Community Download: Was Constellation Tracking a Long-Term Mistake for Oculus?

by Joe Durbin • February 7th, 2017

The Oculus Rift is having problems…again. The issue is not on the operations side with shipping woes or on the marketing side with price complaints. This time the problem is actually within the product itself. The Rift is having trouble tracking some users in 3D space. For a VR company like Oculus, this problem is a lot bigger than any $500 million lawsuit. Therefore, our discussion question for you all this week is this: was the constellation tracking system a long-term mistake for Oculus as a company?

What is Constellation?

oculus-constellation-close-up

This may be old hat for some of you but bear with me while I briefly explain constellation tracking to those that may not know.

Constellation is the Oculus method of tracking a user throughout a room. This is what lets the computer know where your headset and hands are in 3D space. Basically, any time you lean forward or backward inside a Rift headset and the experience responds, that’s Constellation at work.

The system gets its name from a slew of infrared lights placed at strategic locations on both the Oculus Rift headset and the Oculus Touch controllers. These markers — laid out almost like a constellation — are picked up by the Oculus Sensors, which are designed to detect the light of the markers frame by frame. These frames are then processed by Oculus software on your computer to determine where in space you’re supposed to be.

So What’s The Problem?

touch-rift

Constellation tracking has two big problems right now. The first has been around for a long time now and is called occlusion.

Basically, if something like a desk, a wall or even your own hands get between too many infrared markers and a Rift Sensor, then the infrared markers will be blocked, or occluded, and tracking will be rendered impossible. This is why Touch ships with an additional camera, so that you can place them in different areas and keep your hands from occluding one another. However, multiple Sensors can’t solve everything.

Ever since Oculus released Touch it has allowed its users to create an experimental “room-scale” setup with three total Sensors placed strategically around the play space. What this should do is make it so no matter where you’re facing, at least one of the Sensors is able to see enough of the infrared markers on your headset and both Touch controllers. Instead, these larger Sensor formations have led to reports of tracking issues.

This issue seems to be centered on the software powering Constellation itself. In an effort to help with these issues, Oculus released a patch (1.11) but that patch has yet to fully alleviate all of the tracking problems. In fact, for some people it seems to have created new issues. With major content launches inching ever closer, the clock is ticking to restore the Rift’s tracking viability.

What Do You Think?

So was Constellation tracking a mistake? Would it have been a better long-term decision for Oculus to wait and develop a system like the SteamVR Tracking platform that powers its rival: the HTC Vive? Or are these tracking issues just a bump in the road of an otherwise successful platform? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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  • xebat

    If Oculus releases a second generation headset and they don’t go for Lighthouse tracking, they should just quit the business and save us all money and time. Seriously. Fuck the constellation tracking. I love the Rift headset itself and the touch controllers much more than the HTC VIVE. but the tracking, by god, what a disaster. In comparison i could lay down on the floor and hump the air with pinpoint accuracy in an “adult japanese” Steam VR title with my VIVE.

    • draez

      Install a dedicated usb card

      • DougP

        Re: “dedicated usb card”?
        How is a dedicated usb card going to help xebat hump the air with pinpoint accuracy?

        • draez

          Xebat hump the air? What are you doing with your vive and is it covered under the warranty? Lol

    • Ohni Starfall

      umm what adult Japanese game is this? o.o

    • draez

      If you need pinpoint accuracy to track your thing then you have bigger problems than your vr equipment. 😀

    • NooYawker

      Sounds like you should have started with he vive. There’s a hole on the vive controllers. Just saying :p

  • Sebastien Mathieu

    i was fortunate enough to had the option to buy both the rift and the vive… my use is primarily roomscale.. sold my rift last week for this exact issue, tracking a large volume with the rift is A PAIN TO SETUP AND SETUP AND SETUP… plus all the cables and USB extentions are a mess….

    Just try playing Arizona Sunshine with touch, and tell me the rift is roomscale without blinking…..

    • Ryan Armstrong

      To be honest I have zero issues with Arizona Sunshine . It is my fav game for touch. I am using 2.6 x 2.6 meter play space with full 360. It sucks some people are having so many issues. I believe it is almost completely with USB ports being used.

      • Mwave

        i think you may be right, bandwidth problems usb controllers i think could be the problem also, been having problems myself, i have updated my bios, usb controllers for my asus z97-a i5 4690k overclocked at 4487.2mhz 1070gtx graphics card 16gb ram, using three sensors tryed budget cuts demo the other day had tracking issues, could be open vr drivers from steam have less off a problem with Arizona sunshine. will just have to keep on working on it

        • Sebastien Mathieu

          are you using USB extentions??

    • Sebastien Mathieu

      how many camera do you have??

      • Ryan Armstrong

        I have 3

        • Sebastien Mathieu

          Damn… me too, but tracking was all over the place… even after extensive testing, just relied on my vive to finish the game, and sadly sold the rift…..

          • draez

            No problems here either with the rift. I can’t go to vive with its lower graphics, and yes..it’s much lower when you enable ASW which let’s you double the resolution on your games with no performance penalty. Between that and the vive wand vs tracking fingers on oculus touch…so much better. The vive implementation is only slightly better than the ps4 vr controllers.

          • Crunchy005

            Vive is supposed to be getting what is basically ASW, although it will have a different name that refers back to reprojection i’m sure. Also the vive wands are far better than PS4 move controllers, along with the best tracking out of all 3. I have actually played rift games through revive and the wands map the fingers quite well to the vive wands. I will say that I would love to see timed exclusives go away though, but how else can rift get people on their system.
            Rift:
            Pros –
            – better graphics, not so sure about this one…
            – comfort
            – touch controllers
            Cons –
            – USB bandwidth requirements (could be a problem for small form factor builds)
            – tracking
            – long usb cables to route
            – device limits?
            Future –
            – tracking fixed
            – anything else on the horizon?
            Vive:
            Pros –
            – larger roomscale limit
            – tracking works, 1mm accuracy
            – choice of headphones
            – front camera
            – open platform
            cons –
            – comfort
            – wands, relative to rift controllers(second gen controllers are coming to vive, although I heard rift controllers are only slightly better)
            near future –
            – TPCast wireless headset system(this is huge for me)
            – puck tracking devices – can track up to 16 things at once, possibly more
            – finger tracking gloves

            Right now the vive seems like it was a better investment

          • draez

            It does have better graphics since they released ASW. It essentially let’s you use twice the resolution with no penalty. Look it up. It’s amazing and works on everything.
            Choice of headphones? Lol. You can use any headphones you want with rift. It just happens to have ones that come wirth it that are actually good unlike vive.

            Front camera: Used for what? Rift has the same boundary warning feature. So…

            When you say “tracking”, there’s a lot of different kinds so let’s not bunch that up all together.
            For instance:
            head tracking is and has always been fine.
            Hand tracking: as posted by others this is related more to the USB bandwidth than constellation. Also,let’s not kids ourselves here. Vive has problems keeping 360 tracking too in specific instances and it’s not even tracking fingers.

            So let’s add that to your cons for vive..can’t track fingers…just wanding around.

            Also, the vive and the rift as purchased are tethered so no matter how far you can put the vive sensors, you can’t move beyond the cable mounted to your head.
            Please don’t mention the wireless backpack for vive because you’d have to rebuy essentially another high end pc and unless you have the cash and also have a huge play space you’re just not going to see a return on that investment.

            Your future items are tenuous at best and many (including wireless tpcast) are available for both. Until they are actually out though, It’s all conjecture.

            Right now it seems like you are jaded. Twice the resolution in Game alone and finger tracking puts oculus far ahead
            Let’s not forget that oculus doing timed exclusives is good because as devs have already pointed out, without that influx of cash these full games couldn’t be made by some of these studios.
            I’m sorry but valve has allot of glorified demos in their library instead of full fledged games.that’s just not the experience I’m looking for.
            I can only think you haven’t tried both otherwise you’d know how far off your points are.

            Enjoy the vive.

          • Crunchy005

            “You can use any headphones you want with rift” – And where do you plug them in? I can plug my headphones into the headset.

            “It does have better graphics since they released ASW. It essentially let’s you use twice the resolution with no penalty” – The problem is ASW is an approximation of what the next frame should be, so you cut your rendering in half by running at 45 FPS, this can also have an effect of warping the image. Also ya you might be able to double the resolution but there is a penalty and that’s 45FPS of penalty, if you GPU is good enough you can do the same on Vive and run at 90FPS but when ASW comes to the Vive we will have the same thing…woohoo? I can manage about a 50% increase in resolution with my 970 on some games.(Also clearly a lack of understanding on how ASW works on your part) Overall gameplay and functionality are more important to me than graphics, the graphics are just fine and even if you increase your resolution to double what it is the screens on the rift are still the same resolution as the vive’s.

            I use my front camera all the time, I get a camera view when in the steam menu inside the headset that is attached to one of my controllers. I also use the room view quite often to readjust myself in my play space or move to my desk and sit down without having to take off the headset and move from a roomscale game to a controller based game seamlessly.

            Wireless – I’m not talking about the PC backback, i’m talking about TPCast removes the tether limit, works with current PC, and I don’t get tangled in a cord. Plus there isn’t a latency issue with this as it works with ultra high frequency wireless tech.

            Conjecture? TPCast is already out in China and it’s coming later this year to everyone else…there are working demos of it and plenty of reviews out there. The pucks are going to be released as well and people have shown a ton of devices work at one time inside of the Vive system. So a bit better than tenuous…

            “So let’s add that to your cons for vive..can’t track fingers…just wanding around.” – The Rift controllers are capacitive sensors nothing special, tried both(although you talk like you have never tried the vive, lol) and yes the touch are better but nothing to get up in arms about. Played games on revive that have fingers tracked and i can control all the fingers separately just like the touch controllers. Also what’s the point when your room-scale doesn’t work properly…

            Also the Vive is cheaper for the same functionality(or better with the state of rift tracking, which will probably only get worse with higher res cameras/more devices). Plus the whole “add a USB card to the computer” doesn’t work for every build, my friends mini-itx build with a 390x in it doesn’t have another PCIe port for a USB card which makes that computer unable to play a rift, this is a pretty big limitation for the rift, and he canceled his preorder of the rift because of it. For those who want roomscale a living room is probably one of their options for the space and a small form factor build is probably what they will build, rift isn’t really an option here. Not to mention the USB extension cables needed and run all the way form the computer to the back of the room…no need for that on the vive.

            Aside from your sudo “no performance loss” double resolution(which there is a penalty) and comfort the vive is technologically superior at this point.

            “I’m sorry but valve has allot of glorified demos in their library instead of full fledged games.” – IDk rec room is fun, Onward, Arizona Sunshine, Fantastic Contraptions, Climbey, Raw Data, abode, chair in a room, etc. Plenty of games for the vive, although those are all roomscale ones that I mentioned, I play more roomscale than non-roomscale games. Even tried landfall with revive and that was fun, I also very much enjoyed superhot which I bought on oculus store and played with revive, huh funny how I can play all those games you talk about…my library is less limited really.

          • draez

            First, why the hell did you quote everything i said in your reply? That’s idiotic.

            Second, I don’t need to plug in a my headsets are Bluetooth. That said, the headset that comes with the oculus far exceeds a normal headset so why would I use another considering it was included?

