After looking and asking questions here on this forum (special thanks to Chilli) I took the plunge and ordered my Valve index as a replacement for my Oculus CV1. This is my first impressions after a week of use in IL2 and other games...
Firstly, this is not a cheap headset, coming from the CV1 I opted for the full kit (Headset, 2x light houses and 2x controllers) for £919 GBP. Quality wise, this is a big leap from the CV1, it oozes quality and the finish is superb as are the details and little touches. Is it worth the big price... depends, to me yes, but if $1000 is a big stretch the Rift S is a hard bargain to beat. I will start with the overall pluses and standouts
Coming from a CV1 the improvement in clarity is pretty darn big, not earth shattering, but impressive enough and left me pretty happy. But there is more than just resolution etc. The sweet spot is pretty big and the distortion outside of it is also not bad at all and is a good upgrade form the rift. FOV is a decent improvement (especially if you dial it in all the way) but even rolled out a little its pretty good. You notice the vertical FOV more than the horizontal and it certainly reduces the toilet roll feel lol! Refresh rate, 80/90/120/144 Hz, the higher rates are smoother, but it is not a deal beaker either way in IL2, I actually run in 80 Hz so I can run higher settings, but in other games in can be a big improvement. Blacks are fine (don't get suckered into the hype over this) they are not as 'pitch black' as some headsets, but I don't notice it (and people who say its gray need to get their eyes checked lol). Godrays, yup its got them, they are better than the CV1 but unless you play games with black backgrounds and lots of bright white text throughout the game, you wont really care, they are not EVER visible in games except for the odd menu...
Does it get hot?? My unit does not get hot (maybe Valve did something on later units like mine?) slightly warm, infact about the same as the rift, but never so you notice. I will keep an eye out for temps, but having done a couple of 3+ Hour stints I never noticed it.
This was an eye opener, the sound is really quite special, being off ear it is sooooo comfy, but more noticeable is it sounds better as the sound feels like it is coming from the room itself rather than a headset. It lends itself very well to VR and adds to the immersion and realism in quite a positive way. The actual quality of the sound itself is very good also, very impressive!
This was great, after the CV1 it was sooo simple, no USB connection for the light houses, just connect the little power brick to a wall socket and you are done! No incompatible USB 3 ports etc etc. Tracking is sublime, very, very accurate and totally stable. Of couse, inside out tracking is way easier to move to other rooms etc, but this system is less fussy about sensor placement than the CV1 (and I used a 3 sensor setup on the CV1) but its really fast to setup and so accurate and reliable. The light houses shut down and go into sleep mode when you close Steam VR too
This is easy, its very comfy once you have spent a fair bit of time setting it up, at first I was not too impressed, but you have it dialled in it is very good and also repeatable if you take it on / off quickly.
I am not going to put a lot here about the controllers, but lets just say they are the real stand out feature of this set, way better than anything else out there, but no use in IL2 so I wont say more unless people ask
Simple answer is very high quality (as I would bloody well expect for best part of a grand lol) From the metal speaker grills to the microfibre cloth on the head band/face gasket to the materials and overall finish, this thing reeks of quality. Anbody who says otherwise has a funny idea of what quality is. I own a small company making high end racing simulation peripherals for real world race teams and gamers who want to spend money on top hardware, so I have an idea about such things as quality lol
There are some very nice design features in the index, the 'face gasket' is held in with magnets, so simple and so nice and so easy to remove / refit... others could learn from this. The headset has a function button on the left-hand underside (so useful rather than groping for a mouse etc) The cameras have a great mode (I call it matrix mode lol) where with a double click on the menu button it will show an outline of your real world surroundings in game (pretty clever if you don't want to leave the game but start to loose you position in the real world/room). The 'Frunct' front expansion slot, I can see a lot of goodies being possible with this... but nothing yet
Firstly, COST, cost, the fact it is quite expensive and did I mention the cost? Secondly, cost... In reality, you get what you pay for, you can see why it costs this much and that quality and features this pricing bring are why I love it, but the price does hurt!
Lack of dedicated games to make full use of the controllers... This is something that Valve should begin to sort soon with some AAA quality games to be announced soon (plus the awesome Boneworks release is this year)
God Rays, not really a big deal as I mentioned earlier, but they are there.
Oh, did I mention the cost?
IF, IF you can stomach the price, this is probably the most complete and polished headset out there, especially if you play other games as well (the controllers are ace)
Firstly, you have many other options out there, Pimax with its awesome FOV, Rift S with a great screen and SUCH GOOD VALUE!!!!! Reverb with its stunning High Resolution etc etc, but for me, after all the research and asking of questions, I decided the Index was the best fit for me and punchline is that it did not disappoint... The bad news is I now have to stump up even more dosh for a RTX 2080 Ti as my old GTX1080 is now at 100% and the bottleneck as the overclocked i9 9900k is mincing it! 😮