In what’s being widely called the “Year of VR”, GDC 2016 will be the first major battle in the War For Your Head. VR headset frontrunners Oculus and HTC/Valve are due to begin shipping the Rift and Vive in less than a month, with Sony’s PlayStation VR coming not far behind. Three headsets, three platforms, and each of them wanting to win the right to be worn by you.

GDC 2016, the world’s largest game developer conference, begins tomorrow. By all measures this will be the biggest year for VR at the conference. So big in fact, that the organizers of GDC have spun up VRDC, a sub-conference of sorts (of which Road to VR is the official partner) to contain the mass of VR content, running alongside GDC itself.

As the destination of the reveal of the Rift DK2, PlayStation VR (and predecessor Morpheus), and Vive DK1 over the years, GDC has been an important theater for the headset’s early skirmishes. With each of due to ship to consumers in just months or less, you can expect these companies to vye for ‘top of mind’ when it comes to VR headsets that will be ‘top of head’.

Here’s a preview of what we expect to see from Oculus, Sony, and HTC/Valve at GDC 2016.

Oculus Rift

oculus-rift-with-peripherals

Oculus planted their flag in the ground last year for a Q1 2016 shipment. The consumer Oculus Rift (often called the CV1), went up for pre-order in January and the first units are expected to ship to customers on March 28th (new orders are currently backlogged to July). With the Rift shipping at the end of the month, what more is there to learn? A lot, actually.

SEE ALSO
HP, Alienware, and MSI Among 'Vive Ready PC' Partners, Starting at $1,299

Oculus Home for PC

There’s not much left that’s a mystery on the headset itself: we know what it looks like, how it feels, the resolution, and that it’ll have built-in (but removable) headphones, along with an IPD adjustment. What we know very little about, is what Oculus’ software platform will be like, and we expect to hear much more about it from Oculus at GDC 2016 this week.

oculus-home-featured-bg1

On Samsung’s Gear VR, which is powered by Oculus software, the company calls their VR platform Oculus Home. We expect the same name and style to carry over to the Rift. Oculus Home will be the in-VR hub for your Rift games, the Oculus store, and social features. We’ve seen glimpses of the Oculus Home launcher in action at prior events, but haven’t been able to dig into what the store integration will look like, nor have we seen any of the social functions like friends lists, communication, or multiplayer integration.

Rift Launch Preview (How Much Touch?)

riftgamesblognew.1 (1)

Oculus is holding an invite-only event today previewing a selection of games coming to the Rift. Info from this event is under embargo until Wednesday, so be sure to check back then to see what we’ve gleaned.

The big question for this game preview is: how much will Oculus emphasize Touch, their VR motion controllers which aren’t expected to ship until the second half of 2016?

oculus touch apple marketing
See Also: 3 Moves Oculus is Borrowing from Apple’s Marketing Playbook

Oculus is in a precarious situation with their headset launching, at minimum, several months before their motion controllers, while competitors Sony and HTC/Valve both have their controllers ready to go at launch.

SEE ALSO
'Oculus Ready' PC Bundle Pre-Orders in Feb From $1499, Rift Included

Because of these mismatched timelines, all of Oculus’ launch titles have to be compatible with the Xbox gamepad that the company is shipping with each headset. And while motion controllers are clearly the way forward for VR input, Oculus can’t be too aggressive about the fact that Touch is coming down the line, otherwise they risk putting the spotlight too heavily on titles that players won’t be able to play until Touch arrives, while offending the current crop of developers who have committed to gamepad support.

For this reason, I’m not expecting Oculus to announce a Touch launch date or price at GDC—that is unless they’ve managed to move the Touch launch date into early Q3, or have a surprisingly low price to tell us about that will give their complete headset+VR controller package a nice lead over HTC/Valve’s $800 Vive.

We may, however, get to see the evolved Touch design that Oculus teased back in January.

Continue Reading on Page 2 (Sony PlayStation VR)

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  • care package

    Traditionally any add-on device that’s ever been released for console doesn’t do very well and the biggest reason is developers don’t want to develop games for only a segmented part of gamers (because not everyone has one). In the case of the Oculus though It won’t matter as much since all it will really do is make room scale games made for the Vive now work on the Rift.

    • Except PSVR is easily getting the vast majority of PC VR games ported as well, as well as their own Playstation standout exclusives. And when/if PSVR sells far more than the two PC VR systems combined then it can only help lure more VR developers to the platform.

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        Yeah thats the only reason for devs to go to PS, its based on VR sales.
        Even though you can make more good looking stuff on a pc with an titanX VGA
        Unity and Unreal engine both support mayor platforms, just need to scale stuff down for PS to make it compatible.

      • care package

        Not entirely sure what your point was (in regards to my comment), but the majority if not all of PSVR games will be controller or controller/motion compatible. Judging by the Dinosaur Island demo from Crytek, games that rely heavily on motion controllers can still utilize the gamepad pretty creatively. I was surprised how well it worked with the gamepad considering it is a taste of their ‘the climb’.

    • Except that the VR interest is HUGE and bigger than any other add-on device and is extremely better than them.

      Can’t imagine devs ignoring immersive content for long seeing as VR products already sold out.

      Especially considering the vast majority of player comments are excited about VR as opposed to any other add-on device including motion controls which no one was excited for until VR.

      Besides, devs know player need inspiration from mainstream gaming to continue using VR

      • care package

        Won’t argue with you there. There is no doubt in my mind VR IS the future of not just video games, but for a plethora of other stuff. My outlook of the future in general is definitely not as positive as most, so in short I wish VR could have come out sooner.

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          True, not just video games, there is more potential for it.
          It takes creative developers with new ideas to make that happen.
          For us, games will be a small part of it, the bigger part will be education purposes, enterprise solutions and marketing purposes.

          • care package

            Not sure about that. People are more interested in entertainment than they are education I think. If I could download a foreign language into my brain via lawnmower man style, then that would be awesome.

  • Simon Wood

    Regarding PSVR: The bundled/supported games will be the biggest motivation to buy. For me PS4 + PSVR + GT (with VR support) under $1000 would be mighty tempting.

  • CURTROCK

    A hella-good week for VR coming up! I’ll be keeping my browser pointed to R2VR for all da 411…. bring it!

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    Currently absolute winner is HTC vive for me as a developer.
    Rift and Samsung gear are ok but not that good, especially Gear you still stuck on an android OS which have only GL shaders and no directX support.
    Sony playstation no idea yet, but it runs on AMD hardware that also says enough….

    • care package

      Have you used the CV1? The biggest reason I would get the Rift is for comfort alone. Lighter headset, smaller tether, and integrated headphones. Slap it on and you’re done.
      Vive is great for greater immersion levels, but room scale/standing games are a whole different animal of intense short burst gaming. A novelty I believe will start to eventually wear thin and asses will soon find their home in a chair again.

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        HTC can also be used seated, it has just more funtionality and it’s sold as a complete set.
        Yes Rift is lighter for sure but its easy to solve using a counter measure on the back.
        Headphones are intregrated, but there is lots of choice to get better headphones on a vive.
        At the end vive is still a better choice, cheaper and lighter does not make it better.
        Laser tracking is also more accurate as LED tracking.
        Vive tech is more of this time, rift more of cost reduction and old tech.
        As i said Rift is OK, but vive is just better, even when its heavier.

