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Op Ed

  • GamesIndustry.biz - Half-Life: Alyx changes the game for VR exclusives.
    "We've been here before, of course. This is an echo of how Valve established Steam as such a dominant force in PC game distribution in the first place, by making it into a prerequisite to playing Half-Life 2 all those years ago. The differences, however, are equally striking; when Half-Life 2 pushed Steam onto everyone's PCs (not without causing much grumbling in the process, I might add), it did so at a time when the rest of the industry was dragging its feet on digital distribution, giving Valve a years-long headstart over its competition. Not so this time; even as companies focus intently on improving their hardware offerings, everyone is keenly aware that the real winner should VR become a viable platform won't be whoever sells the best headset, but whoever owns the storefront for that headset. Half-Life: Alyx will give SteamVR a boost, but competitors won't be far behind this time."
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27. Re: Op Ed Dec 2, 2019, 09:36 jdreyer
 
theglaze wrote on Nov 30, 2019, 21:39:
If you watch this video, it's pretty obvious that this Alyx project has generated new Half-Life momentum within Valve, and propelled the Source 2 engine forward. Seems obvious to me that Alyx builds the hype to HL IP, introducing PR/media content to millions to a franchise that never played it, and is a stepping stone to a full, traditional 2D HL game.

It's interesting that they built several games that they never shipped. Nice to be able to afford to throw work away.
 
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26. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 21:39 theglaze
 
If you watch this video, it's pretty obvious that this Alyx project has generated new Half-Life momentum within Valve, and propelled the Source 2 engine forward. Seems obvious to me that Alyx builds the hype to HL IP, introducing PR/media content to millions to a franchise that never played it, and is a stepping stone to a full, traditional 2D HL game.  
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25. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 20:59 Orogogus
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 30, 2019, 14:09:
Oculus Quest should be avoided, as it's a standalone headset that runs on Android.

He's talking about using it with the Oculus Link cable, tethered to the PC. It's a reasonable use case now, but if he doesn't care about ever running any native software as a standalone headset then I don't think the Quest offers any value over the Rift S, except that the Quest's OLED would have deeper blacks than the Rift S's LCD.

If someone was interested in using the headset to run VR in a different room or away from home, in addition to sometimes playing PCVR games with the cable, then paying extra for the Quest would be a reasonable option even with the visual tradeoffs. But "I just want to play Elite" is pretty much the optimal case for the Rift S over the Quest.
 
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24. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 17:48 CJ_Parker
 
Mkay, xmas monies from my employer was decent so I pulled the Black Friday Deal trigger on a Rift S today for €399. I'm looking forward to trying it with Elite and DCS and maybe NMS, P3D, X-Plane 11, IL-2 and so on.

As I said, zero fucks given about HL:A. That game can GTFODIAFKTHXBAILOLGUDRIDDANCE.
Roomscale can generally go fuck itself, too. I'm only interested in seated sim VR.
 
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23. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 14:09 jdreyer
 
El Pit wrote on Nov 30, 2019, 03:26:
Screw Steam Index, I'd rather put the $1,000 in the bank for some operation or anything else important.

I played ED on the Oculus Rift S last week - THAT was impressive! Okay, this could win me over for VR since I love Elite: Dangerous. But $1,000? NO WAY! $400? Yeah, well... Okay. But what to get? The Rift S or the Quest with a link cable? Rift S felt good with my glasses on, will the Quest do, too? Most likely, I guess? Rift S or Quest? Guys, experts, please help me out here.

ED with the Samsung Odyssey is glorious b/c of those AMOLED screens. Yours for $300.

Oculus Quest should be avoided, as it's a standalone headset that runs on Android. The Rift S is close to the Odyssey, although it's newer so might have some better features.
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 06:53 El Pit
 
Orogogus wrote on Nov 30, 2019, 03:50:
Do you care about using it as an untethered standalone headset at all? If you'll only use it as a wired PC headset, I think most people find the Rift S more comfortable, the visuals are better (except for the black quality, which I guess matters a lot for Elite), and it's cheaper, at least for the next few days ($349 until 12/2). The Rift S is at a disadvantage if your IPD is outside its range, but if you got to try it and didn't have problems, then that probably wasn't an issue. I don't know about glasses.

Thanks a lot, Orogogus. No, I would not stand up to play E:D, so a wired headset is perfectly fine with me. I think I'll go for the Rift S then later this weekend.
 



