Since returning my HP G2, I have been patiently watching and waiting for details on the Pimax Crystal, finally got the info today and disappointed to see that with shipping to UK it will cost the same or more than the Varjo Aero
My reason for the G2 return was that I could not read the cockpit instruments unless I leant right in so the numbers filled the terrible sweet-spot. The overall 3d effect was stunning but I need instruments The audio was also top-notch.
I have been informed by many reviewers and indeed Pimax & Varjo directly that their headsets can provide what I desire but its just such a massive expenditure, I was hoping the Crystal was going to come out a bit less than the Aero but no luck there.
About the Pimax Crystal: They are very opaque in terms of shipping cost and prices in the EU. Did you get any pricing info in EUR? Also, they show drastically different dollar prices on their page depending on when you look at it. At the moment it’s $1599, while there was no price for the last two weeks. Before that, they had their CES sale where the price was $1699 instead of a striked-through $1899. It’s kinda confusing and does not help building trust at least in my case.
I guess I’m gonna wait until it’s available from a EU retailer with proper rights and guarantee…
Dave I’ve been looking at the high end headsets too, but to be fair I’ve been able to get the G2 running exceptionally well since DLSS was added to the sim. Pushing the resolution to 120% or 130% in the headset settings and using DLSS in the sim results in good readable displays and good performance. You can push that percentage higher with more powerful GPUs, I have a 3070. Set it and forget it.
There is a flaw in the Varjo Aero headset that you should be aware of - the displays are mounted in opposite vertical orientations so that the red sub pixels are not correctly aligned - resulting in red objects having the wrong 3d depth and being closer than they should be.
I’m amazed to only have found one youtube reviewer - Lukas S - who has done an extensive techical review of the Aero and it is very much worth your time:
Oculus/Meta are years ahead of everyone else with software, and their optics seem to be the only setup that have a full 3d overlap that extends to the edge of the displays - the G2 becomes more mono as you reach the edge of the display, but it becomes so blurry at the edges it isn’t ‘useable fov’ anyway.
I strongly suggest you watch the lengthy video from Lukas S and look at the references and sites he talks about too.
I don’t blame you sending it back, the G2 is really hobbled by less than ideal lenses and less than ideal software - but DLSS really salvaged it for me in MSFS. It’s still pretty great in a lot of SteamVR titles, particularly No Man’s Sky (with DLSS).
All the money and all the talent is with Meta, and they have pushed VR into standalone territory - but you have to give them credit for really trying to push PC VR. I know one major UK studio received Oculus cash money (which probably still smelt of user data mining) to add VR support to a major title and I’m sure there were plenty more.
So for me I’m looking ahead to the Quest 3 (this year), with the tradeoff being compressed video over USB in exchange for proper lenses (bigger sweetspot), bigger 3d overlap between the panels (increased 3d effect over a wider portion of the fov), and the biggest thing for me is the fluid and optimised Oculus software with excellent motion smoothing.
I don’t expect there will be any more consumer WMR headsets beyond the G2 and I don’t expect to be getting spares or parts for my G2 in say, 12 or 18 months.
So taking everything into consideration including the software and the support, not just the hardware specs on paper, I cannot see anyone being close to Meta. Which sucks because it’s Meta, but it is what it is.
Anyway hope this is useful to you, I’ve been very keen to get my hands on a higher spec headset and move away from WMR and these are my current thoughts having looked into it before forking out a couple of grand.
With 4070Ti, DLSS, 120% oversampling I can accept the limited sweet spot of G2. It was even acceptable to me with TAA 100%, 80% in the OCR Dev. Tools and 3070. I’m able to read all small numbers on Aerosoft CRJ glass displays without any need to lean forward.
But I never experienced high-end headset. And I will never do, as the price is too high for me.
Condensation inside VR headsets is somewhat of a problem whether you are using glasses or lens inserts to be fair… and really I would guess with no lenses at all. Certainly that will not help with clarity. I have a very simple and effect fix for this issue - I have an anti-fogging cloth for glasses that stops condensation forming. I also found lens inserts to be much better than wearing glasses.
I’ve been oversampling in OXR tools for WMR to 200% for ages with the G2 with very good clarity, started with an rtx3090 and now use rtx4090 which helps with FPS when oversampling.
HP are ending production of VR headsets, so there are some pretty big discounts on the way.
You could probably get away with oversampling 150% with a 3080ti.
If you’re struggling with the smallish sweet spot of the G2 you might want to consider a revised headset gasket. I use this one https://haptic-prints.com/product/hp-reverb-g2-widevision-mod-gasket and it gives me a marked improvement bringing my eyes much closer to the lenses. I have also recently upgraded from a 3080ti to a 4080 and now run resolutions in excess of 4000 x 4000 pixels per eye (via OXRTK). I have no complaints with the clarity of my G2.
I have both the G2 and a Pico 4. The Pico is nicer with the pancake lenses, but the compression for WIFI (or USB to ethernet adaptor) really takes the edge off the clarity, even using Goldlike mode in Virtual Desktop. It’s just not as sharp as a G2 oversampled to 160% OXR. For flying over cities I prefer the G2, as every little detail is amazingly sharp now with a 4090. Plus for me it’s more comfortable.
The one thing I can’t stand though in both headsets is the screen door effect. It just kills immersion for me, so in the G2 where you have to constantly centre the image to get the sweet spot, BAM! there’s the screen door effect at its worst (looking away from centre in the Pico 4 reduces this problem, at the cost of sharpness). So I will certainly be looking closely at the Pimax Crystal and if it delivers on their promises will get one, regardless of price. I’m sick to death of visual compromises with MSFS in VR.