        • Mateusz Pawluczuk

          Ok, report back with the sales figures once your game is developed :)

          • veritas

            Star Wars’ First Official VR Videogame Leaked for HTC Vive, Reveal at GDC? http://vrfocus.com/archives/30995/star-wars-first-official-vr-videogame-leaked-for-htc-vive-reveal-at-gdc/

          • Bob

            It mostly comes down to comfort over an extended use and this is where the Oculus Rift really shines. You would be surprised at how often the person who knows nothing about virtual reality gravitates toward the Rift simply because it’s a better fit and extremely comfortable to wear (easy on, easy off) whereas they tend to get tired after using the Vive for more than 30 minutes despite being initially impressed with it’s technology and positional tracking.

          • DougP

            Re: “tend to get tired after using the Vive for more than 30 minute”
            Funny how that goes exactly completely opposite what all of the people said who went to the recent events & used the Vive for literally hours throughout the afternoon & said they “never got tired”, “forgot headset was there”.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Your statement is true if you look at profits, but if you start making games for profit as the mayor reason you never will make a game people enjoy!
            Our step into AR and VR is first to enjoy what you do and share it with others, money comes when you did a good job, not if you just do it for money only, customers will feel ripped off after they bought it.
            As we all know this will all happen again and possibly 50% of what comes out is not good at all, just quick earn money as long as its hot.
            That’s not how we work.

          • care package

            I believe what you say is true. Hover Junkers is a good example of developers making a game to enjoy rather than profit margins, BUT honestly the game looks like it will get boring after say….about 4 hours of gameplay. Your typical intense room scale gaming, in short bursts. I’ve never played it, but it just looks that way to me.

          • DougP

            Re: “Your typical intense room scale gaming, in short bursts”
            There’s a reasonable chance that what you described might be common for many enjoying room scale experiences.
            Heck, I could see playing Hover Junkers as a good way to go get 45-1hr of cardio.
            Much more enjoyable than an exercise bike! :)

            Heck, I think that *enjoyable* VR exercise could be a huge market. Way more than Wii-fit / dancing with a MS Kinect.
            Be “transported” to some cool location & having objects perhaps move towards you getting you to: jump, duck, step side to side.

            Not joking here, but I can imagine, at least for some small percentage, some of the legendary bearded-fat-basement-dwelling gamers actually getting a bit healthier owning room-scale VR.

          • care package
          • DougP

            Re: “see more profit in developing for Rift and then porting to Vive.”
            Can you back that statement up?
            “Porting to Vive” – so if you’re writing for SteamVR standard, which is for BOTH, what’s this herculean effort to “port”?
            What you saying runs very counter to what Valve (SteamVR) devs says.

            Re: “Developing game for roomscale from ground up seems right now a bit of a risk”
            I disagree…but fine, assuming your right – why bring it up?
            You do know that the Vive does NOT REQUIRE room scale?
            Quite the opposite. Just a better tracking system which can easily support it.

            Re: ” at least until we know if Touch can simulate similar experiences”
            So how does Touch supporting it, if say it comes out & works well & isn’t a bomb…have to do with it?

            Sounds like you’re just in-bed with Facebook & looking for reasons to trash the Vive.
            Please provide source (Valve / SteamVR dev preferred) which shows why it’s difficult/laborious to “port” a Rift game to Vive.

        • Is there something you see for the average consumer that the Vive can do and the Rift can’t?

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            find your controllers with your gear on :)

          • Lol. Vive FTW. Jokes aside I’m sure the Rift’s external cameras can show you where your controllers are too as long as they’re visible. Theoretically the system could even remember where the last place they went out of view was, though I doubt the designers will become that pedantic… could be a neat idea anyhow.

            I was mostly wondering why from your perspective as a developer Vive is such a clear winner. As far as I had known, Valve has been working closely with Oculus to ensure a healthy ecosystem and cross-compatibility. Given this, and the almost identical specs between the Vive and Rift, I find it interesting.

            Rift certainly has a larger marketplace at the moment. Despite laser tracking being technically more accurate than LEDs, all reports seem to indicate any actual difference there may be in the experience is so small as to be imperceptible. Rift’s headphones have been reported to be particularly well suited for VR. And room scale will be a reality for both systems very soon.

            So what is it for you that recommends Vive so completely for you?

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            It comes already complete with all you need, for most parts at least, Oculus started the crowdfunding to make vr payable for customers, that’s a good start, but no controllers yet and yes we will improve that and add those features, just like the price would be $400 now $600 and nobody knows how the controllers will be, it is how stuff be done in a unprofessional way, selling stuff and fix stuff later, HTC vive did for that a great job by selling a complete set.
            Of course at the end maybe Rift will be similar or slightly better but its all on promises been made but nobody has it yet.
            The vice comes as a complete set, for developers you for sure will try to figure out whats needed and try to fix or bend around stuff, but it’s the end consumer which doesn’t, they just want something that completely works out of the box.
            You want to buy a phone and the company telling you oh yeah we are still working on an update to let you get sms, and yeah we know the touchscreen has no double tab function yet but we are working on that.
            Vive is just complete as it is, rift maybe one day complete, when ? All based on talk.
            The reason why rift is well known is simply because it exists longer, so devs work earlier on it. Vive although is new and was very limited on dev kits compared to rift.
            But it does not matter at the end as my start was simply Vive is for me the winner, of course others think different.
            As a devloper you would know how it is when you need to wait till they fix or add features, like in unity for example on networking software.
            All is based on current, later on this year newer and better models will arrive for sure, it’s the same as the mobile market went, all will get some sales but for me DEV will go on HTC Vive for VR products, and for Oculus Just the samsung Gear as i think that is going to be their mayor sales, not the rift.

          • I see. I can understand feeling burned, though I don’t think there’s any real concern that Oculus won’t actually provide their Touch controllers and room scale technology to devs and consumers in a timely fashion. They’ve demonstrated it many times, and it is in their best interest after all. They also have the backing of one of the world’s largest tech companies, with CEOs on both Facebook and Oculus’ side who are ceaselessly passionate about VR.

            I see their use of the Xbox controller as tactical to appeal to casual gamers, and their roll out of true room scale and VR controllers as calculated to arrive on time to capitalize on positive reaction from this initial wave of casual familiarity with VR. Leveraging Facebook to blanket the world with marketing at virtually no cost, they will build an understanding and appreciation of the power room scale and Touch represent before releasing, and ensure a healthy appetite for the war chest of applications they stockpile in the meantime.

            I do think that once Carmack cracks the code on inside out tracking for the Gear we will be greeted with an additional revolution though, and I like Vive very much as well as PSVR. Hopefully porting experiences back and forth between them isn’t too painful to alleviate as much risk to developers as possible for choosing one horse.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Yeah Agree, time will tell,atm Vive is just the most completed set to buy.
            Other may catch up, another promising one is the metavision and hololens, totally different but also awesome equipment, it just opens up other dev concepts, might still take another 2 years before it reaches usable status for those.
            As i’m developing AR as well as VR, they both need new ways to make concept, simply converting old games will not work, they are new way of expierence which also takes a total different approach to make the best applications for it.
            Each of them will have it’s cons and pros at the end, depending on what you want to design.
            I don’t think there will be just one horse at the end as it needs to fit your own concept.

