Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
"Words can not describe the experience" is the best way to describe the experience but I will do...
on October 12, 2016
Edit: 11.23.2016, 1.5 months in.
I would like to add some of my findings so far. The nose discomfort issue was easy to solve, I just adjusted my head straps a bit and pulled them down in the back, this pulls them off of my nose and makes it way more comfortable. I ended up twisting the cables to make them act like a single cable. For the dust and hair on the screen I just stuck the little blower brush it came with up through the opening in the bottom for the eye adjustments and cleaned them off.
The only con that remains is the largest one of them all, the tracking... It works great as long as you don't turn past 85 degrees in either direction. Once the front LEDs are no longer visible the tracking changes from positional to rotational (even though the side AND rear LEDs are still visible AND Razer advertises it as having 360 degree positional tracking). This shouldn't really be an issue but it is because of these bugs:
1. There is coasting, if you move your head quickly to around 90 degrees it can think you went roomscale and fly you out of the cockpit until you are 6 feet away from your seat, a few seconds after you look back it realizes where you are and puts you back in the airplane. The HDK2 calibration has helped and I think I have just adapted to slow down a little when turning through those areas that trigger it. I don't think about it anymore and it does not bother me but it does make tracking an enemy in a head on merge impossible without losing sight of him for about one second as you slow down through 90 degrees. I would love to see it fixed.
2. You lose positional tracking at around 90 degrees. The accelerometers and gyroscopes still give you rotational tracking but there is a noticeable transition where you twitch into and out-of your positional location (leaning, ducking, zooming) while looking back and forth in a dogfight, for example.
3. In DCS World (and a few others I have tried like Radial G) the software seems to put your POV directly on the LEDs. Imagine your eyeballs sticking 3-4 inches out of your face. Sitting in a tight cockpit and you turn your head, your eyeballs would smack into the glass and your view would "swing" instead of turn. This is what I get in DCS World. It isn't that bad and again, I feel a little trigonometry in the software could triangulate your eye position easily and set your POV correctly. On second thought it probably doesn't even need trig, just a table that says (If you are using these 3 LEDs for data, then the eyeballs are "here" (add or subtract "x" from the LED triangle coordinates). Disclaimer, I have no idea if the software uses three point triangles, I just know that is what is required to get enough information to do the job.
4. There is yaw drift. As the software loses sight of the LEDs and reacquires them, errors build up on where straight and center is. After a few hours the system can think straight ahead is 45 degrees off to the side. Most games can recenter but that doesn't fix the fact that leaning forward gets read as moving 45 degrees off from straight forward. If it gets bad enough (straight is 90 degrees to your side) leaning forward will make your POV lean to the side.
It is still great product, perfect if you don't plan on looking back past 90 degrees to either side (like maybe racing games) and it has all of the hardware required to fix the tracking, we just need some coders to help the Open Source community out and fix the software... I was told the fix was coming very soon when I purchased, then told soon, then told "somewhat soon", now I haven't heard anything in a couple of weeks... Shouldn't this be Razers responsibility? Instead of 5 million for game development they should have put up a fund for rewarding tracking fixes...
"Words can not describe the experience" is the best way to describe the experience but I will do my best with words. I have owned a Rift DK2 and used a Rift CV1 and can say that the screen is much better and clearer on the HDK2 vs either of those. The HDK2 has the same screen resolution and size as the Vive and CV1 but has a true RGB panel, that means 50% more subpixels and a better image for the same PC horsepower. It also has true/normal lenses that are adjustable, per eye!
I played DCS World in VR for 4.5 hours last night. I just got my OSVR HDK2 in on Monday 10.10.2016. I updated the camera firmware (right click on the camera in "Devices and Printers" and click update firmware) and followed the directions for setup with my Nvidia GPU (GTX 1060) on YouTube. To find the directions, search YouTube for "OSVR HDK 1.3, 1.4 & 2.0 Software Setup Tutorial". The video is by "RTPC Mod Life". I had it running, with SteamVR, in 5 minutes (he also has a video for you AMD guys)! It is now consumer ready if you follow that guide, if that was holding you back you can buy it now.