            Third, it’s “pseudo”..not “sudo”. I suppose now you’re going to tell me that you know better than John Carmack who designed the tech ASW and ATW uses and who valve is trying to copy now? Apparently you’ve never heard of ATW which works in tandem with ASW to reduce or remove those issues you list ?

            Fourth, most of the games you mention are not full fledged games or are on the rift. So, are you agreeing with my point on that? Not sure where you are going there.

            Fifth, revive has problems and lags because of the way it works. The creator has stated that. It’s not optimal and is only there to give you an option for the vive.

            Sixth, you’re friends mini itx? Come on, lol. I won’t even bother with that one.

            Seventh, see how I answered you without having to quote you every time? Nice right? You should try it.

          • Crunchy005

            First, your second point needs an edit, and bluetooth headsets are more expensive, and don’t supply the same audio quality. Also I haven’t seen anything to say the built in headphones far exceeds a headset(you have no idea what headset i’m using to compare), are your bluetooth headphones Beats(ew)?

            Second, as for pseudo, I defaulted to “sudo” as I use it a lot. You clearly don’t use linux at all.

            Third, ASW is for sub 90 FPS rendering “There’s no completely free lunch, however. ASW doesn’t scale well below half the display’s refresh rate. Depending on what’s being displayed, there may be visual artifacts present as a result of imperfect extrapolation….ASW works well under most, but not all, circumstances to cover sub-90fps rendering.” There is a penalty to doubling the resolution, ASW is for below minimum spec systems and for drops in framerate on any system not something that allows you to just get better graphics with 0 performance hit. Also that quote is directly from the oculus developer website.

            Fourth, in what way are those not full fledged games? Raw-Data offers as much gameplay as SuperHot for the oculus, Rec-room is both platforms, I’m not sure what games you refer to that are fully fledged.

            Fifth, I haven’t had any lag issues with revive yet, played bullet train, superhot, and landfall without any real issues. Only issue was online multi-player for landfall, although not sure if that was revive or not. To be fair, this is essentially a “hack” so I will not count this as a pro.

            Sixth, Mini-itx form factors are quite common now and the mini-itx spec only has one PCIe slot, this is very relevant especially if you need USB expansion cards to make the rift work. Not to mention SFX coming out and things like the ZOTAC MAGNUS EN980(I would link to it if I could) which is an ultra small form factor computer that is being advertised as VR-ready. Better hope you have enough USB bandwidth on that for room-scale otherwise your SOL.

            Seventh, quoted you just to bring context as some people don’t always read the previous comments. jlschmugge up above quoted a lot of what I said in his reply, so i’m clearly not the only one. So if your only real defense is “Your annoying” then you clearly don’t have much.

          • ummm…

            dude. ive installed revive but never used it. can you help me see the value? i dont want to waste my money (although i have some to “waste”) how well does it work? what is the first OH title i should test it with?

          • Crunchy005

            If you look at the Revive wiki they say what games are compatible and how well they work. I first tried revive with bullet train to see if it works since that was free, and it worked great. Also the bullet train demo is a ton of fun, wish they made it a full game. Either way Superhot VR worked for me without a single hitch. I am also reluctant to buy games on the oculus store as they could break revive again at any time, but “I expect you to die” looks like a ton of fun.

          • ummm…

            ok superhot vr made me a lil jealous. i think ill have to risk it. thx for the advice.

          • Crunchy005

            Ya, at the very least don’t let it sit around and play through it quickly so if they do break revive you at least played it.

          • NooYawker

            I never got bullet train to work. Never shows up in my headset and on my monitor I’m floor level. I looked up this issue and saw a few people have same issue. Not sure why.

          • ummm…

            you sound like a fun time.

          • ummm…

            steamvr beta branch has been developing similar mechanisms and ive used them. i also up the rez or super sample (whatever they call it) in many programs i have so it is much much much crisper. this isn’t just a rift thing.

          • draez

            Exactly my point, the rift already has it and vive knows it’s a viable difference. Why else would they bother to develop their own? Lol

            Carmack is a God when it comes to that.he literally wrote the book on graphic apis work hardware and gaming.

          • ummm…

            ? what ? its as obvious as VR Roomscale was. Was Carmack a god to ignore that. His solution is pretty lame to, hence the article.

          • D.L

            No, engineers at SGI wrote the book. Like, the literal book.

          • draez

            Engineers at SGI didn’t work with pc graphic card manufactures to define the standards of what consumer graphics cards needed to do for pc gaming. John Carmack did that. He helped build the road map . They went to him. Look it up.

          • draez

            Any proof there? No? Didn’t think so.

          • ummm…

            proof of what?

          • jlschmugge

            So just to rebut this, some of your points need clarification. I must say I only have a Rift, as it seems you only have a Vive. We both would like to validate our purchases I assume.

            “Rift:
            Pros –
            – better graphics, not so sure about this one…
            *I would say what I’ve seen with my 970 is pretty comparable, ASW does let you step up fidelity just a bit, but it is a mirage, literally. Sometimes it can make a game look just a little off.

            – comfort

            – touch controllers
            *this has its own pros and cons. I like the overall position of the triggers and buttons to fit in your palm, but it is kinda small and you have to hold the thing by your pinky and ring finger because of the middle finger is a grip button. A wand does have a firm grip feel, but you hold it like a stick, not a tool.

            Cons –
            – USB bandwidth requirements (could be a problem for small form factor builds)
            – tracking
            *I think this is a symptom of the USB bandwidth. I also suspect people just don’t have the sensors positioned right. I have a 2.5×1.5m+ space out of two sensors mounted on my wall at very specific offset positions for good coverage and rare occlusion. It took me a while to figure out, so not as convenient as Lighthouse for sure.

            – long usb cables to route
            *yes, the Vive still has cables, but you don’t have to worry about signal degredation.

            – device limits?
            *the tracking does have a distance limitation compared to Vive, it’s really why you need 3 cameras with Rift IMO to get an equal large roomscale size.

            Future –
            – tracking fixed
            *or improved with new versions?

            – anything else on the horizon?
            *Oculus funded games allow for higher quality experiences and increased innovation because there is less financial risk to developers.

            Vive:
            Pros –
            – larger roomscale limit
            *yes

            – tracking works, 1mm accuracy
            *I’ve been pretty impressed with Touch so far, even for very detailed movements like placing precise joints in Fantastic Contraption. But I have no practical comparison. It does get a little weird if one of my sensors are occluded and I’m further away from the other, which is to Vive’s benefit for how far away it can track.

            – choice of headphones
            *you can take the headphones off with the rift. It has a slot that unscrews and pops of the earpeices. People seem to miss this. That being said, I like having headphones integrated on the Rift, less mess. That is totally personal preference tho.

            – front camera
            *you can see through the nose gap on the rift ;). But yes, this might be a nice feature if you need to find something quick or talk to someone without taking the HMD off. Either way you cannot play the game at the same time, and taking the HMD off isn’t a huge issue. When front-facing cameras get better, and also include AR, then I think HMDs must include this feature.

            – open platform
            *I agree this is the Rift killer. Developers have incentive to only to program on the Vive because Rift compatibility is already a standard on Steam. Controller support for Touch would be the issue. This competition advantage is why Oculus has to compete with better games and exclusives.

            cons –
            – comfort

            – wands, relative to rift controllers(second gen controllers are
            coming to vive, although I heard rift controllers are only slightly
            better)
            *It is interesting to see a VR controller race. I think it will all be moot once we have AR and can just push a virtual in-game button with our actual fingers.

            *I would like to add a con for Vive’s bulky cable management.

            near future –
            – TPCast wireless headset system(this is huge for me)*
            *I believe there are other wireless solutions coming to both platforms. Depending on how those work, this is not an exclusive thing to Vive.

            – puck tracking devices – can track up to 16 things at once, possibly more
            *I find it odd these pucks have the same bulky shape of the wand ring. Maybe this is the smallest form factor for the tracking to work? If so that is not a good long term option, and maybe why Vive is having trouble for solutions to a more compact controller. Rift uses LEDs and the software just needs to know the shape of those LEDs, basically making any form factor peripheral possible as long as occulsion is limited. It’s why the touch is just a thin ring.

            – finger tracking gloves
            *This is also not exclusive to Vive, as projects are still in development and experimental.

            Vive might be a better investment only on the fact of the open platform, but as a side effect, it poses little risk to Rift owners that can play those games anyway. Rift owners just have to deal with differences in controllers, which are angular differences, and Touch has more buttons than Vive at the loss of a touchpad.

            The only real reason to get a Vive over Rift, other than personal comfort preferences, is if you have a large room you want to maximize roomscale out of, which I stand is a minority, and most would be fine with either HMD in a more realistic playspace.

          • Crunchy005

            “The only real reason to get a Vive over Rift, other than personal comfort preferences, is if you have a large room you want to maximize roomscale out of, which I stand is a minority, and most would be fine with either HMD in a more realistic playspace.” – This I agree with, for room-scale the Vive seems to be the better and cheaper choice at the moment.

            My front camera is really useful, I can move from a room-scale to non-roomscale game without removing the HMD.

            As for the vive device(puck, wand) sizes this is because of extra hardware needed such as microcontrollers. The controllers in the devices are what calculate the position and pass on the data. This will most likely shrink over time, as will the IR sensors. The Rift constellation leds are dumb and the PC does the processing.

            As for the vive cables there are only power cables for the lighthouses, which can be positioned in many places, mine are against the wall directly above a plug so the wires merely run straight down the wall and do not have to be routed around the play area. I feel the need for USB extensions and routing around the play are is quite a few points of failure waiting to happen.

            I am curious about the amount of things that oculus can track, as you add more a need for a higher resolution camera will be more prevalent not to mention the increased CPU load to track all of the LEDs. It will be interesting to see what happens.

            Don’t get me wrong the rift isn’t bad, but the Vive just seems like it will scale better in the future as opposed to the Rift. I’m down for anything to increase the VR ecosystem either way, Rec Room’s player base increased quite a bit after oculus touch came out. Also more multiplayer games that go accross both platforms, I really don’t want to see VR become what Consoles are today, cross-platform games is going to be what is needed here and the timed-exclusives are not helping this at the moment. I do understand the money from oculus is necessary at this point in time.

            O and the graphics comment was related to the one I was replying to, He said you can double the resolution without any penalty because of ASW, which is not true…there is a penalty.

          • jlschmugge

            I would be curious too to see how far you can take constellation tracking as far as processing power. I feel it might not be as much an issue with gaming. Most games rely on GPU and not CPU, so maybe there is still plenty of room to go there? The USB situation tho is a bummer. I wonder too if you have too many constellation devices would the software simply become confused.

            In the long run I see even the light house system turning into something else, maybe a form of laser tracking? I’m just trowing that out there because the technology has been used in surveying for a long time now. I don’t think constellation tracking will make current Rifts obsolete. It works enough now for those who don’t need a large space, and imagine will still work for games in the future, but iI don’t see it as the tracking of choice on future HMDs.

          • Crunchy005

            Ya, I would be interested to know that to. As for CPU power that may not be the issue, but as you get more items that need tracking you will have a need for a higher resolution camera, and we already have bandwidth issues with 1080p cameras.

          • ummm…

            dont forget the new headstrap for the vive. i think your list is fair. i did the same calculations and went with the vive. i find the arguments in defense of the rift to be depressing, really; i.e. roomscale isn’t important (they want to sit) – my apt. is too small.

