Seriously impressed with flatscreen gaming in VR using current VR headsets – Cyberpunk 2077

We recently tried playing Cyberpunk 2077 in VR but not as a VR game, but flatscreen gaming in VR with a giant screen using apps like Virtual Desktop and came away suitably impressed. The visual quality of Quest 3 and PSVR 2 has meant that using a headset has become a viable way to replace the old 1080p and even 1440p monitor/TVs gamers might be using.

So, we fully understand that not everyone has access to top-end hardware, but we have been seriously impressed today for the first-time playing cyberpunk 2077 via virtual desktop using an RTX 4090 with the game running on our PC with ultra settings and full ray tracing at 1440p. Swapping between the view in the headset and the view on our 4K monitor and it’s seriously impressive how close they look to each other.

Normally we game in 4K and sit about a foot and a half away to get maximum detail and obviously the further away you sit from a display you begin to lose those details which is why a lot of people can’t see the difference between 1080p and 1440p and 4K. Obviously when you sit very closely to your display you can see the differences quite clearly. In this instance we’re sitting about 5 feet away from the display here at the moment and as we said swapping between the view inside the quest 3 and view on our monitor there is not much difference at 1440p. Playing like this then on the Quest 3 means it’s something you can do anywhere if you have a good wireless connection. That means you’re not tied to your desk and don’t feel like you’re compromising on the visual quality.

We’re not new to this as we’ve been doing big screen 2D gaming in VR ever since we got into VR years ago. Our last headset the HP Reverb G2 had one of the highest clarities of all the headsets at the time. But the problem with the G2 was the tiny, sweet-spot which meant that when playing in a static position looking at the entire screen as you would do in front of a monitor playing a game, the only bits of clarity were in the very centre, so you’d have to keep moving your head around the screen to sort of maintain that clarity. That’s a really unnatural way you would be sitting there playing a game. You don’t normally sit moving your head looking around the screen, you just keep your head static and look forwards. What we’re finding now then with the Quest 3 and its wonderful pancake lenses and the fact that the resolution bump is high enough now, that is a fantastic way to be playing games without being tied to your desk as we said it’s seriously impressive.

We recently did a preview of the new Xbox game pass cloud streaming app for Quest headsets, unfortunately that is tied to streaming an Xbox console either Xbox One or Xbox Series S maybe an X in some cases and that quality is not particularly great compared to streaming from your local PC. But this is the first time we’ve tried doing 2D gaming on a large screen in VR with high pc settings on the Quest 3. Let’s say you have a 1080p monitor but your PC can push something higher to maybe 1440p, effectively the Quest 3 is acting as your monitor and would give you a better display than the 1080p monitor you might have. Well, that’s pretty good stuff right there, isn’t it?

I know a lot of people are going to suggest, a VR headset is really meant for the VR experience and shouldn’t cater to desktop 2D flat-screen pancake gaming whatever you want to call it. They’re not the same and of course we partially agree, but we have been playing the Luke Ross cyberpunk 2077 mod for quite some time in VR and whilst it’s really cool, it’s lacking details, has lots of artefacts, lots of ghosting and you’ve got to spend time messing around with it to get it looking good. Having tried playing the same game with the high settings and with ray/path tracing enabled (you can’t turn ray tracing on using the Real VR mod because even an RTX 4090 can’t handle that at decent resolution) it’s pretty awesome. Seeing all the bells-and-whistles on in 2D via the quest 3 is pretty amazing stuff and we’re just sort of gushing about it now. We’re going to try some other games to see how they fare as well. It just means that we can sit and game at really high settings without being at the desk. We’re going to sit in the garden (well not right now because it’s pretty cold), but you know we could sit in the garden, and have some really high quality gaming experiences without having to move the workhorse PC anywhere. We think that in itself is pretty amazing stuff and it’s not something that VR headsets have been able to really accomplish in the past (with this sort of fidelity) until now especially with the fact that the Quest 3 is a standalone device that can handle that. We’re also wondering why this isn’t being pushed more as a feature from META and even SONY with its PSVR 2?

It’s all well and good having the Xbox game pass cloud streaming app as a way to play 2D games on your headset, but that as we said wasn’t necessarily a high-quality experience showing the best of what the headset can accomplish. We’re quite intrigued to know where this is going to go because it’s basically portable gaming much like you have a handheld device such as Steam deck or whatever strapped to your head rather than in your hand and you’re getting a high quality experience that’s very portable within the home, office etc.

For the record, we would just like to add, that this entire post was constructed using the microphone speech-to-text option in Virtual Desktop. Reason why we’re mentioning this is because it fits the whole portable narrative in not having to have your PC with you i.e keyboard/monitor to be able to work and do stuff that you would normally do at your desk. We think the speech-to-text has improved massively to be able to do this. Interesting times with the arrival of the Quest 3/PSVR 2 for VR and flatscreen gaming.

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.