Varjo’s Aero headset is the first from the company that’s meant to appeal to individual customers rather than large organizations… and it probably won’t be the last.

Since the company’s inception, Varjo has sold high-end enterprise headsets to the likes of Fortune 500 companies. That is until just last month when the company started shipping its new Aero headset which was not only substantially cheaper but was, for the first time, sold without any kind of annual upkeep fee which made the company’s other headsets a non-starter for individual buyers.

Varjo Aero | Image courtesy Varjo

And while it’s possible the company had formulated Aero as a sort of one-off experiment, it seems Varjo has been satisfied enough with the reception that it intends for Aero to become an ongoing series of headsets for the high-end enthusiast segment.

Speaking to Road to VR this week, Varjo Chief Technical Officer Urho Konttori touched on Aero’s recent launch, saying that the headset is still backordered but he expects things to start catching up in February. As of now the company’s website advises “3–4 months” from purchase to delivery.

As for what happens in the future, Konttori said that Aero would “probably” become an ongoing series of headsets from the company, rather than a one-off. Although the company still seems primarily dead set on serving the high-end enterprise space, the move means the company also expects to target high-end enthusiasts with more headsets in the future.

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That could dovetail in an interesting way with some of the software the company has been building internally, especially its XR cloud streaming tech; though initially targeted toward enterprise customers, the company confirmed that the tech supports any OpenVR/SteamVR applications without modification, and plans to expand the feature to other headsets in the future. While the company says that multi-headset support is primarily aimed at making XR more scalable within large organizations, it’s not so far fetched to think that the company could offer it to individuals at some point in the future.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Cless

    Wait, weren’t you always pro “walled garden”? Or is it only when it is convenient to your Facebook overlords…?

    • There’s a distinct reason why his only upvotes are the ones he gives himself.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        pfff, I just automatically downvote him, he’s easy to spot as he always uses bold (which is why I just automatically downvote him).

        • And if you see any downvotes on your comments that aren’t from him, it’s pretty much guaranteed they’re from his butt-buddy, the VR Virgin.

          • ViRGiN

            ^ valve index owner

  • Great, more $3000 headsets for everyone :D

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Yeah, it’s certainly not for the mainstream user, just like the new Apple headset next year. It’s “easy” to produce a better headset for that ammount of money, and yet the headsets aren’t really any better than the HTC Vive focus 3 or lower priced headsets, at least not for what they bring extra to the game. Just like the new Pimax headset. I just hope Meta releases the cambria headset sub $1000, but we need more. Maybe Tencent will release an interesting headset any time soon as they have taken over a company which they will convert into making headsets.

      • Mei Ling

        PCVR is a bit of a lull right now. The headsets we have today are either far too expensive, or don’t offer enough advanced features that enable a “next-gen” VR experience. No headset of today even offers HDR or proper blacks for god’s sakes! And then the FOV which appears to have regressed as a result of companies adopting the pancakes lenses approach. And then you have performance where a consistent 90FPS cannot even be maintained without some form of ASW. And finally, you have focal distances always being the same which causes regular eye fatigue, and that feeling that you’re looking at VR rather than being “in” it.

        There’s just too many hurdles that need to be overcome before VR even reaches a point where it’s really VR.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Well, problem with any performance is due to the GPU needs for driving those higher resolution/higher framerate headsets. With prices wel over $2000 (RTX3080+) to even drive these new higher resolution/framerates headset, it won’t be anytime soon better headsets will arrive for mainstream prices. Once GPU power has caught up with mainstream prices (below $400), better mainstream headsets will arrive and VR will finally advance to being able to drive AAA graphics we love so much in the highest fidelity we want. But being realistic, that won’t happen for at least the next 2 years.

          • ViRGiN

            This almost reads like “this is the year of linux” lol.
            Show me all those developers withholding development of AAA PC VR games due to GPU shortages.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            It’s not about GPU shortages, it’s about GPU power. Even the RTXS090 isn’t capable of running the new headsets in 4K per eye with 120+hz in full glory. Only when that’ll be possible on a below $400 GPU VR will actually move forward in regard to higher resolution/high framerate headsets, as only then it makes sense for manufacturers to produce ‘highend’ headsets.

          • ViRGiN

            So what you’re saying, the “high end vr aaa experience” will not run on anything less? Everyone with 3090 rtx can throw it away? Games must scale to older hardware. Spoiler – 5090 rtx still won’t be powerful enough. People were saying 2080 will be a must, then 3090…

            There are simply no officially known aaa vr games in production that are designed to run on non existent gpus, and you don’t know anything we don’t.
            Wake up sheeple, there are nearly 5000 vr people on steam playing recroom right now. Nobody is investing into entitled pcvr userbase. You want high end experience, start securing ps5.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Oh please stop being so annoying. Yes games must scale, but most games have even problems running in full 4K in 120+ fps with high fidelity. So thinking VR should be able to do the same with the difference of having at least 2 displays to drive, you really must be living in a fantasy world if you think that’s possible at this time for regular consumer prices.
            PS5 won’t be any more highend experience as now with a HP Reverb 2 running on a RTX3060.. Foveated rendering isn’t a holy grail which.
            There are plenty of fun and good games already out for VR, and developers are still trying to figure out what works best, as also with VR there are many opinions on what works and what not.
            When hardware is getting more capable and more cheap, so more mainstream users are able to enjoy better VR (as Quest 2 is already delivering on that promise IMHO, and will only get better with newer higher powered SOCs), we’ll probably see more ports of ‘older’ AAA games, like Red Dead Redemption 2, to VR, or VR games using the same assets (like the new Ubisoft Notre Damn fire experience).

