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[TUTORIAL] Decent VR Gaming for $30

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by iheartmods, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. iheartmods

    iheartmods
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    So, the HTC Vive is $800 and it requires a PC that will cost at least $800 to run as well. The Occulus Rift is about $600 and requires a quick PC too.

    What if I told you, Neo, that you could have a fairly decent VR experience on your PC by using your phone, for just about less than $30 USD.

    Base requirements:

    • WORKS WITH ANDROID PHONES ONLY (so sorry iPhone plebs :p )
    • A VR headset for your phone.
    • Relatively quick PC (for higher resolutions).
      • This PC should have a USB 3.0 port for the highest quality)
    • An Android phone/device (under 6 inches of diameter) with at least a quad-core processor and USB tethering capability
    • The TrinusVR App from the Play Store. They have a lite version which lets you try this out for an hour. If you like it, it's well worth the $9.99 . Link to lite version
    • Your favorite games!

    Headset options (based on my experience):

    Google Cardboard

    Amazon link for one with straps



    - Can be made by yourself for free or buy a pre-made one for about $10. Cardboard does the job but without substantial mods, you can't have it just rest on your head. I gave a go on a rubber band setup and the result was extreme discomfort in sessions longer than 5 minutes. -- I wouldn't reccommend this VR headset.--


    AVOTCH VR Box


    Amazon Link



    - Costs only $20 on Amazon and has padding for your face. It's quite comfortable - I watched a whole movie in bed last night without any noticeable discomfort. This headset is modular for pretty much all phones too - having the ability to fit phones with screen sizes from 3.5 inches up to 6 inches (big phones like my Nexus 6P fit quite snug - will likely require a 2 minute mod for comfort - more on that later). It comes with an extremely cheap Bluetooth controller - please just throw this out, it's garbage. You're seriously better off using a Bluetooth mouse to navigate Android while using this.

    - Or any other VR Headset - there's a few on the market now for quite cheap. Samsung Gear VR would work for select Galaxy phones if you want to buck up and pay the price (not needed by any stretch)

    Big Phone Users:, you are probably going to have to remove the springs inside this housing:

    IMG_20160817_174716.jpg

    It's just the 4 screws. There's two springs inside controlling the up and down action and they are so tight that they'll compress your volume/power buttons. Remove them, your phone will still fit nicely.

    Setup:

    Setup is fairly simple. I highly recommend you use the USB tethering option while using a USB 3.0 port. This allows for the lowest latency/highest FPS and quality. Using the WiFi options limits quality quite a bit. The only thing you must do is make sure "Fake3D" is enabled, otherwise the two eyes don't line up at all - you won't be able to read anything. The other options are easy enough to mess about with.

    Fullscreen isn't supported; you must use windowed mode. I've found I get 50-60 FPS at 720p. You may have more luck with 1080p gaming. 1080p works well for watching videos; my average frame rates were around 30.

    Things to keep in mind:

    The head tracking is good but how good it will be depends on the game. For example, you can kind of do head tracking in BeamNG but by mapping camera movements to the mouse, it thinks of the mouse's movements as axis-ed movements; in other terms, the more you move it in one direction, the faster the camera moves (I couldn't find a way around this in Beam) whereas in a game such as American Truck Simulator or ETS2, the mouse moves the camera in a fixed motion that's accurate and very pleasing head tracking can occur in these games. First Person Shooters work quite well with this logic too because moving your head (the mouse) moves the camera in a fixed motion.

    Something even cooler: This VR experience isn't limited to games. You can use plain Windows with Trinus! I use this to watch Netflix on my headset because the Android app doesn't support Cardboard mode. No head tracking, of course.


    Conclusion:

    I just thought this was cool. Nobody paid me to say this stuff ;) An interesting little niche that is quite powerful and fun to use.

    Demos:

    Demo using BeamNG:



    tri2 (3).JPG

    tri2 (1).JPG

    A crash in Beam looking only at the phone. Perfect 720p60



    Obviously I can't show exactly how it looks in VR - trust me that it's quite good.


    Screenshot_20160817-101816.png <- Screenshot from phone.

    Head tracking in Fallout 4 (should have turned sensitivity up) and in American Truck Simulator

     
    #1 iheartmods, Aug 18, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  2. blueshift

    blueshift
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    How dare you mock iPhone users! Just kidding, nice tutorial! :)
     
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  3. iheartmods

    iheartmods
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    Android master race!
     
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  4. randomshortguy

    randomshortguy
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    Does this method support stereo video (each eye gets a different image to create virtual depth)?
     
  5. iheartmods

    iheartmods
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    Like stereoscopic viewing? Yes, you have to set it up in the settings but it looks kind of weird. They have a dedicated PC app for this but it's like $30
     
  6. randomshortguy

    randomshortguy
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    Is it the "true" stereoscopic, as in it renders from two camera ports right next to eachother, or is it a "faked" stereoscopic effect? I only ask because the fake one makes me motion sick, I need depth perception to be physically true. I'd pay the $30 but only if it supports this feature.
     
  7. iheartmods

    iheartmods
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    I'm not sure, you can try the free version first to try out. 3D isn't my cup of tea so personally I've never tried it
     
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