"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
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21. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Nov 30, 2019, 05:26 Luke
 
JTW wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 16:03:
The other difference was that people who wanted to play HL2 only needed to download an app. Nobody had to buy an extra $1,000 worth of specialized hardware on top of it, plus a PC capable of supporting that hardware.

Steam for HL2: Free
Index + hardware: $1,000-$2,000+

Shouldn't be a problem..seeing how people throwing money towards helpless projects.


Lots of hardware junkies out there in tha need to have the best , so they have a purpose in life...pathetic
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 03:50 Orogogus
 
El Pit wrote on Nov 30, 2019, 03:26:
Screw Steam Index, I'd rather put the $1,000 in the bank for some operation or anything else important.

I played ED on the Oculus Rift S last week - THAT was impressive! Okay, this could win me over for VR since I love Elite: Dangerous. But $1,000? NO WAY! $400? Yeah, well... Okay. But what to get? The Rift S or the Quest with a link cable? Rift S felt good with my glasses on, will the Quest do, too? Most likely, I guess? Rift S or Quest? Guys, experts, please help me out here.

Do you care about using it as an untethered standalone headset at all? If you'll only use it as a wired PC headset, I think most people find the Rift S more comfortable, the visuals are better (except for the black quality, which I guess matters a lot for Elite), and it's cheaper, at least for the next few days ($349 until 12/2). The Rift S is at a disadvantage if your IPD is outside its range, but if you got to try it and didn't have problems, then that probably wasn't an issue. I don't know about glasses.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 03:26 El Pit
 
Screw Steam Index, I'd rather put the $1,000 in the bank for some operation or anything else important.

I played ED on the Oculus Rift S last week - THAT was impressive! Okay, this could win me over for VR since I love Elite: Dangerous. But $1,000? NO WAY! $400? Yeah, well... Okay. But what to get? The Rift S or the Quest with a link cable? Rift S felt good with my glasses on, will the Quest do, too? Most likely, I guess? Rift S or Quest? Guys, experts, please help me out here.
 



"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
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18. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 02:48 Orogogus
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 19:54:
(and the stupid requirement for the lighthouses like I really need movement tracking Valve spyware in my home)
The lighthouses aren't sensors. The headset and controllers would be where the spyware would be, for every headset except pre-S Rifts.

It's kind of refreshing to see someone besides Facebook being accused of harvesting movement data for nefarious purposes, though.

EDIT: Beaten.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 02:35 Jensen
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 19:54:
(and the stupid requirement for the lighthouses like I really need movement tracking Valve spyware in my home)
Just like their maritime namesake, the lighthouse base stations do not track movement. They do not need to communicate with Valve, or even your own PC. They have an optional Bluetooth connection for firmware updates, and so your PC can automatically turn them on and off.

In the same post you are complaining about Valve and their motion tracking system, you say you were considering a Facebook product that requires 5 cameras. It just doesn’t add up.
 
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16. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Nov 30, 2019, 02:20 Jensen
 
JTW wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 16:03:
The other difference was that people who wanted to play HL2 only needed to download an app. Nobody had to buy an extra $1,000 worth of specialized hardware on top of it, plus a PC capable of supporting that hardware.

Steam for HL2: Free
Index + hardware: $1,000-$2,000+
I had to buy a new PC to play HL2.

My current PC is comfortably above the minimum required specs for HL:A, and it will be four years old when HL:A is released. The requirements aren’t that much different than what would be required for a traditional flagship FPS single player game.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 02:12 Orogogus
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 19:54:
Seems very doubtful to me. You know whose games are still locked to a specific platform today? Valve's. They have never published a single game outside of Steam.

Everything before Half Life 2
All the Playstation and Xbox releases
The iOS and Android versions of Artifact
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 00:51 jdreyer
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 19:54:
chickenboo wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 19:28:
Again, the Index is the most advanced expensive kit on the market. You don't have to buy that unit. The game page lists other devices as compatible, and I trust that Valve means they will run the game natively. Valve has always maintained they're system agnostic. They're fine with different companies having their own curated store fronts as long as the games aren't locked to the specific units. That continues to not be the case here.

Seems very doubtful to me. You know whose games are still locked to a specific platform today? Valve's. They have never published a single game outside of Steam. They are the granddaddies and grandmasters of exclusivity. Even frickin' Blizztard -who they shared this exclusivity mania with- has softened up recently by bringing the original Diablo to GOG. Not so Valve. For Valve games to this day it's either Steam or GTFO.

