VR headsets VS Head-tracking

So, with the Oculus Rift and other VR headsets becoming more and more of a thing, I wanted to get some opinions on the pro’s and con’s of full VR headsets VS head-tracking (such at TrackIR). I’m also curious what everyone’s opinion is on the latest update to the specs of VR headsets and the like.
Since i’m saving up to put together a very immersive gaming station for SC, it would be awesome to get the opinions of a respected group of people rather than the rabble of the wide open internet.

While I don’t have either technology my self, from what I have heard/ seen when topics such as this come up is that once the track IR is working again for Star Citizen It will be the best option if your going Either oculas rift or Track IR. Track IR because of its weight, and it is significantly cheaper you will be able to get longer more comfortable play time and save some money!
Also many of our Higher ups with vast experience with flight sims recommend using it.

I agree with Northbridge, pretty much any feedback I’ve had from people using VR headsets is that you can hardly play more than 1-2h with it. TrackIR on the other hand adds a more comfortable feel to your experience and gives you more awareness without the downsides of VR. It’s not as immersive, but is probably more realistic if you intend to play more than very casually.

VR is still in its very early stages, I wouldn’t recommend to anyone to go VR instead of something else. Buy VR after the rest if you can afford it, or wait and see how it is in a few months / years.

If you’re on a budget, there are alternatives to track IR. However, they are not officially supported (or even recommended) by ADI.
For this reason, I will not post links to them here, but you can find them if you look.

I have a DK2 and its amazing with Elite Dangerous. However, ED got old after a while so even with the Rift, I couldn’t really justify to continue to play it.

The DK2 was worth every penny and I should get it out of the box to play again, however the main problem is the lack of games.

I’m hopping the DK2 will be compatible with OR games so I might get Valkyrie when it comes out.

That said, I can’t really justify spending $600 on the Rift. Maybe next Christmas if I am lucky.

Just from a cost perspective - You’re going to see a lower entry level for TrackIR with a really good Gaming Monitor, than you would see outfitting your rig to handle a Gen1 VR Headset.

My opinion - VR is a wait and see for me. Like the iPhone and Android. I didn’t buy one until the Gen2s came out.

I agree with above mentioned .I have trackir and it is more comfortable.

I tried track IR. The screen moves with my head, ok, that’s pretty cool. I still see my screen, my speakers, and my desk. I think I will go with the new Oculus rift. I want to look around and only see cockpit. I wear a stupid heavy hard hat for 13 hours a day so I believe that I can handle the weight of the rift. I want total immersion.

I don’t plan on going with a Rift. I don’t care much for FaceBook or it’s products. I’ll go with a Vive, Google Cardboard (with my iFruit 6) or some equivalent (Kinoni or Trinus).

I’m going to make sure the game is good before I go sinking money into additional hardware.

Several years ago I purchased the Virtual io i-glasses. The displays were as high resolution as they could be considering CRT monitors were still available for purchase even. I think they maxed at 800 by 600. Wearing them and using them games looked ok, movies looked fine, but text was unreadable so that meant no Everquest playing or really any game that needed you to read text.

Now having said that, I LOVED using those with the head tracker. I wore them for hours of gaming sessions in Mech Warrior online, using the tracker to move the torso of the Mechs I dominated in PVP, I played hours of Decent again my head tracking worked great with that game, Duke Nukum 3d, I played all night sometimes without issue.

And now…we have the HTC Vive with true OLED displays, full HD video and tracking…I am definitely getting my hands on these things as quickly as I can to try these with Star Citizen. I played Jump to Lightspeed for years wishing I had the ability to do real VR looking around while in my cock pit or during a dog fight.

These HMD’s are going to be a-blast…All I can say…from previous experience…

I bought Track IR after discussions with people here on the board, and I can definitely say I am glad I got it. I really feel like my immersion level jumped a ton. I started using it mainly in AC Free Flight just trying to get a feel of pulling maneuvers while looking different directions…it was fantastic. I then started using it on the Murray Cup tracks in my 315p and I smashed myself a good deal on the race rings buildings, etc lol. But I just keep logging in and it’s getting second nature even in FPS mode on foot. I think for 150-175 dollars it is very worth it.

This statement along with the others from those in leadership positions make me want to pick one up when I get better at using my hotas.

I have been using TrackIR 5 with the pro clip for a few years now in various games such as Arma2/3 DCS and SC back when it was working, I can say I highly recommend it for immersion, and ease of use. Flying around in DCS I can just turn my head to look and that frees up other controls I would need to normally press who wants to let go of the stick to grab the mouse and press to free look. SA in Arma is way better and being able to lean out and look down while landing a helicopter yep that is a win in my book. There are other free face tracking things out there and for those that want the pro clip but don’t want the wire, other companies make wireless “pro clips” but I have not used them.

I was pretty excited about the Rift and was looking at what I need to do to get this going. Then it occurred to me that I won’t be able to see any of my controls or keyboard. That seems like a pretty big deal breaker to me and I am leaning more towards the head tracking option.

