Fun VR Game, Failed VR Headset
I've been waiting for Beat Saber to drop on Steam ever since it was announced. The promo video looked awesome!
The game came out in Steam Early Access today, so I was really looking forward to playing it tonight. And it was as good as I hoped ... almost. The problem was not the game, but the VR display I was using. Unfortunately, when I got an iMac, I'd moved my Vive up to my office to use for WebVR/WebXR development (Firefox + Steam == WebVR on MacOSX!), so I used the Windows MR display I had on the PC in the basement.
I've been pretty happy with the Windows MR displays; their field of view isn't very good compared to the Vive or the Rift, but it's nice to not have to fiddle with external sensors. They've been working well for the social VR projects we've been doing, and for the games and experiences I've tried up till now.
But this was the first time I'd tried using one of them for a fast paced, rapid motion game. And, alas, it was something of a disaster. I played 4 or 5 levels, and on every one, the tracking got lost at least once (once, it got lost twice). The content went crazy, making the game unplayable for a few seconds ... which is an eternity in a rythm game.
This is something I'd worried about with inside-out tracking; that and the potential to lose track of the controllers. I was a bit surprised it happened here, but on reflection, the movement in Beat Saber is mostly side to side, which is perhaps more difficult for an inside out tracker since the inertial sensors likely won't help as much when there's motion blur.
I'm going to give it another go, because the game is really well done. I don't want to move the Vive back downstairs; I may dig out the Rift and plug it back in this time (something I'm loath to do, given the data Facebook collects).
Here's a more recent video, you should give it a try! (Perhaps on a Vive, though?)