I'm sure that Alyx will "run" on the Rift. But will it be enjoyable? Highly doubtful. Valve will make sure that Index vs. other VR hardware is going to be the equivalent of a native console title (Index) vs. a poor port (other VR hardware).

You know, I'm not against VR. I have thought about getting a Rift S for a while now which seems to be only marginally "worse" than the Index or about the same level (both kits have their pros and cons but the Index has the GreedyGabe special price). I'd get it for Elite Dangerous and DCS, not Alyx though.
I'm most definitely not going to support Valve in their VR efforts. Reason no. 1 being the outrageous price of the Index (and the stupid requirement for the lighthouses like I really need movement tracking Valve spyware in my home) and reason no. 2 being we never got episode 3. Alyx is insult to injury on whole new levels. Just nope.

I'm sure Alyx will run fine on the vast majority of VR headsets. That it will run shitty on anything other than an Index doesn't track with Valve's history of thoroughly testing their games on a wide variety of hardware before release.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 00:46 jdreyer
 
Ozmodan wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 18:12:
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 17:57:
djinn wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 16:51:
For Cutter. "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Red Herrings: Famous Quotes Churchill Never Said

And you believe a website just because it said so? Jesus, no wonder the GOP is killing American democracy so successfully.

With half the Democratic field proposing very socialistic policies, I think both parties are guilty of such.

Curious what's wrong with socialist policies. They can be more effective than the private sector for a given situation. I would hate to have my phones or cars built by socialism, however the police and fire departments, the military, and the highway system are examples of successful socialist implementations. There are other systems that should probably be socialized and run by the government in the US: electricity, ISPs, mobile networks, healthcare, etc. Look at all the bullshit that Comcast pulls because it's a monopoly in most areas, should be run by the government. I work in healthcare, and there's so much waste and duplication by being in the private sector. Government-run Medicare is the most efficient healthcare system in the USA.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Nov 30, 2019, 00:24 jdreyer
 
chickenboo wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 16:45:
Again, the Index is the top of the line VR model. You don't need that to play it. Your Rift S or Rift or Samsung Odyssey could play the game, and those are like $400 or something.

This article is about Valve being the first company to make the first real AAA good-faith VR-exclusive effort. We haven't had any of them yet (Fallout 4 VR doesn't count, as it's just VR strapped to the existing game for example). If this game is good, it may provide the impetus for VR games going forward to provide high quality experiences that extend beyond simply slicing music notes with your VR, or casting a fishing rod into an imaginary lake.

I'm surprised by you guys poo-pooing this new technology. Wasn't 3D acceleration amazing when it came out? Within a handful of years it became standard. VR may become standard if enough big names invest serious money into developing games that really show off what the hardware is capable of. That doesn't make you have to play VR. Heck for the next decade at least, gaming on a monitor or tv or phone is going to continue to be the standard.

Samsung Odyssey is an excellent set of headset and controllers, and it's currently under $300. Although it was well outside the recommended specs, I was running E:D on my Odyssey using a GTX 670. I had to turn the graphics down pretty far, but it worked, and it looked decent.

That said, VR will never replace 2D gaming. It will stay a niche for the foreseeable future, although a strong one with unique experiences.
 
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The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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11. Re: Op Ed Nov 29, 2019, 19:54 CJ_Parker
 
chickenboo wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 19:28:
Again, the Index is the most advanced expensive kit on the market. You don't have to buy that unit. The game page lists other devices as compatible, and I trust that Valve means they will run the game natively. Valve has always maintained they're system agnostic. They're fine with different companies having their own curated store fronts as long as the games aren't locked to the specific units. That continues to not be the case here.

Seems very doubtful to me. You know whose games are still locked to a specific platform today? Valve's. They have never published a single game outside of Steam. They are the granddaddies and grandmasters of exclusivity. Even frickin' Blizztard -who they shared this exclusivity mania with- has softened up recently by bringing the original Diablo to GOG. Not so Valve. For Valve games to this day it's either Steam or GTFO.

I'm sure that Alyx will "run" on the Rift. But will it be enjoyable? Highly doubtful. Valve will make sure that Index vs. other VR hardware is going to be the equivalent of a native console title (Index) vs. a poor port (other VR hardware).

