so cool. You paint the borders into your room, and when you get to close, the VR fades to AR, i.e. you see holodeck like checkered grids that fade to reality, so you don’t run into anything outside of the safe area.

One of the first apps I used was a ISS experience, where you can explore the International Space Station. In micro-gravity! Made me a bit sea-sick a bit, but I eventually got used to it. Crawling along the walls, looking out of the window to see Earth… :slight_smile:

Do you have a VR set? What were the most impressive experiences you have had with it so far?


Unfortunately I don’t have a VR set. I’ve experimented in the past with these (very old) glasses:

They haven’t worked well. :frowning:

If you count a free cardboard thing to put a phone in. The Ducktales VR video was the most impressive, but I also played around a bit with Steam VR and that was fun-adjacent.

VR technology has made quite some progress since these came out. :slight_smile:

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I’ve never used those cardboard ones. Are they only “stationary”, i.e. you can only look around, but not move? I guess so, since a phone is missing the tracking cameras that modern VR sets rely on for making free movement possible.

The VR set that I got has what is called 6 degrees of freedom: You can move freely in all directions, limited only by your “Guardian” safe area (and that can be set to quite a large area).

You move however you want. In my case that would be limited to a pointing device + keyboard or an Xbox One controller. I understand the Oculus Rift also came with an Xbox controller for the first year or two, before they worked out something more Wii-like.

Steam VR = PC, not Android. The Android part of the equation basically just plays a video sent by your PC and determines where you’re looking, much like Steam in-home streaming a game to your laptop.

I’ve been thinking about buying a USB implement to be able to use my old Wii controllers on my PC. Not for VR purposes, but as a side effect that’d basically complete the VR on a shoestring budget experience if desired. For a proper shoestring VR experience you’d definitely need better lenses than the transparent plastic things in the free cardboard thingy though, and ideally also a phone with higher pixel density. It’d still be a shoestring budget of course, since right now my “VR experience” is 100 % free and we’re talking about a sub € 10 theoretical investment in better lenses.

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