          • Crunchy005

            Ya, the new head strap does look nice. I would like it if they offered one without the headphones so I can continue using my own headphones with the newer strap and save some money.

          • ummm…

            yeah. i dont get why having built in headphones is a selling point. i like mixing and matching. if im in PCars i use my noise caneling. if im playing golf club vr i use my earbuds. These HMDs are all gen 1. I think choosing form over function at this point is the wrong way to go.

          • Crunchy005

            exactly,I feel the vive will be the most “upgradable” for second gen stuff.

          • jlschmugge

            I’ve been having trouble with ASW making everything look wobbly, giving me headaches, but Oculus’s said my CPU is too old and the problem. Luckily I can turn it off, but I have to do it every game.

          • draez

            How old is cpu? You really have to get something that can handle ASW without that. It’s literally a game changer. All those juggles are gone with it on.

          • jlschmugge

            It’s a 3570k running at 48ghz. It benchmarks reasonably higher than their minimum CPU requirement. They said its not just raw clock speed used for ASW. I also have a 970 that I think is the one responsible for dropping frames, but maybe the CPU is having trouble keeping up is end? IDK. Elite: D looks gross with ASW on, but that game is pretty demanding. Some games like Dirt actually faire better with ASW.

          • draez

            Elite Dangerous looks just like it’s not VR version on my pc with asw enabled and it’s glorious.
            Hope you get that figured out.

          • JustNiz

            Wait You’re overclocking your 3.4 GHz CPU to 4.8 Ghz (Thats a 42% overclock) and you really still can’t figure out why your system isn’t working right?

          • jlschmugge

            I’m pretty sure it is a combination of the fact I push fidelity settings as far as I can, and the ‘warping’ ASW does is particularly more distracting than a couple of judders.

          • Crunchy005

            Ya, asw turns on when your computer can’t hit the 90FPS mark so like reprojection it drops to 45FPS and loads the same frame twice, but ASW interprets how you were moving and tries to estimate the next frame this helps with performance for lower end systems but can cause warping of the scene.

          • draez

            you can force ASW on.

          • Crunchy005

            Which is pointless because ASW only extrapolates a frame if it’s needed to serve a frame every 11.1ms. ASW doesn’t decrease the rendering required unless you are capping your framerate at 45fps which is an inferior to playing at the native 90fps and should only be used when necessary. ASW doesn’t allow you to double the resolution with no penalty, doubling the resolution will increase the amount of rendering that needs to be done regardless of whether ASW is there or not, ASW just helps smooth things out when your computer can’t handle the game at 90FPS.

          • draez

            Clearly you HAVENT USED IT, so your ‘opinion’ is worthless.
            go look on reddit for this: holy_shit_asw_just_made_my_rift_seem_like_a_cv2

            and bask at the glory that is ASW. You’re just sour because Vive doesn’t have it. Suck it up. It doesn’t just help with frame rates, unless you consider the ability to amp up all graphic settings in VR games as ‘not helping’.
            Get a clue.

          • Crunchy005

            YOu have 0 understanding of what Asynchrounous Space warp is doing, so i’m done here. If you think it somehow pushes more pixels through the rendering pipeline without any extra work being done fine, but that’s just not how things work.

          • draez

            Did you read the conversation? I don’t think that you did or you would be quiet now. If you don’t have it then it cant’ really be explained. You have to see the difference for yourself. Night and day.

          • Crunchy005

            You mean your own ramblings about how ASW works, because somehow your an expert on it? Just because your Rift have ASW doesn’t mean you know how it works. lol

          • draez

            No, but because I’m a developer I kind of do know how it works.

          • Crunchy005

            Lol, sure you are. You have already completely contradicted exactly what Oculus themselves have explained about how ASW works. I’m not a game developer but I am a developer and I have a fair understanding of how the VR pipeline works and I have looked into what ASW is doing. It’s not what your saying lol.

          • draez

            See, you can’t do it

          • Crunchy005

            Neither can you lol.

          • NooYawker

            Vive does have asynchronous reprojection. Get a clue. It’s to early to become a silly fanboy.

          • draez

            does it have something akin to ASW? Because that’s where the money shot is at. I know they are working on it but I haven’t heard it being released.
            Just because someone knows something and you don’t like it doesn’t make them a fanboy.

          • NooYawker

            It’s exactly the same as ASW. The only thing I don’t like about your posts is the fact you’re trying to start a flame war between vive and oculus users. Both systems are first gen, neither is perfect.

          • draez

            But I’m not, really I’m not. People dismiss rift but it really is the better product all around with its current iteration.
            Now, don’t get me wrong…vive has the better roomscale if you’re going to do it in a large area..more than 10×10. No question.

            However, in terms of visuals oculus beats vive with all the settings turned on. Yes, I know that the vive screen is bigger but the oculus screen has pixelation far less Ave their version of ASW abs ATW let’s you boost your game settings all the way up on every game.
            Also, for some reason playing games that mimic real life ..the size of things seem ‘off’. Like racing in project cars, and I’m not the only one to notice it.

            So I agree that vive for roomscale is the better hardware but for just vr, oculus gets the nod.

            Not trying to start a flame war. If someone wants to intelligently argue the point, feel free.

          • NooYawker

            Vive has lower graphics than the oculus? The resolution on the two are identical aren’t they?
            Judging from the articles the tracking from the vive is far better than the oculus. As is overall tracking.
            On what grounds are you making these silly remarks?

          • draez

            With ASW and ATW you can super sample the image and not only that but because it saves on rendering times you can turn graphic options up.

            Look it up, it’s been out for months now.

            If you want to see one of the many conversations about it on reddit, search for this on google:
            reddit holy shit asw just made my rift seem like a cv2

          • Ryan Armstrong

            That sucks I wish they would get it working for everyone. Still think it’s the USB bandwidth that’s causing issues.

          • Doctor Bambi

            What were your camera spacing and height like?

    • Crunchy005

      Also Vive will be getting wireless TPCast system later this year, while rift can’t get it’s tracking done properly. Aside from comfort the Vive has more future potential/longevity than the rift.

      • Sebastien Mathieu

        i agree this is why i kept my vive…

        • ummm…

          im glad you kept the vive. is the rift really that much more comfortable? what about when the new vive headstrap comes out. i have the vive, and i can’t imagine the rift could be so much more comfortable that it makes a big difference – which is evident in your choice.

          • Sebastien Mathieu

            yes i think the rift is a little bit more comfy and there is less god rays (but not game changing, their both diving masks:-) and integrated audio is really quicker…. Yes i have great confidence that the new headstrap will make the VIVE on part with the rift ergonomically…

      • draez

        Rift is getting it to…soo no points either way there.
        I do have to ask: how big a play area do you have?

        • Crunchy005

          2 meter by 2meter in my office and I can manage about 3 x 3 in my living room.

          • draez

            That’s it? For that size just have a hook in the centre of your ceiling to keep the wire up. You don’t need wireless

          • Crunchy005

            Wireless will be nice to have because the cable can wrap around you when your spin. Right now when I play holopoint(this game is where it’s the biggest issues for me, but it happens on others as well) I have to be conscious of which way i turn and the turn the other way next time i rotate, otherwise it twists up the cable, it also gets rid of the cable weight all together(apparently the 3-in-1 cable the have now is nice but for $40 I might as well put that towards a wireless system).

          • draez

            But if the wire is hanging above you then it doesn’t matter if you turn

          • SHunter

            you wouldn’t think so but, yes, yes it does.

          • ummm…

            i live in an apt and i dont want to be drilling into my ceiling to hang hooks that may or may not work properly. one would have to out a ball bearing on it so it rotates with you etc. dont think i haven’t thought of it, but it is a ridiculous solution i think, for me. I’ll pay the 250 for the TPCAST before i do that.

          • draez

            No you don’t. Just put in a hook that rotates. They sell them for hanging plants and are like 2 bucks. Putting a hole in your ceiling would take you a minute to seal. No worse than hanging a picture on

          • ummm…

            its a valid solution, although i have never tried it to confirm. YOu’d have a problem with telescoping the chord or the friction on the chords from the hook, if one bends down, maybe fray at the wiring. I’m just gonna get the tpcast.

          • draez

            You can coat it so there is no friction. In fact you cash buy them coated. Seriously, you can’t think of this yourself?plenty of YouTube videos with option s. It’s the Internet. It just takes a few seconds to research. Come on, man. You can do it. Have some faith in your abilities!
            Even better, 3d print a design out for free. That’s even cheaper.

          • ummm…

            this “solution” is not rocket science. furthermore how are you taking credit for it since you found it on youtube?

          • draez

            Who said I was taking credit? Lol. You’re truly delusional.

          • ummm…

            who said that?

          • Nicholas

            I have a 4x3m area – the Vive cable just about reaches the furtherest corner. Hooking the cable to the ceiling would 1) look ugly in my living room, 2) cost a couple of metres in cable length going up to the ceiling and back, and 3) wrap around your neck/torso instead of your legs/feet if the cable isn’t spring-loaded.

            It’s a daft idea for a home rig. Give me that TPCast module when it ships…

          • draez

            It’s better than stepping on your cables and since wireless isn’t out yet it’sthe current best option. Plenty of people have done it with great success. They even added a spring loaded design.

          • Nicholas

            If I could dedicate a large room in my apartment purely for VR and run the gauntlet of finding extension cables that work, it might be an option. But I’m not going to have hooks dangling an HMD in the middle of my living room. And it sounds like more time and effort than the cost of a wireless module to me.

          • draez

            I’m not trying to talk you into anything but it’s a semi open hook. When you’re not using your vr you take it off the hook and put your vr headset away as usual.

          • JustNiz

            Is the limitation the Rift tracking or just the amount of space you have?

          • Crunchy005

            I have a Vive, that’s the space I have. Although 9ft x 9ft is pretty much the limit of the Rift and running a huge USB cable around the playspace would be a nightmare. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t have anywhere to properly set up a third camera for rift roomscale in my office because of it’s limited field of view. The vive lighthouses have a 120 degree view and no calbe to run around my office, just a power cable that goes straight down the wall to the plug for power.

    • John Stevens

      I was fortunate enough to own both as well. If roomscale means everything to you the Vive is an easy choice. Rift games just look and play better imo and is far more comfortable. I’m perfectly content with 360 degree standing VR which the rift does well.

    • jlschmugge

      I need a poll of how many people actually have the room for full roomscale without having a spare room or having to move furniture.

      • ummm…

        here we go with this argument again. cmon dude. the merits of VR are not limited by the size of your apt. you dont buy an apt with your VR headset. just because your apt is too small doesn’t mean VR should conform to your life. people CHANGE their lives to fit new tech into it. it is the history of innovation. stop with this argument that is understandable but really has no bearing on VR.

        • jlschmugge

          Are you being sarcastic? People CHANGE their lives to fit new tech? Like buy a new house, build an addition, rent a more expensive apartment, or move out of a city because there is no such thing as spare room? I don’t know what privileged life you live to do that to play VR. It took me four months to save up for my VR headset. The best I could do was move a couch. You gotta be sarcastic. My gut is that people who make such a big deal out of roomscale are a minority that are lucky to have an empty room to spare. It is really cool, but not realistic for many.

