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Paden501

Flight sim will never be the same again

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So I tried VR with P3D and my entire outlook on flight simming has changed. 

It's very difficult to explain in words just how immersive of a VR experience P3D is.  I had watched a lot of youtube videos before I decided to make the plunge but even those videos really didn't capture the essence of the experience.  I explained it to a friend the other day as "the closest thing to flying that I'll ever do while sitting in my garage" and that about sums it up.  You really do "feel" like you're in the aircraft in a way that a monitor (even a multi monitor setup w/ trackIR) can't replicate.  Doing simple aviation tasks like flying a pattern or even taxiing provides a renewed level of enjoyment because everything is in life scale.

VR has also given me a new appreciation for all of those high resolution textures and other details that go into the VC of some of the payware aircraft. I can go walk around the passenger seats of my aircraft if I feel like it.  if I have the space, I could even do a full pre-flight walk around by literally walking around.

To this point, I'd been disappointed in my purchase of Carenado's TBM850 because I found it very difficult to actually see out of the cockpit window without losing sight of the G1000.  With VR, everything falls nicely into perspective "as if you were there" and simply moving your head or sitting up a bit straighter can alter your view dynamically as you work.  The panels and windshield also give you a proper sense of depth in 3D so you perceive the space properly.  Similarly, I was constantly frustrated by the placement of the overhead switches (above AND behind the sun visor) but in VR that made a lot more sense.

Ok, now on to the challenges. 

1. I actually think that the native VR in P3Dv4.1 provides a better visual experience than flyinside.  On my system with my settings it also provides similar performance.  HOWEVER - not being able to bring windows into the VR is a deal breaker.  I constantly am whipping the VR on and off my face to check charts, communicate with ATC, etc.  I also find the native mouse interact to work better than FlyInsides.  With FI I'm constantly losing my mouse to some other window on the desktop.

2. The resolution is usable but not perfect.  Gauges are readable to some extent but there is a lot of room for improvement.  This is especially true with glass cockpits (which I find hard to read even on a monitor without zooming in or using the pop-up windows).  I find that using the binocular in Flyinside gives me a usable view of the gauges that I can pop in and out of on command.  I can even read the GTN750 well enough to use it without the pop-up in my A2A 182 but only with the binocular mode on and blown up to almost full view.

3. The outside window mode in FlyInside works but it's frustrating.  I find myself yelling at the machine trying to move the windows, just to have them disappear and come back somewhere else later in the flight. 

 

All in all - this is a good experience.  Good enough that I want to keep using it and I'm very hopeful that improvements are made in the future that bring even more to the VR experience.

 

For reference, here are my system specs:

I7-2600K, OC to 4.5ghz
8GB RAM
GTX1060 6GB
Oculus CV1
SSD

 

If anyone has any questions or thoughts about some of the things that I've mentioned here, I'd love to share in the experience.

~Matt P

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Such are the travails of being an early adopter. :ha:

You will find over time, if you stick with it that there are a lot of little things you can do to "dial in" your settings for the best possible experience on your machine, but even then you will find there are some times when you feel like being in the headset to fly and sometimes not.

Just think of it as another tool to your enjoyment of simming, and not as any sort of end-all, be-all, and you will be fine.

I also suggest trying other experiences within the Rift, and even other sims.

Not all Vr implementations are equal!

Welcome to the vr simulation, early adopters club. :emu_melk:

 

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Thanks for the suggestions HiFlyer.  On a whim I did also pick up IL-2 Sturmovik the other day. Despite being a few years old, it is an amazing VR experience. They really did a lot to make the VR not feel like an afterthought and it shows (it even makes a bang sound when you bump your head off the canopy) While I can’t shoot the broad side of a barn still, it is a lot of fun to fly in VR.

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