I Played Superhot VR With A New Windows Headset And It Was Impressive

by Jamie Feltham • September 22nd, 2017

Having played through Superhot VR twice now on Rift and PSVR, and speaking with the world record speedrun holder, I consider myself something of an expert on the stylish shooter. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to try it out on one of the new Windows 10 VR headsets.

Dell was showcasing the game on its device — set to launch on October 17th — with a pair of the new six degrees of freedom (6DOF) controllers. As you might imagine, Superhot represents a pretty good chance to get to grips with the tracking for both the headset and the controllers, getting players to duck and weave out of the way of bullets and punches, controlling the speed at which time progresses with their own movements.

I played through three levels of the game, and I had significantly less issues playing here than I did with the PSVR version (which I still loved). For the most part the headset’s inside-out position tracking responded just as I would expect; leaning out of the way of bullets was mostly smooth and identical to moving when tracked by the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive solutions. I say mostly, as there were one or two times that the screen would freeze mid-action, though a Dell representative had already said they were having some issues with performance on the PC end. Otherwise there were some slight jitters but the headset corrected itself almost instantly.

The controllers, meanwhile, seemed to be a little more tricky. In Superhot, you’re often required to multitask. If you want to pick up a gun, for example, you’ll probably want to quickly look for its location, and then turn back to the immediate danger to watch out for attacks as you pick it up. Windows headsets, though, will need your controller to be in front of the device to accurately track it. This means that I had to look back to make sure I was picking up the weapon I needed. It wasn’t as inconvenient as it sounds, and the accuracy of the tracking made this much more preferable to fighting the single-camera tracking on PSVR, but it did add an extra step to the process.

To be clear, this didn’t stop me from actually leaning down to pick up a weapon as I looked at my enemies; I was able to move my hand to the approximate location of the gun without looking at it, but then I’d have to make a quick glance to actually pick it up. When it was in hand I could again look away and, as long as I kept the grip button held down, I would have the weapon in hand when pulling it back into view. It didn’t stop me from passing those few levels, it was just a little extra to think about.

That said, I did encounter one bizarre issue with throwing stars, which would sometimes automatically be thrown once I brought them into view. This didn’t happen every time I did this so I assume that it was just a bug, which will hopefully be fixed by the time the game comes to Windows. It’s also a little jarring to see your hands suddenly appear from one side once the tracking kicks in, rather than seamlessly transitioning back into view like they would on Rift, Vive and PSVR.

This was my first chance to try Windows VR and I came away impressed. The inside-out tracking seemed reliable (though I didn’t put it under huge strain), and the controllers worked surprisingly well. Superhot, meanwhile, is expected to be included in the platform’s launch window and, well, it’s Superhot; you already know it’s great.

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  • IstDasDeinBecks

    You say, that it had Problems here and issues there and it do often not work as good as the other vr solutions. Maybe I did not get the Point, but what was impessive?

    • Doctor Bambi

      Well, he’s basically saying tracking was similar to Rift and Vive with a few minor hiccups and it’s doing all of this with no outside sensors or base stations. I’d say that’s pretty impressive.

    • no he said those were probably bugs and issues with the PC

  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    So it’s not as good as 3 years old technology like the Oculus and Vive. My main concern with those MS VR is that they are more expensive than Oculus yet deliver far inferior performance. Who in their right mind would risk buying those lame ducks with no game support. It would be interesting if they could sell them for 300$ with controllers included.

    • Darren Burns

      it is a step forward in some ways though as there is no need for lighthouse units and points us in the direction VR is likely to go.

      • Nate

        My thoughts exactly Darren. The technology Oculus uses is older, and also proven. However, it’s likely that inside-out tracking will be what standalone headsets use when VR hardware really matures. Ultimately, people are going to want standalone headsets that do not have to be tethered to a PC that they can take and use anywhere. That’s strictly impossible with outside-in tracking and as such, I very much expect outside-in tracking to become obsolete within the next ten years.

        • RFC_VR

          Imagine…inside out tracking on standalone hmd with data streamed across wireless home network.

          Our “desktop” PC may evolve to be server/Nas boxes rarely seen….

