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My initial G2 impressions vs. my Quest 2 and Vive Pro
Just got my G2 yesterday, and thought I'd share some thoughts on how it stacks up against some of the other VR headsets I own. For reference, I'm comparing the stock G2 to a modded Vive Pro and a modded Quest 2.submitted by TeTitanAtoll to HPReverb
NOTE: These are my initial impressions after only about 4 hours of time with the G2, as compared to a couple months with the Quest 2 and about a year with my Vive Pro, so my opinion is subject to change as I spend more time with the G2 and try more settings, etc. I've seen some comments about folks cancelling their G2 orders based on my opinions here, and I certainly wouldn't recommend that, particularly as it pertains to visuals, as this can be very subjective.
BackgroundI first dipped my toe into VR last Christmas with the Quest 1. I was immediately smitten by the technology, and as I'm also just a bit of an obsessive-compulsive technophile (is there any other kind of technophile?), I've actually owned several different headsets over the past year in search of the most optimal VR experience available, including the Quest 1, Vive Pro, Valve Index, Quest 2, and now the Reverb G2. The Quest 1 and Valve Index have since found new homes, but I still actively use the Vive Pro and more recently the Quest 2.
My Vive Pro is modded, with USB-C earbuds, non-fresnel Gear VR lenses, a Vive Wireless Adapter, and a custom-made battery clip that allows the wireless adapter battery to be mounted directly beneath the adapter on the HMD, resulting in a truly wireless PCVR experience. This headset has the typical level of SDE associated with pentile OLED displays, but especially with the Gear VR lenses installed, it has zero god-rays, and is the true king of black levels, contrast and clarity. I picked up the headset used on Craigslist for a good price, so total cost to me after upgrades was just a bit over $1K, including base stations.
My Quest 2 is also modded, including the Deluxe Audio Strap and a custom battery mount to extend play time and provide a counter balance to the otherwise front-heavy headset. As I primarily consume PCVR content, I also have a dedicated WIFI-6 router directly connected to my RTX-2080TI gaming PC, which I use in conjunction with Virtual Desktop to stream PCVR games to the Quest 2. The only thing that connects to that dedicated router is the PC (via Gig-E) and the Quest 2 (via WIFI-6), resulting in a surprisingly low-latency (~20ms-25ms) connection, with virtually no compression artifacts that I can perceive (92mbps). I honestly didn't expect to be, but I'm thoroughly impressed by what the Quest 2 can manage with PCVR when paired with a powerful gaming PC and a good WIFI router. It is worth noting that you do need a beefy GPU to hit this performance level...running this same configuration from my GTX-1070 gaming laptop resulted in visible compression artifacts and noticeable lag even when connected to the same dedicated router. Total cost for this solution, including the deluxe audio strap, dedicated router, and virtual desktop was right around $600.
So, this is what the $600 Reverb G2 was up against as I evaluated it. It's worth noting that when I placed my G2 pre-order back in May, I didn't expect the Quest 2 to be in the picture at all, but it is, and so I'm left to answer the question of where, or if, the G2 fits into my VR lineup.
Given that the G2 would re-introduce wires into my now fully-wireless PCVR setup, I'm looking for either a pretty significant bump in overall visual clarity as compared to the near-4K Quest 2 display, or enough of an improvement in black levels that it could supplant my Vive Pro for games that are heavily dependent on darkness (a feat that the Quest 2 with it's LCD panels failed to accomplish).
These headsets are all very comfortable. The Vive Pro has always been (and still is) my most comfortable headset, even when wearing glasses, to the point where I haven't even bothered with a prescription lens adapter.
With the Deluxe Audio Strap and 10,000mah extension battery acting as a counter-weight, the Quest 2 is also very well balanced and comfortable. It's a bit cramped for wearing with glasses, so I do use it with a prescription lens adapter.
The G2 is a snug, but also a very comfortable fit. I really like the padding HP used on the face plate. It's very similar to the foam on the Vive Pro, as compared to the much harder and rough foam used on the Quest 2. It's also fairly comfortable with glasses, much more so than the Quest 2 with glasses, though in extended use, I did start feeling the pressure of my glasses on my nose, so if I keep this headset, I will opt to use it with a prescription lens adapter (once one is available to 3D print).