          • ummm…

            yes, it is a reciprocal relationship. COmputers changed to fit the pc market. People changed their life to fit the PC into it. Happens all the time. IPODS etc. etc. We you not alive when this stuff happen, kid?

            My gut is that people that try to minimize the importance of VR Roomscale are all Rift owners. WHen you see a story on VR what you dont really see is people sitting in a chair playing a controller.

            mic drop.

          • jlschmugge

            I’m not talking about play methods like seated vs. standing vs. roomscale. I’m not even comparing gamepad vs. motion controllers. I’m arguing about the actual space people realistically have to donate to their VR setup, and while it is cool the Vive can do larger rooms, it’s just not necessary for everybody.

            The reciprocal relationship of people changing their life for technology happens because that tech makes life more convenient. Dedicating a whole room is not very convenient, it’s not even essential like having a phone or internet. The CHANGE you are asking for might be more than some people care to make, and if there are enough of those people, developers are not going to bother to make a game that fits into your 300 square foot room. I get about 4 square meters, and I had to rearrange the room. That’s the best CHANGE I can muster if it was a Rift or Vive. I feel I was lucky to manage that. I might be on the smaller than average size, but I still have the dollars developers want.

            Not all change happens right away either. Not everyone got the new iPod or I whatever right away. But also it didn’t require people to make much change. It fit in the same pocket as their flip phone. It was convenient.

            The reason I asked for a poll is because I am genuinely curious who percentage of VR owners actually have the room to get the most out of VR. People make arguments for roomscale when the totally ignore that is not a possibility for everyone.

          • D.L

            Your question was disingenuous, you may as well have asked “How many people here have the room for full roomscale except for the people who have the room for full roomscale”. Obviously it’s not a possibility for everyone, but neither are exercise machines, pool tables and other larger-scale appliances and equipment, that doesn’t stop there being a market for them. I have a home theatre room, it doubles nicely as a VR room giving me about 3x4m of space.

            I think 360 degree standing scale is probably a realistic minimum requirement, but even games explicitly designed for that benefit from the addition of roomscale with a notable example being SuperHot. You can finish the entire game quite comfortably without taking a single step, but a roomscale environment elevates the experience further by simply giving you more room to move and interact, you can even crawl and do cool sideways jump moves if you have soft carpet. This is the case with just about every other game too, it usually just works.

          • jlschmugge

            I’m not actually arguing against ‘roomscale’ as a play method. I’m surely making good use of my four square meters in Pirate Trainer. My issue is more about the size of that roomscale, and what is necessary for a good VR experience vs the practicality. Maybe we need to split roomscale up into small and large scale. From my perspective in these comment sections, there are Vive owners who make a point about the Vive’s taking capabilities being essential to the experience when it really is not, except in the case you have the room to do it, then it would be a waste to not have something that could take advantage of the extra room, all other things being equal.

            Extra space as a limiting factor splits up the VR demographic into two groups: Those that benefit from higher fidelity tracking and those who don’t need it. I am curious about those numbers so either me or the pushy Vive owner can shut up about it. I get it that tracking is better in Vive, I agree, but in small roomscale, it’s not enough of a difference to matter.

            One of my favorite games is Fantastic Contraption. Even though the Rift version kept in a roomscale option, and I have just enough room to play it, I actually like the standing option. It makes the play space more like a table I can walk around. It’s a personal preference, yes, but I do see it as an example that large roomscale does not actually make a game better because it requires you to move too much. I played Pirate Trainer rabidly for three days, but haven’t come back because it requires too much effort. I just started playing Elite:D and am fine sitting I in a cockpit for hours on end. Maybe I’m lazy, maybe I’m a gamer that just wants a relaxed experience. Maybe a limited space isn’t a limitation for me, it’s just the right size.

          • JustNiz

            Well I’ve moved my house around to have a big play area so I guess count me in as another of your “priviledged” minority.

        • draez

          Way to try to dismiss a valid argument. People don’t change to fit technology, it’s the other way around.
          The best technology works to fit you.
          Take the driving direction app on a phone. How popular would it be if it insisted you go down a road instead of changing based on the route you take?

          • ummm…

            lol, and you stumble onto a common problem of gps systems. also how is that analogous? its also anecdotal. im done with you. goodbye looza

          • draez

            Tailoring applications to fit people’s lives is not a problem you low brow idiot. It’s the way software should be.
            Ever hear of ux/UI?
            What a moron

          • ummm…

            absolutely. and vice versa. we can both be right at the same time here einstein.

          • JustNiz

            >> People don’t change to fit technology,
            Thats not true at all. Nearly everyone has have at least a TV area or even a home theater in their house. 80 years ago TV wasn’t even a thing. 20 years ago nearly everyone wore a wristwatch and had a house phone and an answerphone device, now almost nobody does, simply because mobile phones came out.

          • draez

            User experience is everything now. It’s in everything I build. You increase user acceptance and therfore sales by doing this. Stating the practice of what they do when a new ip is developed vs how they stay relevant is all about ux now. I would even say that they did it back then. remember when there were no remotes for TV and people had to change channels by getting up and doing it manually? Somebody made the ux better on an existing technology by inventing remotes and people bought them like crazy. Who uses knobs anymore? Ux success right there

      • NooYawker

        I have a small room for my computer. I just push my chair aside and I’m ready to go. It gives me a 3mx4m play space.

      • spazzium

        I use my entire living room. I have a lighthouse at diagonal corners of it and have a safe area of about 4×3.5 meters.

    • Pete

      Exactly my thoughts on the 2 also.

    • DM

      3 cameras, zero issues on rift with Arizona sunshine with roomscale.

      • JustNiz

        How big is your play area?

  • Justin Ross

    I think constellation tracking may have been a mistake for this generation, but was a smart long-term play, for a couple of reasons.

    1) Constellation tracking lets them upgrade tracking ability by simply replacing the sensors, rather than having to replace a headset. Replace current sensors with 4K cameras and Oculus’s tracking doubles its accuracy. Lighthouse, as I understand it, doesn’t have this opportunity for improved tracking. Now, that might not be an issue, as its tracking is generally “good enough”.

    2) Camera-based tracking opens up the possibility for arbitrary-object tracking in the future. Though, only really if they let it see visible light, which would interfere with constellation tracking.

    The big problems with constellation tracking as Oculus has implemented it aren’t insurmountable. The actual tracking issues appear largely to be software-based (given the ups and downs with the recent update).

    The biggest problem IMO is the USB bandwidth issue. This could potentially be overcome by connecting all of the sensors into a breakout box, which decodes the camera data and simply passes the info along to the PC as positional data (or, at least, something far less bandwidth-intensive than the current situation). If each sensor gets its own host controller in the breakout box, this wouldn’t be a terribly inexpensive box (probably $200+, with four or more host controllers and the hardware to process the sensor video), but it’s a possibility (and is the direction I see Oculus going in the future if they stick with Constellation, as higher-resolution “sensors” are just going to exacerbate the bandwidth problem).

    Then there’s the convenience of lighthouse only needing to be plugged into power, but I don’t feel too inconvenienced by needing to run a USB cable for my sensors.

    • Sebastien Mathieu

      But the sad truth (as of now) is that constellation upgradability or not, is that RIGHT NOW the lighthouse tracking is almost flawless, not PROBLEMATIC!!! , as you would expect for a thousand dollar plus system (in canadian dollar..)

      • draez

        If you turned to where the lighthouse system couldn’t see your hand you’d have the same problem. You don’t have the problem because vive doesn’t track hands/fingers ,it tracks a large wand.

        • Caven

          What does finger tracking have to do with anything? Fingers aren’t tracked by Constellation.

          • Nicholas

            Sshhhh…don’t ruin his delusion.

        • ummm…

          WHAT?!?!??!?

          • draez

            What???????????!!!!+!

          • ummm…

            your mom says dinner is ready.

          • draez

            Your mom didn’t say anything…mouth =full.

          • ummm…

            haha

        • Crunchy005

          You do know the rift cameras aren’t what “track” your fingers, lol. It’s the capacitive sensors on the touch controllers and that’s all.

          • draez

            Of course, but the leds on the touch track the position of the hand.

          • Crunchy005

            Actually they don’t, the “finger tracking” you speak of is merely capacitive touch sensors on the touch controllers that detect if your finger is touching the button or not. So when your for finger isn’t resting on the button it assumes you are pointing, it’s not actually tracking the finger. lol. Learn how it works before you start making yourself look dumb.

          • draez

            that’s what i said, they track the position of your hand.. as in, what position your hand is in. I know the fingers are capacitive. I own it. You’re just making yourself look dumb here.

          • Crunchy005

            Ah missed the hand thing. So the touch controllers track where your hands on, hmm exactly what the Vive wands do, amazing. The only difference is the touch has 2 additional capacitive sensors to the vive wands, the wands can, “track” as you call it, your thumb. aside from that they function pretty much the same way.

          • draez

            it’s capacitive, not buttons like the vive. it can tell how much pressure your exerting. that’s not the same.

          • Crunchy005

            They track how much pressure because the buttons have a variable range, like the triggers on an xbox controller. There is nothing all that special about them, they are slightly better and that’s about it. The full finger tracking gloves are going to put all the controllers to shame in the end.

    • D.L

      People keep on bringing up computer vision tracking as if it has anything to do with what Constellation is. They’re both “camera based” but that’s just about where the similarities start and end. The cameras they ship have IR filters over them, they are not useful for anything but receiving pinpoints of IR light (though it is possible to get low quality B&W video from them).

      Lighthouse does have the ability to be upgraded down the track, though the controllers that are currently shipping are unfortunately stuck on the current “standard”. The tracking is already good enough though, the main priority for Valve should be to shrink and cost reduce the base stations and that appears to be the direction they’re going in.

      When you consider that the only choice Oculus has is to add extra complexity and hardware to their sensors in order to stay competitive with the competition who is going in the opposite direction (cost reductions and reducing complexity), I think it makes it pretty clear that they’ve made a mistake.

    • Full Name

      Of course Lighthouse has the potential for improving as well.. It is also designed (but not currently properly implemented by HTC) so in the future one can have more than two tracking stations to expand to even larger spaces, and it already supports many trackers – something Constellation will keep having issues catching up to. Alan Yates who designed Lighthouse has mentioned the potential in a couple of videos on youtube as well as a couple of podcasts.

    • Gerald Terveen

      ” smart long-term play”

      There is little to gain to taint todays product with technology that might turn out useful in the future.

      Overall there was nothing smart to it, it was just a decision that I suspect was based on how reliable the technology already is. That suddenly competition with laser towers pops up they did not know. So it wasn’t a dumb decision either.

      Thing is that Constellation tracking upgrades are actually kinda hard and expensive – while with with Lighthouse there are several paths to make it better, cheaper and smaller. Even the Guitar Hero guy that worked for Oculus jumped on Lighthouse and build some nice optimizations into it to allow for higher distance.

      Lighthouse was a genius idea that makes the old camera tracking look like a bad idea.

  • Richard Bettridge

    Doesnt vive use similar tracking? I know the vive uses IR and a laser so maybe it’s better. But it still uses ‘dots’ all over the HMD and controllers. However with the vive I think the receivers are in the HMD and controller, and the beacons are the emitters. I think oculus is the other way around.