          • ViRGiN

            If you define “high end” by sheer amount of pixels, then I feel sorry for you. Please stop being so specs annoying. The high end is where the high end games will come. You don’t need to run psvr2 at 150% resolution to have fun. You’ll have fun by all the high quality assets etc. There doesn’t exist a pc configuration that can even run ms fight simulator in highest details ever at steady 60fps, and that’s a basic game from perspective of user other than huge world streaming. Guaranteed even 5090 rtx won’t run it solid in 1080p.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            It’s not what I define, it’s what a lot of people think it should be for mainstream VR to be succesfull.
            I personally enjoy the many games that are already available with all the ‘simple’ graphics. I LOVE games like “Down the rabbit hole” or “Fisherman’s Tale”, to me those are AAA VR games.

          • ViRGiN

            If you think “mainstream VR” is doomed to be exclusive to the toppest of the top GPUs, then you are delusional. If GTA 6 required the highest-end money can buy, it’s a guaranteed failure. Nobody will ever go that route ever. Cloud streaming is far more possible than common gamers getting hands and being able to afford to top of the line, and it’s definietly not goint to be “400 dollars” for years to come.The games you mentioned might be AAA in one way, but they are definietly not AAA for broader community. People want to shoot things and engage with the protagonist; Fisherman Tale might be a great puzzle, but its nothing that moves VR forward. Its just a “greater” experience for casual who dont really make the market just yet. It’s all about Rec Room (flat shaded polygons), Beat Saber (nothing, but one mechanic) and pavlov (mediocre gameplay, but with (anti) “social” aspect. There is no place for anything greater, and no game has ever reached anything beyond that. Gorilla Tag on PC has nearly as many players as Alyx. How do you expect any serious developer to enter a market like that?

          • Cless

            I agree with you about VR not being doomed to the top of the GPUs, its quite obvious really. Most people in VR are with low end hardware like PSVR and Quest 2.
            Eventually, PCVR will get pretty much most of those games, if not all of them, but by then they will be quite irrelevant anyways.

            And by the way, why are you comparing a single story singleplayer game to a multiplayer game on concurrent number of players…? That’s dumb.

          • ViRGiN

            I’m comparing something that is considered a “high end experience” to something extremely simplistic. Valve dropped a ball by making it single player only. It wouldn’t take much to add classic game modes and make a bunch of mp oriented maps.

            But okay, let’s compare multi to multi. Rec Room right now almost 3000 users, Beat Saber is multiplayer but I doubt it’s dominant mode, it has 1200 users, next is pavlov with 665 players and i would never call it high end. The next multi game on play list is gorilla tag with 226 users. Sure, it’s not prime hour to play VR now, but these games do not change at peak times. The next position for multiplayer is after the fall, a recent ‘hit’ with only 89 players.

            It’s clear the interest is in far more simple experiences, running a powerful PC that can play latest call of duty with no issues.

          • Cless

            Oh yeah! I was not discussing about multiplayer numbers, that is a different argument.
            I just think its a bad faith argument to compare a multiplayer game to an online one when talking about simultaneous users online.

            The reason why I think that’s the case is because multiplayer games are just games that are played on average way more hours and way more often than singleplayer games. Not to say that people when they finish singleplayer games, they usually stop playing it, while multiplayer ones can go on forever.

          • ViRGiN

            Buy Alyx does have workshop, which supposedly extends the life of the game. besides that, Quest 2 brought millions new players – but those players aren’t really playing Alyx in masses. Remember, when Alyx released, it had over 40k concurrent users on release day. Just this game alone! Never ever SteamVR has seen as many users at once. The peaks are somewhere between 8000-18000 people, from all games combined. You would think given how Q2 boosted PCVR numbers, there would be way more people playing it anyway.

          • Cless

            Nah, I can tell you right now implementing steam’s workshop doesn’t take THAT much dev time. Its pretty much a freebie, specially for them.

            And well, I just don’t think Q2 users… are what you think they are, specially after you said the other day that anyone with a VR headset is an enthusiast. From all the market studies I’ve seen, most point at a big chunk of Q2 users not even fitting on the “gamer” category really. There just is SO MANY people that own it in total, that only those that do fit, make them the biggest bloc of people on PC.

          • ViRGiN

            I did not say that implementing workshop is difficult, just that Alyx supports it and people are uploading content there, so Alyx being considered “the best game”, even after you finish single player, there are still things to play.
            But I also showed you the numbers of other multiplayer games, and they were embarassingly low. The other non-multi games in order of popularity right now are Blade and Sorcery, Boneworks, Skyrim VR, Hot Dogs, VTOL, Five Nights at Freddy, Fallout 4, Walking Dead. Miniscule number of users anyway. And this list has not changed for years.

            I think more people would “game”, if there were actual things to play; but I’m still extremely disappointed in VR catalog.

            BTW maybe most Q2 users are into lighter experiences, but PSVR is rather “better end” for real gaming, so there is definietly something off with PCVR nonetheless.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            I guess you just have a different taste in games than a lot of other people. Personally I don’t care much about multiplayer games. And I do think there are a lot of VR games, some crap, and some excellent, just like ‘regular’ games. But let’s not forget, the PC market is much MUCH larger in regard to content than the playstation is, and that also means it’s harder to stand out from the crap.