I'd say on the whole the G2 is slightly more comfortable than the modded Quest 2, but still not quite as comfortable as the Vive Pro. Also, with the snug fit, I did find my glasses fogging up a bit more on the G2 than with the other two headsets, so a vented faceplate would be nice at some point, but it wasn't a major issue.
Any of these headsets are fine for longer gaming sessions without comfort issues.
Figured I'd throw this one in there simply because the G2 does such a fantastic job here. Unlike both my Quest 2 and Vive Pro, the G2 nose piece pretty much blocks all external light...nothing sneaks in. Not sure why more headsets don't offer a similar solution. This is also true for light leak around the faceplate. I do get some subtle light leakage shining through and reflecting off my lenses from the sides on my Vive Pro, but with the snug fit of the G2, there's no such issue there.
Controllers & Tracking
My controller experience with the G2 so far...OK.
Ergonomically, the G2 controllers are very comfortable to hold, and the button placement is great. In my opinion, the Oculus touch controllers are still king in the ergonomics department, but I'd put the G2 controllers in an easy 2nd above both the Valve Knuckles and Vive Wands. The one exception being Beat Saber, where the Vive Wand in a B grip reigns supreme (that happens to be the only area where the Vive Wands reigns supreme in anything).
In the haptics department, the G2 is fairly anemic. I feel like I hear the haptic feedback almost more than I feel it. In Beat Saber, for example, I really don't get that sense of striking a block with my saber, and I actually had to pop my headset off the first time I played it to convince myself they were actually vibrating (they were). I didn't realize just what an important element of the game that haptic feedback was until I used the G2 controllers and couldn't really feel it as much as I am used to with all the other controllers I've used.
Much has already been said about the fact that the G2 controllers are battery hogs, so I already had a set of four rechargeable 1.5v batteries standing by, 2 per controller...but just to underscore the point, I didn't even make it through a full evening of testing before my first low-battery warning popped up. Compare that to my Quest 2, which I think I used heavily for over 2 weeks before I needed to swap out the single AA batteries. Rechargeable batteries are a must with the G2 controllers.
Now, for what is probably the most important aspect of the controllers, the actual tracking performance...
EDIT (11/17/2020): I realize at this point I'm not the only one who's called out the tracking deficiencies on the G2 controllers, but in fairness, my observations were based primarily on one game, and it happened to be an Oculus game running via Revive, so it's possible there may be a software compatibility issue that may have been a factor there. I will try out a few more native Steam VR games to see if it changes my initial impressions on the tracking.
Edit (11/18/2020): I do think perhaps there is an issue with Revive and the G2. I popped some fresh batteries into the G2 controllers, and played through another quick round in Drop Dead, and I encountered all the same issues I described yesterday. I then fired up Arizona Sunshine (native Steam version), which has many of the same tracking mechanics, and I didn't see any of the same issues. No problems grabbing or holstering weapons from my hip, even with hands resting at my side for an extended time. I even dropped a weapon on a crate, turned away from it and reached behind my back to where I thought it should be, and I was able to grab it, so hard to fault the tracking there.
I also did another round of beat saber...noticed my left saber sometimes got a bit flighty while it was by my side...jumping forward a bit, but when I swang it up to swipe a block, it went where I needed it to go, and as I said yesterday, when actually swinging it in front of me, no problems with it going where I expected it to. I also observed a few more instances where my hands danced around a little forward of me while wandering around my Steam Home environment, even when I wasn't moving them.
So, there still does seem to be some wackiness with the tracking when the controllers are in the blind spot as compared to the Steam VR or even Quest 2 controllers, but aside from Drop Dead, which may be a software issue, nothing I can say disrupted the actual gameplay in any way. So, still not up to the standards of the competition overall, I think, but probably not a reason to walk away from the G2 if it checks all the other boxes for you.