          • care package

            Your replies are mostly info everyone already knows with a bit of opinion thrown in. People want your input because you claim to be a developer. I’m not sure that is the case, nor do I think you are the guy to ask as I said before.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Yes my opinion is in there as it is explaining why i prefer to develop on Vive and not on Rift.
            Yes we develop AR as well as VR, using several SDK’s as every project has it’s own requirements.

          • bxrdj

            You sure you didnt mistake developer with troll?

          • care package

            extreme room scale is the only thing I can think of. There is one game being developed that really utilizes it.

          • Pretty much what I thought. I found it interesting that a dev would take such a hard stance on Vive vs Rift when they’re virtually identical in 99% of use cases.

          • DougP

            Re: “extreme room scale”
            Just curious, what do you mean by “extreme”?
            I’ve understood the “room scale”, at least for these commercial released products (Vive & Rift), for the Vive “room scale” is:
            1) minimum size should be “about the size of 2x yoga mats”, or say ~2x2m (~6×6′). Games will target that.
            imho – almost anyone with a moderate size home/apartment should be able to clear this much space for when they want to play these types of games/experiences – like move a coffee table or a chair 1m from it’s current position. :)
            2) out-of-the-box, max “normal” size is 15×15′. Meaning 2x emitters can support an area this large. And, games that *scale* dynamically (it seems many are targeting this concept) will scape from min(#1) up to this size. Perhaps, some games may design requiring this max size (the idea of “infinite movement” we’ve seen in some concepts)…but it seems most(all?) will target ~6×6.

            So just wondering what “extreme room scale” size means…and further, what the one game being developed is.

            I’m particularly curious, as I’m currently laying out where to build the walls in my basement….& right now ( spouse permission provided [grin] ) I think I’m only going to get about 15’x11.5′.

        • care package

          No shit the HTC can be used seated. When touch releases Rift can do room scale. I’m no audiophile so having ‘better’ headphones is not an issue for me. Using headphones in general however is. Rift is ‘old tech’? Clearly an unreasonable bias here.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Led tracking is old tech, even a WII used it already.
            Laser tracking is the way to go.
            If you lookup the article from a former oculus technician here on roadtovr you will see why.
            Just read his article and see the prototype video.

          • care package

            I’m surprised you didn’t link it tbh. “old tech” is probably more subjective than it is objective. If it works, it works. if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. PlayStation seems to be ok with using it as well. Maybe the laser emitters are overkill.

          • DiGiCT Ltd
          • care package

            cmon man, that article is talking about the ‘next step’ of tracking that the lighthouse doesn’t even use. Still laser, but different tech.

        • bxrdj

          lol, developer with no clue

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            lol, sure dude, I’m ok with it you like a rift, i for sure don’t for my concepts.

          • care package

            I’ve seen a game recently that utilizes room scale more so than anything I’ve seen so far. Dude was crouching and crawling through vents. Great for the Vive, but if you notice it was a very creative way of utilizing a room space. I wonder how well it works were the room space is limited.

      • yag

        Indeed, after 2 years of DK2 use, people are craving for more comfort and less screen-door effect.

    • The Sir

      It seems odd to mention wanting DirectX as a developer, the future is the Vulkan API (glNext), surely as a developer you are excited about this?

      Your remark about AMD hardware is an odd thing to say as a developer, considering compute cores are likely the future. Are you not excited about this also?

      PSVR will no doubt be the sales driver for VR, surely as a developer you are excited at the prospect of taking what is a niche market and making it as mainstream as possible (even if it will remain only a subset of all users)?

      • DougP

        Re: “AMD hardware is an odd thing to say as a developer, considering compute cores”
        I think you’re reading too much into what he wrote.
        Going from AMD to “compute cores” when he could be referring to video cards.

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          Exactly DoughP, Vulkan is still under development and cant do everything yet, also there are not much benches out yet for DirectX12 as most still run on DX11 or earlier.
          I refer to AMD as i been in there since their history, their major part was the time they got their athlon CPU launched for desktop computers, before they had their K series which where incompatible as hell in CPU instructions.
          Another thing which still exist with AMD is power consumption and life expectation time, heat is always a killer for electronic equipment, it reduces lifetime.
          Still AMD is cheap it also can perform well, but reliability is simply not there. Not sure at the end it will still be cheaper though, all depends on how long it runs before you need to replace it again.
          AMD also is ATI on graphic cards, just same story.
          It’s just about reliability, not cost or performance, as a little slower and longer life time matter more for me.

          • DougP

            It’s funny that similar to “console wars” or “PC vs Mac”, in the PC world there’s a LOT of fanboyism when it comes to “green/red” team.
            Personally, I don’t get nor go for any of that.
            I simply want the best, most compatible, for my money.
            Side note:
            I’ll also admit that when “all things are [near] equal” I’d actually choose the “under dog” to promote competition. As well I’ve chosen components based on manufacturers who were being anti-competitive/monopolistic.
            For example: I’m a big-time AMD supported, heck (I’m old!) even pre-AMD days I was supporting alternate (non-“Wintel”) CPUs. In more modern times, nearly all of my PC chips have been AMD, except for laptops where I had less choice in the past, and GPUs- mostly NVidia due to driver support & often better performance.
            [ Again, I’m an old-timer & used to work in high-end graphics, “true color” in PC days when Mac was still black&white. ANd 3DFx’s Voodoo isn’t relevant ]

            My ~10yr old quad-core AMD w/8Gb mem was holding up nicely (upgrade GPU years back to GTX607 OC).
            My new VR rig – CPU & GPU:
            Intel 5930K – overclocking (liquid cool) to 4.5+
            32Gb – 2666Mhz “Vengeance” mem (‘sposed easily clock @ 3ghz)
            2x SLI – 980Ti, 6Gb Extreme Amp!(Zotac)
            Only mentioning my hardware choices, to see what your thoughts are on this.
            My thinking was – about best bangbuck on GPUs.
            6core(12thread) CPU.
            So hoping/expecting that w/DX12 & new game engines, future utilizing more cores & compute coming back to being more important ( as writing more to GPU, cpu can become more of bottleneck ).

            Lastly – went 5930K vs 5820K…not for the clock/OC but for the PCI lanes.
            Realized with 2x SLI’d GPUs (16x * 2=32) & M.2 (4x) I’d not have enough lanes with 5820 or Skylake.
            Truth be told, as much as I’ve historically supported/owned AMD, I was concerned about heat (power consumption) & reliability (OC to within very safe/conservative range).
            Zotac’s are already stock OC’d so I’ll probably leave them at that.

            Also chose GPUs I did, as I’ll be driving a 4K monitor & projector & want 60FPS.

            Anyhow…sorry for the ramble, but just getting my parts in & very excited about building up the new rig.

            P.S. MANY years ago I used to write games. Was s/w developer for years, as well as 3D renderer/animator. So I’m excited about getting back into some 3D dev, if only for playing around *inside* the models using the Vive in room-scale. Sketchup, Unity, Unreal – “working” inside your model just sounds amazing to me.
            Exciting days ahead for VR!

