Microsoft Has Been Working on VR for "quite a while" - Says Phil Spencer

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Foxi4, Mar 23, 2014.

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Are you a VR enthusiast or are traditionalist? Which VR solution would you invest in, if any?

  1. I prefer to just play on the TV and hold a gamepad, I don't plan on buying any VR set

    16 vote(s)
    34.8%
  2. I'd like to buy an Oculus Rift

    15 vote(s)
    32.6%
  3. I'm interested in Project Morpheus

    5 vote(s)
    10.9%
  4. Phil's statement piques my interest, I'd like a VR headset for the Xbox One

    1 vote(s)
    2.2%
  5. I'm a fan of VR in general, all VR news is good news to me!

    9 vote(s)
    19.6%
  1. Foxi4
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    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    With the Oculus Rift getting a new revision and Sony announcing Project Morpheus for the PS4, the VR craze is back. It was merely a matter of time before Microsoft would announce that they want to board the VR hype train themselves - this much was obvious.​
    During the Game Developer Conference IGN interviewed Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Game Studios, and before long, the conversation reached the familiar shores of Virtual Reality. This is what he had to say: "I think the technology is really interesting, and it’s definitely something we’ve been playing with for quite a while." Later Phil mentioned that not "every experience requires goggles on my head", however admitted that VR technology has the capacity "to completely audibly and visually immerse players".​
    While this is not a solid announcement of any new product, it does suggest that Microsoft may be working on their own implementation of VR. Whether this is an official project or just something they have on the drawing board remains to be seen. It's also interesting to think how such gogles would work in conjunction with the Kinect 2.0. We already know that Project Morpheus will be compatible with PSMove, so it would be natural for Microsoft to follow suit. I can't help but wonder how such a combination would play out in practice, as clunky as the Kinect is in terms of control.​
    With all this in mind, Virtual Reality gogles of all-sorts just might become this generation's motion controls. If Microsoft does end up releasing a product similar to the Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus, developers will have all the reasons to work on VR games. What do you think about this development? Are you pro or anti-VR? Would you spend big bucks for total immersion or do you prefer to just sit comfortably on your couch and stare at your TV holding a controler? Take part in the poll above if you want to share your opinion.​
    Discuss!​
     


  2. Smuff

    Smuff Fossilized Gamer

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    I've been working on a VR project too. And so has my wife.
     
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  3. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a waifu.
     
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  4. lismati

    lismati Speedrunner in practice

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    Yes.
    "This is the part where we talk about news, but it's almost impossible to follow, because I have the personality of a plasticine potato"
     
  5. fojacko

    fojacko GBAtemp Regular

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    my hamster has been working on one for quite a few years now. WAY before oculus rift
     
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  6. Foxi4
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    Now I'm not sure if I follow - is that a creative insult? :unsure:
     
  7. WiiUBricker

    WiiUBricker Fake News Reporter

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    My major concern with VR is how much an impact it will have on your eyes' health.
     
  8. gman666

    gman666 Cubicle Expert

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    Well...Um ummm I thought of the idea before your hamster! Nyaaaa
     
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  9. Mario92

    Mario92 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    "Oh you guys are excited about VR huh? Umm well... W-We are making one as well! Actually we have been making one quite awhile!"

    Thing about VR it takes amount of resources and works only with certain types of games: just like 3D and motion controls. Xbone doesn't seem to have horsepower to maintain 1080p/60fps with 65 fov, how are they going to make VR work? Same goes with PS4 thing.
    PS3 3D was awful, Kinect was awful, well see what they do to VR.
     
  10. takieda

    takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    Virtually no worse than looking at anything else for that matter. The design of things like the Oculus Rift, and Project Morpheus is that it puts an image out far in front of your eyes, so you're not focusing on something very close. Given the right software, it's theoretically possible to improve your vision using this hardware and focusing/defocusing images that are presented to the eyes. The other side of the fence is the idea that light projected right into the eyes is necessarily detrimental to your eyes health. The problem with that argument is that is how everything works. Light reflects off of objects and is then projected right into our eyes. That is how we see. With current screens currently in existence, there is virtually no difference on the human eye, at looking at a current decent quality LCD/LED display, compared to looking at objects in the real world.

    So sign me up!

    The problem isn't that it doesn't have the horse power to do these things, it's that software hasn't been designed well enough to use the hardware of the Xbone to display these images, at the given complexity provided. If they lowered the complexity of the image (fewer polys, lower resolution textures, fewer usages of light blooms, fewer depictions of Jesus in toast/WHATEVER), and/or improved the software's use of the given hardware, the Xbone could easily handle the images at 1080p/60fps (I'm dropping off the FOV as that is a nonissue here). But that argument also goes with the PS4.

    Before you pull in the issue of the two simultaneous screens, remember that the resolution of each display is half that of one full 1080p display, so the hardware requirements to display 2 960x1080 screens is virtually identical to a single 1920x1080 display. The complexity comes into the motion tools required to adequately put you into the virtual world. Passive virtual reality ( which is basically just giving you the visual display), has long since been proven make people nauseated, give people headaches, etc. The very reason the Oculus Rift exists (with its current hardware setup) today is that Palmer Luckey recognized the issues of previous HMDs (head mounted displays), and realized that accurate representation of motion was a necessity. If you turn your head to the left, it MUST reflect that you've done so, otherwise you have the very problems that cause motion sickness.

    The current DK2 now has the hardware to provide sub-millimeters of a accuracy position and rotation, while reflecting those movements in less than 100 ms (20-30ms is what I remember from the announcement video - correct me if I'm wrong). It does so by having multiple IR projection points on the outside of the display, that are then recorded by an IR camera so the computer can tell exactly where the headset is at any given moment. The beauty of this all is that the Kinect 2 is just such a piece of hardware. The Xbone already has some of the hardware necessary to pull off this very feat that the Oculus VR people have had to go out of their way to make viable in their current DK2. Furthermore - the Kinect 2, if software is designed correctly for it, could accurately portray the human body, in a visually representative way, into the virtual world (as it SEES you in 3D and can represent you in that 3d world).

