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Rough Edges: Hands On With Razer's OSVR


It's been three months since I saw OSVR in person at CES. However, at that time we didn't get to see any gameplay running on the VR headset. This week at GDC, Razer showed off the device through multiple games, and I finally had the chance to see games running in OSVR.

I played through two demos in OSVR: a racing game which utilized an Xbox 360 controller and another game which included a Leap Motion sensor so I could use my hands in-game. The racing game was supposed to be fun, since I could look around inside the cockpit while speeding through the racetrack. Unfortunately, there were issues in setting up the game and placing OSVR on my head.

Comfort is a big issue in gaming, especially if you wear glasses like I do. The OSVR headset felt tight around my temples and it pushed my lenses closer to my face. The even bigger problem was the game itself. For some reason, the game screen wasn't centered in the headset and it always shifted to the left, so I found myself physically turning left and getting tangled up in OSVR's wiring. Overall, the errors made the experience very uncomfortable and detracted from my fully enjoying the game.

OSVR allows developers to utilize different devices to work alongside OSVR. In the case of the second game, a Leap Motion sensor was attached so that I could use my hands in the game. My left hand emitted water and my right hand sparked fire, and I had to destroy floating demons with the correct elements. While the headset was still uncomfortable, the game experience was slightly better. The screen was centered and there were no issues when I looked around in the virtual space. However, the sensor did not perform very well. It was difficult to locate my hands, and it didn't always follow my gestures even though I performed the correct movements. When it did detect my hands, there was a chance that my in-game hand didn't exactly follow my movements. For example, I could have my palm face up to prime the element, but my in-game hand would be clenched and bent in an odd direction. Nevertheless, I managed to reach the higher, difficult levels in the game.

The big thing that OSVR has going for it is that it has a lot of partners. I was only able to try two games at Razer's booth, but there's a lot more content available now and in the future. One of OSVR's recent grabs was Ubisoft, so we might see something from the major developer that uses OSVR as well. But even with all the content, more work still needs to be done on the actual headset to make it comfortable for users. The content itself might be great, but if the user experience for the head mounted display is the same as it is now, it won't be a comfortable experience in the future.

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  • Oldbutstillatit
    Well crap. Expected I suppose but, since these guys are pushing industry standards and open frame work I hope it comes together for them. The other big boys seem to be doing the status quo "my piece of market share, your piece" thing but, I hope not.
    Reply
  • p05esto
    Only looking forward to MS Hololens at this point..... maybe someone will surprise, Facebook has a lot of money behind Ocolus or however it's spelled. I like the augmented reality concept though. I like still seeing my environment, knowing when someone walks into the room, being able to walk around without falling, less dizzy, just better.
    Reply
  • alidan
    for augmented reality, you require if i remember right at least an 8k+ display density and a majority of that needs to be focused at the center of your eyes, otherwise the augmented reality looks fake as hell... in other words, you would need you first have a stupidly high pixel density, VERY fast if not real time eye tracking, and than you would need a tessellation like technology that works in the resolution or enough power behind the device to render that absurdly huge resolution, not to mention the processing power to render crap real time that looks like it fits in the real world...

    VR requires FAR less to look good/real than augmented does, hell good augmented is at least 15-20 years out, at least from a gaming standpoint, however from more practical standpoint, AR is already here with the use of cell phones and gps... kind of...
    Reply
  • warezme
    Why would you even wear glasses with these devices? I mean even a regular camera viewer has diopter calibration so you can look through it without glasses. I would think a device like this would have considered that from the offset.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    Well, maybe this is why Gameboy Virtualboy never made it.
    Reply
  • alidan
    15448712 said:
    Why would you even wear glasses with these devices? I mean even a regular camera viewer has diopter calibration so you can look through it without glasses. I would think a device like this would have considered that from the offset.

    some people are nearsighted, some people are far sighted,

    i just picked up my only camera that has a physical viewfinder on it, and looked through it with my bad eye... everything was fuzzy, so apparently the viewfinder isn't able to work for near sighted people.
    Reply
  • alidan
    15448746 said:
    Well, maybe this is why Gameboy Virtualboy never made it.

    um... i have used a virtural boy... ill tell you why it never made it.

    the only 3d it could do was fake or vector, and to make it was all red...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBnH_GFhVjotell me if any of those games could not have been done without the vb... all it did was gimmick the idea.

    around the same time frame of the virtual boy, i was strapped into a vr display and went multiplayer in sin, THIS was amazing for the time and why i was hoping for 3d, but the requirements for 3d made it either undesirable or just not practical... unless you give me really fast refresh active glasses, i can see the refresh, and passive... well i notice the second image to much to make it worthwhile.

    however, vr head mount... this is splitting a 1080p screen in 2 and isnt impacting frame rate the same way, while adding new metrics to pull from instead of put on head static.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    15448838 said:
    15448746 said:
    Well, maybe this is why Gameboy Virtualboy never made it.

    um... i have used a virtural boy... ill tell you why it never made it.

    the only 3d it could do was fake or vector, and to make it was all red...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBnH_GFhVjotell me if any of those games could not have been done without the vb... all it did was gimmick the idea.

    around the same time frame of the virtual boy, i was strapped into a vr display and went multiplayer in sin, THIS was amazing for the time and why i was hoping for 3d, but the requirements for 3d made it either undesirable or just not practical... unless you give me really fast refresh active glasses, i can see the refresh, and passive... well i notice the second image to much to make it worthwhile.

    however, vr head mount... this is splitting a 1080p screen in 2 and isnt impacting frame rate the same way, while adding new metrics to pull from instead of put on head static.

    Lol I was just kidding.
    Reply
  • alidan
    15449470 said:
    15448838 said:
    15448746 said:
    Well, maybe this is why Gameboy Virtualboy never made it.

    um... i have used a virtural boy... ill tell you why it never made it.

    the only 3d it could do was fake or vector, and to make it was all red...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBnH_GFhVjotell me if any of those games could not have been done without the vb... all it did was gimmick the idea.

    around the same time frame of the virtual boy, i was strapped into a vr display and went multiplayer in sin, THIS was amazing for the time and why i was hoping for 3d, but the requirements for 3d made it either undesirable or just not practical... unless you give me really fast refresh active glasses, i can see the refresh, and passive... well i notice the second image to much to make it worthwhile.

    however, vr head mount... this is splitting a 1080p screen in 2 and isnt impacting frame rate the same way, while adding new metrics to pull from instead of put on head static.

    Lol I was just kidding.

    to many people aren't when they say that. and with the recent show of stupidity in the comments on this site, i dont think i am going to give anyone here the benefit of the doubt again.
    Reply