Samsung Odyssey & Odyssey Plus News

vr

#1

Have any of y’all tried the Samsung Odyssey? Initial reviews over at the DCS forums are pretty positive, and it even sounds like Wags has converted.

Haven’t compared the specs side by side against the Rift yet, either.


VR Headsets Comparison Summary 2018
#2

I have tried it, but unfortunately never on flight sims or my own home PC and only under trade show conditions where I couldn’t really do my own thing.

My impression was that the optics were better (not out-of-the-park better, just clearer, a bit like running a higher pixel density) but the controller tracking in the demo I had was not great. For a sit-down driving or flight sim then it might be nice to use, as you aren’t leaping around the room like a loon there. Samsung make nice screens for sure.

The specs:

Rift/Vive: 2160x1200 (1080x1200 per eye)
Odyssey: 2880x1600 (1440x1600 per eye)

Because the type of lens, the field of view etc, then it’s hard to directly compare just with resolutions. Here’s a summary graphic I found (I think on reddit, not sure now it’s been a while):

I get the impression it isn’t selling so well, so Samsung might even be price cutting soon.

PS Flipped the post category to #hardware, hope that’s ok.


#3

That’s a handy graphic. I mostly use my headset sitting down, so if the 6DOF tracking there is as good as a Rift, and the FOV and resolution are better, I might consider upgrading. Then again, I might wait for the Pimax.


#4

I think the year that the Fresnel lens is eliminated from the VR equation will be the year that I’ll REALLY start to enjoy VR. :slight_smile:


#5

Does a developer have to write code specifically for the TYPE of headsets out there? I mean…will DCS work the same with Vive, Oculus, Samsung…?


#6

The Samsung is a Windows Mixed Reality (MR) device, so its native API is from Microsoft. Valve provide a ‘Windows MR’ adapter, so something like DCS would use SteamVR and that adapter.

The Rift has its own native SDK, but again works with SteamVR as well. Technically the proper name for SteamVR is now ‘OpenVR’ as Valve gave up the rights and tried to make a consortium. The Vive just uses OpenVR.

There is an emerging standard beyond OpenVR but it’s a bit soon for that, as Facebook/Oculus still want to offer a competitive advantage by asking devs just to use their own SDK.

So to answer your original question, most VR devs write for Rift and OpenVR APIs just to cover the bases. DCS either detects the Rift and uses the Oculus calls direct or detects the Vive/others and uses OpenVR direct. The APIs are very similar, so it’s not that hard.


#7

So guys when you start to consider seling your Rifts CV1 pls be so kind and let us know here first :wink:


#8

I’ll sell you my 1080 for $1300 and buy two next gen headsets. Of course…then I won’t have anything to run them with…


#9

Yeah, that’d be great! I wonder how they’ll do that, though. A fresnel can be made very thin. Full optics would probably be big, heavy and expensive.
But I guess they have to go there as screen resolution increases…


#10

This guy is about to make love with his Odyssey headset.


#11

I’m hoping it’ll be a “they actually wore goggles?!” scenario. :slight_smile:


#12

That was a good review. The comparison between the Odyssey / Vive / Rift leave me convinced that I’m good with the Rift for a bit longer. The Odyssey, while looking better, is not far and away better looking than the Rift at least in those pics he showed. Perhaps in motion it is a significantly better picture though. And those wand type controllers do not appeal to me. That is with no time in the headset or using those pieces of hardware though…so my opinion is based on no experience there.


#13

Same for me. I am very happy with my current setup for now. Having said that, if I was coming into the market right now for the first time it would be a harder decision than it was back in 2016 because there are a few more options available.


#14

Should I have bought my first VR HMD today I’d probably go for the Odyssey. But the Rift will do, for now. I’m interested in seeing where they go with foveated rendering…


#15

How to play Steam VR and Oculus games on your WMR headset.


#16

Blame it on cabin fever or Amazon Prime for offering same day delivery for the hardware compulsive, I decided to blow the rest of my gaming budget 2018 on a Samsung Odyssey.

I should mention that I’ve owned and enjoyed an Oculus Rift with Touch, since release in 2016. Given the technical challenges in delivering a consumer affordable VR experience, as well as the development time in mind, I’ve been pretty happy with the Rift. And while the hardware hasn’t really seen much development since mid 2016, both the Oculus\Steam store and 3rd party titles, like DCS and X-Plane, have continually improved, giving early adopters some ROI on their $800 investment.