(11/18/22-1): Adding another example where I noticed tracking differences between the Quest 2 and the G2 controllers. As has been mentioned elsewhere, anything close to the head isn't tracked very well. A good way to see this is to just take your hand in Steam VR Home, hold it to one side of your head, and slowly move it across the front of your face to the other side of your head...and then back and forth. With the Quest 2, your virtual hand moves smoothly with the controller back and forth. With the G2, it stops about half way and then jumps around. Probably not a scenario you will encounter a lot in a game, but I did first noticed this in a game where I held something up to my ear to listen to it, and then tried to bring it into my field of view to take a closer look.
I actually picked up a couple of Vive receiver dongles during the long wait between pre-order and my G2 arriving so that I'd have the option to use my Valve Knuckles with the G2, and after using the G2 controllers for an evening, I do plan to set that up so I have that option.
Field of View
I have never owned or used any of the Pimax headsets with an ultra-wide FOV, but I did briefly own the Valve Index with it's 130 degree FOV. I could see the improvement there, but at the time I evaluated that headset, my focus was really dominated by the stark differences in black levels and clarity between my modded Vive Pro and the Valve Index, and those aspects trumped both the FOV and the higher refresh rate of the Index for me at that time.
With regard to the G2, Vive Pro, and Quest 2, I have not yet attempted any objective measurements, but subjectively, I actually find they are all in the same ballpark when it comes to FOV. There's no question I get the widest FOV with the Vive Pro when I have the lenses adjusted to sit as close to my glasses as possible, but it's not really significantly better than the G2 or Quest 2, with their fixed lenses. The variance between them is probably on the order of a few degrees, as compared to something like the Valve Index, with 10's of degrees of difference. I will try and take some actual measurements this evening and post those results here.
EDIT: I took some quick measurements via Steams "ROV Test FOV & Resolution" environment. Here's what I observed in terms of FOV:
This is probably the main reason I pre-ordered the G2. At the time of pre-order, the Vive Pro was my sole VR HMD, and frankly, I think the combination of the Vive Pro + Gear VR lenses still offers one of the best overall visual VR experiences available. The OLED displays with their vivid colors, high contrast, and and near-perfect blacks, uninhibited by fresnel lenses, really is something to behold. While there is certainly visible SDE on the Vive Pro, unlike poor blacks or contrast in a dark games, I find that the SDE mostly disappears when I'm engaged in active gameplay and not looking for it. On the flip-side, the SDE does stand out and is much harder to ignore in more passive activities, such as watching a video or movie...which is something I typically haven't done in VR for precisely that reason. With the G2 I was hoping for more of a best-of-both worlds compromise.
So, with regard to SDE, both the G2 and the Quest 2 effectively eliminate it as compared to the Vive Pro. Between the G2 and the Quest 2, I wouldn't say one is better than the other in this regard...the SDE simply isn't there in either case.
As for blacks and contrast, I had no illusions that an LCD would be as good as OLED, but I was hopeful based on early review reports of black levels from the G2, that it might be "good enough" to use in place of my Vive Pro for cases where I find deep blacks are important. It is not, and it's not even a close call. I'd say the black levels are fairly comparable between the Quest 2 and the G2, with neither being even in the same league as the Vive Pro, so no miracles from those LCD panels here. To be clear, I'm not talking about games like Elite Dangerous here, where you have a bright cockpit to stand in contrast to the blackness of space. I think all of these headsets look fantastic in scenarios such as this. I'm talking about games where you are meant to feel that you are in the dark, think caves, the darkness of night, dimly lit rooms, etc. Some examples of games that fit this mode would be the Mine and Refinery levels in Arizona Sunshine. Night and Caves in The Forest. The Room VR, etc.
In terms of lens clarity, the Gear VR lenses exhibit no glare or godrays with pretty much edge-to-edge clarity. With both the G2 and Quest, I really have no trouble finding the sweet spot, so it's a pretty healthy size, and clarity across the field of view is pretty good once I have the sweet spot. Both Quest 2 and G2 do exhibit godrays and blur on high contrast white-on-black, but not as bad as I recall with the Valve Index. The G2 is slightly better than the Quest 2 in this regard, but neither is particularly bad as far as fresnel lenses go.