          • ViRGiN

            The deal is, PSVR is not filled with whatsocalled “asset flips”, beat saber clones, or cooking games wannabees. All things considered for VR, PSVR library is much more mature and polished than PCVR ever was despite unlimited power, excluding outdated PSVR hardware.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            that’s because PSVR is a closed walled shop, like the regular quest store. And if picked up, you’re bound to make some money as there isn’t a lot of content on the PSN.

          • ViRGiN

            And supposedly it’s the best selling vr headset ever, so they are doing something right anyway. No official data for Meta products to date.
            Apple is walled garden too, and look how great they are doing.

          • Cless

            Yeah, we gotta agree on that. Again, there is plenty in the oven cooking, specially since PSVR2 is on the way now, and, I’m going to speculate and say that it might have adopted OpenXR, which Sony supported… making porting VR games to any other platform easier in a BIG way.

            Also think that the public is hearing about it now, but devs know about it for quite a while now, so games have been on the works for quite a while too, not to say all the PSVR games that where going to go out just for PSVR and will be now ported up to PSVR2.

            PC as a platform has always been a weird platform. in my opinion its good, but not good for everyone, like the Quest 2 is, but more for the people that want to put the elbow grease (and cash) into having interesting experiences.
            Like again, the amount of older games I’m enjoying again, just by hacking into them with VorpX is ridiculous, but I mean, that is a niche inside of a niche lol

            And well, in the end that is also a thing I guess. I don’t use VR only for videogames, I use it for a lot of other activities, so that’s probably why PCVR is my choice hands down. I wouldn’t mind owning the PSVR 2 either though.

          • garbagestar

            What a stupid discussion. High end wasn’t for the main stream, is not for the average Joe and will never ever be for the masses.
            Yes, to get mainstream you will need affordable headsets as well. However, the Meta Quest or the Reverb G2 are exactly for this audience. A very good trade of between price and performance..

            Besides mass appealing products there also must be some products which pushes the boundary of technology and broaden
            the pathway for enhanced or even complete new applications. Varjo is playing in this field and for that the Aero is a relatively affordable offering in the high end segment.

            Computer Graphic and especially VR is still at the edge of our technology and the development won’t rest until we will have live like realtime generated artificial sceneries. Not a single application is close to this goal yet but with every iteration will get a little bit closer. It’s a long way to go but we have also passed a quite impressive in the last 25 years or so.

            Video games where ridiculous rudimental compared to todays games but nevertheless ä whole generation of young people where mesmerized in the 80 and 90 of the last century. Classic games like Tetris where a lot fun to play and it is now, too. A good video game will always make fun to play.. It isn’t that important if you are playing it on a tiny monochrome display on a Gameboy or a gigantic flat panel.

            With great software the quality of the Quest is good enough to get you exited. Better is always better but technology will get better and more affordable over time. That isn’t my concern.

            The development of headsets like the Varjo is founded with a working business plan. If you can match a threshold of quality and immersion you can replace real practice hours of fight training which can save you thousands of dollar. In this context the price for the Varjo isn’t a problem at all. And that’s a good thing as many advancements will thickle down to the average customer eventually.

          • ViRGiN

            Dude, Quest 2 is totally high end VR. There is no truly revolutionary product in existence that could put it to shame. I’m talking about high end VR experience, and that comes purely from software. Great physics, great audio, great storyline, addictive gameplay, all of this kind of stuff. Nobody needs 4k per eye 120hz with HDR right now. VR software is still in horrible state compared to even 2010 flat gaming.

            And nobody is really interested here in savings for such an extreme hobby/sport like flying. That’s still a pipe dream, and extremely early experimentation phase. I don’t think varjo really does anything special here. VR is still far from being a productivity tool, no matter how much companies boast it is. You still need a gigantic cockpit for flight simulator trainings, wrapped screen isn’t cost prohibitive for companies, it might be for consumer use. And varjo is barely for consumers.

          • garbagestar

            What a Dude are you? Varjo has a official license for replacing some of the trainee flights during the pilot education program. That’s not a pipe dream but a real business product Varjo is selling and the economical foundation for further generations.

            The Quest is not more high end as the Gameboy was high in the 90. Yes, Computer technology was and is used for entertainment but the technology is much much bigger than that. Nobody invented the Silicon based integrated circuit to make a Gameboy. But with the economical success of this technology in many other areas it was possible to advanced the technology to that extent that a Gameboy became possible.

          • ViRGiN

            Yeah and? What is their secret sauce, other than stacked display and low latency passthrough cameras? They are simply the only (?) currently known company to target that market specificially.
            If Quest is gameboy, then Varjo is gameboy color. There is no fundamental breakthrough. You think meta does not have prototypes outclassing varjo? That they aren’t working with other companies providing them specialized hardware?

            NASA used HTC Vive. It doesn’t make it a high end product.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Facebook will certainly have prototypes outclassing Varjo, but at a much higher costs. There are actual real highend custom VR systems which costs tens of thousands of dollars if not hundreds, but those won’t make it production market and are mostly one-offs. It’s easy to build a real highend headset if you don’t have to watch a budget, but creating a headset for the mainstream means the highend technology used must come down in price before you can sell it at a pricepoint of below $500.

            Personally I’m glad Meta released the Quest 2, it’s just a shame no other competitor used the Qualcomm reference headset for creating the same type of headset (as the Quest 2 isn’t far from the reference model, as I understand).