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Same for me DoughP, also old guy already in it before even PC’s existed, funny yeah the 3dfx voodoo you mentioned, bouhgt out by NVidia.
            Similar stuff as you did i did too in the past, render servers, 3d design etc etc.
            I can clearly understand what you are trying to say, and on most points i can agree.
            The thing now is just that i use it for my business and not as end user , as all need to be planned on investment reliability is important, as financial you need to write equipment off within 3 years to play it safe as a business.
            An other thing not mentioned but will not be used for end users but in development we use it are NVidia design cards in the Quadro line, and design desktops using 2-4 Xeon CPU boards out performing all the stuff endusers use in their pc rig.
            There is better stuff to get but not cheap, it is more for high end development, so in general the battle is not there on high end usage, only on consumer equipment.

    • AuxPlumes

      Hello biased “Game Developper”, what games are you working on ? If you want to sell your game to the maximum of players, I suggest you to open your mind and aknowledge that people usually don’t have a lot of place to fool around with their VR HMDs. This is not a mature VR market, this is only the beginning, and you’ll have to stick with that.

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        We are not just developing games for at home only, think about a new kinda arcade hall, more i can’t tell about it, as for the full potential of VR you are right ppl dont have the place for it in their home, so our solution would be a kinda arcade place where people can just enjoy it.

        • yag

          VR arcade is promising but when will the hardware be ready ? We need very robust headsets, controllers and stuff. Is there a company going into that ?

  • Sky Masterson

    The best thing about the poor bastards that impulsively ordered the rift is how they adamantly insist that it will support room scale.

    Palmer indicated it is “possible” for the Rift to emulate the Vive’s room scale. Possible meaning – we can’t do it now, had no plans to, but we underestimated the competition so we’re just making this shit up as we go along.

    I am a happy owner of HTC stock. Look at dat puppy go!!! Sure paid for my Vive… Many times over. Thank you Palmer for f’ing up your product and letting me buy the leading hardware developer for less than FB paid for your dumb-ass.

    The market has spoken. VIVE will win.

    • aceofspadesfg

      Man I just realised I should have invested my money in HTC, I would have gotten a MASSIVE return if I had.

    • There is no question whether Oculus will support room scale. It will. It does. Many people have tried it. That’s what Crescent Bay was about. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether experiences created for room-scale Vive will be immediately available to Rift users through Steam without the need for a bunch of extra code. You’ve misconstrued Luckey Palmers’ comments.

      • DougP

        Re: “There is no question whether”
        The important question is which is better.
        At this point is seems near certain that the Vive’s is.
        Coverage of the entire room from all angles with information at the speed of light (emitters) w/the Vive….vs constellation sensor/camera system, issues with occlusion/losing tracking/lag.
        Developers have already commented on this.
        Sure, as an after-thought, Facebook’s gonna shoe-horn in a bit a room-scale type work, but the Vive will blow it away in performance & scalability.

        How many of the freaking stupid constellation camera/sensors are you gonna have to put around your room to get even the same coverage? The Rift is already USB cable hell compared to Vive’s 1-usb cord.

        Oculus missed the boat on this one, after getting in bed w/Facebook & whatever weird backend deal with Microsoft got in the way.

        • He still feels the same way :)

        • It’s a matter of degrees. All accounts have Oculus’ room scale solution working very well. I can’t imagine anyone’s living room or den needing more than 2 cameras for coverage. Lighthouse’s true advantage is in large scale applications.

          I think their angle with the Xbox controller is about making casuals feel comfortable starting out, and encouraging developers to provide sit down experiences for beginners and those who lack 200sq ft of free space. On the flip side, their forthcoming Touch controllers have received nothing but acclaim.

          I really like both companies and hope they can together help create a healthy PC ecosystem. Steam certainly seems aimed at this collaboration. I see no need to bash one or the other, and no evidence that they don’t both present formidable experiences.

          • DougP

            Re: “those who lack 200sq ft of free space.”
            Keep in mind, the Vive works just fine as “sitting only”. Actually better, as out-of-the-box it can track 360-degree (think “swivel chair”) whereas the Rift will lose tracking & have occlusion w/using single camera/sensor.
            Also – the target *minimum* is “about the size of 2x yoga mats”.
            I honestly can’t imagine ANYONE living in a reasonable home/apartment NOT being able to clear that much space for “room scale”. Slide a coffee table or piece of furniture 1m away from an open space & you have it.

            Re: “hope they can together help create a healthy PC ecosystem”
            I’m worried about a healthy PC ecosystem with what Facebook’s been doing:
            1) paying for *exclusives*
            2) concerns of forcing you into “Oculus home” like they’re done w/GearVR (hate how it locks me out of Google Play)
            3) no support motion tracking in the package
            This last one is very problematic.
            It’ll hold back developers who want to create the most immersive experiences (your hands/arms “inside VR”, not feeling like you’re just watching a 360-degree monitor, but *prescene* within the scene!).
            So instead of ALL developers who want to jump on VR being able to target motion controllers (where sitting/standing or seated), they’ll lose a huge potential market share.
            It will hobble & fragment (& adversely affect!) devs wanting to support the Rift:
            a) lowest common denominator – seated & xbox contoller
            b) if write for their motion controllers (whenever they launch) can only sell to some small fragment of Rift users

            I just think that Facebook made some very bad decisions & it’s going to adversely affect the VR marketplace near-term.
            A lot of those decision probably stem from wanting to partner with MS & considering Valve & Steam their competition. Instead of playing along nicely with some standards for VR they’re gonna fight to take control from Valve’s Steam distribution system – sell through Oculus home or Windows Marketplace. That’s what this *battle* is really going to be able.

            And…again, like MS/Sony – Facebook’s already doing bad things with paying for exclusive titles, trying to “buy the market”.

          • The beginner Rift package supports 360 seated experiences. The back of the headset supplies information for the single camera.

            There is a significant problem with trying to provide experiences for both the minimum “2 yoga mats” recommendation in addition to the ideal, largely unreachable 15ft x 15ft spec. Kinetic has demonstrated this well. Either way, both experiences will be available to Rift users for a similar cost.

            I too find Oculus Home to be a bit of a constraint on Android; I just wish I could access a VR representation of my desktop or at least Cardboard somehow through Home. As long as Valve and Oculus continue to play nice on the majority of titles, I don’t see much a a problem on PC. Exclusives have always existed on consoles to little effect.

          • DougP

            Re: “The beginner Rift package supports 360 seated experiences.”
            What I meant by this was emphasizing that the beginner Rift only comes with a single camera/sensor.
            So if you’re using motion controllers ( or anything other add-on being tracked ) the front camera/sensor loses *sight* of it.
            Quite a few devs have complained about occlusion issues, so it seems that at least 1 additional camera/sensor will be required.

            Again – my preference is that they just include the fully functional system out-the-box, so that ALL games can support it.
            Devs won’t have to worry or limit themselves ( design choices ) developing for seated, mostly front facing, and a traditional xbox controller.
            I mean that Vive only costs $200 more & it comes with 2x lighthouse emitters, 2x motion controllers & still managed to include a front-facing camera. Another feature that I think people will wish they had is the camera – even seated, say taking a drink/eating, locating a peripheral,etc.