In terms of brightness, The Vive Pro is the brightest, to the point that I typically reduce brightness to around 80% via the Advance VR Settings app. The G2 is just a tad brighter than the Quest 2, which gives the display a bit more "pop", but I personally find the colors on the Quest 2 to be just a bit
EDIT (11/17/20): Based on some of the comments, I've gone back and taken a closer look at some different content, also ensuring that I'm driving the resolution in games to fully utilize the higher resolution and display bandwidth of the G2 via Display Port, and I am able to see the differences between the G2 and the Quest 2 in game a bit more pronounced here.
EDIT (11/18/2020): I spent a lot of time during those first several hours with my G2 in Virtual Desktop comparing the difference I could see from the actual desktop, watching videos, etc. In further testing I've discovered that Virtual Desktop apparently reverts the display to 1080p each time you fire it up, even if your desktop is set to 4K before you run it, so for that portion of my evaluation, I was effectively comparing 1080p content to 1080p content there, which obviously will skew results.
After bumping the desktop back up to 4K, I saw an increase in sharpness in both the G2 and the Quest 2, but the improvement was more profound with the G2. At 300% desktop scaling, the two were still pretty darn close, but at 100% scaling, the desktop on the G2 was quite usable (though still not as crisp as an actual monitor), whereas the desktop on the Quest 2 was not...text just didn't resolve well enough there.
As far as video content from the desktop goes, it's honestly still very hard to distinguish any notable difference between the two on that type of content.
The desktop resolution would not have impacted my observations in actual VR, so let me add one more example of what I'm seeing there. Let's just take something from my Steam VR Home environment, which is currently "The Gulping Goat Space Farm". When I pop into that environment on the G2, I get a general sense that it's a bit more crisp, but it's not an immediate "Wow, this is just so much better"...this is a very subjective observation, but back when I moved from the Quest 1 to the Vive Pro it definitely was a "Wow, this is so much better moment". Perhaps my impressions are skewed by the lack of SDE on both headsets here, but it just looks really good in both cases as you casually look around the environment. Now, if I walk out the door, and around the corner of the house, there's a sign in the distance by the chicken coop. On the Quest 2, I can make out "No Trespassing", and there are two small blurbs of text below that which I can't make out. On the G2 I can make out "No Trespassing - Violators will be Milked", still can not make out the 3rd blurb from that distance even on the G2.
I'm also finding that the more time I spend in the G2 headset, the more the visual differences stand out when I move back the the Quest 2.
Conclusions (Updated 11/18/2020)The biggest conclusion I would draw is that even with the Reverb G2 now on the scene, there is no "perfect" VR headset. Pick your poison...you either get Screen Door Effect, or less than ideal blacks and contrast...there is no one option that eliminates both. Perhaps someday we'll have VR displays that eliminate SDE while maintaining OLED level blacks and contrast, but that day is not today. That means one way or another I'll be keeping my Vive Pro around for the foreseeable future. I play too many games where those black levels take priority over SDE for me.
At the same time, the overall quality of the LCD and lenses on the G2, and to a lesser extent, the Quest 2, are quite simply amazing, particularly for content that is mostly bright or mixed bright and dark, which probably represents the bulk of what we consume in VR.
I'm finding that the G2 is definitely a bump up in visuals and sharpness as compared to the Quest 2. For desktop use, it's pretty significant, and this probably translates to SIMs as well, but for run-and-gun shooters, or even a game like Beat Saber, the differences are visible, but subjectively perhaps a bit more subtle than I might have expected. At this point, it's a question of whether or not those improvements are enough to offset the conveniences of the Quest 2 with regard to wireless capability and mobility given how well it performs in that regard. Dollar for dollar, I might actually give the early nod to my $600 Quest Bundle (including router, DAS, and power-pack) over the $600 G2. More so if you opted to replace the G2 controllers with a couple of base stations and a pair of knuckles controllers, as that would add quite a bit more cost to the latter. In my case, I already have the latter, so that's not so much of a consideration.