    Anyway I’m not sure why magnetic field tracking wasn’t the preferred solution. When I had my DK1, I used a razer hydra (which uses magnetic field tracking) and that seemed to work pretty good. It didn’t seem to interfere with the magnetometer in the rift and best of all it works regardless of line of sight.

    I’m sure engineers considered this so I’d be interested to know why it wasn’t viable.

    • D.L

      Vive’s Lighthouse isn’t camera based but instead uses IR laser sweeps over an array of photosensors (the dots on the headset and controllers), calculating the time it takes for the laser to sweep over them in order to extrapolate a position.

      Magnetic field tracking drifts pretty bad and is license encumbered.

    • DougP

      Re: “Doesnt vive use similar tracking? ”
      Not similar at all.
      Besides the points/description D.L. makes in reply here… there are several other misc differences which make the Vive superior:
      1) expandability – much easier to track more objects
      2) objects effective “track themselves”
      3) less burden on PC – USB bandwidth for signal/ports/etc, heck even the signal *processing* (video) taking up PC cycles vs Vive where the device does it’s own work identifying it’s position
      Accuracy/convenience/elegance aside – Rift just doesn’t *scale* anywhere near as well at all vs Vive.

  • I have a 3 sensor Oculus Touch roomscale setup at home with no issues. I was having issues originally, until I split the sensors across two USB controllers. I don’t doubt that people are having issues, it’s a fledgling and underdeveloped technology, but I think the evidence is clear that it can work. Needs time to mature.

    • Ryan Armstrong

      I had same until I spit them between 3.0 USB card and 3.0 USB on MB. Now it is great.

      • Full Name

        A bit of a pain to buy and install an extra usb card, run perhaps 3 cameras for good tracking with extension cords etc (if you are trying to approximate the potential space of Lighthouse). The cost is adding up, so you basically pay more, and have more complex installation, to get almost as good tracking as Vive.

        • draez

          Please don’t compares the vive wands to the touch controllers. The touch is by far the better solution and valve is in a rush to try to bring something comparable because they know it. It is worth getting an extra usb card, if needed. what self respecting pc user would need more than 5 minutes to throw a usb card in their pc?
          It’s all first gen growing pains.

          • D.L

            What if one has a small form factor PC (likely for living room setups) or a laptop?

            The controllers are also obviously comparable. The touch has a very clever design and does a good job giving the illusion of finger tracking but functionally there isn’t that much to separate the two.

          • draez

            They are in no way comparable. If they were then why is valve working on a copy of it right now?

          • elev8d

            It’s a stretch to call knuckles a copy. It’s pretty evolved compared to both controllers out there.

          • draez

            I don’t know how similar it is. That’s just what the reviewer had said. Obviously it’s not out yet so…

          • ummm…

            “you dont know” thats right for most things it appears.

          • draez

            Yeah, unlike you if I don’t know I don’t form an opinion on it. It’s ok to not know about something but i know about the rift and the vive. You want to preach without knowing both.
            Lol

          • ummm…

            all you have given are opinions. Have you blacked out?

          • draez

            Really? I’m pretty sure I linked to an article about how the oculus headset works. Yep, I did. Sooo,did you black out?
            Seriously, take your medication. It’s there to help you. It will all be alright.

          • ummm…

            you just blacked out again.

          • draez

            Poor ummm…, apparently can’t read.

          • Crunchy005

            You sure that comment with the link isn’t pending approval? This site doesn’t seem to allow links, so go check that again.

          • draez

            hmm, they dont seem to is right. i just tried it, acted like it went.. even showed it on the screen but when i went to look again and refreshed the page.. gone. that blows.

          • draez

            comment was pointing to tech oculus licensed for 3d audio. if you search for this it will return the article on the top of the search (in google anyway): roadtovr oculus rift realsense 3d audio

          • draez

            Ummm.if it’s not out yet then no one knows…not even the devs since by the time it comes out it could have a completely different feature set.

            The more you respond the more you seem like a child with minimal knowledge and knee jerk responses. Good luck with that.

          • ummm…

            goo goo ga ga

          • ummm…

            open palm is a copy? lol. wow you call everyone else an idiot………..?

          • draez

            Open palm??? Only ever heard of ‘knuckles’ and its prototype worked very similarly to oculus touch back in October

          • ummm…

            if you dont know what im talking about then thats telling.

          • D.L

            I don’t think you understand what the word comparable means.

          • draez

            It doesn’t mean ‘similar’???
            Because to say they are similar to me means you haven’t actuality tried both.

          • Full Name

            You are not REALLY this dense, are you? Valve and HTC is committed to offering solutions that fit the user. They won’t just stick you with one type of controller. If you like shooting and sword games, the Vive controller is best. If you want to play other types of games, Valve will have a different controller. They create tracking pucks so that other companies can even create VR Gloves, attach them to guns, baseball bats and what not.

            Oh and the early version that Valve showed actually potentially could have you let go, as long as they have a strap on the wrist. Try to do that with a Touch controller 😉

          • draez

            Funny, oculus has different type of controllers too and are coming out with a self sufficient all in one model that’s wearable. Also, there’s gear vr which is the number one selling vr device and is made with oculus for Samsung.
            A prototype doesnt mean it’s coming out. They have several hurdles to overcome. Different hand sizes for one abs how that will stay on without gripping when in a game that requires moving your have quickly..like sports.
            So, I don’t understand what your argument here is.

          • Crunchy005

            If they are in no way comparable then why can Revive map the Vive wands to oculus touch controls without issue. lol.

          • draez

            I can map my keyboard to my joystick and type using the joystick..doesn’t mean it’s the same experience. Lol

          • Crunchy005

            Lol, good luck. You are trying to make out the two controlers as so different that the Vive wands are unable to do something that the Rift touch can do. This isn’t the fact, in the revive games I lose 0 functionality as the Vive wands have just as much functionality as the touch controllers. The only difference is finger “tracking” which is just capacitive sensors on the controller to sense when your finger is touching the buttons.

          • draez

            it is different, anyone who’s tried both knows it is. that’s why vive is coming out with something new to compete. don’t be a fool.

          • Crunchy005

            Ya, it’s different, but it’s not some game-changing difference. There is something new coming for Vive because it’s called second gen controllers, Rift only just released their first gen controllers many months after the Vive released.

          • draez

            clearly Vive rushed their’s out to market to be first. You know oculus has been showing off different iterations of Touch for years now. They just wanted to get it right for what they wanted to be able to do.
            Isn’t it FUNNY how now Vive is developing their next gen one with capacitive touch just like the Rift’s? You don’t see anything to that? come on.
            Look, I don’t have any love for Oculus’ public mishaps but their hardware is second to none at this point. Sure, Vive will make a new one to follow suit but they are trailing behind right now.
            Lighthouse is great but for the most part I’m using my VR in a room so I’m not going to be moving more than 10 feet in any direction, and they both handle that. So that’s not a deciding factor.
            Having the ability for upping my resolution in game with all options on with no lag? that’s far more important to me.

          • Crunchy005

            Lighthouse is a far more robust tracking system than the camera+constellation system. Uisng less bandwidth and having less hardware routing requirements is a good thing. It not only makes it easier for the end-user it also allows it to be scaled up easier. I’m sorry your regretting your rift purchase so much that you have to ignore the obvious to justify it. For sitting at a desk with a controller the Rift is probably the better choice, but for anything room-scale the Vive is much better at this point. The Vive system having less limitations allows a wider market of people to use it for room-scale and that’s only going to help them with money for R&D and new products. The Rift on the other hand has sold half as many units as Vive, it seems to have less hardware support, and you need the software to support a constellation definition to recognize some new device who knows how long that will be. There are far more limitations to constellation than lighthouse tracking, but you clearly aren’t knowledgeable enough on how either works to understand this. Also you don’t just up the resolution with no lag your technically still running a lower framerate, also the Vive can turn of supersampling as well. I can set my supersampling to x2 on any game that I want. O look I doubled my resolution…moron.

          • Andrew Caples

            A self-respecting PC user that already has three GPUs and a PCIe riser/heatsink for an M.2 SSD? If I wanted to add another PCIe device I would have to buy both another motherboard and another case, and that’s just silly. If all you can do to combat their comment is bringing up the Touch controller(which they never even did) then you need some better ammo.

            You can laud the touch controllers and try to change the subject to them all you want but that does not excuse or mask the obvious flaw in the tracking of the Rift. The Vive’s system is simpler and easier, and that difference is what we’re talking about. That’s not a question or asking for debate. It is.

            On the subject of the Touch controllers, however, I will not disagree that they are more comfortable. I will, however, disagree with the notion that it is, across the board, a better solution. The touchpads on the Vive wands are massively more utilitarian than the Touch. The perfect controller would be to combine said touchpad with the Touch’s ergonomics, but good luck with that ever happening.

          • draez

            If you have three gpus then you are an idiot. The cost to benefit ratio of multi gpus in sli is not 2x the power for each one you add. You’ve wasted your money and your internal space. You would have been better served buying one high end card and saving the rest of that cash to buy a new one in a year’s time.

            I laugh at you now as you have proven my original argument: Any “self respecting” pc user.

          • che

            Dude, it does not matter if he has 3 gpus,pci ssds, or whatever. The fact that you need to put another usb card for this to work sucks. I have 2 gpus and i use it for 3d rendering, i would love to have 3 or 4. A computer is not only made for vr gaming did you know that? You should since you call others idiot.

          • draez

            I have different PCs for different things for this exact reason. Not to mention I can write off the work pc..k dude?

          • ummm…

            good for you. what does that have to do with anything. i have a monster pc and a bunch of laptops. yay. what does that hvae to do with anything? i guess with the rift you need a pc for each component.

          • draez

            It means if I need to add something it’s not a big deal like you are making it out to be.
            A usb 3.0 pci card costs 15 dollars US. If 15 bucks is a hardship for you there is no way you have multiple PCs and seriously doubt you have any form of vr.
            That just makes you look dumb either way you spin it…but play on, player.

          • ummm…

            lol, damn. we should start a fund for people to create their rift enabled pcs.

          • draez

            For 15 bucks?lol. You are sad

          • Andrew Caples

            Hahah. Sure thing. I never said I had them all in SLI. I said I had them.You have zero idea what my setup or use-case is and whether or not it benefits me.

            You’re only cementing in place that you’ve no idea what you’re talking about.

          • draez

            There is no benefit to gaming, certainly not 3x the power. If you use it for other things than gaming then i’d dedicate that one to the other thing and build a streamlined pc for gaming.

          • ummm…

            ur mom should never have bought you a VR HMD. you haven’t learned how to play nice.

          • draez

            Wow, a “your mom”joke. Haven’t heard them since grade school. Nice

          • ummm…

            just wrote you another one too!

          • draez

            Yeah, about as clever as i’don’t expect from you. Lol

          • ummm…

            haha, yeah not my best material.

          • ummm…

            touch is not the better solution for my golf games.

          • draez

            Golf I can play in real life so I haven’t tried it on vr. I can see where it’s better on the vive since you area essentially holding a stick.

          • ummm…

            …wand…..wand……

          • draez

            Oh right, a wand. You play golf with your wand…wand.

          • ummm…

            and you shoot guns with your half crescent game controllers.

