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He's talking about Gear VR which is wireless. Swivel chairing isn't really intended for the Rift itself as unlike the Gear you have a host of suitable control options.

Yeah, which is one of the things I'm slightly concerned about. Not sure I want to end up 'mummified' after an hour of playing a game.

Of course, its an even bigger potential problem for the Vive - the demo's I've seen has people walking behind the user moving the cable out of the way!

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Speaking of the Gear, got mine today and yep, VR is the future. Have only tried a handful of things but there's a really simple game called Smash Hit - you are moving down an enormous abstract corridor with stuff to break by firing balls at it (you can use a pad or the touch pad on the side of the headset, the latter works surprisingly well, someone should make a shooter controlled like that where you play as cyclops from XMen). It's incredibly simple but the scale of the environment makes it all genuinely thrilling. It definitely had 'presence', I was instinctively ducking out of the way of fast moving glass beams and everything.

Also awesome is watching Netflix on a Virtual huge screen in a fancy mountain cabin. And yes, swivel chair all the way.

The Oculus Social app which will clearly come to the Rift is incredibly disconcerting - it's like that old 360 feature (that never launched here) where you could watch videos in a lobby with other people online. It's a strange experience though thanks to the other users' voices coming out of disembodied cartoon heads staring right at you. Unsettling!

Instantly I could see the potential of the full-blown devices like the Rift driven by more powerful hardware rather than a phone.

I can't imagine walking around as seen in the Vive being at all feasible with wires. Or necessarily even enjoyable.

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Of course, its an even bigger potential problem for the Vive - the demo's I've seen has people walking behind the user moving the cable out of the way!

A solution already exists in the prototype stage which can mitigate the problem, as long as you are willing to strap a hefty laptop to your back.

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I was about to say "what sort of swivel chair are we talking about, because I imagine it being rather uncomfortable."

Then I remembered I'm sitting on a fucking swivel chair and it'd actually be rather decent, if it can differentiate between the swivel and the headlook, because always moving in the direction you look sounds balls.

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But wires.


I saw a VR specific swivel chair somewhere recently, as a kickstarter. It looked a bit like half an egg, didn't have a backrest.

Edit: here

Edit again: that works as a controller for movement too.

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But wires.

I saw a VR specific swivel chair somewhere recently, as a kickstarter. It looked a bit like half an egg, didn't have a backrest.

Edit: here

Edit again: that works as a controller for movement too.

Doesn't look like as bad as an idea as it actually sounded.

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Moving the way you're looking exclusively is pretty crap from my experience tbh.

First person controls worked best with a mouse and keyboard for me, bizarrely. With looking with rift exclusively, and body centre / aim position controlled by mouse. It's going to take a long time to find a real good solution to that particular problem imo!

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because always moving in the direction you look sounds balls.

Sounds balls - it does work though and feels perfectly natural. Honestly, you need to try it and just go with it. Carmack argues it the ONLY way to play VR.

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VR fascinates me and scares me in equal measures, I was addicted to Counterstrike for a long time and can only imagine some VR stuff will just suck you in like nothing else - that to me makes it incredibly antisocial much like CS was back in the day.

Its not that gaming or VR have to be antisocial and often quite the opposite but if it is as good as it suggests it could be the immersion could just make it moreish like nothing else.

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At least for the forseeable future I don't think most people will be able to spend long periods using VR, certainly not the epic sessions of CS or WoW that you hear about. If you did you would be disorientated in the real world.

To be clear about the swivel chair thing, you aren't restricted to moving where you're looking. I just tried the demo of Dreadhalls on the Gear VR - a claustrophobic first person horror game. I got a bit of 'sim sickness' almost immediately (I need to build up to that one I think) but that isn't the point.

When moving ny head I looked around on the spot, just like a real head. When I turned in my chair I turned my in-game body. They are independent of each other. It works very nicely. The Gear VR seems to be able to differentiate between those motions with the various sensors it has (which is what marks out from the Cardboard stuff for example). If you look down in that game it brings up your map, which is clever.

If you add that control to the positional sensing of the Rift or Vive you will have a very good experience.

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To be clear about the swivel chair thing, you aren't restricted to moving where you're looking. I just tried the demo of Dreadhalls on the Gear VR - a claustrophobic first person horror game. I got a bit of 'sim sickness' almost immediately (I need to build up to that one I think) but that isn't the point.

When moving ny head I looked around on the spot, just like a real head. When I turned in my chair I turned my in-game body. They are independent of each other..