I fired up the campfire demo that comes with the runtime and it worked just fine. DCS World 1.5 standalone (non-steam version) started up correctly the first time with SteamVR running in the background, I would fully expect the steam version to work just as well. I loaded up a quick mission in the P-51 and I was THERE, in the cockpit, flipping switches and dogfighting a German, remembering how hard it is to check your six in (almost) real life from my Oculus DK2 days!
It is AMAZING, if you have a VR device you NEED to fly this sim, and if you fly this sim you NEED to get a HDK2! If you ever looked at a military airplane and thought "Cool" then you need to get this headset and that sim (and a joystick). DCS World 1.5 is free and comes with 2 free planes, get the standalone version (from their website, not from steam) because they have huge sales on planes every season that the steam version doesn't. I could do things like; make amazing long range gun kills (in the P-51!), pick and hit THE SPOT on the enemy plane I wanted my bullets to hit just by "feel" (looking off to the side, not using the P-51 sight!), make buttery smooth landings on the center-line EVERY TIME, fly under bridges, fly between a towers guy wires with JUST enough room to fit a P-51 sideways, and other things that I couldn't do very well, or at all, on a monitor! I don't have just any monitor either, I have a 110 inch HD projector with TrackIr and all that, it doesn't get used for DCS anymore! Flying with the HDK2 is VERY close to the real thing, I would know, I am a pilot. You can tell exactly where the ground is, anyone that has played a flight sim on a monitor has flared for landing and then been surprised by the 15 foot drop down to the runway they thought was only inches below. This doesn't happen in VR. Pointing the plane in the direction of travel over the ground for landing is very natural feeling and easy now. It is much harder to overshoot your enemy too, the speed difference and distance is so easy to judge it shouldn't be called judging, you just see it.
I am running on a very old motherboard/CPU/RAM with a new GTX 1060 SC. I have an old, gen one, i7 920 OCed to 3.8 Ghz, 12 Gb DDR3, and some SSDs. DCS World runs well at VR settings with shadows set to low, I get 30-120 FPS, average is around 45-60 near a city with some smoke and burning craters made by my enemies' planes. I do not feel any motion sickness and only notice judder below 35 FPS, and it still isn't bad. DCS World is hard on a single core, my old i7 struggles there, the overclock helps but I am CPU limited in this sim. I run the sim at it's recommended VR settings and use 1.8 pixel density with 2x AA and 2x AF, it looks great! The gauges are readable and spotting enemies during a dogfight is a non-issue. Spotting in the distance is difficult still though.
There are some CONs. The plastic eye pieces can rest on the bridge of your nose, I might need to pad those, it caused a little discomfort after a few hours. The cables are a mess, I will get some conduit or something to make it more like a single wire and cut down on tangles. I have rudder pedals and a joystick that add to the normal wire mess (KB + mouse) for me.
The headset came with 2 spots of what looks like dirt on the screen, one is pretty large (the size of a cockpit button!), and a hair on the screen. I will try an air duster but might need to disassemble to get rid of them, not happy about that. The positional tracking gets off (but rotational tracking keeps working fine) when you look past 90 degrees and there was some yaw drift that was pretty bad on day one (i thought about returning it) but steam did a SteamVR update that almost completely solved those problems on the morning of day 2. The headset does have LEDs on the back so there should be no problem updating the software to give full 360 degree position and rotational tracking with the current hardware. Being open source I could try using my TrackIr along side the HDK2's tracker for better tracking past 90 degrees. I could use my little brother's old kinect to set up room scale with limb tracking too and I have a bunch of wii motes laying around somewhere for hand tracking... I will update this review as time goes on, I have only played DCS so far and it is well worth the money for that game alone! Even with the CONs I give it 5 stars and for the price, it is the obvious choice, especially for seated experiences. A little more improvement in the tracking software, a strip of nose padding foam, and I would call it perfect!