          • draez

            I think you may be having a seizure lol
            Pro tip: You don’t hold it by the crescent. Lol

        • Ryan Armstrong

          I like the comfort , optics , actual touch controllers better though. Yes you need go buy the extra camera and card so that’s about another hundred BUT also got integrated headset and about I belive around 6 games. Not demos but games. To each there own but I prefer the rift

        • draez

          But you get better resolution in all your games, better full actual games, and finger tracking which beats the crap out of wand waving.
          I honestly cant believe that anyone that’s tried both systems as they are now wouldn’t favor oculus.
          I agree that the vive roomscale for very large rooms is a better solution but it would have to be a fairly large room and no matter how big a room, eventually you’d be teleporting anyway.

          • ummm…

            dude. you dont. you dont get better resolution. and in the case of elite etc. it is a slight difference. hey – if reading a letter on the perifpheral of your vision slightly better is the measure of VR success – then you picked the right product.

          • draez

            That’s not my experience. Ask the jagged edges are gone and the textures are crisper. How is that not better, d00d????

          • ummm…

            enjoy the rift on your couch, potato.

          • draez

            Well it’s pretty stupid to go running around my room if I’m playing a car racing game…so ok,I’ll enjoy sitting. It’s why I bought a gaming chair after all.
            Thanks!

          • ummm…

            gaming chair? your mom let you buy that?

          • draez

            I know it’s tough to understand for you but there are people out there that buy there own things, have their own houses, make their own money.
            Maybe someday you’ll get there too. Until then I guess you’ll always have the Internet to troll…oh and your played out mom jokes.

          • ummm…

            haha, actually i haven’t used mom jokes for years. dont know i did here. i must have been in a puckish mood.

    • Benwonone

      I too have 3 sensors configured in a roughly 3×2.5 meter space and just finished Arizona sunshine (walking locomotion) and it was flawless while traversing in roomscale using the rift and touch and could not be happier with it. I’ve been lucky enough to not have had any significant tracking issues since getting the third camera for full 360 room scale. I do have a strong system board though that seems to hold the weight of the bandwidth needs. I’m thinking this might be a large contributor to the issues people are seeing..

      • NooYawker

        these things are running 90fps at hires for each eye, tracking headset and controllers. So anyone without he latest and greatest will experience some issues.

    • 1droidfan

      Same here, 3 sensor setup on a combination of the MB controller and a PCI add on card. The only issue I get is a hitch when switching to and from the back sensor exclusively. I consider it minor but some people are pretty upset about it, since they play competitive Onward which I understand that side effect can be crippling when trying to aim.

    • ummm…

      sounds like the rift gets more and more expensive every day.

  • VR Geek

    I would love to be a fly on the wall the moment Oculus decided constellation was the right tracking method. Surely some of their very intelligent team members debated this to no end. Right? I wonder what John Carmack and Michael Abrash think or if they took issue with the direction. I found constellation tracking on my DK2 to be far less than desirable and as I learned about the tech more was convinced CV1 would have something different as even with 1920×1080 sensor cameras, this is not a lot of pixels to track the IRs when you are further back from the sensor. Easy to test, just take a 1080p video camera and shoot the Rift to see the IR and then walk back a little and notice how few total pixels are taken up by the Rift. We are talking less than 150×150 in some cases. Add occlusions and a busy USB bus (I have many external USB drives and had to unplug them) and it all add up to not good enough. I am not even convinced 4K would be enough to have enough pixel capturing the IR light. I think Oculus is a marketing company more than anything as their entire presentation is very slick and appealing, but that in no way shape or form makes up for the amazing time I am having with the ViVe. Games like Vanishing Realms are incredible and need solid tracking and the ViVe consistently delivers. I think Mark bought into the marketing and not the tech. Valve sure experimented a lot with tracking before they settled on Lighthouse…what other forms of tracking did Oculus play with?

    • Ohni Starfall

      I imagine that Constellation tracking was chosen due to it being cheaper and easier to develop. Oculus probably thought since it’s first gen, people will excuse the shortcomings of the tracking, simply because I don’t think Oculus was prepared for such strong competition with a newer motor based tracking system.

    • elev8d

      I don’t think lighthouse was even on the table at Oculus. They didn’t really know much about it until the dev Vive was released.

      • VR Geek

        I remember Palmer went and visited the Valve office to see their VR system and the fiduciary markers they had on the wall. They had room scale at that point and he tried it so surely Oculus had some debates shortly after. It was around this time that FB bought Oculus and that killed the Valve/Oculus relationship. I wonder if this is what sparked the development of lighthouse as Valve knew they were on to something big. Funny that Palmer did not recognize or could not convince the rest of his team that room scale was super compelling.

    • NooYawker

      I think it boiled down to what can we get out and fast.

  • Alex Garcia

    I feel the use of USB more so than the IR LED was a mistake. Too many hardware configurations out there to get right and honestly most of the market right now are on the enthusiast side which I guess they thought gen1 would mostly be enthusiasts. It has been an absolute nightmare to get roomscale working right and working all the time. I chose the Rift over the Vive because of the superior comfort and slightly higher fidelity. While some say the colors are more washed out versus the Vive I actually prefer the rift’s brightness as the Vive feels a bit too cartoony at times. The bottom line though is that VR without tracking just doesn’t work. I had to purchase a Vive again because I could just not deal with the tracking issues I’ve been experiencing. What sucks is all these great exclusives that are going to come out but will be played with ReVive that isn’t perfect and the games are made for Touch. That is the only thing keeping Oculus afloat as far I’m concerned. I will be taking a long hard look at Gen2 and it may not be Oculus by default. Having Carmack and abash on their team did me in the first time. You know what they say, fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. Vive is superior in terms of tracking and anyone that says otherwise is a blind fanboy.

    • ummm…

      dude. your problem is that your apt is too big and you dont like to sit and play VR with a controller. VR doesn’t have to change; you do………….

  • Pete

    Ouch! Not good for Oculus.

  • EY

    On the face of it, using off-the-shelf camera and IR emitter components for the first generation Rift should have cut down on costs and hardware development/tooling time. It didn’t end up working out that way, though.

    At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if they try to go straight to inside-out tracking for the second generation. Although it might come with a loss of accuracy, requiring games to work around those limitations.

    • DougP

      Re: “At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if they try to go straight to inside-out tracking for the second generation.”

      Sad to see people already recognizing the Rift gen1 should be left behind, weeks after they’ve finally shipped motion controls with 180-degree tracking.
      Vive’s in a much better position with the soon to arrive:
      1) add-on accessories
      2) wireless
      3) lower-cost lighthouse
      4) upgrade headstrap for those who want integrated headphones (personally I don’t…but I get why so do)

      Gen2 for Vive can just be incremental component add-ons.
      With newer video cards & being able to bump super-sampling up, I don’t even see higher res displays as a major priority for some time. If I could get 2.0 supersampling on my Vive today…I’d be happy with headset quality for a long time.

      • NooYawker

        I got ss up to 2.0 but only with asynchronous reprojection. But it still looks much much better. Actually able to play full locomotion for a much longer time.

  • Graham J ⭐️

    If it’s truly a software problem then the mistake is not having fixed it by now. That it hasn’t been fixed yet suggests it’s either an extremely difficult problem or that the limitation is indeed hardware. Conceptually the problem doesn’t seem too difficult so I lean towards the latter – hardware. In which case, yes, it was a mistake.

    I’m not surprised though. Luckey doesn’t strike me as a particularly talented technologist, he just pieced some bits together. HTC clearly had very talented engineers designing its system. Devising and realizing Lighthouse was an impressive undertaking.

    • Full Name

      I agree with what you say, but should point out that the tech HTC has was mostly developed by Valve (who on a sidenote also installed an early version at Oculus before Facebook bought them out and severed ties with Valve). Alan Yates, the guy at Valve who came up with the main concept of Lighthouse tracking is pretty brilliant.

      • Graham J ⭐️

        Yates, that’s it; I meant to mention him by name. Definitely brilliant. Lighthouse is what puts the Vive at the top of the VR pack and it’s further innovation at that level that is needed to advance the industry even further. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  • Tom Szirtes

    What’s the second big problem you mention? Occlusion is also a problem for Lighthouse style systems, so its not unique to Oculus.

    • Full Name

      I’ll steal D.L. good response to the same question above: The Vive’s base stations gets somewhat more coverage than the Rift cameras (100° hor 70° vert compared to 120° each way for Lighthouse) and recommend setup of putting them in each corner of the room increases that coverage further. You still get some occlusion from your own body but the design of the controllers helps with that too.

  • Harry Hol

    I have very few issues with a 2 camera 360 setup. I would call my tracking ‘good enough’ for now. I’ll get the third sensor eventually to make it more stable, but since I got Touch I was able to play all room scale Steam VR titles without problems.

    I don’t know if I am the minority here, but as far as I can tell, my experience is about as good as the Vive and can only get better when tech and drivers improve.

    So no, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with Constellation. I do think every little wobble or issue is jumped on by the hardest of the hardcore Vive owners who still don’t want to accept that Rift can do room scale.

    • elev8d

      The majority of issues have been with 3 and 4 sensor setups. 2 sensor setups have been more stable.

    • MiddleOfTheRoad

      What is your play area size with only 2 sensors?

  • Mark

    I’m running Rift/Touch with two sensors and in 180 degrees use I haven’t noticed any problems whatsoever – works flawlessly for me. I guess I’m the lucky one.

    • draez

      The problem is 360 degrees. Lol

  • nargorn

    My 4 Sensor Setup finally seems to work since yesterday… After trying 3 different USB Expansion Cards, upgrading my Motherboard, CPU and Ram. Buying some USB extension cables. All in all that may reach the price of an HTC Vive. But i love Oculus touch and the Headset.

    Of course my setup is highly experimental. BUT when you sell motion controller you cannot tell everybody: “but please don’t turn around”. That would not be VR as it should be “in motion”.

    My verdict: Constellation tracking is not user friendly and a hell of a piece of work!

    • elev8d

      A 4 sensor setup is well above the price of a base Vive + controllers. Granted if you want to upgrade the headstrap, to wireless, and buy the new knuckles controllers when they are released then the the Vive will run more.

      • Full Name

        but then you’d have a WIRELESS setup 🙂

    • Crunchy005

      So $600 Rift + $200 Touch+camera + $80 camera x 2 = $960
      Vive $800 or $700 on black Friday sales. Future of wireless(tpcast) later this year, pucks for accessories, finger tracking gloves, second gen controllers, 16 device tracking limit…and the future of rift? Getting tracking to work for everyone…

      • ummm…

        ….but it looks pretty.

    • DougP

      Re: “After trying 3 different USB Expansion Cards, upgrading my Motherboard,
      CPU and Ram. Buying some USB extension cables. All in all that may reach
      the price of an HTC Vive.”

      “may reach the price on an HTC Vive” – ???
      Let me correct that for you – “will far surpass the price of the HTC Vive”

      • Caven

        I think he’s saying just those upgrade parts alone could approach the cost of a Vive.

        • DougP

          I see. That makes more sense.
          I’ve read some horror stories about problems – mobo upgrades required, USB add-on cards, usb extension cable (for large room-scale), etc. People throwing money at the problem.

          The Vive’s 2x lighthouses are a much more affordable, elegant & scalable solution.
          I hope that Rift Gen2 moves to a different & better tracking system. Perhaps inside-out? But that’s probably going to be at least a year+ out.