            Anyhow… it’s going to be an interesting year ahead.
            Very excited my Vive’s arriving in a few weeks!
            [ Note: I’m a “lucky one” & actually building/dedicating a room in my basement to VR. Putting a wall-bed in it as guest room, but will otherwise has ~15’x11′ for maximum “room scale” – for games that ‘scale up’ fully it’ll be interesting to see how that plays ]

          • care package

            Oculus touch comes with a 2nd tracking camera.

          • DougP

            Re: “Oculus touch comes with a 2nd tracking camera.”
            Not that I doubt you on this, as it seems plausible, but do you have an official source behind this statement?

            Re: headphones
            No thanks. I’m sure many feel like me, at least audiophiles will, that we’ve already got great headphones & won’t want to downgrade. I’ll keep my Sennheisers & Koss cans for audio!

            Re: camera
            Agree – Oculus blew it on that one as well.
            They could’a skipped the throw-away headphones & xbox controllers ( many already have / don’t want ) & easily put a camera (even stereo camera?).

          • care package

            Yes, right on their website.
            As far as their headphones, people seem to assume the quality of the integrated headphones are bad. Not sure why, especially when they’ve said the quality is quite good. If you are ok with feeling like you are wearing a helmet, and it’s another device you have to stick on your head in addition to the HMD, then good on you. For me, it’s a bad negative, and that’s based off experience. HMDs or headphones by themselves are not a problem. It’s when you are wearing both it becomes too much.
            Watching an IGN video of the new Ubisoft ‘werewolf’ social game they are all wearing Rifts. Looks quite convenient for them to all have the integrated headphones. I think it’s still way underrated at this point. Like I said, I wish the vive had done the same thing. To me it’s like with the vive, they probably would have if they had more dev time.

          • DougP

            Re: “If you are ok with feeling like you are wearing a helmet”
            I wear my headphones all the time & have never felt like I was wearing a helmet.

            So you’re going to strap a HMD to the front of your face, straps going around & over your head… but it’s putting on headphones that make you feel like a helmet?
            Besides the Vive comes with earbuds, so by your logic the Rift should be more “Helmet like” with those earphones covering your ears. Earbuds are much less “covering”.

            To each his own. Just completely different preferences.
            I would’ve been very annoyed if Vive had force me to pay for headphones I would throw away, instead of including feature such as camera.
            Again, I feel similar about the xbox controller – I already have one. Spent the money on the VR tech.
            Again, my preference.

            April can’t come soon enough for room-scale & full immersion VR, for me. :)

          • care package

            Typical headphones are just about as invasive as the HMD. It’s only using both at the same time I don’t like. Earbuds solve the ‘helmet’ issue sure, but introduces a few others. Not as simple as just putting on a pair of headphones (inserting buds into the ear, and you’ll have to come up with a system in order to get left and right correct), plus there is the whole sharing ear wax with others that may want to try it. I guess you could tell them BYOB (bring your own buds).
            It is all about preference but you can’t deny an integrated pair (of which you know nothing about so far) will make it easier.
            I would agree as far as the xbox controller and would rather pay $550 for the Rift (I’ve got the Elite controller), but including it is just to have the guarantee everybody’s got one. I’ll sell it for $40 in the classifieds.
            Room scale immersion does sound very cool, but I still think the novelty of it will wear off and your ass will find a chair soon enough.

          • DougP

            Re: “Typical headphones are just about as invasive as the

            HMD”
            I don’t agree. I use a HQ pair of headphones all the time w/VR & don’t even notice once I’m immersed.

            Also, the sound immersion is better with over-ear headphones.

            Earbuds – I have no interest in those.
            I was just pointing that out to possibly help you with your helmet-head concerns.

            Re: “xbox controller” “including it is just to have the guarantee
            everybody’s got one”
            See, I see exactly that as a problem, for multiple reasons related to PC gamers & seated experience:
            1) IF someone likes/prefers xbox controller – they have one
            2) IF someone wants seated for, well, “seated oriented/specific” gaming ( a large # of titles ) such as flight/space sim, driving, or heck even moba/RTS – they DON’T want xbox controller & prefer: like hotas, steering wheel, keyboard+mouse
            3) they might be stuck using xbox controller instead of motion controller due to devs on writing support for it (or designing around it=worse!) as it’s the only controller guaranteed to be included with the headset

            Re: “Room scale immersion does sound very cool, but I still think the novelty
            of it will wear off and your ass will find a chair soon enough”
            Even if this does turn out to be the case, which I don’t think it will be, then the Vive will work just as well. When seated I’ll use whatever controller is most suitable. Heck, perhaps even my Steam Controller which is superior for many traditional PC games (kb/ms converted), or kb/ms, or dedicated controller. For the most immersive games I’ll use the motion controllers & have full 360-degree tracking.

            “I can sell the parts I don’t like on ebay” – just doesn’t sound like a great/winning strategy for packaging.

          • care package

            My opinion is the Vive is inferior for seated experiences, which will be most of what VR has to offer. Rift wins for comfort easy. If you haven’t already seen this, you soon will.

          • DougP

            Re: “Vive is inferior for seated experiences”
            Inferior for what reason?
            The only explanation I’ve seen from you so far for this is the “helmet affect”, which seems like a very subjective/personal issue. Not saying it isn’t valid, for you, but just that I don’t see many people feeling the same way.
            In fact, I see more people being annoyed about the included headphones & lack of motion controllers (even for seated).

            My opinion is the Rift is inferior for seated, standing, walking experiences, which covers every imaginable scenario for VR.
            However, I get that you have some issue with headphones. Due to the incredible popularity of headphones, I think that the vast majority of people will not share your concern/opinion.

          • care package

            Don’t lie dougy. You’ve seen me claim the rift is superior for seated experiences based off COMFORT, as in a lighter headset, smaller tether, and integrated headphones. Why the integrated headphones are a perk is common sense. You can disagree if you want I don’t care.

          • DougP

            Look who’s lying here.
            Careyp, you don’t own production Facebook headset or HTC.
            Reviewers who’ve tried them both say they’re very similar & once “immersed” don’t notice any difference, including for long-term (hours daily) use.

            Your only possible argument for “inferior” seems to reside in your not liking headphones contacting your ears & I pointed out that you’re obviously in a minority in this regard.
            Again – do you work for Facebook or something?
            Careyp – were your ears touched inappropriately by some *prideful* headphones when you were younger?

          • care package

            Nice try there dougy. Careyp just doesn’t have the same ring though. When did I say I didn’t like headphones contacting my ears? My nice Sony set fits around them as a matter of fact. you coocoo bra.

          • DougP

            Re: “Careyp just doesn’t have the same ring though”
            You’ve demonstrated your immaturity enough already.
            No need to dig a deeper hole with doubling down on it.