Now, If I was basing this decision solely on the visuals, and not the full packages (as described in the opening section), the G2 is the clear winner here. I don't see myself parting with either my Quest 2 or Vive Pro given their individual strengths, so it's really a question of whether there's a place for the G2 with it's sharper visuals in my specific situation.
I know that was a bit long-winded, but hopefully someone will find my observations helpful.
Final Words (Added 11/19/2020)I realize that even though this post is only a few days old, it's stale in reddit-time, and probably not getting that many views, but I wanted to add one final update now that I've had a few more days with my G2.
Yes, I will be keeping my G2, but I'm also keeping my Quest 2 and Vive Pro as well for now...it's going to be interesting to see how I decide when to use each, but they each excel in different areas, so until someone can build a wireless 4K+ OLED HMD with no SDE and great tracking...
With regard to the tracking on the stock G2 controllers, I'll let my comments above stand where I left them. As for my own setup, I now have the Valve Knuckles controllers working with the G2, and I don't expect the G2 controllers will see much action going forward.
With regard to the visual fidelity and sharpness of the G2, yes, it is visually superior to the Quest 2 with the VD streaming setup I have described above, but with the exception of the G2, I think the Quest 2 does a great job as compared to every other VR headset I've tried, including the PCVR headsets.
When compared to the previous generation VR headsets, it's very subjective, but I'd say visually the Quest 2 is maybe 85% of the way to where the G2 landed...but the more I use the G2, the more that last 15% really stands out, so no question that HP nailed it with the G2 HMD.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin Review Thread
Game InformationGame Title: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
- Nintendo Switch (Nov 10, 2020)
- PC (Nov 10, 2020)
- PlayStation 4 (Nov 10, 2020)
Publishers: Xseed, Marvelous Europe
OpenCritic - 79 average - 77% recommended - 26 reviews
Critic ReviewsBut Why Tho? - Eva Herinkova - 7 / 10
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a fun gameplay experience if you’re really into managing statistics and growing from your mistakes. The biggest flaw is that the narrative, which has an interesting premise, is stunted by the shallowness and, at times, obnoxious nature of the characters. Luckily, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is focused more on the gameplay and is an easy recommendation if you’re looking for a rewarding combat experience and farming simulator.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a breath of fresh air that shouldn't be overlooked. It's hard to believe that a game with this much detail and depth is from just two developers. The team at Edelweiss have created such a unique game with amazing production and polished gameplay. There are a few little features like enemy repetition and lacklustre level layouts at times that could be improved. However I think Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is definitely one of 2020's exceptional releases.
If a quirky action game with RPG progression and relaxing agricultural activities seems like your kind of thing, trust your gut on this one. The Nintendo Switch version is solid enough for me to recommend it.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin delivers a remarkably in-depth set of mechanical systems. The interplay is impressive, even if the execution is somewhat flawed.
Some accomplished character work and a narrative full of heart, sits next to a deep and detailed rice-farming mechanic that will have you sinking hours in trying to get the perfect crop. However, fiddly combat and shallow platforming take their toll. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get lost in the farming, and let the other parts lie fallow.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a marvellous game. Pulling together two genres in a fun and unique way, you're left with a game quite unlike anything before it. Give it a shot, you'll find it more than worth the wait.
Combat is fun, and it ties into the simulation elements well. However, the pacing and repetition makes it difficult to fully appreciate it all
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a bold genre fusion that pays off with superb farming and combat systems plus a cast of characters you'll remember for a long time to come.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is definitely an interesting title, mixing the mundanities of rice planting with 2D hacking and slashing. While an acquired taste, those who like their games unique should have a fun time with Sakuna. If you can forgive an unlikeable protagonist and some repetitive gameplay at times, Sakuna is a solid title that shines even with its flaws.
This unusual take on virtual farming has you battling demons – when you're not tending to rice paddies
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin seamlessly blends 2D platforming action with 3D farm management.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin isn’t perfect, but the good more than outweighs the bad here. It’s just frustrating for me personally, cause there were so many things about the game that could have translated to a perfect experience. There’s just too many missteps for that. Thankfully, what’s here is still very much worth the price of admission. If you want a game you can sink hours and hours into while enjoying a meandering and surprising story, you have to check this one out.