    No, my only problem with the above announcement is the definite, "oh, they're talking about VR now? Well, we uh... we've totally got VR going, we're totes down with that yo. You should see ours, it's awesome." I just really REALLY hope they don't try doing something stupid like buying out a major IP LIKE Oculus for this to happen.
     
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  11. Foxi4
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    This actually isn't true. The amount of horsepower required is not two times as much, but it's not equivalent to one 1920x1080 - it's somewhere in-between, and unfortunately closer to the "two times as much", mostly because you have to effectively render 120 frames per second to display anything in 1920x1080 stereo at 60 FPS. Sure, those frames are smaller in size, but they're still frames filled with geometry. Of course there are other ways to achieve stereo 3D, you can use some frame buffer tricks and post processing to achieve the effect, but it's far inferior to rendering twice so it's not used with the Rift. We'll see how things will play out, but I'd be optimistic. Let's not forget that games that are supposed to work with the VR sets will no doubt be specifically adjusted for that purpose.
     
  12. XrosBlader821

    XrosBlader821 Digimon Tamer

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    Console Wars is a thing from yesterday.
    Today we fight the VR Headset Wars.
     
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  13. takieda

    takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    While I haven't done the exact math on the subject, I'd wager it's closer to not the two times as much. Remember there's an horrific amount of extra processing done, NOT on the image itself, but on all the other forces outside of it, with specific regard to motion and rotation. Also, as the screen resolution gets smaller, it does significantly reduce the amount of processing power needed. A lot of processing is STILL needed for motion, but while this does account for some of the difference between 1920x1080 it doesn't account for all of it. As the resolution gets smaller, so do the objects. Think of it like LOD adjustments in games. A poorly written game will have an object with, say 10,000 polys, show 10,000 polys regardless of distance from you, but a more properly written game uses adjustments based on Level of Detail, based on distance. So as the distance gets greater, the effective resolution of that object gets smaller, so less detail has to be rendered FOR that object, and less level of detail is shown. This works out the same when halving the resolution dealing with an HMD. Of course that means, that, once again, software has to be written and optimized for the hardware, but it does mean that 1920x1080 requires roughly the same processing power as 960x1080. The extra processing goes into external adjustments, which do then, adjust the visual display (your motion changing what's supposed to be on screen).

    Of course this can't be a perfect 1:1 here, as anytime you increase the complexity of the system, you increase the processing requirements, even when halving one of those requirements (the resolution in this case).

    I would, however, like to see some specifics on this, so if you've seen something that talks about where it's greater than I've described, link me, as I'd be much appreciative.

    ***EDIT*** TL;DR forget all that, completely didn't even recognize the 120hz issue... I'm an idiot.
     
  14. Foxi4
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    10,000 polygons at 60 FPS is 60,000 polygons a second while 10,000 at 60 FPS, once for each eye, which is 120 FPS total, is 120,000 polygons per second. Just saying. ;)
     
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  15. takieda

    takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    which is why I did the edit (though to be fair, you may have started to respond before I finished the edit). Either way, sorry, I've got allergies, I can't read clearly on this monitor right now, yeah.. That's it, I wasn't being stupid, I just can't read!

    But wait... something I'll have to look into. I don't think they have to do a 120hz refresh on these. It's not like shutter glasses - each eye is getting the screen constantly, so they don't HAVE to update the screen 120hz to give you 60hz... There's something about the Oculus Rift DK2 that was talking about refresh rate - I'm going to have to go reread it.
     
  16. Foxi4
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    No, they don't need to do 120Hz, but they do have to render twice the frames to have 60 each eye. I'm not a 100% certain, but I'm sure that after the transformations are all said and done, the two frames are composited into one and sent over to the device as one, hence you only need 60Hz.
     
  17. takieda

    takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    Okay - reading articles about how the human eye perceives data (as constant motion instead of individual frames, and the like), it seems the sweet spot is somewhere around 80-100hz, so pushing 120hz wouldn't be a problem at all. So while we may not need to get 120hz, getting 100 is pretty close, and would be very good for their hardware to maintain exactly what we want and need for our experience.
     
  18. Foxi4
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    So they say. Apparently people stop seeing any difference in fluidity around the 72 FPS mark (on average), 100 FPS is set as the sweetspot in terms of comfort, but those values aren't really set in stone. These matters are entirely individual because, as you mention yourself, the human eye perceives a constant stream of data, not frames. We don't have a refresh rate, rather varied paces at which we interpret images.
     
  19. takieda

    takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    They wouldn't have to composite anything, as the two images are put side by side and then a partition is put in between the two so your eyes don't see the other image. It's not like active shutter glasses where each other frame is showing you something different. They render half the resolution, so it only takes half the time (kind of, effectively, sorta).

    So let's think of things in a different way - let's say yes, you have to do each frame as separate computations, and you need 60hz total at the end, that means each one has to be done in 120hz, but as they're half the resolution, they're created in half the amount of time anyway, so they hit the 120hz just as easily (if no other processing was required to achieve that image - which is where the whole computation required for motion increases these problems).
     
  20. takieda

    takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    You know, I'd read the 72 fps statement before, but a lot of people are claiming they need higher (in the 80-85fps range) to keep from having issues/headaches/gastroenteritis/whatever. Of course that could just be a, "well MY eyes can perceive 80 fps." "Oh yeah? well mine can see 85 fps. It's not like they're better or anything, they just do, ya know?"