You know, I'm not against VR. I have thought about getting a Rift S for a while now which seems to be only marginally "worse" than the Index or about the same level (both kits have their pros and cons but the Index has the GreedyGabe special price). I'd get it for Elite Dangerous and DCS, not Alyx though.
I'm most definitely not going to support Valve in their VR efforts. Reason no. 1 being the outrageous price of the Index (and the stupid requirement for the lighthouses like I really need movement tracking Valve spyware in my home) and reason no. 2 being we never got episode 3. Alyx is insult to injury on whole new levels. Just nope.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Nov 29, 2019, 19:28 chickenboo
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 18:23:
Finally, pricing: I just looked up the Monster 3D in my country (Germany). It was around DM 370 at release (DM = Deutsche Mark) which if the Euro had already existed would have been €189. The Valve Index Kit is €1079. So lol even harder @ comparing the "3D revolution" to VR.

Valve can go fuck themselves and their shabby attempt to clear their Index stock by turning their half-assed VR experiments into a HL game in order to cut their losses.Typical GreedyGabe though. Instead of dropping the price of the Index he is too conceited to admit it was a dumb idea and so he now tries to bait gamers into buying a kit via a Half-Life game (one no one asked for to boot).

Again, the Index is the most advanced expensive kit on the market. You don't have to buy that unit. The game page lists other devices as compatible, and I trust that Valve means they will run the game natively. Valve has always maintained they're system agnostic. They're fine with different companies having their own curated store fronts as long as the games aren't locked to the specific units. That continues to not be the case here.

They didn't make this game to clear Index units, they made this game to galvanize further industry development into this genre of gaming. It's our future, definitely beyond games but until then games may be at the forefront of development because entertainment sells. Eventually we'll be able to learn vehicle mechanics in a VR simulation before practicing in real life. Until then, games will drive further development of this technology.

I appreciate your cynical take and there's perhaps an ounce of truth, but that's about it. Certainly their device will provide the best experience, just as the i9-9900KS provides the best FPS. That isn't WHY they made this game though. They made it to get Ubisoft, EA, DICE, Blizzard, and whoever else interested enough to make something AAA for this hardware.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Nov 29, 2019, 18:36 djinn
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 17:57:
And you believe a website just because it said so? Jesus, no wonder the GOP is killing American democracy so successfully.

Who did you believe?
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Nov 29, 2019, 18:23 CJ_Parker
 
chickenboo wrote on Nov 29, 2019, 16:45:
Again, the Index is the top of the line VR model. You don't need that to play it. Your Rift S or Rift or Samsung Odyssey could play the game, and those are like $400 or something.

Keep dreaming. Valve will make sure the game is so optimized for the Index that playing it on any other kit is gonna be pure torture.

I'm surprised by you guys poo-pooing this new technology. Wasn't 3D acceleration amazing when it came out?

Oh, look. That stupid argument again... Rolleyes

Call me an old school curmudgeon but, nope, I did not tape my Diamond Monster Voodoo to my head to look cool or be able to play cool games back in the day. I just plugged it into my PC and played 3D games.

Dude, seriously, the comparison is dumb, dumb, dumb. VR headsets are a very uncomfy gaming WEARABLE device. This does not compare in the slightest to a piece of hardware you just plug into your PC.

And that's why VR will never become "standard" anytime soon... at least until the day we get real VR glasses, i.e. VR devices that are just as comfy to wear as a pair of slightly enlarged shades.

Until then it will remain niche. The vast majority of gamers does not like to be completely shut off from the rest of the world. Dizziness and nausea remain real problems for many people. Even people who don't suffer from outright puke-itis fatigue much faster than when playing on a screen. Gaming sessions lasting hours at a time aren't really a thing in VR land at all.

Finally, pricing: I just looked up the Monster 3D in my country (Germany). It was around DM 370 at release (DM = Deutsche Mark) which if the Euro had already existed would have been €189. The Valve Index Kit is €1079. So lol even harder @ comparing the "3D revolution" to VR.

Valve can go fuck themselves and their shabby attempt to clear their Index stock by turning their half-assed VR experiments into a HL game in order to cut their losses.Typical GreedyGabe though. Instead of dropping the price of the Index he is too conceited to admit it was a dumb idea and so he now tries to bait gamers into buying a kit via a Half-Life game (one no one asked for to boot).
 
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