      • nargorn

        Yeah, i know. I meant: could have got a Vive additionally instead of fixing Constellation..

        • elev8d

          This went completely over my head. Didn’t realize you had to get a new mobo, cpu, and ram for touch. That’s nuts.

          • nargorn

            Absolutely:-) But it works and i got my old components sold. Could not give up…

        • ummm…

          if you had alerted me to a go fund me page in order to finance your fixing the rift, then i would have donated. no matter how heated it gets between vive and rift owners i have empathy. you deserve a good VR experience on whatever device.

          • nargorn

            Thanks! Looking forward to a great vr future for all of us!

          • ummm…

            tru dat!

        • DougP

          Gotcha. Sorry to hear that (& sorry misunderstood). Frustrating!
          I know people who’ve done large room-scale setup (4x sensor) & had to run long usb extension cables & also had challenges.

    • polysix

      LMAO – 4… *FOUR* fucking cameras and it JUST about works? dear god you rift fanbois are something else. Why not give it up already and admit defeat?

      FOUR fucking cameras, 4 times the data going directly to facebook’s A.I & ads data crunching mainframe. Well done lads you have contributed to the ruin of the human race.

      faaaaaaaaaaack

  • Kalle

    The first problem you speak about happens with lighthouse tech also when a controller is not visible to any of the lighthouses. That feels just wrong to point out as a big problem for oculus only.

    • D.L

      The frustum of the Vive’s base stations gets somewhat more coverage than the Rift cameras (100° hor 70° vert compared to 120° each way for Lighthouse) and recommend setup of putting them in each corner of the room increases that coverage further. You still get some occlusion from your own body but the design of the controllers helps with that too.

    • NooYawker

      But it’s not a problem for the vive. The lighthouses cover a larger area and at much higher accuracy with just two as opposed to needing three sensors with oculus.

      • Kalle

        Sadly that’s bullshit, I own a Vive and if I stand so I hide the wands from both of the lighthouses the same thing happens. It’s harder to hide them than the touch, but that’s not because of the lighthouses, that’s because the size of the wands.

        • NooYawker

          You must have a really big play space to be able to hide both wands.

          • Kalle

            As easy to hide the wands as it is to hide the touch and it has nothing to do with space. The thing is that if you hide it you do it on purpose, same as with touch.

  • PianoMan

    Just curious but how much would it be for a Rift, Touch and 3-4 sensors. Surely more than a Vive?

    • Doctor Bambi

      $80 more for Rift + Touch + 3rd camera as compared to the Vive.

      But if the $80 difference is really that big of an issue for someone, they probably shouldn’t be buying a high end PC headset at all. :/

      • PianoMan

        Was just curious as I already have a vive.

      • DougP

        Re: $80 more – 3-4 sensors?

        Another $80 for the extra sensor = $160 difference. Or similar to the difference between the base Rift & Vive that Oculus fanboys shreaked over being “too much” & saying “no one would pay that extra”.

        Now add the dedicated extra usb board, high-end usb extension cables, etc … likely required to set this up & get it working in a large room-scale setup….& you’ve increased the difference in price well over $200 more. Heck, for the savings (& your dismissing $80 not mattering) they could buy the Vive & a PSVR add-on for their Sony console (if had one) & have TWO systems.

        “shouldn’t be buying” – so funny to hear this from Rift-apologists, when they shreaked & cried about the Vive’s $200 higher ALL-IN
        price.

        The mental gymnastics / cognitive dissonance is strong with this one!

        • Doctor Bambi

          No need to get nasty Doug. Arguing the semantics of price is pointless as either system has it’s particular price advantages in best/worst case scenarios.

          Like it or not, the brass tax difference is $80 compared to Vive. I’m sorry if that bothers you so much.

          • DougP

            Re: “No need to get nasty Doug. ”

            Pointing our inaccuracies or calling out someone conveniently leaving out facts/info (perhaps being disingenuous) is not “being nasty”.

            As for “being nasty” –
            You intentionally *minimize* the cost difference, either ill-informed or intentionally misleading, and I pointed this out…you then basically *insulted* people who might have more challenges with finances & could consider $80, $160 or $200+ “extra cost” as non-consequential with your “shouldn’t be buying a high end PC headset at all” condescension – *that* was “being nasty” & prompted my reply with context.

            For the Rift to actually compare feature-for-feature (large room-scale 360-degree support) it is NOT $80 more. End of story.
            It’s probably closer to something well over $200 more: 4x sensors(/cameras), expensive high quality USB extension cables.
            That’s not even considering whether extra USB cards are required.

            If you’re ignoring these facts – mental gymnastics / cognitive dissonance is appropriate commentary. If you’re ignorant or ill-informed, research this a bit before making a comment such as – “it’s only $80 more & people who’d hesitate spending extra money shouldn’t be buying VR”.

          • Doctor Bambi

            My comment on not buying a headset was meant to be pragmatic, but it did come off pretentious, so apologies for that.

            > “You intentionally minimize the cost difference.”
            From my perspective, you’re trying to over-exaggerate the cost difference by exploiting the worst case scenario of a Rift purchase. At this point, most everyone will be able to get a great experience buying only the basic product, albeit it might take some troubleshooting to make sure your USB controllers are balanced properly.

            > “For the Rift to actually compare feature-for-feature (large room-sclae 360-degree support)
            Even at 4 sensors, the Rift is not capable of the same tracking volume as Vive. If you’re goal is to create a Vive out of a Rift, you should just buy a Vive. If you want roomscale, but don’t have a lot of space and like the other aspects of the Rift product, you might want to buy a Rift.

            My main point was simply to suggest that there are many more factors at play than just price. By and large they are very similar in price and it really comes down to the individual strengths of the different headsets.

          • DougP

            Dr Bambi – understand your points. It’s true that they’re really similar in price & various priorities can/will determine which people will buy.
            Also apologize for snapping back w/my comment – it just rubbed me the wrong way. I do get your point(s).
            You’re also spot-on about large room-scale. Honestly if someone’s priority/preference was more seated (particularly long-session cockpit[racing/flight] sim) with a less focus on 360-degree & hopping around a big place space, I get the appeal of the Rift.

            As for tracking – ultimately I believe we’ll see inside-out tracking as the best solution. Particularly with the Rift, setting up a large room (I know people who’ve done it) with long(expensive for good ones) USB extenders & such – setup is a hassle.
            Once we have inside-out that spot-on, the differences between lighthouse & constellation tracking will be mute.

          • polysix

            Sad thing is, even when ocu-sheep spend more, they still get a shittier experience with constant tracking woes. We warned them for months, they had the chance to go vive (or wait for gen 2) but did they listen? no, they knew best. fuck ’em.

  • RationalThought

    As a Rift owner and avid fan of VR technology the only fair answer is yes, it was a missed opportunity going with Constellation. No USB cables and needing only two lighthouses to cover a wider swath of real estate and two controllers in 360 is clearly more efficient tech right off the bat. I hope the Rift continues to update and perfect itself as I am already invested and frankly love the headset and the Touch controllers……but I worry that Vive will see a host of new controller types and experiences that I won’t be able to have thanks to the lighthouse tracking tech.

    • ummm…

      if the rift had lighthouse id have to think about selling my vive – even given the fact i dislike facebook/oculus. Until then…..

      • polysix

        Never go facebook. It won’t end well and will just encourage more BS into the VR space.

        • ummm…

          i hear that argument, and ive said it myself. however, wouldn’t you admit that it would be a much harder choice if both HMDs had lighthouse?

  • David D. Taylor

    I’ve had the 3 camera setup for a little over a month now, and haven’t had issues with any of my games.

  • Doctor Bambi

    It certainly does feel like the drama with Oculus never seems to end. It’s sad to read the frustrations people are having, because once you have everything set properly, the tracking is basically on par with Lighthouse.

    I think there’s a general misconception of Constellation’s capabilities though. The days leading up to Touch’s release, a number of videos and commenters across the internets suggested Constellation technically should be capable of tracking areas similar in size to Lighthouse and there was nary a whiff of potential USB bandwidth issues with 3 or 4 cameras. Generally speaking, that inadvertently led to a collective understanding, “If I get 4 cameras, I can track any space just like Lighthouse”. Turns out, the limitations of Constellation are significantly more then they appeared. Oculus has all but written off 4 cameras, and I would suggest anyone having troubles disconnect the 4th if they have one. Playspace really can’t be more than roughly 10ftX10ft. I hope Oculus will release some official numbers on maximum playspace size at some point, and I hope that they can put a check in place to make sure users aren’t putting their sensors too far away from each other during setup. Live within the limitations of Constellation, and tracking should be superb. I think if Oculus had been more up front about this, the backlash would have been significantly less overall.

    Moving forward, it will be interesting to see what becomes of Constellation. The real question to me is how much of the code can be transitioned to an inside-out tracking system? If that’s significant, then I’d say Constellation was absolutely essential to the success of Oculus down the road as they have now surmounted what has to be a huge amount of data on their camera based tracking and positional algorithms and they will continue to refine it over the Rift’s lifespan. All of that could factor into a much more solid inside-out tracking solution. If the Constellation book had to be thrown out the window and they start from scratch, then I’d say Constellation represents a rough patch for Oculus overall. Time will tell.

  • jlschmugge

    So why isn’t occlusion a problem for the Vive? Doesn’t the Vive need two lighthouses to triangulate? Wouldn’t occlusion be a problem of one of them are blocked?

    • Crunchy005

      It doesn’t triangulate, but yes if the controller can’t see any lighthouses occlusion will occur, but it needs to be pretty much completely blocked from seeing both lighthouses. The Vive can function in 180 degree mode with one tower.

      • jlschmugge

        Oh ok, I didn’t know it needed only one sensor. So how do each of its sensors know their angular position to the lighthouse?

        • Crunchy005

          The lighthouse sensor has an array of IR LEDs that blast out IR light at a certain frequency. This blast signals the start of a “cycle” then there are two IR lasers that spin one for the horizontal and one for the vertical axis. When the cycle starts the device records the time that each IR sensor gets hit with each axis laser(the lasers have a 120 degree sweep) and can determine it’s position relative to the tower. Very basic explanation but that’s the gist of it.

    • polysix

      Because it’s a much better, purpose built, system designed by smart people to combat the very issue of occlusion during roomscale VR.

      Oculus meanwhile went with off the shelf cheap-ass webcams with a filter on them and resold them to you for big profit, even though they were warned over and over (by users and valve) that their shitty system wouldn’t work for anything more than reliable seated/front facing stuff.

      Vive tracking is so many years ahead of Oculus it’s actually embarrassing that facebook even dare sell that crap and call it VR!

  • jlschmugge

    I think constellation tracking still has value. Maybe the issue of Rift’s occlusion is more about the fact the basic package comes with only one sensor. The Vive requires two for its sensors to triangulate, but the Rift can hobble on one sensor if the other is blocked. Range in constellation tracking is the limiting factor compared to the Vive. The Vive uses lasers while the Rift uses a camera image. I can’t get more than ten feet away in my Rift before it gets wonky. This could be fixed by releasing higher resolution sensors, and making the IR LEDs more pinpoint than the fuzzy glow they have now. Imagine what the sensor is using to recognize the Rift’s position is a bunch of blurry pixels.