The odd thing is that you DO move where you're looking (try it - push forward on the stick when you're looking in a certain direction) - the system has no way of knowing wether it's your head that has turned, or your body.

Like I said though, that's not a 'natural' thing to happen - you rarely look in one direction whilst trying to move in another - you subconsciously turn your body to align with your head direction. You only really move your head fully when you're stationary to look around.

It's an illusion, but all rules of video game movement logic seem to fly out of the window in VR as your brain is convinced everything is moving correctly and your head and body are independent even when they are not.

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To be clear about the swivel chair thing, you aren't restricted to moving where you're looking. I just tried the demo of Dreadhalls on the Gear VR - a claustrophobic first person horror game. I got a bit of 'sim sickness' almost immediately (I need to build up to that one I think) but that isn't the point.

When moving ny head I looked around on the spot, just like a real head. When I turned in my chair I turned my in-game body. They are independent of each other. It works very nicely. The Gear VR seems to be able to differentiate between those motions with the various sensors it has (which is what marks out from the Cardboard stuff for example). If you look down in that game it brings up your map, which is clever.

That... doesn't make sense. The headset doesn't know if you are moving your head or your body.

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Fair enough! all I know is I absolutely got the very clear impression that turning my real head left for example left my virtual 'body' straight on. It felt like tank controls. I would try it again to see how they are doing what must be a clever illusion but it was so nauseating for me that I am loathe to.

Perhaps the nausea is related to that feeling. Nothing else has caused that for me so far.

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Apparently Apple is looking to get into the VR race (along with the electric car market and whatever else they think might be big) and have been stealing talent from rivals:

Apple has assembled a large team of experts in virtual and augmented reality and built prototypes of headsets that could one day rival Facebook’s Oculus Rift or Microsoft’s Hololens, as it seeks new sources of growth beyond the iPhone.

The secret research unit includes hundreds of staff from a series of carefully targeted acquisitions, as well as employees poached from companies that are working on next-generation headset technologies including Microsoft and camera start-up Lytro, according to people familiar with the initiative.

The company’s latest acquisition in the area is Flyby Media, an augmented reality start-up that lets mobile devices “see” the world around them. Flyby’s team worked closely with Google in developing software for its 3D positioning technology Project Tango.

Apple has been building prototypes of possible headset configurations for several months.

Apple joins a growing focus in Silicon Valley on VR and AR as companies from Facebook and Google to Microsoft and Samsung eye the next big technology platform.

The news comes after the Financial Times reported that Apple had hired Doug Bowman, a leading VR researcher.

Tim Cook, chief executive, declared earlier this week that the technology had broad appeal. “It is really cool and has some interesting applications,” Mr Cook said on Tuesday, as Apple reported iPhone sales growth had slowed to a halt.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0%2Fd9d3b86c-c67f-11e5-808f-8231cd71622e.html#axzz3yel8ZhGq

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Seems typically desperate to me. Just like Microsoft and Sony following the waggle revolution, late and a bit missing the point. However, if apple can get something to market early enough their fanbase will lap it up. I don't see it happening though.

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Apple don't have to actually invent something to win though, they just have to sprinkle that Apple magic on an existing idea and they can clean up, that's been the route to success for them a lot of the time historically. It's not about being first, it's about being really good and appealing, see the iPod and iPhone for examples.

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It could end up the same as most R&D projects, never commercialised as it couldn't be made to pay (where is the iTV Jobbs supposedly said he'd perfected?). But if you don't do the R&D, how do you know if you can make something interesting and Apple spend fuckall on R&D in comparison to their tech competitors who are willing to invest much more chasing after potential gold, even if a lot of it ends up as a dead end. Alphabet lost $3 Billion in the last year on R&D in the hope of striking it rich/saving humanity, and Microsoft routinely spend way more every year chasing after god knows what.

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Am I right in the understanding that PSVR will require a camera for head tracking and that it will be compatible with the current move controller set? probably worth picking that stuff up now if so before it shoots up in price when the headset comes out in a few months.

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Am I right in the understanding that PSVR will require a camera for head tracking and that it will be compatible with the current move controller set? probably worth picking that stuff up now if so before it shoots up in price when the headset comes out in a few months.

Yes. Almost certainly.

It'll be interesting to see if the existing PlayStation camera is sufficient, or just "yet another unsupported Sony peripheral". The long history of such is the main reason I'm dubious about Sony VR.

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