            Re: “I didn’t like headphones contacting my ears”
            True, carey, you didn’t say exactly those words. However, it’s been painful trying to guess what it is you don’t like about quality headphones & prefer about the Rift. I made an educated guess there, as the video you linked to of the Rift shows the phones NOT touching people’s ears & aimed more or less at earlobes.
            So it’s not about contact with your ears?
            Somehow “helmet’y”? Hmmm… yet a big HDM (/goggles) on your face isn’t “helmet’y”.

            No, I’ll agree, coocoo panties – you’ve not communicated what it is about headphones you don’t like, nor what about the Rift’s floaty-kind’a near your ear things you do like.

            Again, regardless of what causes your headphone phobia (apparently only when using VR do them become helmet’y, as you use some Sony’s w/o VR?) my point is that it’s obvious you’re not in a majority there.
            Quality headphones are a massive market, not just for audiophiles…. but apparently in your world people only buy & use them because of their *pride*.

          • care package

            Got an answer/excuse for everything don’t ya dougy. Still clueless on the pride thing. It’s ok you just don’t get it….well not really….but ok. You win. You really told me.

          • DougP

            Re: “You really told me.”
            Well, tried to *educate* you. But don’t think that got anywhere.
            Perhaps your pride got in the way of listening to facts?

          • care package

            And you just keep tellin me. Man, you so ruthless……

          • DougP

            You too carey.

          • care package

            now THAT has a better ring than careyp

          • DougP

            DougyP, CareyP…toss-up?
            I’ll defer to your wisdom on this.

          • care package

            I also understand why those who’ve spent $150+ on a nice pair of headphones are always going to find a reason why they don’t want to use the integrated headphones on the Rift, but it’s a pride thing more than it is a logical one.

          • DougP

            Re: “it’s a pride thing more than it is a logical one”
            No it’s not.
            Sorry, but that’s completely asinine.
            Let’s correct that:
            “It’s a quality thing more than a make excuses because can’t afford it thing.”

            Seriously, you think we spend $150, $250 or more on headphones for “pride”?!
            No one sees my headphones. I don’t walk down the street wearing them.
            I listen to them in private. That’s what the vast majority of people do with headphones – listen in private. What does that have to do with pride?

            Seriously, you need to try out quality headphones & maybe you’ll understand.
            I don’t intend this to be rude, but if you have tried out quality headphones, & can afford them, I question how good your hearing is?

          • care package

            No dougyP. Pay attention. Being unreasonably insistent on using a $150 pair of headphones instead of a good set of integrated is where the pride is. This won’t always be the case, but probably most of it. I know the nature of men.
            I haven’t even heard the quality yet of the integrated Rift headphones are, so ‘trying out quality’ headphones is pointless right now. How do you not understand this? I already have a decent wireless pair, that I even just recently listened to some 3d audio on youtube and it was great. How it compares to the Rift is yet to be determined. Even if the audio quality is slightly less, it’s a give or take thing just like everything else is. Is it worth sacrificing a BIT of audio quality to not have to f’ with headphones? To me yes. We’ll see.

          • DougP

            No careyp (wtf?! are you like 12?).
            Pay attention – most people will completely disagree with you.
            See popularity of high quality headphones.

            By your rationale, all of these headphone sales are about *pride*, oddly pride expressed in privacy of ones home/room where no-one can see it…odd that.

            Listen careyp, I don’t care how much you claim to “know the nature of men, you’re just wrong.
            I don’t care if you: have bad hearing, can’t afford/haven’t heard quality headphones, or just have some odd sensitivity to having something against your ears.
            I’m just pointing out, that by the development (R&D), use, & massive sales #s of high-quality headphones…you’re in a minority here.

            Again, it’s funny the video link you provided even demonstrates the Rift’s inferiority – integrated headphones sitting way *off* the ear and/or drooping & delivery audio to the wearer’s earlobe.
            You can’t compare *that* experience to a (high-quality over-ear, better still) set of cans.
            Then again – with this highly compressed, crappy quality audio generation of teeny-boppers nowadays, who don’t understand what good quality audio even *is*, I’m not surprised to hear these kinds of comments.
            From your defense of the Facebook system, I’d also not be surprised to learn you work for the PR/Marketing department & are paid for these irrational posts.

          • care package

            Nice ad homs you mature fellow. I guess you are still missing the point about the pride. Pride is also why you keep insist on arguing, you mature fellow.

          • DougP

            Re: “Nice ad homs you mature fellow.”
            It’s knowing who you’re speaking to.
            Q: Who started with the “No dougyP. Pay attention”, 12yo talk?
            A: That would be – you, my immature fellow
            Name calling & condescention – very adult of you.

            Re: “Pride is also why you keep insist on arguing”
            Pot-kettle-black much, my dear gentleman?

            And your – “I know the nature of men.”
            So not pride with you, just arrogance?

            Re: “I haven’t even heard the quality yet”
            Nor have you used the Facebook Touch controllers, yet in your further arrogance you claim the Vive to be “inferior”.

            Re: “Pride is why some would insist on using headphones they paid for even IF the integrated headphones were better”

            You keep changing your story. Is being consistent too much to ask? We weren’t talking about the headphones being better & someone insisting on inferior quality.

            Of course next up you’ll be claiming a $600 HMD that comes with an xbox controller is including headphones that are better than a top-notch $250 pair of cans.

            From your comments & constantly changing arguments, I can now say – “I know the nature of men….such as you – full of B.S.”.

          • yag

            “I think it’s still way underrated at this point”
            Indeed, I think comfort and ease of use are underrated and room scale overhyped (both often by people with no VR experience).

          • care package

            I would agree, except I have no room scale experience, well sort of. Even the DK2 you can stand if you want. Room scale is still a niche gaming type though, and will most likely always be short burst gaming.

          • care package

            I have a room (family room/theater room) that would be a great space, but it’s not my office where the PC is, and where the 1440p monitor is, so the PC isn’t going anywhere. If I go through with my Vive preorder (I probably will, it’s only money who cares lol) I’ll be working in a 7 x 6 space.

          • care package

            Oculus store is just a store. Luckey said it’s not closed, so you can still play anything else that is developed for it.

          • I guess we’ll see exactly how everything things pans out on launch, but Oculus Home on Gear is certainly the only way to use the device. If they added a virtual desktop this could be partially addressed, but it would still indicate a closed system.

          • care package

            I can only repeat what Luckey said in an interview. He said anything made for the Oculus will work with it even if it’s not from the store. Everything from the store is just the official releases.

          • If only the same were true of Android. Perhaps when a VR version of the OS is released Samsung/Oculus will allow access to the desktop; I really would enjoy the ability to experience the Cardboard library via Gear. I could live with a Cardboard App for Oculus Home, but there are so many more reasons it would be nice just to be able to use the regular functions of my phone through VR. Virtual desktop would be ideal.

          • care package

            There are blind spots for hand controls even with 2 cameras. How that will impact gaming is yet to be seen. I have faith it will work fine.

          • Yeah, I don’t know; theoretically occlusion should still be quite possible with Lighthouse. It’s still a matter of degrees. Even with the wealth of impressions coming out of GDC, I haven’t seen a single mention of this being a problem.

        • care package

          Only important if room scale is all you want to play. Unfortunately not everyone wants to ‘aim and shoot/grab this and throw it/teleport to your room size areas’ all the time. Will be immersive and fun as hell…for short durations. The real, long term gaming will be done seated.

