After the summer 2020 has ended I got entangled in VR (pun intended,) as the weather got unbearably disgusting for mountain biking, and covid still ruled over the world. At the time of writing this blog post, this is still true on both counts.
What gear did you get?
I’ve got the Valve Index with 5 base stations and an extra pair of controllers to be able to just swap them for fresh pair when one runs out of power. Oh and 6 trackers - both Vive 2.0 and 3.0, and I will be testing the Tundra trackers when they do happen for real. If they do? We shall see. I did get powerbanks for them, but I stopped using them when I got the 2nd set of trackers. Now I just swap between the two sets. Powerbanks are heavy. Very heavy. It causes wobble and ruins the immesion for my victims. I intimidate (innocent-dom?) people in VR and generally roleplay a lot. Flawless tracking matters to me.
This setup is arguably the best one could buy - even Pimax 8k doesn’t compare at all. The only advantage of Pimax is better visual fidelity, however it has worse audio, comfort, ease of use, support, durability, …. And you can’t even use prescription lenses with it.
How much? Well let’s do the back of the envelope math:
- Index Kit 1300$
- Extra controllers 370$
- Extra base stations 3x 200$
- Vive 2.0 trackers 3x 120$
- Vive 3.0 trackers 3x 170$
- Tundra trackerts 525$
- Rebuff Reality TrackStrap (two sets) 2x 80$
- Rebuff Reality powerbanks 3x 45$
- Spare Index cable (cuz I did break one and support was slow) 190$
- 3D printed Noctua cooler for Index 75$
- Prescription Lenses 140$
The total sum is 4500$ rounded up for other minor expenses (cables, charger, …) ~ Insane, isn’t it? Wait for it… 5950x + nVidia 3090 do count another 3500$ !
The tracking is indeed flawless, and when paired with a good pilot and avatar, the experience that the people around you (your victims) is just amazing. Worth it. No regrets.
Valve support has their hands full with me too, I’ve already RMA’d two controllers, one base station, headset, cable, and we’re almost certainly not done. It was merely four months - however it was 2000 hours of VR (1200 VRChat.)
Update: A little over a year and 4000 hours of VR my opinion did not change.
I don’t know. Don’t do it.
Seriously though? It’s amazing experience. I got to roleplay with some of the legends, I got to dance with some of the legends, and I found countless of friends for life. Do it. Don’t hesitate. (Get a mountain bike first though. And actually use it.)
Wanna give it a try? Look up Up To Date reviews. See ThrillSeeker or some other youtubers. At the time of writing this, TLDR is: Index is the best. Quest2 is the cheapest, and wireless. (Yes you still need PC with Quest2. It’s a damn mobile phone, what do you expect?)