          • ViRGiN

            $5000 varjo is nothing for companies. So is rhetotrically speaking a $15000 Meta “pro VR” headset beating Varjo. Varjo pricing is like two months salary for lowest low paid workers in high tech industry. They likely spend much more on food & coffee for employees per month, and headsets lasts much longer than that.
            As for Qualcomm reference headsets, I guess you could call Pico Neo 3 just that, and few others chinese clones for asian markets, but they are still extremely subpar compared to Quest 2, despite having extra features that Quest 2 don’t, like extra RAM, higher default storage, SD card support, or native (but propietary) DisplayPort connection.

            To this day we have not even seen a chinese clones of, non-arguably the best VR controllers, Touch, made by asians for SteamVR or anything else. SteamVR users are doomed to outdated Vive wands, or completly forgotten by developers despite years of devkits, Index “Knuckles”.

          • Jerald Doerr

            “Quest 2 is totally high end!” ? Hopefully, your being sarcastic here and my sarcasm directors are completely not working.

          • ViRGiN

            You can’t afford one or what?

          • Jerald Doerr

            Actually, I’ve. Purchased 1 Quest and 3 Quest 2s… For friends and family, not because they’re high end but because they are easy to use and a great value! And so is my Toyota Carolla, but Ied definitely feel a bit like a bull shiter calling it high end.

          • ViRGiN

            What’s your definition of high end vr headset?

          • Jerald Doerr

            Any headset with high end components that regularly headsets like the Quest 2 doesn’t have.

            -High resolution display, A + if Micro LED
            -120 Hz +
            -Wide field of view – I love the idea of hybrid lenses with clear centers and fresnel walls, like the unreleased PiMax.
            -Eye tracking – will be a bsolutloot must
            -Outside in Tracking

            VR-3, Aero and PiMax 12k

            I pre-ordered the Aero, so if it’s awesome or not has no merit as to if it’s high end or not.

            I read your previous post, and if im correct, it sounds like you seem to believe games are what makes a VR headset high end or not. If this is the case, I 200% disagree with this. The hardware used is what determines high-end. Games can run on anything.

          • ViRGiN

            yes, games/software is what absolutetly makes it high end. you can’t have high end experience without high end software. “hello world vr” in varjo or pimax 12k means nothing.
            pimax has always been a company to promise everything, deliver nothing, and have years worth of delay. if you are getting excited about their showcase, you should be pissing your pants from oculus connect videos from 5 years ago alone.

          • Jerald Doerr

            So you only argue the Pimax? Not much said about Varjo?

            Ok, how about this… So you just got the new Lamborghini…. And I got the new Toyota Carolla. We are putting cheap unleaded gas into our cars.. Are you still going to argue that my Toyota Carolla is more higher end than your Lambo?

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Sigh…. It’s actually people like you who keep bitching here on RtVR about VR needing wider VOF, higher framerates and higher resolution and better controllers. I’m only saying that for that to happen you’ll need at least the CURRENT! highend GPU’s to drive those headsets. My RTX2060Super isn’t capable of running even current newest headsets at decent framerate without it needing to turn down the graphics or have a lot of visual motion distortion around your ‘hands’, and that’s already on my HTC Vive Pro a problem, which doesn’t even has such a high resolution/framerate as the newer crops of headsets.
            Even a RTX3060 is far too expensive at the moment, hell if I wanted to buy my 2060 again, it’s almost twice (600+ euro’s) as it was when I bought it in nov 2019 at 367 euro’s (which was already the cheapest you could find at that time).

            Any serious developer looks at the market and decides if that market is large enough to enter and expects to make the developmentcosts back with at least some profit to boot. And the VR market is only starting to grow thanks to devices like the Quest 2, which also makes it easier due to the lower standard graphics to do something on a lower budget.

          • ViRGiN

            HOLY FAK! Never ever I argued FOR increasing current specification of headsets. I never whined about battery life, never blinked about “binocular fov”, never wished for higher resolutions. All I asked for is QUALITY CONTENT which is 1000% independant from the headset you’re wearing. Why are you projecting so much, and distoring the real-reality? Maybe quote me on all the things you accussed me for. Not a single specificiation increase will lead VR anywhere further. If anything, we need the very same specs we have for 2 years now, just in much smaller and lighter form.

          • Jerald Doerr

            Faster GPUs will always help, but VR will benefit with frame rendering tech before GPUs alone will give you the AAA experience.

            The most essential render techniques will be things like

            -Foveated Rendering (very impotent to have a headset with eye tracking)
            I can’t stress enough how so much wasted detail over works systems. If you understand how our eyes work and you can shift polygon count to only be where your eyes are looking and use depth of field to blur out the rest VR will take a huge leap.

            -Upscalling like Nvids DLSS but for VR
            -Things like Unreal 5 Nanite and lumen

            Just a couple of software tricks like this will get you 3 x 4 times performance increase with minimal quality loss.

          • Cless

            Foveated rendering helps a bit, but last time I checked, it isn’t really that much of a big improvement.
            Upscaling does help quite a bit, but don’t expect miracles either.
            And absolutely forget about lumen on VR for now… Nanite on the other hand… maaaaaybe will be put in slowly.

            The increase you will get with those are… 10-15%, tops.

