VR hardware system ratings

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WiredEarp
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VR hardware system ratings

Post by WiredEarp »

Is there already a rating system for VR systems. If not, why don't we come up with one?

I was thinking something along the lines of a numeric scale, with numbers representing different levels of capability for a system. For example, we could have a scale from 1 to 10, and rate the system on immersion capability in general - or we could have a slightly more complex system that rated it on optical and tactile immersion, using 2 numbers. For example, a 18 would be low optical high tactile, where a 90 would have high optical and no tactile capability. Ones for the blind might have 0x ratings ;)

This could be a useful thing, as we could then assign ratings to new VR systems that come out that will actually represent something to consumers and hobbyists in an easy to read and understand format. I dont think this is so necessary now, but I forsee the near future when headsets start to come out as part of consoles etc, and it would be nice to have a scale to rate them on...

zalo
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Re: VR hardware system ratings

Post by zalo »

It's interesting, but it's just too much abstraction and will serve to further confuse consumers.

Will consumers be compelled to buy the 40 system or the BRAND NEW WIDE FOV STEREOSCOPIC MEGAFAST HEADTRACKING OCULUS RIFT? Each technology is implemented on case by case basis, so why not enumerate it like that instead of trying to compress it into one arbitrary two digit number number?

If anything, the websites and critics that review these things would use this to describe each component of their review (like how IGN rates games based on Graphics, Gameplay, Controls, Story, Music, etc.)

Ziggurat
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Re: VR hardware system ratings

Post by Ziggurat »

Most consumers don't care about numbers. That's why we have names for processors and not how many flops it can do, even names of GPU's.
We also say Full HD instead of 1080p (or 4320p / 4K which is Full HD in Korea), or even Retina displays.

What happens when consumers use numbers? Well then we get iconic sentences like "It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs." :lol:

WiredEarp
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Re: VR hardware system ratings

Post by WiredEarp »

@ Ziggurat: those are some good points. You mention that consumers already use a type of rating, 'Full HD' instead of 1080.
A numeric scale was just an idea, the concept of a standardized rating for VR is what I was trying to raise.

For example, perhaps 'High FOV' could become a standard like 'Full HD', for HMDs with more than 90 degree FOV. Ones with > 170 degree FOV could be 'Full FOV'?

I'm just thinking of ways that consumers can be sure they are buying the correct VR device for the experience they want, rather than ending up with stuff like HMZ which isn't really VR IMHO.
In this example, HMZ wouldn't achieve a 'High FOV' rating, so if game developers can then simply say 'requires High FOV system or better', it will help out people with their purchasing choices.

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nateight
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Re: VR hardware system ratings

Post by nateight »

WiredEarp, I actually gave some thought to a simplified, consumer-friendly system for the software end of this some time ago. I think my conclusion was that we need to know what the hardware market will look like before we can give accurate advice about the software market, and at this point the same holds true about giving advice about the hardware market, also. It's possible things won't be as complex as you envision, at least for a few years. For instance, things would be greatly simplified if the Rift winds up being the only HMD you can buy at brick-and-mortar locations. Consumers want the bare minimum amount of information or you risk confusing them - a "Rift Ready!" sticker next to the ESRB rating would indicate that the game was built with the Rift in mind, while a "Rift Required!" sticker would warn consumers that this was one of the very few games playable exclusively with a Rift. No sticker, don't expect it to work. Anything more complicated than that is probably too complicated, but of course if Sony releases an HMD, Microsoft, some Chinese company churns out a low budget HMD, etc., then all bets are off.

Please note, all attempts to qualify the PC market for consumers have failed miserably and only served to confuse consumers and annoy techs and system builders. HMDs may be more akin to monitors, but even that is a veritable hornet's nest of acronyms and figures. Do you want an IPS display, or a TFT display? Is that LCD response time grey-to-grey or black-white-black? What is a "plasma" and why do I want it? What is "ghosting"? What's a "resolution"? LED? OLED? CRT? LCD? RTC? CCFL? VGA? FED? SED? DLP? LCoS? HDMI!

It's hardly worth the effort, honestly - any attempt to unify all this stuff just adds an additional layer of complexity, never removes one. That's the nice thing about standards - there are so many to choose from!
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WiredEarp
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Re: VR hardware system ratings

Post by WiredEarp »

Some good points there.

I actually think games being 'Rift required!' is a bad thing. While the Rift is the only game in town now, it wont be forever, and it would be shortsighted for game devs to limit themselves to a single HMD. Otherwise, in the future, these games will not be playable once we have moved to other HMDs (whether Oculus HMDs or others).

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nateight
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Re: VR hardware system ratings

Post by nateight »

WiredEarp wrote:While the Rift is the only game in town now, it wont be forever, and it would be shortsighted for game devs to limit themselves to a single HMD.
That's theoretically true, but look at the agony the switch from a 5.6" panel to a 7" panel caused Oculus even internally. It's entirely possible games won't be playable between competing HMDs, at least not without a lot of refactoring, and HMD manufacturers won't have any incentive to be accommodating because they'll be too busy trying to become the one true and only market leader.

In short, it's a bit too early to be thinking about this stuff, IMO, and even when the time is right, it's likely to either be a wild goose chase or a cat herding exercise. Good luck! :lol:
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