Half-Life: Alyx Preloads

Preloads are now underway for Half-Life: Alyx on Steam. paving the way for Monday's launch of the new virtual reality installment in the Half-Life series. This may be useful to more gamers than imagined at first. Despite the fact that it requires a virtual reality headset, PlayTracker reports more than 300,000 gamers have preordered the VR shooter (thanks VideoGamer.com). Here's word:
Valve's return to City 17 is poised to make sales record headlines next week. PlayTracker Insight tracking is showing Half-Life: Alyx has already surpassed 300.000 owners ahead of its launch on Monday, March 23rd.

This already puts the game within striking distance of the biggest Steam releases of 2020 so far like TemTem, Wolcen, Borderlands 3, Metro Exodus, and, amusingly, Black Mesa - Crowbar Collective's re-imagining of the original Half-Life game. Launch sales should propel the game into first place, pending a surprising over-performance by Doom Eternal this weekend.

VR owners account for only 1% of Steam users according to the Steam Hardware Survey, making this sales performance quite an impressive achievement.
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Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 12:37
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Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 12:37
Mar 22, 2020, 12:37
 
Muscular Beaver wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 04:51:
ForgedReality wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 03:03:
My main issue with VR is that you are standing there and you have to teleport around. It removes a lot of the freedom you would have with a traditional game. Seems like it would be a lot of stop-and-go gameplay and it would be easy to overwhelm the player if they had enemies rushing at you. Not to mention the fact that it takes you out of the immersion because you're not actually walking.
Same.
There are 3D treadmills but they have other limitations, like you have to be in a ring, so you cant duck very well, not to mention jump.
Not really interested in VR before that is solved. I cant have a VR-room with padded walls so nothing and nobody gets damaged/hurt.

There are several misconceptions here.

Teleportation is not a requirement of VR and nor is it the dominant form of play anymore. I'm looking at the top 5 pure VR games (in terms of player count) right now--Pavlov VR, Boneworks, Blade & Sorcery, Walking Dead: S&S, and Beat Saber--and only one of them doesn't have smooth locomotion (Beat Saber) and none of them support teleportation. With the exception of a minority, most gamers can get their "VR legs" after some training and leave teleportation behind. It will absolutely be an issue for casual gamers but there's a very large untapped market of more hardcore gamers that will adapt.

The second misconception is that VR treadmills address the simulator sickness problem. Simulator sickness comes from the disconnect between your visual sense of motion and your vestibular sense of motion, but VR treadmills do nothing to solve that. Outside of maybe VR arcades, they are a dead end for many other reasons as well.

Lastly, you're partially correct on the point about space consumption (and I'll add energy intensiveness) being issues for the current VR market. However I don't think this is inherent to VR but rather just an unfortunate design decision by today's developers (much like the teleportation focus of early VR games). With a swiveling chair for minor rotations, snap turn for faster rotations (basically implemented by all VR games), and vertical movement on one of the joysticks (smooth transitioning between prone and standing), you basically have the full capacity of standing play without requiring very much space. The space required is basically what is encompassed by rotating 360 degrees in a chair and reaching your arms out. The unfortunate thing is that only a few games (e.g. Boneworks) support artificial vertical movement but I think this will change over time.
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