          • Jerald Doerr

            10-15 %. Hopefully, you are talking per technique? I thought this was your day job? I’ve worked on video games and used to do visual effects (CG) for TV and moves, so I understand how to build in anything from a point to a million plus poly. Optimization? Not a whole lot of deference in optimization from a regular game than a VR game with the main exception that a VR game is going to take a bit under twice the space (processing power) because your rendering 2 view screens then you also have software tricks like I was talking about before that just arnt supported in VR.

            Take a look at the Matrix Revalutions Unreal 5 real time demo. As I still stand by my main point. Your going to see software tech and tricks speed up the quality of VR games before a new high tech video card or Playstation 6 comes out.

            Back in my day (25 years ago) we had to build everything ourselves. We didn’t even have descent video editing software. Adobe Premiere, After Effect, and photoshop her godsend and had just came out midway in my career.

          • Cless

            No, no, 10-15% total, maybe 20% if you push me. I WISH it was per technique god! lol
            Oh man, you will get spooked to see how little people optimize this days compared to your days, its insane, but after all, time and production budgets are what they are.

            People prefer amazing/good looking games that perform “meh”, than meh looking games that perform amazing/good.
            My point is, usually we optimize as much as we can, but that is just not enough for VR, so more time is needed than for a regular project, if you want VR to run and look nice that is. You got to optimize everything to absolutely get those ms as low as you can, its crucial, and we cut corners as much as we can.

            DLSS is more or less free performance, but it loses quite a lot of efficacy when you have to run it twice, so expect it to be less effective than usual just for that reason, Then, on top of that, DLSS has very big diminishing returns the higher the resolution… and VR resolutions are the highest around, and not by little with the new headsets that are around, that is a LOT of pixels to move and render.

            Last time I heard about Foveated rendering performance, it was from John Carmack, saying something about it not being specially performative. Again, not a 0% gain, but definitely not the hail Mary that people think it is.
            But even so, lowering resolution where you aren’t looking isn’t that good either, sure it will save SOME performance gain, but your drawcalls will be the same, your post processing will be quite similar, your vram use won’t be that different either… And worst of all, its a new technique, which means it will come out half borked for sure, and over the years we will see it slowly improve (like DLSS or any other dirty trick we’ve been using).

            Nanite and Lumen look great, but again, none of them are free performance, in fact, they can be quite expensive in context. If you compare them to raytracing or to flat out throwing dense meshes in the engine, of course they perform awesome, but that is always in comparison to how it is not using them! Activating them will eat on your ms budget FAST.

            They are great technologies, the problem is that in VR we might just not have the headroom or production budget for those yet (though nanite is a big candidate to have implemented ASAP on VR for its potential to give max detail to anything from close).

          • Cless

            The flight simulator thing is because its not a game made with VR in mind. All those assets are done for a regular game, and the VR mode is an attachment.
            The artistic pipeline for VR is very different than the regular one, if you don’t optimize for VR, you will be having performance issues for sure.

          • ViRGiN

            Okay, tell me what are the differences in optimizing for vr?

            And what’s different about art pipeline? It’s not different at all other than players can get really close to the objects. If you were modeling not in real life scale, like let’s say a euro pallet being size of 100×60, that’s just gonna look off no matter how you use it. Plenty of games have been doing real life scale for decade. You can literally take a black ops 2 models from game, like a car, guns, or a desk and it feels literally right in vr. There is no additional workflow. Either you do it right or you don’t. Unless your goa ok is to make some fantasy Alice in wonderland type of game, either you do it right, or have creative freedom. But there is never any reason not to scale things to their real life counterparts. Quixel assets are especially guilty of this, with almost nothing being scaled properly

          • Cless

            Well, I can get into detail if you want, it is literally my dayjob, but I’ll give a bit of context to go with it to try an avoid misunderstandings.

            When going for more realistic artstyles, like in MS flight, VR presents more of a problem like in something stylized like you mentioned. Also like you said, the sizes issue is not really a problem mostly, since as you already mentioned, many games are done with that in mind, specially realistic ones.

            Its a mix between a few things. In VR we can watch closer the assets and all the dirty tricks we use like heavy texture compression to be able to cram more textures in VRAM, or use less triangles on most models, pretty much fall apart quite quickly, same for a lot of reflections, and many effects need to be overwritten for VR entirely, like reflections. That right there already kills all our dirty tricks we’ve been using for decades to make things look prettier for less CPU/GPU, capping down the graphics.

            But mostly its about the problem that you need to optimize like hell, even better than for portable games systems like the Switch or smartphones. VR requires all the things that we 3D artists have to fight against constantly. We need something that needs to hold up to closeups, that will be seen at high resolutions and still, being able to keep high framerates. That’s an absolute nightmare. Also by having two “cameras” it won’t need to be rendered from scratch twice, thus why many effects need to be rewritten just for VR, or that the performance will crap the bed, since those effects will take literally twice as long.

            So basically, we need to make super optimized meshes, textures and effects that hold detail where it really needs it, but at the same time, not over do it like on a regular PC/Console game because performance is more important than ever.
            That’s why if you just try to import models from other games, performance will literally shit the bed. That is also the reason why we don’t see as many “VR modes” as we expected before VR was a thing, the same tricks that make the games look better, usually don’t work in VR, or need to be completely redone and reengineered to work properly in it.

            It does suck, but its a reality of doing games in VR. Basically, at least to me, making good VR assets takes me way longer than doing regular assets, because I basically have to tiptoe through 50% of my pipeline so its as optimized as humanely possible.

