htc and valve VR headset vive

Valve’s Chet Faliszek says that any motion sickness caused from VR is always an issue with the software, as the hardware is flawless.

Ever since VR started making waves with the Oculus Rift, the weak-stomached among us only had one question: “How sick is this thing gonna make me?” Indeed, my own expereince with the PlayStation VR back at Tokyo Game Show just about made me throw up, and I’m certainly not alone. However, Valve’s Chet Faliszek, who is hard at work on Valve’s own VR headset: the Vive, has come out and said that the idea that VR must cause motion sickness is bullshit, placing the blame squarely on the software, rather than hardware.

“The idea that VR must get you sick is [bullshit],” Faliszek said at EGX last week. “We have people come in who don’t want to do demos. In a party of ten people there will be someone who says, ‘I’m gonna be sick, I’m gonna be sick, I can’t do this.’ That expectation is based on either what they’ve seen before or what they’ve heard.”

But my, and countless others, experiences with VR have proven that it most certainly can cause motion sickness, to which Falisek explains: “It’s no longer the hardware’s fault any more. It’s the developers making choices that are making you sick,” urging us to “Tell them that you don’t want that.”

He especially points out that tying movement in a VR game to traditional gaming movement – the WASD keys or a thumbstick – is the biggest culprit of motion sickness, explaining that Valve’s “lighthouse” system – which allows the user to move within a 5 metre by 5 metre space – is exponentially better.

This philosophy is part of the reason the Vive will ship bundled with it’s own special trackable controllers, compared to the Rift and the PlayStation VR which will rely on customers to purchase special controllers themselves.


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