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CaptCWGAllen

So.......Oculus Rift and FSX

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Mind Blowing.........but don't hang up your TIR just yet.

 

Without trying one for yourself it is difficult to describe what I saw. It certainly is not perfect. In fact it is far from perfect. Everything shimmers. There are no sharply defined lines.

 

But.......... I cannot go back to the flat screen. The immersion factor from the perspective of a feeling of vastness, depth, height, movement (my stomarch lurched on occasion), speed (particlulary on approach or low passes) - it is jaw dropping. FSX is not renowned for volumetric clouds - but you get them - don't know why, dont know how - but they also feel real size - they are massive. I set up a thunderstorm over San Francisco using the preset. It was amazing. I was in the A2A Cherokee. It was being thrown around a tad - but it felt so real (apart from me not physically moving). But it plays tricks with your mind - phenomenal ones. A break in the clouds and you bank and look down through this hole in clouds and you feel like you are 4000' up. The ability to judge distance and height is uncanny.

 

And flying above a layer of cloud with the sunsetting is stunning - you just want to keep flying toward the sun. You do not want to stop what you are doing.........it is mesmorising.

 

But don't rush out and but one yet unless you are happy to compromise on the quality of the visual - but if you are just too curious for your own good (as I am) then I don't think you will be disappointed - but you have been warned - it is far from perfect. The headsets are development kits right now and pushing up the resolution with any decent amount of detail will give you an OOM in seconds (remember although the resolution might not seem that high it has to push out two slightly different images - half on each side of the screen) for the 3D experience.

 

Then there is the issue of the pixilation. If you go to this link and set it to 1080 - that is sort of what you see - except that in the moving scenario all those pixels cause the shilmmering and lack of sharpness. I say that is all you see but I must emphasis that you also see this vast 3D world which feels real size, which unless you experience it it is so hard to imagine.

 

http://vr.mkeblx.net/oculus-sim/

 

The consumer model (which is CV1 in the demo) will reduce this pixellation considerably.

 

For basic point to point GA flying where you know where you are and you know where you want to go it is completely workable assuming you can do it by VFR and don't need to programme the GPS or play around with the radio nav too much (although you can lean forward just as in RL and twiddle those knobs quite accurately). For anything more complex it will take a lot of refining. But for me with this amazing piece of kit and the amazing work that this chap is doing to bring us Virtual Reality to the flight sim world https://www.kickstar...ref=hero_thanks I just want to fly around the world in my virtual bubble.

 

Oh and one other thing - the system uses something called Timewarp - and basically if the screen in the headset is refreshing at at least 75fps then it has a way of guessing and merging any delayed frames from the sim itself. I had quite heavy settings over San Fran and the FSX framerate was dropping into the low teens from time to time, with the load of the object settings and a thunderstorm. But Timewarp did its job and the fight model stayed as fluid and smooth as oil.

 

I think that this is the start of something very big for the flightsim hobby - I could be wrong but based on this early evolution it looks immensely promising.

 

cheers

Peter

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Thanks for the review.

 

I will be ordering mine as soon as they are commercially available. I briefly tried one with Elite:Dangerous and it was an amazing experience. I did not want to take it off.

 

Whether I can sustain it for long periods, we will soon see, but it is still worth getting as an alternative way to experience FSX.

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Great review Peter.

Likewise I tried one on at FlightSim expo last year. It certainly is early days. As you say, the resolution I found to be the cause of lacking detail and definition. That said, it truly was immersive and a great experience. When they get this right it will be excellent. Not very comfortable though.

 

Nige

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Excellent post Peter, I confirm word for word what you have said and I just cannot now go back to my dual  FLAT screen setup and I will live with the current limitations as the experience will dramatically improve.

 

As you say it is difficult to describe except to say that if anyone wants to really experience flying then this is a must have. It also makes flying so much easier as it is  a total immersion 3D, 360 degrees full size image world. My favorite at the moment is the Spitfire; who would have thought that it would be possible to really experience this:) 

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