Yes, good summary. I was so sorely tempted, but with the relative pace of development these days I was concerned about shelling out all those readies only to have something better and cheaper come out within months. Normally I don’t care about that when I commit to a purchase, but when it’s this amount of money I do.
Your logic was similar to mine when I invested in the Index, and I’m so pleased that turned out well. I still think it’s my best all-round headset, despite the SDE (which ain’t that bad - I only notice it when looking for it).
I hope Varjo continues on this path and steps up to the competition, when it presents itself.
I really hope that somebody makes a better headset and I believe that will happen. I want to see PC VR evolve.
I think this year we will finally have a new set of high end (over 1000 US) competitors that will bring a new iterative but noticeable bump in the VR quality. There’s a very interesting Vive and the tiny one from Bigscreen looks intriguing. Mostly it’s the new pancake lens tech that is finally arriving and driving most changes.
I feel VR is stuck on the current hardware/software limitations for now. I hear openXR was a game changer, it actually makes me want to go back to the G2 for another try. But honestly until we can’t get performance to be acceptable by default, and not after thousands of tweaks, compromises and whatnot, we won’t really need so much more VR hardware.
While it still applies to my point, a glimpse of hope is that this change finally is starting to happen for people who can spend almost 2000 dollars on a GPU, and I suspect this also is bringing more heat to the high end headset market.
The G2 is an anomaly because it had a crazy mix of high end specs on a consumer priced device(still needs high end hardware to shine), those high end specs being the ones that fit simulation best… So maybe it will be hard to replicate so soon. The Pico 4 seems like a good candidate for an equivalent by today’s standards. Pancake lenses and good panels for not that much money, but really needs 4090 to shine (like the G2).
Let’s wait and see for the Quest 3, although after the Pro, I’m not sure how or if meta will change their plans…
Fantastic discussion Gents and Wonderful Summary-from @Troll on your I yr of use.
I’m a bit disheartened to be honest at the lack of High Standard VR headsets announced at this years CES Show in Vega$.
There are a lot of mid range HMD’s coming up…with lots of Bells and Whistles that really as a Flight Sim Enthusiast don’t exactly interest or excite me.
For us it’s all about FOV and Resolution and I only see a few players going for improvement in that category.
And if you have not tried OpenXR by all means…Do It!!! You will be absolutely Amazed how much SteamVR hogs and robs your system of resources.
A funny thing happened yesterday…My Daughter and Son who are grown in their 20’s came over to visit my Wife and I .
My kids had made a wager on who could beat who in Donkey Kong Mario Bros
As they plugged in that 25 yr old console game and started playing within minutes I thought….My God…We as Flight Simmers have grown to be so patient and technical with our own expectations… Nothing…And I mean Nothing is Plug in and Play in our World….We know when we are going to go through Tweeks and Growing Pains with every piece of hardware/software and patch We knowingly install at our own Personal Peril
BTW My Daughter Won All The Bananas and Beat my Son by a sizable margin….but a rematch is in the works.
A very interesting thread. I’m very tempted by the Varjo Aero. Varjo appear to be doing a lot of things right. I wish they included a sound solution such as the Index and G2 have. It is a big outlay so while my G2 is performing well, with OpenXR and Open Composite, I shall hold off I think. I’ll look to replace my current GPU (RTX 3070) with a 4090 this year and then see what VR headset options are available. At the moment the Aero seems to be the best option.
Yeah, the lack of audio is a drawback.
As you can see further up the thread, I have devised my own solutions to this, but ultimately went with headphones, for better audio quality.
With my AirpodsMax, sound is excellent, but it is annoying to have to deal with two separate headsets.
The audio of the G2 is really good!
The honorable Mr. @UncleZam has sent me the speakers from his busted G2 and I will make a connector for these, to use with the Aero.
There is a model for such a connector on Thingiverse already, that I will try.
Imagine if we could test each other’s VR gear and compare them side by side…
As it stands, no VR headset is the be all, end all solution. There’s always going to be a compromise between resolution, lenses, audio, fit, ease of use, completeness, price etc. And then you have the subjectivity of what all this means to you and how your experience is.
I think I read that Meta decided that the the higher resolution and pixel density was going to challenge the current and near future slate of GPUs, and decided to focus on edge to edge clarity. There is also the cost, as the Aero + sensors + hand controllers is substantially more.
An area where the Varjo is better hands down is foveated rendering compatibility. Meta could be definitely improve upon their implementation. I know that once I have the Q Pro on my head properly, I can look around a cockpit with my eyes, instead of my head. But that’s probably the lenses and not foveated rendering.
OTOH, lots of G2 users, myself included, upsampled the resolution, to get a sharper image, so that the pixels produced rivaled that of the Aero anyway. Don’t know if the Quest Pro benefits from upsampling in the same way? The resolution is lower than in the G2, but the lenses are much better, so that alters the equation. Again, specs doesn’t mean anything unless you get to try the headset on.
The pancake lenses of the Quest Pro are cheaper to manufacture compared to the aspherical lenses of the Aero, while achieving the same big sweetspot. Edge to edge, as you put it. This was a big difference when I switched from the G2 to the Aero. I think we will see more pancake lenses, as opposed to aspherical lenses, in the future, as the cost/benefit of full aspherical lenses is questionable. Pancakes makes it easier to build smaller and lighter headsets as well.
Indeed! Unless you already had the lighthouses and hand controllers from an earlier headset.
Which again just goes to show… It depends.
I’ve never felt comfortable recommending a VR headset to anyone. There are so many variables and the value I put on those variables is probably not the same as the next guys.
Discussing the differences with level headed and like minded people is the best we can do and I really appreciate the input I get from discussions like this one.
Each use case (simming / roomscale / etc) benefit from different HMD features. The cost of a HMD may be prohibitive for many. High resolutions require high-end PC. And in the end the experience is subjective even depending of physical properties like size/shape of the head, vision (glasses?) and IPD.
There’s just so many factors in play when finding the best HMD for you and your specific use case.
I feel the need to give a plug for the humble Pimax. I wanted to upgrade my G2 for something with more FOV, especially after watching vrflightsimguy content. I agonised over the Aero, but having upgraded my rig only 18mths ago for the G2, I couldn’t justify the exorbitant expense of yet-another-rig-upgrade on top of the exorbitant expense of the Aero. I ended up buying a 2nd-hand 8KX, and honestly I couldn’t be happier with the ‘upgrade’ from a G2. My Radeon 5800X/6800XT rig runs DCS very smoothly, albeit with the obligatory hours of testing&tuning. OpenXR is the absolute key to success. Once you’ve seen the Pimax fov, you can’t go back… And the clarity across the lens gives a much better illusion of a big sweetspot, something the G2 was always woeful at. No more moving your head endlessly to read stuff, just move your eyes! Yeah it’s tragic what we accept with VR atm, we’ll look back and laugh at some point in the future…