          • DougP

            It’s not only important for room scale.
            Vive’s better tracking tech. Period.
            That also means you can “see” your controllers in VR (not counting the camera) – so you can reach & pick them up, say from your desk. Or “swap” controllers – different peripherals.
            Heck, I’ve been playing with VR for quite some time, owning/using from Oculus DK1, to multiple google cardboards to Samsung GearVR.
            Even with the GearVR some of the best experiences are like using a swivel chair.
            Spinning around 180-degree from the Rift’s single camera will lose tracking on what’s on the other side (for example controller you’re holding).

            Personally, I’m much rather have MORE capabilities than less, & better capabilities, whether I use them all continuously or not.

          • care package

            Who cares about DK1 or cell phone VR. You seem to be excluding Touch when it’s released. I understand how every Vive enthusiast thinks it has MORE capabilities. I have a preorder in for both actually, but the Rift is going to be my ‘go to’ HMD for seated experience just based off comfort and simplicity alone. The Touch controllers when released are waaay better too just with the analog sticks alone. Lighthouse is better for tracking sure, but is it overkill? Will the Rift trackers not work ok? That’s really what matters. Most VR games will be seated. Do you want the simplicity and comfort of a lighter headset with integrated headphones for seated? Or do you want to take a hit on that so you can play room scale VR earlier than the Rift can?

          • DougP

            Re: “The Touch controllers when released are waaay better too just with the analog sticks alone. ”
            waaay better too – when they aren’t release yet?
            analog sticks alone – based on xbox controllers & the old way of doing things vs touch&haptic feedback?
            Ummm…ok.

            Re: “Lighthouse is better for tracking sure, but is it overkill?”
            Yes – that makes sense, they are better for tracking. We’re in agreement.
            overkill – not in agreement. I’m certainly not going to complain about something because it’s better.
            It’s also fantastic that you don’t need a massive USB cable running from everyone of your Rift camera/sensors.
            Many devs has expressed concerned about the Oculus system – that is was designed originally+primarily for just head tracking ( after Valve taught them this & convinced them ), then they *tacked on* motion controllers later.
            There’s concern about lag, occlusion, etc.

            Re: “Most VR games will be seated.”
            That’s pure speculation.
            I’d agree if you said, perhaps, “many initial games will be seated”… more likely, “the best, most exciting, most immersive & mind-blowing sense of *presence* games will NOT be seated” (in other words – the games & tech that everyone who’s tried the Vive are actually excited about).

            Re: “simplicity and comfort of a lighter headset with integrated headphones for seated? Or do you want to take a hi”
            Do you like work for Facebook PR department, doing damage control over all the excitement over the Vive?
            simplicity & comfort – they’re both just as simple. That’s silly. Comfort – again they seem very close/near identical. Nobody complains about the comfort of the Vive Pre.
            Simplicity – yeah, the Facebook one has less features like not being able to adjust the distance as easily as the Vive (changing thicker foam pads – gads, that’s simpler?).
            The Vive has a larger field of view too – which accounts a bit for the larger size – I’ll take field of view & immersion over a bit of size/weight. Again – people use them for hours & don’t complain – say they forget it’s there.

            integrated headphones – ugh! That’s as bad as including an xbox contoller – superfluous as many (most?!) already own them!
            I already own WAY better headphones & am not going to downgrade – so instead of wasting cost on something that’s redundant (crummy headphones & xbox controller) – spent that money on better tracking tech or include motion controllers or front-facing camera.
            “take a hit indeed” – the hit taken was by Rift owners who won’t use/don’t want the extra headphones/xbox controller & are paying more & missing out on better tech.

            take a hit – there’s no “hit taking”. There’s Facebook buying Oculus, getting in bed with Microsoft on some backend nefarious deal, so that they give up using good controllers & force users to buy extra/unwanted xbox controllers. No thanks!

          • care package

            I’m guessing to perfect them even more.
            Most who have used the Steam controller say the same thing. The ‘old way’ as you say it are still better for controller based schemes.
            Lighthouse might be better, but if the Rifts methods work fine (or the PSVR), who cares?
            The USB ports it will use are the same ones I’m using now with the DK2, except when Touch releases. One good thing about using USB ports are they power down with the PC. Are you cool with unplugging the laser emitters every time you are done with them? So far my preorders are for both, so unless things change I will find out for myself.

          • 1. Better tracking only matters if the difference is noticeable.

            2. You can “see” the Touch controllers with Rift on through their cameras. I know you mentioned it, but I mention it again because:

            3. It’s really not that hard to pull the headset up off your face for a second to grab something. I never, ever use the pass-through camera on Gear VR.

            4. Rift supports 360 tracking out of the box with one camera for the headset. The Touch controllers come with a second camera to provide 360 tracking to them. No one will ever be constrained to a 180 experience on Rift.

            5. I like both systems; I find this to be a Sega/Nintendo red herring situation. They both have nearly identical capabilities, for about the same price, and will mostly play the same games. I don’t see how it’s possible to be so vociferous about one or the other.

          • DougP

            Understand what you’re saying Will. And I mostly agree.
            I’ve possibly “vociferously” defended Vive, but mostly when I felt it was important to correct misconceptions.
            Also, just being annoyed with obvious Oculus-fanboys, who became fans years ago & now can’t face it that something’s come along that’s – at best “as good” & at worst (for them) “quite a bit better”.

            So I’ve responded I’ll write, in response to some game news, something like:
            “Can’t wait til April & my Vive arrives – year of VR!”
            And some idiot Rift-fanboy responds – “Omg – it’ll be SOOooo much better on the Rift”!
            Or say a price article says Vive is WAY more expensive than Rift, I’ll respond:
            “For the complete system, it might turn out to be less: add add’l sensor, 2x controllers, usb camera & prob same/less”
            To which a Rift-fanboy says:
            “Omg – it’s $200 MORE. The motion controllers will be like…umm…free…and usb camera too!” (I added that 2nd part, but when you says it’s $200 more, that’s the only logical conclusion)

            Or just the silly statements like:
            “I’m Sooooo glad Oculus is waiting on the motion controllers. It’ll give people time to adjust to VR & it’ll have room-scale ‘once people are ready'” – sorry, that’s just silly.
            And a plethora of other nonsensical comments that are pro-Rift & anti-Vive.

            See – I don’t CARE about the brand. I want the best product & package.
            Without doing mental gynastics & facing painful cognitive dissonance …it’s kind’a hard to argue that the Rift is “better”.
            “Tiny bit cheaper” – ok, maybe…but we don’t know how much for the extra sensor(s? avoiding occlusion in full roomscale could take 3 or 4x cameras -see dev comments/concerns online), motion controllers & a usb add-on camera.