One personal favorite VR memory is when my 7 year old and I watched the SpaceX Falcon 9 loaded with Dragon spacecraft launch one morning and later dock with the ISS. That night we took turns under the Rift hood exploring the ISS via MISSION:ISS, and watch daddy capture and dock the Dragon.

Since there are a plethora of YouTube videos describing in detail the features of the Odyssey, I’ll make this mini review mostly subjective, and from the point of view of a flight simulator enthusiast.

Build Quality
Until now, I’ve felt that the Rift was fairly well made. But next to the Odyssey headset, it looks rather pedestrian. IMO, the leather cushion covers, stylish gloss exterior, and tight fit and finish are superior to the Rift’s. Some users have complained about light leakage around the edges, but my extra large cranium allows none. After wearing the Odyssey for a while, the Rift seems a little flimsy and porous, especially around the face plate and foam cushions.

Some Odyssey users have complained about the headphones. IMO, they are a little harder to adjust than the Rift, but I found a workable position after a few hours of use. Their sound quality and volume is about on par with the Rift’s headphones. The easy-to-reach volume controls on the bottom of the Odyssey goggles is a plus.

On the subject of the hand controllers, it is no secret that the Rift Touch controllers are a master stroke of ergonomic design and function. Let’s say that the Odyssey’s are a functional, but bulkier less ergonomic version of the same. I do like the fact that you manually power them on/off. Easy to pair in Windows 10, you will need a Bluetooth radio, either built-in, as is the case with my Asus motherboard, or with an adapter.

Comfort
The Odyssey is heavier, but carries its weight well with the padded halo. There is a bit too much spring tension on the face, something that some users have said caused forehead tension. You can mitigate this somewhat by loosening the halo’s ratchet adjustment wheel. By juggling the focus wheel, halo adjustment, and headphone location, I finally reached my happy place. Not perfect, but reasonably comfortable for the 1.5 to 2 hours of VR use, before my eyeballs give up (dry out). Had this with the Rift as well, although the Rift is definitely lighter.

Speaking of eyes, the fresnel sweet spot might be a bit smaller than with the Rift. Consequently, the Samsung offering must be adjusted to a fairly specific spot for sharpest focus.

A questionable design decision is that of a split rubber nose gromit to prevent light from entering there. I will definitely carefully trim or remove this with an Exacto blade, as after a while, it caused nose pinch, similar to wearing poorly design ski goggles. It does prevent light intrusion, for better or worse. I’m probably not the only one who got used to sneaking peeks under the Rift nose cut, at the keyboard.

Lens wearers
Forgetaboutit. Your MK 1 eyeballs are pretty near the glass. Perhaps there will be an add-on that will add support for corrective lens wearers. I happen to be one of the lucky ones, whose far-sighted eyes focus pretty well at about 2 meters, or say beyond the front blade sight of a properly presented GLOCK 34, but well inside the blast radius of a M67. Others beware.

Now the good stuff
IMO, the image is superior to that of the Rift. Not in an “everyone should reach for their plastic now” sort of way, but on par with what early reviews of the Vive Pro are reporting when compared to the Rift and Vive. For instance, in DCS I can actually read the Harrier’s MFCDs now without zooming. In fact the whole cockpit looks brighter, sharper, and less like I am looking through binoculars. At some point in my Rift’s life, I became more aware of the left and right outer edges of FOV, to the point that it was marginally distracting.

Because the tracking technology is Inside/Out, there is no need for sensors. This is a pretty big deal for me. Not only was my desk beginning to cry for cable management, but when I dipped below the work surface to do something important, like turn on the Beaver’s carburetor heat, I’d suddenly lose tracking. Not so with the Odyssey. In fact I couldn’t tell the difference. Some have said that they notice some lag in first person shooters. I’ve yet to detect a change in tracking precision.

Sims
In order of worst to best…

  • P3Dv4 with FlyInside SteamVR: perhaps this sim and the FlyInside technology are just showing their age. While the experience is not horrible, image quality is the worst of the group, both internally and externally. Perhaps ASW is sorely needed with Prepar3D. Sadly, I forgot to test P3D native VR before installing FlyInside. Will do this and report back. At this point, it is the worst of the lot. My memory is not as tainted using the Rift, but then I don’t have much P3D VR time.

  • CAP2: this actually looks on par, or maybe slightly better than the next group, and perhaps my impression was biased by the simple cockpit, systems, and terrain. Still, one could spend a lot of time flying this version of the Harrier if they were enamored by the missions or campaign. CAP2 fans will be happy.