Sakuna unfolds as an original action J-RPG, that feels different and it's fun. if you connect with it, you'll find that it's hard to put it aside, even if it can fail in grind and repetition, everything it's well dosed and executed, without the usual problems found on other Nintendo Switch ports. A superb RPG surprise to finish this crazy year.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin comes with a decent price tag, not as much as Nintendo’s big staples. However, it’s more than reasonable for Sakuna. In just under a month of playing, and I’m still hooked. Even as someone who generally dislikes platformers, Sakuna has ticked all the right boxes for me. My love of farming, mixed with the fighting style, makes for a complete and fascinating game. I will be recommending this game to pretty much everyone. It has a bit of most things but manages to incorporate it all smoothly. Other games can feel jarring when mixing playstyle or genres, but Marvelous have succeeded, almost expertly.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin succeeds at offering both an exploration-based beat 'em up adventure and a relaxing life-sim experience. The combat may not be perfect and the difficulty feels uneven at times, but the addicting gameplay loop and charming world more than make up for it.
Now if only I could catch more frogs...
I don’t think Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin can be classified as one single genre. It’s blending of farming and action only scrapes the surface of what this game actually offers. Still, by looking at those two pieces alone, there is a ton of excellent moments of gameplay to experience. Yes, it’s very much a farming game, and yes, it is full of action, but these two systems run seamlessly alongside a beautiful story and brilliant presentation.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a fun and entertaining game. I was quickly swept in by its charming characters, great writing, and rice farming simulation. Unfortunately, a lot of the game mechanics hold it back including the brutal day and night cycle and having to wait an entire game year just to level up Sakuna to make the game a little easier.
In the evenings you can spend time with your new human family to chat and eat a meal using the food that you’ve gathered and grown yourself. Watching Sakuna slowly mature and start to care about more than just herself is a truly heart-warming journey. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is an absolutely wonderful blend of farming simulator and action RPG. Whether you’re fighting off hordes of demons or trying to find the best way to manage your crop, there is constantly something new to learn and discover in this charmingly unique adventure.
Japanese indie game developer Edelweiss has put a lot of heart into this long-awaited game, but some key flaws hinder this charming title.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a game that grows on you. People accustomed to farming simulations like Story of Seasons or even Rune Factory will find themselves forced to suddenly pay way more attention to the process of growing crops than before, then be patient since it will be in-game years before you “get good” at growing crops. Folks coming in because the combat seems satisfying will have to understand this is a game where constantly revisiting areas and keeping up with farming will be necessary to make any sort of significant progress. And everyone will have to deal with the fact that the lighting system and fonts will sometimes make you strain your eyes as you try to get things done.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin has a lot going for it, from a fun and quirky protagonist to snappy combat and gorgeous visuals. Above all else, though, it's one of the most immersive and rewarding farming experiences in gaming. To slowly toil through each step of the process and eventually reap your rewards is a delight, and even if the combat encounters can sometimes become a frustrating chore, the slow process of cultivating the rice harvest is always a treat.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a wonderful mix of the two ideas. As a platformer, the game wouldn’t have enough driving force, and would wear out quickly. For farming, while it’s truly lovely, there’s too much downtime with not enough to do. Each of these things in a game of their own would be draining, but together it creates a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of a game that deserves recognition and continues to feel fresh and enjoyable even after 20 hours in.
This is a truly impressive 2.5D action platformer that boasts some of the best production values on the entire Switch’s library, with gorgeous visuals and a great soundtrack. Its gameplay is fast-paced and addictive, and its slice of life mechanics, while far from being the best thing about it, are still interesting and not very intrusive.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a heavenly combination of realistic farming, combat and exploration served with a hearty side of great characters and writing
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin may falter in some areas, but the action-platforming is some really well-done stuff, with fun and complex combat, great level design, and actually challenging boss fights.