          • ViRGiN

            I disagree with ‘if you just try to import models from other games, performance will literally shit the bed’. Granted, most people who mod stuff for games like Pavlov know nothing about optimazing, they just work visually, placing stuff around the world. But there are some pretty good ports using content from games like COD or CSGO. You can take models from 2017 COD WW2, make a basic materials, and it will look great, and run great on PC VR. Mobile poses more challenges indeed, but it’s all about smart atlasing, merging objects, basically reducing draw calls. But the art is already there, and it’s not black magic to take something from not too old PC games and have them run natively.

            We don’t see too many older games being modded for VR, because it’s frankly not worth it. Without source code (and nearly nobody releases anything these days), it’s more of a hacking job, which will simply not deliver quality experience. Resident Evil recent mods aren’t really that fun, it’s clearly not the VR 2022 deserves. It’s easier, and will provide better results if you just recycle the content to a game made for VR. Imagine taking even COD4, and modding it for VR. Sure, you can get the rendered part, hack some head tracking, but changing the game mechanics so that you can holster stuff, or grab guns with two hands, it’s just so much work and it won’t feel good.

            True, most VR titles uses forward renderer, and that poses alternative problems, but still, you can have reflections etc and it won’t look bad, just not as good as native PC games.

          • Cless

            I disagree with ‘if you just try to import models from other games, performance will literally shit the bed’

            True, this isn’t true for 100% of the cases, but I would argue is more than half of them. It really depends on who made the model and how good they actually did it. And sure, in an FPS you can probably go crazy in detail with guns, its part of its main focus, but then you will be cutting on everything else, since performance needs to come from somewhere, in this case, usually environments. And yes, like you said, in mobile VR is even ridiculously harder, that’s why its so hard to make good looking games on an XR1 or XR2, they just aren’t powerful enough sadly.

            We don’t see too many older games being modded for VR, because it’s frankly not worth it.

            Sorry, maybe I didn’t explain myself properly. I didn’t mean mods by users, but actual “VR modes” made by developers.
            If I’m making an FPS, for example, I will be using ALL those cheap tricks I was telling you about. And I’m not about to change my whole pipeline for an object, plus, have the programmers do a ton more work not just optimizing, but making also new shaders, just for a VR mode. As a business doesn’t make sense really, even if my heart says otherwise, of course.

            And yes, you bring good points. I just… don’t really enjoy the “VR genre” of games. I enjoy it from time to time. But I would enjoy a lot more having regular games like they are now, but I’m inside the world and can look around. Pretty much like those hacks for the Dolphin emulator (the Gamecube/Wii emulator fork for VR). When it worked, it was amazing, even Wii games with some slight texture upscale looked more immersive than some actual VR games lol

          • Cless

            Just because they aren’t officially known, doesn’t mean they aren’t being done ;)

    • duked

      Well, I truly appreciate there is something better than Meta, even if those headsets cost $2500. If Pimax really succeeds to deliver their 12K QLED headset, I’ll definitely by one! Thanks Varjo for helping our industry progress!

    • Cless

      We are getting to a point where high tier VR headsets are a thing, and that is good for everyone!
      Specs are getting good enough that many more people feel that throwing a couple thousand dollars is justified. They aren’t trying to sell them to everyone.

      • Charles

        “No headset of today even offers HDR or proper blacks for god’s sakes!”
        The Odyssey+ is the most recent headset to have good black levels. That was released October 2018. Still my go-to headset.

        The 2021 Vive Pro 2 managed to have decent black levels, due to automatic backlight adjustment, but they ruined it with unacceptably-low binocular overlap.

        • Cless

          Yeah, I mean, I was including the headset from this article, and the ones that have been recently unveiled to come out this year. Which includes a bunch of 2.5k HDR OLED headsets, or ridiculously high ppd headsets with LCD panels.

          And yeah, my headset of choice is the Vive Pro that has the exact same panels. Until I get my hands on one of those HDR OLED 2.5k headsets this year that is!

          • Erilis

            As far as visuals goes, Vive Pro has the same resolutions and panels and pixel window as Oculus quest 1, but with better optics.
            I quite like the odyssey+, in some cases although it’s blurry.

          • Cless

            Yeah, the odyssey+ is basically the improved version of the panels that include the antiSDE from samsung, even if it looks slightly blurrier, I’ve always heard good things about it.

          • Charles

            Odyssey+ is an upgrade from the Vive Pro (if you don’t mind the slightly softer image), as long as you 1.) Get a VR Cover, 2.) Be sure it has the updated drivers that eliminate the edge warping it initially had, and 3.) Use OpenVR Advanced Settings to slightly limit the black levels to prevent “black smear”.

          • Cless

            Damn, you get black smear? I don’t know if its a thing just with my OG HTC Vive or my Vive pro, but, even with the hacky version of using the old SteamVR that gives you true blacks… black smear was pretty much minimal to barely noticeable (white on black), so much so that I would prefer that to having dark greys…

          • Charles

            It’s rare, by default, as a tradeoff for 100% true blacks. But setting up a transparent color overlay in OpenVR advanced settings eliminates it, making it just like the Vive. Also makes it so you can quickly switch between full-blacks and Vive-blacks, or somewhere in-between if you prefer.

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    • Jerald Doerr


  • 3872Orcs

    Well, it also has to offer some features that interest me; increasingly higher resolutions and nothing much else is not that interesting to me. If it had more features I’d pay a high price. But this is not it for me.

