Posts by Zed

    The voice comms are handled easily with things like TeamSpeak or Discord. No reason for anyone to devote cycles to that since it’s already done well.


    The true multiplayer things are what IPACS will have to implement or provide hooks for. JoinFS lets you do all of the multiplayer stuff you mention as well as fly your own plane in the same scenery area as the other players for formation, sightseeing tours, and group flights. But Aerofly would need to take the information about other planes and show them to you.


    And it is a huge blast to do. I’ve done a number of group flights in other flight sims with simultaneous voice comms and it is very enjoyable as everyone slots in for landings, takeoffs, saddles up in multi-ship formations, etc.


    Sharing a cockpit in VR is really strange though. If you aren’t the one flying the plane, there can be a greater chance to feel motion sickness especially if the other pilot isn’t smooth. But it’s also really spooky. You just have to try it and see.

    Can’t answer specifically on the Rift image but I’m sure it’s true for the Rift as well that if you need to be able to see something and can’t quite make it out, you can just lean in to bring it closer and make it bigger.


    I think I posted this before but here is an eye chart of sorts that shows the effective difference between Vive and Vive Pro by a dev house that’s been using them: https://mobile.twitter.com/dog…status/950491718444462080

    I just found this comparison of the current Vive and the Samsung Odyssey, which uses the same displays as in the Vive Pro...


    https://imgur.com/njOx0Gu


    It’s not a huge difference but the dials are easier to read in the right image which is the Odyssey. Add the effect of head and eye tremors which help to increase effective resolution and the effect should be even greater when actually in VR.


    For whatever it’s worth...

    About the VR hands, DCS sort of does this if it can see your controllers and while just my opinion, I don’t care for it. X-Plane has also implemented the ability to control the cockpit and fly using controllers, and it’s also not my cup of tea. I don’t know what IPACS is planning but suspect it’s going to be more of the same but I’m willing to give it a chance and see what they have planned. IMO, where that stuff works is for checking out a sim without having a stick, yoke, throttle, button box, etc, all hooked up and configured.


    Again, it’s only my opinion and preference, but I prefer to use my own controls instead of reaching and groping for, picking up, using, and putting the controller back down. In VR, the big disadvantage is you can’t easily see the real world so controls in known locations is a bonus. That said, anything I need to do in the cockpit that isn’t mapped to joystick or throttle buttons and switches means I have to locate my mouse instead which has no virtual world representation. Others have affixed touch pads to their sims so they have a known and fixed control. I have a little table next to my sim where I keep my mouse but when I was desk-bound for simming, my mouse was always right on my mouse pad and easy to find. My controllers were pushed back to the back of my desk, unused.


    Which brings us to the speculation part of our show. And it is speculation since they didn’t even mention the twin cameras on the face of the Vive Pro other than to glancingly mention enhanced Chaperone. Maybe that’s all they are but they look eerily like the Zed Mini (no relation). https://www.stereolabs.com/zed-mini/ The stereo cameras located basically where your eyes are opens up other possibilities with caveats but Zed Mini is already doing this - it allows mixed/augmented reality. There is speculation (emphasis on speculation) that this will allow chroma keying and bringing real world items into the virtual world without having them be tracked per se. The more wild speculation is that they may provide Leap Motion (https://www.leapmotion.com/) functionality where you don’t pick anything up, don’t reach for any controller - you just use your hands to actuate cockpit knobs and switches. At a minimum, the cameras will allow easily kicking out of VR and seeing the real word in stereo to be able to locate and pick up controllers. The cameras could possibly just be for Chaperone (sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...) but I do suspect there is added functionality in there but we just don’t know yet.


    The last thing to mention is the Vive isn’t it’s own product and HTC isn’t the only source for parts, pieces, and controllers. It’s easy to think of it that way, but the new Lighthouses that are going to be part of the full Pro package are made by Valve. While the wand controllers everyone associates with the Vive are made by HTC, the Knuckles controllers that are more similar to Touch are being made by Valve (https://www.vrheads.com/valve-knuckles-controllers). There are multiple manufacturers and companies that have signed onto the Lighthouse ecosystem and will be supplying devices that work with it so people can mix and match what they want. Those that don’t like the wands don’t have to use them. When the Knuckles controllers go on sale (soon?), you can buy those instead.