Yeah, that could be an issue…

Check out the HTC Vive PRE video posted in the other forum here… the Vive will have a front facing camera on it that can be brought up.

It also puts stuff in game when you get to close to walls, etc.

with the camera and/or IR tracking it seems at least possible that one or the other will allow your HOTAS or Keyboard appear in game as an overlay… with some work by a modder, or RSI, etc.

At least that’s my hope, as it seems a very natural thing to do for cockpit type flying/racing games.

I have been looking into head tracking options myself. I didn’t much like the price tag attached to the TrackIR as (here in Canada) it around $250 for a camera and a few IR LEDs… well it seems a bit much to me. There is an open source head tracking software out there (doesn’t work with SC though) that you can use on just about any decent webcam and can rig up some IR LEDs on your own, cost of the webcam +the LEDs and some batteries, there are a few how-tos out there on it ([url]PC gaming hardware | PC Gamer).

I have found and am going to try out a gyro option that is a build it myself the rig is going to cost me about $50 and will input like a joystick (so works with all games). No idea how well it will work, but the idea of wiring up my own Arduino based head tracking system for a fifth the cost of the main “cheaper” non VR option is really appealing [url]Home.

I will keep you all posted on my success, or lack of success.

That article is very dated. You can get better designs from facetracknoir.sourceforge.net/home/default.htm
I am using an 3 point IR that I built out of TinkerToys with FaceTrackNoIR and it works like a champ! I use it with Elite Dangerous and FSX Steam. COmplete build cost me less than 20USD. If you need help or more information let me know. If you’re interested in seeing my design it’s on the DIY thread in the pub.


Edit: For clarification. The first article is dated. The second you posted is still a good source.

Cool thanks, if the gyro solution doesn’t pan out I will try out you IR trick… hmm being an Arduino interface I might be able to combine the two, would stretch my Electronics skills to the max, but I should be able to with some programming help… I will follow up on that if I pursue it.

Hey everyone,

Sorry if I’m not supposed to be reviving old posts, but I figured this topic is still as relevant as it was early 2016.

Just wondering if any of you have changed your opinions regarding the whole head tracking vs VR.

My girlfriend got me an hour long session for four people at what the company is calling Canada’s first VR arcade. In the end it was me, my girlfriend and two of my buddies that went today. Thought I’d share my first impressions ever trying VR.

The gear the place uses is the HTC Vive and each person got their own cubicle around 10’x10’. At first I thought the headset was going to fall off my head since the straps just didn’t feel right, but with headphones on as well it wasn’t a problem as well. I would recommend investing in a good quality set of headphones if you ever purchase a VR set as you’ll want the stereo sound to follow your head movements.

In the end I basically spent the entire hour playing QuiVr with my girlfriend. (pretty much the shooter portion of sanctum except you’re using bows and arrows). I went into the arcade with concerns how a screen so close would even allow your eyes to focus properly. At the end of the day though, they pulled it off, I was at the ends of cliffs and it had the illusion of being the near the edge yourself. It was pretty addictive, especially playing with other people.

When we all finished we were all discussing the games we had tried. Me and my girlfriend both played the archery game the entire time and didn’t feel any sort of motion sickness. One of my other buddies tried around a dozen games. He found any game where his avatar had to move from a stationary position nearly made him sick, but if he could just stay put it was fine. My second buddy was playing everything like a champ until the last 15 minutes of the session. I wondered where he went partway through our game and it turned out he had to sit down and take a short breather before trying something else. So overall, 50% of us got disoriented from VR.

For something like the QuiVr game we played, I would highly recommend the Vive. I went into that session trying to decide how well it would fare for something like Star Citizen. And my personal opinion would be that the technology isn’t ready for something like Star Citizen yet. The latency in movement tracking was adequate for sure and the immersion was amazing. The problem with that though is the games we were playing were partially a cartoony style. The resolutions on those displays when they are so close to your face is just too pixelated. The other problem I could see is tracking your HOTAS/keyboard & mouse/ whatever other peripherals you use. I was having a hard enough time even trying to fumble around with volume controls on a headset that I’m not familiar with, I could just imagine trying to limp through operating a 30 some-odd button HOTAS and then moving over to a keyboard when you switch over to FPS/EVA.

Also, ten or so hours later, both my Girlfriend and I have agreed some combination of the weight on the front of our faces or just the different movements we made has given us both a strain in our necks at the base of the skull. I suspect if we used them all the time we would get used to it, but as it stands I’m going to pop a tylenol shortly.

After my day spent at the arcade, I’m going to leave with a smile, quite possibly go back at some point in the future to shoot more arrows and leave it at that. The potential is there, but until they get higher resolution screens, reduce the weight a little and develop some way to track peripherals that aren’t specific to the VR headset manufacturer, I’m going to stick with something more traditional. For the time being that will likely lead to me saving my pennies for a ultrawide monitor and some form of head tracking.