    I think I’ll stick to Valves next headset, hopefully it has WiGig2 wireless and integrated eye tracking among other upgrades from the Index. The assumed specs of the Decard prototype is very interesting.

  • ViRGiN

    Everyone who uses vr is an enthusiast. What the author of article meant is this is the headset for those pcvr elitists playing indie games on a leash.

    • Cless

      Everyone who uses vr is an enthusiast.

      The reason Facebook has been selling so many headsets is because first, they are heavily subsidizing their headset, and two, because they aren’t selling them to enthusiasts specifically, but to anyone. Come on! I thought you would at least get that one!

      What the author of article meant is this is the headset for those pcvr elitists playing indie games on a leash.

      You seem quite salty about expensive headsets that beat in literally all and every metric your “enthusiast” VR headset ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      • ViRGiN

        You seem salty about Meta dominance, probably cause you got perma banned on Facebook and can’t use their products yet.

        And what is heavily subsidizing? They are losing $2 or breaking even on manufacturing cost. You would think valve index with is $1000 kit, $800 of pure profit could make actually desirable for those pcvr players to top the charts huh?

        • Cless

          You seem salty about Meta dominance, probably cause you got perma banned on Facebook and can’t use their products yet.

          Not at all! I’m happy that they made that, VR getting to everyone faster is a good thing! Not being sarcastic here, after all, this is not a soccer match, I don’t have teams. VR is a tool for me, and I will use the best one I can get my hands on.
          The reason why I’m happy is also because so many people I’ve met that started getting into PCVR with the Quest or Quest2 before upgrading to something better on their PCs!

          Breaking even when you sell a product would be still subsidizing it, since you are expecting to make the money somewhere else that isn’t by selling the actual product, like many consoles have done before. I’m okay with that.

          Also, I don’t really care about what Valve is or isn’t doing with the Index at the moment.
          But if you want my opinion on it, The Index is terribly expensive for what it is, I think it should be sitting at about half its current price after being out for this long.

          Edit: typos

          • ViRGiN

            And? I think using a word “enthusiast” is exclusively meant to separate themselves from those “pesky casuals”. No matter the headset, we are so playing the same stuff. DK1 users were enthusiasts. GearVr users were enthusiasts. VR is still so new and not quite mainstream as many would like. It’s only fair to say every vr user is an enthusiast. You aren’t any more enthuiastic by buying a Varjo. In fact, you’re rather becoming ortodhox elitists who probably has more money than mind, and I’m not really targeting you here. Content is the king, and that’s still lacking. Beat saber on varjo isn’t twice the fun than quest. It does make sense for simulators but this is a tight knitted community of people really into the hobby. They are enthusiasts here, they are hardcore users that take the hobby to extreme, with full build for racing/flying etc.

          • Cless

            And? I think using a word “enthusiast” is exclusively meant to separate themselves from those “pesky casuals”.

            No… not really. I’m pretty sure that the word enthusiast here is used to mean… enthusiast. Like you mention, the people into simulators and such.
            Early adopters are usually enthusiasts, but its not the other way around necessarily though.

            VR is still so new and not quite mainstream as many would like. It’s only fair to say every vr user is an enthusiast.

            I don’t think we can continue saying that anymore really… VR isn’t so new anymore, its been around for almost a decade now if we count the first oculus. There are 14yo kids that grew up using VR in 2016 and now they are almost finishing college, so its been a while already.

            You aren’t any more enthuiastic by buying a Varjo. In fact, you’re rather becoming ortodhox elitists who probably has more money than mind,

            We agree in that no one is more enthusiastic by buying a Varjo, but its plain as day to see, that enthusiasts will save up for a year or two if needed (even young ones in their early 20s) in order to get their hands on some high tier VR headset. This really wasn’t a option before.

            Content is the king, and that’s still lacking. Beat saber on varjo isn’t twice the fun than quest. It does make sense for simulators but this is a tight knitted community of people really into the hobby. They are enthusiasts here, they are hardcore users that take the hobby to extreme, with full build for racing/flying etc.

            And I agree with all said here! That’s why I think PSVR2 is going to probably just cleanup with all alternatives (gaming wise at least) here.

            Also, you might be happy to hear that there’s been made a lot of progress on ARMx86 translation, specifically because of Apple’s latest ARM processors, and Google too. Because of it we could be seeing a significant amount of Facebooks current VR games library running on PCs way sooner than later!
            After all, we see emulation from comparable lowerend/mobile hardware like the Switch or PS3 that run really good nowadays on PC, so the Quest (1 and 2) shouldn’t be an exception! :D

            (In fact, right now, thanks to google there is a beta out that allows you to officially play any game from the playstore on PC too! How cool is that!)

          • Interesting fun fact — the VR Virgin has made 1.2k comments on these boards and has garnered around 700 upvotes. That’s just over half an upvote per comment. Face it dude, NOBODY LIKES YOUR OPINIONS. Just because you get loud and vomit whatever stupidity your brain farts out to the world doesn’t make it right. Ask Trump about that one. Or your butt buddy, who knows all about that, he’s a huge MAGAT.

          • ViRGiN

            LMAO imagine posting only opinions that are supposed to be liked. What a sheeple. How triggered you had to be even go into profile and check such irrelevant data. Nobody likes you in real life, but surely you have a lot of buttlickers online.

            I’m not even american, you fat triggered american. I don’t care about trump.

