INDEX - Valve's VR Headset

It’s hard (heh) to get more mass-market than porn!

“Oh, you have a VR headset? Cool, what are you using it for?”
“Well… uhh… re-creation?”

We’ve been getting an increasing number of VR games that use traditional smooth movement, not less. Games like Resident Evil 7 and Firewall don’t even have teleport movement as an option.

It is however a problem that needs to be worked on to achieve mass market adoption. The average consumer isn’t going to be willing to take the steps to build up a tolerance, and not all can.

But I’m not sure why you think this can’t be improved enough in the future? Things like higher refresh rates and FoV, foveated rendering, varifocal displays… It’s a problem that people are working on.

Maybe it can, we just haven’t seen any indication of that yet.

There is a product for 10 bucks on the Steam VR store called ‘Natural Locomotion’ that is a potential game changer (pun intended). The reviewers swear by it and are glowing in general, and from a physics / biology perspective I see why.

When you are moving in game with traditional non-teleport movement the smoothness is what is off putting to the inner ear. This software makes it so that you have to actually somewhat simulate hand swinging movements when walking forward. This seems to ‘trick’ the brain just enough that the nausea is greatly dissipated. Again, biochemically speaking this makes sense. You are doing the natural arm / hand locomotion you would if walking forwards normally.

I think there will be more little things like this that when taken in full together, will probably get the nausea / dizziness thing at a level close to normal gaming. Then of course if you have an unlimited budget there are those 360 degree treadmills available sort of like what was shown in Ready Player One. The beauty part of those is, you would get a damn lot of exercise because think of the ground you actually cover in a game like Skyrim. :-)

Those things are, shall we say, a tad bulky for home use. That’s why I want the goofy cybershoes and barstool version of that setup!

I think gamers might get a shock if they had to translate all that videogame movement into actual movement. Even just standing for a while in Skyrim VR does get a bit tiring IMO.

I just had a vigorous bout of dogfighting (4v4, mirages vs flankers and fulcrums) and my neck and upper back feel awesome. Like I did a bunch of yoga or some such shit.

VR yoga! Male and female trainer available.
90% of people pick the female trainer. Guess why ;)

Belated thanks for the tip. This does look cool! That shit is wish-listed.

EDIT: Doh, I got to this thread by forum search, but it’s applicable to other VR headsets. I’ll crosspost it there.

So, just putting this here in case anyone needs something similar down the road.

When I finished my basement, I put in grid ceiling to with a thought to VR, among other things. I got my Index a few weeks back and I have an open space I want to be able to use, so I started looking into options at extending the cable length. The idea is to run the USB/DisplayPort cables up through a conduit into the ceiling, then run the cable across so it drops down in the middle of the room. No more cable dragging along the ground for me to get tangled up in or my dog to step on.

Problem is, that meant I was looking at a 13-15 foot cable extension minimum, as most of that length is taking up going up the wall and back across the ceiling into the room. What I discovered during this little project is that the Index pushes to the DisplayPort 1.2 standard to the limits, which means adding length to cable can get really tricky.

I tried a 15’ cable and that resulted in no signal whatsoever. I next tried a 10’ cable and while I got signal, I was getting “sparks” and other visual artifacts, as well as the display cutting out periodically. 10’ also wasn’t long enough to give me any extra room, so I had to try other options.

My first attempt was successful, but not ideal. What I went with was a 13’ DisplayPort 1.4 cable as well as an active signal booster instead of a passive DisplayPort coupler. I went with a DisplayPort 1.4 cable because it’s significantly higher rated in terms of resolution/refresh/distance and is fully backwards compatible with 1.2. I thought it was worth a shot at least. Here were the specific items I went with:



They also had a 16’ cable so I was going to try that, but another idea struck me: what about a fiber optic cable instead of using a signal booster? The rated ranges on the fiber optic DisplayPort cable were better at distance than the standard 1.4 cables. Maybe that would work better? So I ended up going with this:

It offers 8K/60hz or 4K/144hz at 30 feet, which sounded exactly like what I needed. More length than I needed (20 would likely be ideal), but I wasn’t able to find much shorter than that. The total cost of this solution was a little less than the booster + cable, I get twice the length, and it’s been working flawlessly.

So, yeah, in case anyone gets it in their head to do something like this, my experiences say go with the fiber cable + a regular $5 coupler and enjoy.

Well that’s commitment :)

I think I’ll wait a year or two for wireless to reach the high end!

Not HL3 I see

I don’t believe that even a Half Life game will move $800+ VR headsets.

I don’t remember anything about Alyx. I wonder how interesting her story will be compared to Gordon Freeman’s.

“What can we do to move these headsets?”

“How about an NPC from an IP that’s been dead for over a decade!”


That’s great news! I hope they’re also working on Portal 3 with VR support.

I know that’s Valve’s hope, but if it works through Steam VR it will hopefully be usable with the other headsets too, some of which are really cheap and good enough.

I’m in! Top-tier VR development is always a good thing.