In October 2020 the Singapore based company - Megadodo Simulation Games PTE LTD (Megadodo Games) AKA: Deca - announced the release of the DecaGear VR system. The Deca system consists of a lightweight, virtual reality, head-mounted display and a navigational device called DecaMove, as well as a pair of nifty, ergonomic, hand-held controllers. Okay, so what else does it offer? Well… what’s so exciting about this headset is that it’s the world’s very first consumer, PC-VR facial-tracking device. More on that a little later...
Let me quickly point out, for those of you wondering what type of headset the DecaGear 1 is, it’s not a Windows Mixed Reality headset (WMR). The headset has been tailor made specifically for SteamVR, so fully compatible with thousands of VR games, right from day one.
Personally, we’ve pinned the DecaGear 1 headset on our road-map to be one of the top-selling VR headsets of 2021 and envisage it becoming the primary choice for avid VR enthusiasts as well as those new to VR. Just like the Oculus Quest 2, the DecaGear is said to offer everything you could ever want from a headset, and more.
In direct comparison to the Quest 2, and notably the best feature, is that the DecaGear headset is said to offer better visual clarity - 4320 x 2160 pixels as opposed to 3664 x 1920, that’s 656 more pixels horizontally and 240 more vertically. I know this doesn't sound like much, but compared to what we’ve seen through the lens of the HP Reverb G2, that slight increase in pixels makes all the difference, so a tick in the box there.
Let’s not forget the headset weight. Although Deca doesn't really know for sure yet exactly how heavy it will be, they do say, “It will be light...” and I’d have to agree. The headset is somewhat similar in mix - spec and build-wise - to that of the Oculus Quest 2 and the HP Reverb G2 (minus the off-ear headphones), so as an educated guess I’d say it’s gonna weigh anywhere between 1.10 lbs to 1.2 lbs which as far as headsets go, is pretty damn light!
The controllers: Deca have really pulled out all the stops when it comes to the controllers. They’re nice and petite, and about the same size as the Oculus controllers - not overly large and bulky like the Reverb controllers. But what really makes the DecaGear controllers stand-out from many other VR controllers and makes them truly special, are the amount of features they offer. Let’s start with the basics:
Controllers not only need to be ergonomic and comfortable, but ideally need to be properly tethered to the hands. How many times have you flung your controllers across the room? Even breaking one in the process - not good by any means! In my opinion, and I’m sure many would agree, the Valve Index controllers, AKA: ‘Knuckles’, have to be the best controllers you’ll ever get your hands on. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Deca either, they also realise the importance of controllers and have taken the necessary steps to design their controllers to be similar to that of the ‘Knuckles’, possibly in the hope of increasing the overall sales of the DecaGear VR system. Okay, so that’s the knuckle strap, but what else has Deca learned from the Index controllers?
Not only do the DecaGear controllers have knuckle straps, they also utilise full finger tracking, and again - just like the Index controllers - they also have force grip sensors, allowing you to pick-up and drop virtual objects by simply squeezing the controller handles.
As mentioned previously, the DecaGear VR system also includes something called DecaMove. DecaMove is a simple wireless gadget that clips anywhere around your waistline. A USB dongle and a small antenna receives data to and from the headset via DecaMove to allow the user to navigate more efficiently. Essentially it’s a new form of locomotion control with the idea that it will replace the two common locomotion types we’ve all become accustomed to; Point and Click teleportation or continuous locomotion using the controller joystick. Want to find out more on how it all works? Read the full article on DecaMove here.
DecaAir: Okay, so what about wireless gaming you ask? Good question! Well, just like the Oculus Quest 2, the DecaGear headset is also said to have wireless capabilities - an add-on feature called DecaAir - only Deca intends to take wireless gaming one-step further. Rather than streaming content from the headset itself, like the Quest 2, which accesses and runs apps from a storage drive within the headset, Deca intends to use the latest Wi-Fi technology to wirelessly stream content directly from a PC or the Cloud. A very optimistic and challenging approach in my opinion, but can they do it?
Find out more about wireless gaming and DecaAir.
The DecaGear 1 utilises 6 cameras in total, 4 of which are the inside-out cameras used to track the hand-held VR controllers within a range of 225 degrees - which is a pretty darn good area in my opinion. Having said that, we won’t know for sure yet how well the controller tracking will work. We just hope the tracking is better than the Reverb G2 controllers.
The other 2 cameras are exclusive to facial tracking. They utilise Deca’s very own technology; FaceFlow. To achieve this, there’s a top camera located inside the headset, between the lenses that track the movement of the eyebrows and movement of the eyes. The lower camera tracks movement of the mouth and tongue. You can find out more about the headset and FaceFlow in our YouTube Video.
Spec-wise the DecaGear LCD panels have a resolution of 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye, which combined has a resolution of 4320 x 2160px (1058 pixels per inch); a refresh rate of 90Hz, and a Field of View (FOV) of 114°. The IPD can be adjusted anywhere between 60 - 72mm.
It has been officially announced that the first batch of headsets is scheduled for shipping sometime within QTR 4 of 2021, so any time between October and December. For those of you who still want to order the DecaGear headset, you'll need to add yourself to their mailing list here.
Here at VROne, we’re all a little sceptical as to whether Deca will manage to pull this off. Deca originally announced the first batch of headsets would be shipped at the end of May 2021 and this recently changed to sometime in the forth quarter of 2021; my guess is that DecaAir (wireless play) has something to do with it… then again, I could be wrong.
If you have any comments about the DecaGear headset please leave them in the comments section below.
VR Awards Game of the Year 2019. A Fisherman’s Tale is a strange, narrative puzzle adventure game developed by Innerspace VR and published by Vertigo Games. Available on the Oculus Rift, Quest and Rift S. A Fisherman’s Tale fully supports Oculus VR controllers. The game is ideal for adults and kids of all ages. Rated for ages 7+
Dispatched into hostile wetlands in your tactical kayak using your paddle to steer and move stealthily through hostile and remote locations, utilise military weapons and equipment to evade and neutralise the enemy threat. Engage your targets lethally or infiltrate unnoticed from the shadows: it’s your mission to execute your way. Phantom: Covert Ops is stealth action redefined.
The Lab offers eight different minigames, each giving a look into the unique ways that VR could interpret various video game genres. These include: an Angry Birds analogue, a tower defence game, an intergalactic shoot ‘em up, secrets galore, and the chance to become a robot mechanic. The rest aren’t really games per se, it’s more that they consider what avenues VR might go down in the future. Amongst these are an interactive solar system, detailed CT scans of the human body and a “virtual holiday” in the Icelandic wilderness, where you’re accompanied by a robotic pup.