      • Jeff Axline

        It would really be a dream travel demo as you could bring a laptop and the headset/controllers. I’m really glad MS MR is an option.

    • dude. The biggest cost in a VR solution is NOT the headset! It’s the PC. Windows Mixed Reality can run on a laptop with integrated graphics!! Try that with a Rift/Vive, then come back here to apologize for typing before thinking.

    • Joe_HTH

      What are you talking about? The resolution in Windows VR headsets are much better, and most are cheaper than the Rift and much cheaper than the Vive.

      • Jean-Sebastien Perron

        Cheaper? It’s loaded with crap : cheap plastic, cheap lens, they are lcd instead of proper oled and we all know that the controllers have serious tracking problems. When I fap I don’t need to watch my hands for them to move. So you will never be able to run while shooting behind. You won’t be able to play Golf, because you have to lock your head on the ball while you swing. MS has failed and it’s dead on arrival 2 years late and 4 years behind.

  • contractcooker

    So it was impressive…… except that it wasn’t. Terrible review.

    • Tad Springer

      Pretty sure he meant to be impressive because it’s using inside-out tracking. Still sounds like you’ll get better gameplay with outside-in tracking though.

      • Nate

        That will probably be the case for the next few years, though I do see inside-out being the best long-term tracking option so it’s good to see some positive if not perfect results from one of the first attempts at inside-out tracking in a major VR platform.

  • Doctor Bambi

    Hmm, it’s good to hear the tracking is this good and the fact that controllers lose tracking when outside of the FOV of the front cameras is a design limitation that’s really not any worse than a front facing configuration. It’ll probably be something developers have to design around a little bit, but at least it allows full 360 tracking out of the box.

    I still don’t think we’ve really put these controllers through their paces though. I’d like to see someone play something like Arizona Sunshine where lining up the sights is integral to the gameplay, or a painting app such as Tiltbrush to see if it can make a smooth consistent line.

    • Jeff Axline

      I’d think inside out would be better than front facing as you can rotate in any direction and still see your hands in front of you. I’m imagining Tilt Brush being a great example of an app where you would never lose tracking. I think there will be many apps where it simply wont make a difference and actually be pretty darn good.

  • Pepitopalotes

    Not a single video 🙁

  • LoreII

    From the review my understanding is that the windows headset is a sh.t … :-/

    • except it costs half as much as a full Rift/Vive system (headset+PC). The mere fact that we are comparing them is proof of awesomeness. If VR needs one thing more than ANYTHING right now is more people to embrace it, to become more mainstream. And dropping the entry cost to half (for a decent experience, so i don’t consider Gear VR) is good

      • LoreII

        Well… the market solution for quality of hardware, good quality games, and balanced price now is PSVR, I hope more and more people will get it

        • it is affordable yes, but its controllers suck big time

          • LoreII

            You think that, but you have no idea.
            Instead I have clear idea Psvr and moves are great cause I own them and use them, enjoying them very much… and like me millions of players
            Maybe your opinion sucks instead, think about it

          • whaaa? you think i would say bad things about a product that i haven’t used?! Why on Earth would i do such thing? I’ve used them Sir

          • LoreII

            Then you wouldn’t say so, I’m sure 100% you didn’t play it

          • Joe_HTH

            Yet you claim Windows VR is shit, having never tried them. They have far better resolution and more accurate tracking than PSVR. They also have better controllers, yet you think they’re shit and then praise PSVR. You reek of fanboy BS.

          • LoreII

            I also tried them, and Psvr is much better, moreover Psvr has wonderful games and windows vr they haven’t, games are even more important than resolution
            From Latin we can say “ergo” windows headsets are shit 😁
            Cheap price = cheap quality, like the bullshit Chinese stuff
            By the way you are Chinese?

          • LoreII

            You reek MTRFKR

    • Joe_HTH

      You’re understanding is what’s shit. Having used a Windows VR headset, it’s resolution is better than Rift and Vive, with very accurate inside out tracking. Most are also cheaper. They’re fantastic headsets. Inside out tracking is slight less accurate than outside-in tracking, but Windows headsets have better accuracy than PSVR.