    And a bit more esoteric, but I built a motion rig to use in my sim adventures. This goes way beyond this discussion, but in VR that tracks your head motions, it tracks all of your head motions - even those due to the sim platform that you are really moving relative to. There is an application that can subtract out the motion platform movements after you attach a controller to the platform. That works for the Vive. Oculus changed their motion tracking and at least for now, there is no way to subtract away motion platform movement with Constellation. For small-displacement rigs like mine, you don’t even need to worry about it. I still haven’t installed the app to do motion cancellation since it only gets weird at the extreme motions for me. But this has been giving the 6 dof guys fits. It’s a big deal for those with big displacement motion sims because they find their heads sticking out through roofs, outside of cockpits, etc. With a Lighthouse-based system, you just fix a tracked controller to the platform, set up the software, and from then on, your perspective in the virtual world only reflects your motion relative to the motion rig.

    My preference is definitely for the Vive Pro. The resolution in the current gen Rift and Vive is just a bit too low for many cockpit gauges, seeing turns at a distance, etc. The Pro is not a huge resolution update (78% increase in pixels) but with current technology it was either include hardware upscaling with a higher res displays or go with these displays that just came on the market - the same as in the Samsung Odyssey. Reviews of the Odyssey have noted how it is just good enough to make a big difference with cockpit sims. The displays themselves are supposed to be beautiful and the optics are also supposed to be improved.


    The headset alone, without trackers and wands, is what is coming available this quarter so it’s probably best for those that already have Vives since at least one Lighthouse would still be needed. But for cockpit simmers, that should be all that’s needed if you don’t care about other VR games or experiences that need controllers or use room scale. It may also need a link box but those are pretty cheap. We'll need to see what is included. The full kit will come available later this year but will have everything including Lighthouse 2.0 trackers. The Vive Pro is compatible with both the current 1.0 Lighthouses and the coming 2.0.


    We don’t know what LG is going to bring to market or when though they seemed to indicate it would be more or less around now, but since last summer, nothing. We also don’t know what Oculus is going to announce or when but the last thing they said was 2019. Unless that was a bluff, there’s at least another year for them. For me, I want the best resolution available as soon as I can get it.This is a bigger jump in resolution than from DK2 to either Vive or Rift (https://i.imgur.com/D5bMmqn.jpg) and I remember how big of an effect that was.


    HTC has now split their product line. The current Vive will remain and may (probably?) will get a price cut. No price has been announced for the Pro. No idea how it will compare but people might want to wait to factor that in before they make a decision unless there are other overriding factors. But with a split product line, HTC can upgrade each end of the product line freely. Before, changes to the Vive had to be able to be used by all potential customers. Now, the "Pro" line can be upgraded with less consideration for those on budget systems since there is a set that will still work for them. This modular approach has obvious advantages now with them offering an hmd-only upgrade.


    It’s just me, but knowing what I know now about how transformative and amazing VR is in flight and driving sims, I want the best I can run. The Ampere line is due soon too and that should have HBM2 memory like the Volta card Nvidia recently revealed. If it has the 2-4x performance boost that the Volta has for games, an 80% pixel increase should be covered with some extra frame margins thrown in.


    I’m going for it and waiting to be able to buy it and take delivery. It doesn’t lock me into anything but I’ll have the benefit of significantly higher resolution, better lensing, and all the pluses of the Samsung displays. When HTC updates the Pro again, you can bet I’ll be there too.


    Just my choice and opinion for whatever it’s worth.

    We can’t say much for certain with such a cryptic tease, but it does sound like something is coming with better resolution and with the date on the tease being Monday, we should know soon just what is up. Since they tease "resolution", it’s going to be more than just ergonomics or a lens update (last October Valve announced special lenses available to manufacturers using SteamVR). To increase resolution (without narrowing field of view) means new displays. I’ve been seeing discussions of even switching away from OLED to LCD but it’s all speculation and people guessing all sorts of panels. Samsung apparently has a new OLED panel that’s exactly the same physical size as the current Vive panel but 2k by 2k. I don’t see how they could use that without upscaling though. There are many possibilities.


    But no idea what Oculus will do. I can’t believe they’ve gone all this time without working on their own second generation headset. The questions will be how close they are to a ready product and where they were aiming on features/specs compared to whatever HTC announces. They may breathe a sigh of relief on Monday or go back to the drawing board.