    • Caven

      The Vive only needs two Lighthouses for 360-degree coverage. Just one Lighthouse needs to be visible for tracking, otherwise the controllers would be nearly unusable, since the player’s body frequently blocks the controllers from seeing both Lighthouses at the same time.

    • polysix

      Until you’ve tried Vive tracking, you’ve not actually tried “VR”.

      Leagues ahead.

  • DougP

    Yes

  • VR Geek

    Just a matter of time before someone sticks a lighthouse tracker on a Rift. Then you can have comfort and tracking.

    • Crunchy005

      It doesn’t work like that.

      • VR Geek

        I am 100% certain someone is going to do this sooner than later. Why do you feel this will not work?

        • Crunchy005

          The vive components, HMD, controllers, etc. Track themselves based off of their relative position to the Lighthouses. The lighthouses rthemselves are not cameras and there is hardware in the Vive controllers and HMD from calculate their position. The Rift on the other hand has “dumb” LEDs in a constellation that are tracked externally by the PC through cameras, there is nothing in the headset that can track and detect the IR emitted from the Vive lighthouses, they are in a sense opposites of one another…

          • EY

            I think the original poster meant literally strapping a Vive Tracker on top of a Rift headset, as if it were another Vive accessory (like the pistols, baseball bats, etc). It would be clunky as hell and you’d have to hack the Oculus PC drivers to use the Tracker coordinates instead of the Constellation ones, but in principle it could work.

          • Crunchy005

            That makes more sense, although you would probably hack the vive drivers to accept the oculus headset as the output and its position is in some way relative to the puck…probably not worth it if it can be done.

          • VR Geek

            I am talking about someone putting a ViVe tracker pod on the Rift not using the Rift’s constellation LEDs as of course they are no at all compatible. Someone is 100% going to use the Rift with lighthouse sooner than later. There will even be a article about it here. Mark my words.

          • Crunchy005

            Ya, I misunderstood your original comment. That could work, although I wonder if it will be worth it.

    • Nicholas

      You’d pretty much have to strip the entire headset and replace it with the Vive innards (the sensor arrays and logic are in the headset and controller, not the Lighthouses themselves). In which case you may as well buy a Vive.

    • polysix

      *slightly more comfort in one or two areas, worse comfort on the face gasket and for glasses wearers.

      Just correcting that for you.

  • Vive too has problems due to occlusions and interferences, but they made it for room-scale for start, so it has been engineered better. I agree with McGregor of ID software that has written a great article telling that Oculus was making a device for causal/social use (hence the use of a remote) and then the so loved room-scale feature of Vive forced them to find a workaround to do room-scale.

  • GodMk2

    Ignoring all other Vive vs Rift arguments… constellation tracking is not as good as lighthouse tracking. Accuracy over larger distances, support for multiplayers, scaling to warehouse scale, not just room scale, making peripherals track themselves, the ease of just adding power cables from a point anywhere in the room. Etc etc.

    Dont get me wrong – I like Rift too… I have 2x Rift and 4xVive, But the rifts are reserved for seating and standing facing forward games (and maybe driving sims in future), but the Vive can do that and walky turny stuff better, and will have one key advantage soon… the ability to walk in VR. Don’t try and tell me constellation will be able to track your feet. Yeah a puck isn’t going to be ideal, but I expect a dedicated foot band to arrive as a vive tracking item, eliminating once and for all the best way to do locomotion. Look at what TaleriaVR are working on.. the stepping can be applied to rift – but not foot tracking – which you need to work out direction and do kicking.

    Now I know not many people run 2 player set ups at home, but it;s good to know if you mate has a vive he can bring a 1070 gaming laptop (or a desktop that doesn’t weigh the same as a small child) they can leave the lighthouses in place at home and just hop on to a friends setup in the living room for some PvP. No need to wire up anoter 3 cameras making 6 in total!

    Possibly in future inside out tracking will replace both systems but for now lighthouses are the top trump (need a new word before this thread degenerates into politics).

    If you look back… Rift was designed as a way to play PC games while sat at a desk, the idea of being able to do roomscale was added later. A camera from 2ft away works well, but when you start wandering around the room, it’s not going to get the fine detail needed to play games like Hotdogs and horseshoes, where sub-millimeter accuracy allows you to use the reticle to shoot watermelons 400m away. One day I’ll get around to testing that theory and post back but my shop is currently getting fitted out and so all VR gear is packed away in cupboards 🙁

    • Full Name

      Not to mention the luck needed for that gaming laptop to be able to run say 3 cameras without USB problems..

      • Crunchy005

        Yep, the fact that VR-ready computers are no longer just desktops makes this a big issue for oculus.

    • NooYawker

      Are you running an arcade or just have lots of people over all the time. Why do you have so many VR systems?

  • Brad

    Any way you slice it, for roomscale, Lighthouse has a big advantage over Constelation.
    But just thinking out loud, Lighthouse is opensource, as far as I know. The only thing keeping Oculus from using lighthouse for CV2 is their pride. It would sure be nice to use the same sensors for both headsets.

  • polysix

    *YES*

  • laast

    This Oculus bashing is getting ridiculous. After hundreds hours of playing on my Rift, after showing it to dozens of people, I can say this: there’s absolutely no technical problem with the constellation system itself.

    Of course there’s occlusion, a phenomena which also exists on the Vive. The more trackers you’ll use (and the better you place them), the less occlusion you’ll get. It is true for any tracking device. Obviously.

    When tracking problems occurs with constellation it is 99% related to the user and his hardware management. bad positioning of censors, not adapted USB PCI hub, wrong drivers installation (motherboard and/or USB hub),…Most of people don’t even know that they have to install extra drivers to their motherboard to have a fonctionnal USB3.0 support…

    If it was an exclusive and systemic Oculus problem, how can you explain that many (most?) of Rift + touch users have no problem at all? Magic? Luck? Voodoo?

    • Crunchy005

      Then please explain the lack of tracking issues on the Vive, aside from occlusion as yes that is inherent in both systems. The issues for the rift come from Bandwidth limitations on USB 3.0 controllers. If someone has to buy extra hardware, additional USB 3.0PCIe card, new motherboard(their old one possibly doesn’t have enough USB 3.0 ports, or a sub-par USB 3.0 controller), etc. that’s giving the competitive edge to Vive. The Vive also uses 1 USB port to achieve what takes Oculus 2+ USB ports. The large amount of USB ports will be an issue especially as the market for VR-ready Laptops/Ultra small form factor PCs grows. Some of the fixes for USB bandwidth like adding an additional USB PCIe card isn’t possible on those systems so people will have to choose the Vive, and that’s just not good for business.

      • draez

        you didn’t have to buy hardware to handle the VR specs of the Vive or the Rift to begin with? I did, haven’t upgraded in a while so no big deal. Tacking on another 15 bucks for a USB card if needed really doesn’t break that deal for me
        Then again, you may not even need to do that. It depends on how your USBs are set up internally. Search for USB host controllers in your device manager.

        • Crunchy005

          No, I didn’t have to buy any other hardware. The Vive uses 1 USB 2.0 connection and an HDMI connection, thats it. I built my computer a year and a half ago. CPU is a 4790k and GPU a GTX 970. It depends on the USB controller itself, which is hardware. Adding a USB card is a solution, and yes not terribly expensive, but that can’t be done on all PCs running an oculus. This is a flaw. Also the fact that you have to run USB cables for room-scale would actually make the Rift impossible for me to set up the same way my Vive room-scale is set up. The camera field of view limitations alone would probably make my office an impossible room-scale area and limit me to sitting except when I move the entire system downstairs to my living room, which is a lot of work even with the easier vive setup. on top of that now I have to route a 9+ foot USB cable form the computer by the TV to the back of the room, or I can just set up two lighthouses on tripods at either corner of the room next to the electrical outlets and it’s done. There are limitations of the Rift setup that cannot be overcome. Limiting your users that use room-scale to a full desktop PC isn’t a good thing, so all those small form factor computers are going to be SOL if their USB controllers don’t work for the rift with 2+ cameras…this is a glaring flaw with the system and on top of those issues if everythign works perfectly, you get an on-par room-scale experience with a smaller maximum size. Whether or not you have to room for the max size of the room-scale system this limitation clearly shows the superiority of the Vive system over the Rift and they do it with 2 lighthouses and not 3 cameras…

          • draez

            So you bought a Vive and haven’t used a Rift. How could you possibly know the differences then besides reading?

          • Crunchy005

            I have used a rift, believe what you will dude.

    • NooYawker

      If you don’t recognize a problem how can you solve it? Oculus themselves are acknowledging there is a tracking problem.

  • Unspoken

    “was the constellation tracking system a long-term mistake for Oculus as a company?”

    I don’t think anything is long term in VR yet. Hits or misses alike.

  • Torben Bojer Christensen

    Software issues have a chance to get solved. However the only thing that can solve the paramount problem of going for an inferior tracking system is jumping to a superior one. …That last issue will not be solved on the current version of the Rift.

  • Tomasz Dowgielewicz

    Tracking is hard. We may need few more iterations of HMDs to have good,precise and 100% robust tracking. I’m vision sytems engineer and for me using Vision System tracking was the first obvious idea to solve tracking problem. Oculus problem is not the constellation system. Todays visions systems really can handle it.It could work very good with better cameras. Problem is the price and the Vive. Simply comparing to VALVe idea oculus solution is more expensive and they reduced the costs of cameras (cam + lens + firmware) to meet to be a competitor on market. I own vive, imho their solution is genius.Please don’t blame Oculus company that they did’t find out so brilliant idea like valve did. It is easy to judge when products are on the shelves , but i’m sure that 99.999% of Oculus tracking solutions haters would never create better tracking system than constellation is

    • Religion is Cancer

      No, the problem IS the Constellation tracking. You can’t say that it’s not their fault because it’s “hard” to develop a system. They’ve been selling thing thing for a year now and talking preorders before that. You better have your shit together when you’re taking peoples money. They don’t, they haven’t and it’s really starting to show now.

      I feel for the people who bought a Rift expecting a different experience. Especially with a possible injunction pending. Valve and HTC will benefit from this and continue to create distance between the two products.

  • xeno3d

    I have NEVER had a tracking issue with my 3 sensor setup, period.

  • brandon9271

    They need to do image processing in the cameras themselves if possible and then send less data through the USB bus. I think that’s been a lot of the problem. This would make the cameras more expensive but this way they could use the rest of their current tech. Otherwise, they’d have to scrap everything and go with something like the Lighthouse, which is obviously better. Rift has a more comfortable HMD with better optics and the touch controllers are ergonomically better. If they had lighthouse tracking it would be PERFECT.

  • epukinsk

    The place where Lighthouse can grab the market is mobile VR. Inside-out tracking is very computationally expensive compared to the lighthouse trackers, which are a tiny low power chip. A headset like Daydream or Gear VR could cheaply incorporate them, along with pair of tabletop battery powered Lighthouse beacons, and a person could reasonbly set up a mobile roomscale tracking system, where the headset itself gets positional tracking very computationally cheaply, so that battery light and thermal load can be allocated to graphics and not computer vision.

    The place where computer vision wins out again is if you are trying to do photogrammetry anyway, in which case you potentially get head tracking “for free”. I think the thermal constraints will govern the winner of the early rounds, but in the end computer vision wins.