            However, my real complaint with the Rift is that it seems like they made their bad decision, leaving motion control out, for business *back-door* reasons.
            Look – when Palmer was being honest (pre-FB), he admitted that “basically ‘traditional’ controllers are crap for VR”.
            Also, Valve had been working on room-scale VR since like 2011(I think), as they had prototype room-scale at the beginning on 2012!
            They helped Palmer out by teaching him that he needed *external* equip in the room to handle proper tracking/compensate for drift/etc.
            We’d ALL have been a lot better off if he’d worked with them. Heck, SteamVR & their standards are open to any vendors (opposite of approach Palmer+Facebook took).
            He gets billions from Zuck. They all start strategizing & do some weird(scary?!) back-door dealings with Microsoft.
            Suddenly you wind up getting a std xbox controller bundled with the Rift. Yeah…yeah… something along the lines of like playing your xbox games “projected” (as a 2D screen-will look fairly crap compared to actual screen, but whatever), as MS-panic strategy because Sony was coming out with their own HMD.
            Also, MS considers Valve one of their bigger (biggest?) competitors due to game/app distribution- they want to OWN that market.
            So …..due to crazy MS-Facebook shenanigans (& Palmer swimming on top of his pile of FB $) you wind up with a compromised/hobbled consumer release.

            Of course now in the process, Facebook has screwed over devs (why you see many of them pissed). To overcome this they’ve done more dirty tricks & are paying for exclusives (also horrible for this early VR market – don’t see HTC/Valve doing that, quite the opposite, they speak against it!) – that’s another way they are “equal” ( Facebook = want to lock-in & have exclusives, HTC/Vive = want to be open & not lock-in ).

            I’ve been fan of VR for years. Heck, I owned some of the earliest consumer HMDs & even played w/silly power glove hacked into PC.
            I own/use & play with – DK1, multiple google cardboard, & (gasp) Oculus-Samsung GearVR. So I’m not a *brand* fanboy- I’m the opposite!
            I’ll tell you, however, that I’ve already seen Facebook wanting to lock in distribution (fear read: get paid for every game sold & ‘control prices’) – my GearVR locks me out of Google’s Play store.
            So titles that are FREE on Play:
            1) aren’t available
            or
            2) have to pay for
            3) cost more

            I see the whole Facebook-Microsoft-Oculus(now FB, really) as an unholy trinity that’s already making BAD decisions for everyone.

            Lastly –
            By NOT bundling motion controllers – they way devs are screwed over is that now if they want to make a game & target Rift users, they must design for xbox controller. That’s all that’s guaranteed. Worse still, it can affect the game designs even if they happen to also (optionally) support motion controllers, as you design everything from menus to interacting within the game entirely differently (at least the best ones do) when designing for motion control (/arms in the game/experience, arms ARE your controllers).

            So those are just some of the reasons I think it’s disingenuous to say – “oh yeah, they’re about the same”, when they’re really not.
            Worse still – Facebook & MS have proven, from their history, that they will do whatever it takes to *own* the market, so we can expect very ugly days/months ahead & a fragmented market, FUD & paid-for exclusives …all to screw HTC/Valve over, instead of standardizing on the better platform design & benefiting all consumers.

          • I get it. Still better not to run on a scorched earth policy though. For everyone. If you’re speaking to children it doesnt mean you need to act like one. Perpetuating misunderstandings helps nothing. Realistically they are about the same product, and will run most of the same games, unless you feel Oculus is not actually releasing Touch in 6 months.

            I also don’t see much problem with Oculus and Microsoft working together. It doesn’t seem backroom or scary at all. They appear to be genuinely interested in getting it working with Xbox One. This seems good for the industry.

            Lastly, I wouldn’t worry about fragmentation too much. If a developer is set on creating room-scale experiences today, it shouldn’t be much trouble to port from Vive to Rift or vice-versa. In the future they can decide based on sales figures. Exclusives will be the minority of experiences, and have never made much of a difference.

          • yag

            Fanboyism is a plague. Tired of people overhyped by room scale (who generally have no clue about VR). Can’t wait for them getting their stuff.

          • care package

            for the most part fanboyism is nothing more than personal preference, which we all have to a degree. Even if you prefer to own all systems, it’s still a ‘type’ of fanboyism.

          • yag

            IMO having personal preference has not so much to do with fanboyism.
            But having personal preference and claiming its universality (“hurr durr Vive is the best, hand-down”) is true fanboyism.

          • DougP

            Re: “Fanboyism is a plague.”
            Yeah, agree completely!
            I’ve noticed this rampant Facebook-headset fanboyism everywhere. Making excuses:
            1) “It’s GREAT to have to buy an xbox controller when I already have one”
            2) “Love having to wait for motion controllers & not know how much they will cost – I love waiting!” ( oh, & if anything will support them because only an xbox controller is guaranteed with the device )
            3) “Having a camera us stupid – I’ll be sitting anyways” ( Oh, except when I have motion controllers but by then I can pay extra for velcro & a USB add-on camera that might be supported )
            4) “Not having 360-degree of motion coverage is great – VR is designed for 180-degrees!” ( ummm… I mean, buying an extra camera/sensor & running a massive USB cable is a better design, even if the tracking is slower/laggig & not as good coverage )

            The mental gymnastics Facebook-headset fanboys go through to justify an inferior product/bundling is mind-boggling.

            It’s clear from your other comments you are the definition of fanboyism – commenting elsewhere on how the ILM Star Wars demo would be “better” on Rift when it was only shown to be running on the Vive. Fanboyism at its finest.
            Is that to *justify* your Rift pre-order?

          • yag

            “commenting elsewhere on how the ILM Star Wars demo would be “better” on Rift”
            Lol I was just kindly trolling you (even if it wasn’t your most fanboyish comment, by far). Just playing with your fanboys’ feelings.
            But you saw nothing despite the smiley (blind fanboys are blind). And now that you think I’m one of your kind, it’s even funnier.

          • DougP

            Re: “just trolling you
            No a fanboy, just a troll – good to know. At least you admit it.

            Will stop feeding the troll then. Crawl back under your bridge.

        • care package
          • DougP

            Re: video
            It’s kind’a ironic, but your video actually makes many/most of my points about what I don’t like about the Rift, examples:
            1) headphones of several people aren’t against their ears (sound playing into the room/letting outside sound in-ruining immersion) or hanging so low they’re playing sound into their earlobes!
            2) xbox controller – can’t see/find it & people having to hand it to them, due to: a) std/old controller w/o tracking b) no camera included. people are blind to the world

          • care package

            1. yes I noticed the headphones weren’t always against their ears. What does that mean exactly? Maybe they weren’t to worried about it considering they were just demoing it? You don’t really know
            2. let’s consider the human chaperones needed to demo the Vive and carry the cord around. Have you seen videos of people putting on headphones and the HMD for the Vive when alone? Awkward…..
            k I’m done replying. Really. You clearly have your mind made up. It’s getting silly now.

    • care package

      I thought they already were doing it in the many trade show demos they’ve done. Room scale doesn’t have a lot of developers actually. Most will target the largest user base like they always do, which is seated VR.

    • bxrdj

      another genius on board …

  • Matthew Lynch

    It is going to be a very interesting week for sure. I am certainly getting the feeling that Oculus may be in a bit of trouble here, but hoping not as I want to see all 3 deliver a solid experience and make VR happen once and for all. Let the games begin!

  • GabyS

    I wait for good news from GDC… Meanwile i show you my personal top vr headset: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCMTS7F5ob8

  • Pistol Pete

    HTC Vive is winning for me as a consumer.