    The first generation headsets came out with the exact same pixel counts though different panels. This second generation may be where we start to see diverging and it’s going to be interesting to see where they land, who is on top, and when they actually ship. We may even be looking at a leapfrog thing now since Oculus had said no new headset until 2019 but it will be hard to stick to that if they suddenly find themselves the lowest resolution headset on the market. Maybe they don’t release any upgrade until then but it’s a killer one, then a year or two after that, HTC or someone else blows that away.


    We just don’t know but looks we'll start to hear things Monday. And no matter how things turn out, at least we are seeing movement. Hopefully significant but possibly minor. Two years with no real updates has been a long time. We’ve been needing a shakeup. :thumbup:

    I wonder how long until they release this? And how much it will cost? And what the impact will be on framerates in FS 2?


    We'll find out soon. There are a whole lot of possibilities and it could be anything. The VR press pointed out HTC previously said no Gen 2 until they could do it justice. Maybe they can do it justice now or maybe they can’t, but I think we can have some confidence in a lower limit on specs. Valve announced new custom lenses that give up to 120 degrees FoV depending on the display format. With WMR now with higher resolution, it’s probably safe to assume the new Vive will have at least that resolution.


    After that it’s anyone's guess. If they do upscaling in silicon then effective resolution could go way up without really affecting frame rates on current hardware. Odds are good ergonomics will be even better, maybe it will have Lighthouse 2.0, maybe the knuckles controllers, even lighter, and so on.


    There is also the motivation to wonder about. The Rifts have been priced low for a while and Vive has been slipping in market share. A refresh or a gen 2 makes sense but you’d also think they would shoot for something more than just equaling the WMR headsets in resolution unless it somehow was trivial to do whatever this is. Without upscaling, any extra FoV and resolution does carry a compute penalty. That has to have factored into this somehow, either as not a significant issue or they are mitigating it somehow. Eye tracking and foveated rendering are maybe too extreme, but who knows?


    It’s all very curious. The only thing we know for sure is they are teasing it as a New Years "Resolution". For me at least, this is huge. Reading dials and gauges is the biggest issue for me in VR and any increase in resolution is welcome as long as it’s not just a trivial increase.


    Going to be a long weekend... :)


    Oh, on the release, the speculation I’ve seen is that if it’s just a refresh of the current Vive, very soon. This is probably tanking their sales short term. If it’s a whole new headset, much harder to say but probably still soon.

    I agree FS2 VR is the best out on the market, just tried the XP11 VR that just came out and its not even flyable, FS2 has a huge market just waiting the major item that people want is advanced aircraft systems like fmc navigation I'm not only a real world pilot but also spent a lot of time within the flight simulator world I started my computer flying with Bruce Artwick SubLOGIC FS1 and flew every simulator since and FS2 has a huge edge with the VR world I never knew it would advance this far check this video out this is where it really began.


    I worked a paper route so I could save up the money for an Apple ][. I still have the floppy for SubLOGIC's flight sim. I also still have the floppy for the first Microsoft Flight Simulator when they bought out SubLOGIC. That video brings back a whole lot of memories. It's kind of like the radio serials my parents and grandparents would tell us about - you had to use your imagination to extend what you were given. Many hours spent keyboard flying and listening to that infernal buzzing that was to simulate the engine. So long ago.


    Imagination or no, I'll take the best possible VR any day over those old sims. Things are just so unbelievable now and only going to be getting better.

    And with as much seems to be rendered on the AFS2 aircraft, if you have the room, try getting out of the cockpit and check the plane out from the outside. It’s very weird. But be careful since you aren’t seeing your real surroundings, or, take the headset off and take up a position and then put the headset back on.

    They would need the capability to do water landings, but an Icon A5, PBY Catalina, a Cub on floats, etc, would be cool. Probably needs better developed water, though.

    I am thinking that as AFS2 develops that the sale of Orbx products for the other sims will diminish. Not sure what Orbx thinks about that.


    I think AFS2 is going to grow and with the similarities between ORBX's Monterey and Meigs sceneries on both FSX and AFS2, I think ORBX can leverage the rest of their portfolio pretty easy. I bet the future is bright for AFS2 and for ORBX.

    Something fairly inexpensive that adds a huge amount to the experience is a bass shaker attached to your seat. In piston engine planes like the Corsair, Bücker, etc, you’ll get the engine vibrations, thumps when you touch down, etc.