          • Man, you couldn’t be more wrong. But go ahead, live your life of misery assuming everyone else is too. Keep telling yourself that you’re not a sheep, and the only reason EVERYONE disagrees with you is because THEY’RE ALL DUMB AND WRONG.

    • Caven

      An enthusiast is really little more than a person to pay a price premium for earlier access to performance hardware, even if that hardware doesn’t necessarily offer a huge improvement over lower cost hardware. A person who buys a top-of-the-line GPU could be considered an enthusiast since they’re rather pay the price premium right now instead of wait a couple of years for the next generation of GPUs to offer similar performance at a lower cost.

      Given that many products targeted at enthusiasts offer a poor value proposition–particularly in audio where an $800 set of ;headphones doesn’t necessarily sound significantly better than $80 headphones–being an enthusiast isn’t exactly something to boast about. A person who bought a Quest as their first VR headset because they were unwilling to pay $1,000 or more for other headsets is not an enthusiast, and that’s perfectly alright. After all, enthusiasts may allow for higher-end hardware with a hefty profit margin, but it’s non-enthusiasts who make products mass-market successes.

      To look at it a different way, enthusiasts have already sold themselves on whatever the manufacturer is trying to sell. Non-enthusiasts have to be convinced to buy whatever the manufacturer is selling. Enthusiasts buy lots of products that are commercial failures, like the 3DO. Non-enthusiasts just bought a SNES or Genesis and had had plenty of fun at lower cost while they waited for the next generation of affordable console.

      Enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts are merely two different groups of people who both contribute to the success of a product. There’s no need to make a class war out of it.

  • No Name

    Wonder how expensive/good ur PC is? And how do you have that much money to spend?

    Btw which headset ya like the most (index?) and why.
    What are your thoughts on Quest 2? (and what if you used it with the cable what do you think about the quest 2 then? so that it runs from your PC)

    Also pretty sure you are an enthusiast at that point.

    • Jerald Doerr

      I can’t tell you how much my PC cost because I usually sell my old stuff then upgrade as I go. I’m running an Intel 9900k , 32 gigs ram, with an EVGA 3090 FTW.

      As for the Quest 2, it’s a great little unit, even more so for the price. That coupled with hooking it up to a PC makes it even more impressive. To be honest, I haven’t used the Quest 2 a lot as I just picked one up to test out, setting up the tethered connection for a PC I built my kids and their mom this Christmas. Years ago, they all used to come over, and we would all play on my Vive or Index.. The kids pretty much grew up playing all my VRs, and when I moved far away. They were bummed because they didn’t have a decent PC to even think about PC VR. About that time, the Quest 2 came out, so I got one for my son, and they loved it so much the family got his sister one.

      My son has grown out of the regular Quest games, So I built them a budget PC with an AMD 5600X and 16 gigs ram. That CPU has onboard GPU, and I thought it might have enough power to run the Quest 2 PC linked games, but this ended up not cutting it so I put in one of my old EVGA 1080 FTW cards, and the PC games look just as good on the Quest 2 as any of my VR units with the exception for Reverb G2..

      So having everything I have now, price per quality. The Quest 2 with a PC is as good as it gets, and if you have a dedicated wifi router hooked up to the PC, It might be the dream wireless VR. I tried to do this at home on my home wifi network, and it did not work well. Also, I was in a rush to get the PC shipped before Christmas. This is something I want to test in the next few weeks.

  • MitchellB

    Whats wrong with the oclus rift cv1? Myself and many others still use it and we has a ton of fun with as well. Many olso switch to quest 2 and others stuck on the HP2v2 and to me that is the best mony for da buck hands down. Anything else prome above it is not consumer friendly at all and need to think about put their money where the gamers at!
    We “gamers” do not need to sell their house to use your products FU!

    • Charles

      “Whats wrong with the oclus rift cv1?”
      Unacceptably-low binocular overlap (for many people at least). And low resolution / high SDE.

      • ViRGiN

        For many people? Do you have IPD of 99?

        • Charles

          Hah hah. It’s not about IPD. Mine is about 63. Human vision naturally has a binocular overlap of about 120 degrees. The Oculus CV1 only has 71 degrees overlap. The original Vive has 102 degrees. When the stereo overlap is too small, you end up seeing the inner edge of one of the lenses hovering near the middle of your vision. It’s kind of half-there half-not, because it’s only in one eye, and you can try to ignore it, maybe even train yourself to ignore it. but it detracts from the experience and immersion, and can add to eye fatigue.

          • Cless

            Yeah, I was kind of upset about this one the Vive Pro. On the OG vive it was basically imperceptible, but on the Vive Pro, you can see them more easily :/

          • Charles

            Interesting, you noticed this kind of difference going from Vive to Vive Pro 1? Or Vive Pro 2?

            The difference between the Vive and Vive Pro 1 is only about 2° (102.6° vs 100.4°). But the difference from Vive to Vive Pro 2 is 22.7°, which is huge.

            The Samsung Odyssey+ seems to be right at my limit of acceptability in this regard – 92.6°. I can only see the hovering edge if I intentionally focus on it – otherwise, it goes away.

          • Cless

            From the OG vive to the Vive Pro that would be.
            I suspect it could be that the Vive pro allows me to get closer to the lenses, so I can see the mask where I see the border of the image.
            My IPD is 64 btw, that can be important for these things too.

  • Erilis

    I don’t know what I would do with my reverb g2 if I would buy the varjo aero. I’m just going to stay in this state of indecisiveness and paralysis until there’s news of project cambria.