  • X-Plane 11.20 VR6 and DCS: XP11 has come a very long way since Austin swallowed humble pie and tasked his dev team with jumping on the VR Intercity Express. When i lived in Germany we called them ice, ice baby trains. A few minutes in the default Mad Dog, B738, or my favorite, the STMA Beaver, and you are all in. Very much on par with DCS Belsimtek, RAZBAM, or similar level. Improved view from the office, but both perhaps suffer from not having ASW available while viewing objects at a distance. While there is far less screen door effect, looking outside without zoom is still less than satisfying. Perhaps in VR 3.0.

  • Battle of X. I flew 5 or 6 missions in Battle of Moscow, both in the ME110 and 109. Wow. I’m not sure how 777 accomplished this, when the others have struggled, but it BoX is far superior to any of the other sims in VR. Again, brighter and sharper both inside and out, with negligible impact on performance. There must be some extremely secret sauce being used at 777 Studios, and it would be interesting if others have the same experience. I remember it being pretty good with the Rift, but with the Odyssey it’s as if BoX is being optimised for Steam/Open VR. Really awesome paring the Odyssey with BoX.

Summary
Don’t buy if you are mostly happy with your Rift or Vive and not wanting to drop $400 on a marginal, yet substantive improvement. Samsung Odyssey is the consummate evolutionary vs revolutionary change. Likewise, if you wear corrective lens, from what I understand, move on. And if you play FPS shooters, I’d consume a few more reviews for more on Inside/Out tracking performance.

Definitely do buy if you haven’t invested in VR gear yet, want to recover some desktop real estate, play mostly Battle of X, or cashed out your bitcoin when is was $16K. I’ve read that the Vive Pro’s displays will be the same as the Odyssey, with better headphones and perhaps a more ergonomic headset.

HTC will really need to knock it out of the park to justify the estimated difference in price for the Pro, IMO.

ONE WEEK LATER FOLLOW-UP:
I hooked up my Rift today and flew an AV-8B mission in DCS 2.5 Open Beta, and then repeated the mission with the Odyssey to see if my original impressions held up. I think most of them do, although I do see now why some Odyssey users are complaining forehand pain. The halo is fairly well padded, but the angle and pressure dictated by the strong face plate pressure can lead to some uncomfortable flying after a mission or two. Still, I’m able to do what one user suggested, loosen the halo and angle the headset in a way that allows the cheekbones and nose to support more of the weight. It sounds worse than it is and after some fiddling I don’t think about it - that much. Samsung would be well advised that for the next version, to create a design that supports the headset without forehead pressure.

Comparing the images, the Rift now seems slightly darker, perhaps due to the screen door effect, that I notice much more after a week in the Odyssey. And while sitting in the Harrier cockpit I notice that things are a little more fuzzier in the Rift, although neither of them is where most of us would like to be right now. Getting there, but I’d say we are only about 60% there.

What the Rift lacks in static sharpness, it almost makes up with ASW running, which I think displays ground objects a little less blurry when flying by at say, 450 kts. That might purely be a frame rate issue, and I’ll admit that my tuning skills are lacking compared to users with a little more sensitivity to adjustments.

So in total, with a tear in my eye, I’m finally ready to say that I can let go of the Rift. Know that when you compare these two that there is a fair amount of hair splitting going on. There are valid arguments for choosing either platform. But for me, the Samsung is still a wee bit better.

Good bye old friend. We had some incredible times, and you were my first :disappointed_relieved:


#17

Fantastic info @chipwich - thank you!


#18

Superb mini review there @chipwich. As someone who wears glasses 95% of the time when I’m at my computer…that was some good knowledge. I can wear contact lenses for my distant vision, but I’ve tended not to as I’ve gotten older.

It sounds like they got some things better and some things neutral with regards to improvements. I think it would be a great purchase for someone who hadn’t already made the leap into VR. As you indicated…I think I’ll wait on a bit more technological leap for my next purchase. It does make one curious to see what it’s like though…!

Thanks again for taking the time to write that up.


#19

Great info there!
I like the thought of sensorless tracking and of course the slightly better resolution.
Maybe I should go for the Odyssey after all. And sell the Rift while there’s still some money to be had, for it…?
Must think!


#20

I’m considering the same move, especially since with Revive, you can play Oculus titles with the Odyssey.