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RABIDRABID Posts: 198
http://katvr.com/product/kat-walk-mini/
says its UNIVERSALLY COMPATIBLE. must be nice

Comments

  • It sounds great on paper, but I'd like to know more about how it works in practice. If you scroll down a bit, it says the KAT Walk Mini relies on an "open SDK" to enable developers to integrate the KAT Walk into their games. If I understand the situation correctly, that's more or less what the Virtuix Omni does now ( http://www.virtuix.com/developers/ ).

    I'm concerned that the KAT Walk Mini will end up being like the Omni, but cheaper - an expensive peripheral that you need to put in a lot of extra work in order to integrate with most games, since they do not support the KAT Walk natively and KAT VR doesn't distribute an easy-to-use emulator with its hardware.

    Plus, I've been looking all over for reviews of the original KAT Walk, and I haven't been able to find much. KAT VR's flagship project appears to have been shown off around trade shows, but I can't find a reference to anyone who actually *owns* one. At one point, I asked about buying one for myself, and it cost about $9,499.00 - which easily prices out most consumers.

    At $1500-$3000, the Mini is a lot more affordable. But that's still a lot of money to ask for something I'm not sure will even work, because there are no consumer reviews and not enough information about how well *any* KAT VR product integrates with existing VR games.

  • I decided to take a significant risk and pre-ordered the Kat Walk Mini. It was ~$1900 (1500+400 for shipping), and that was as cheap as it could be for the foreseeable future. I figure that, if it turns out not to be all that is advertised, I can resell it for more than I originally paid for it.

    They're supposed to start delivering units in June, assuming no delays. I'll post my feedback here once I have it.
  • RABIDRABID Posts: 198
    these devices NEED controller (rift stick and vive wand disc) emulation. that would remove the dependency on devs adding support. there is a project here for that but currently doesn't support rift so i'm stuck
  • Semicasual, have you received your Kat Walk Mini yet?
  • semicasualsemicasual Posts: 21

    Semicasual, have you received your Kat Walk Mini yet?

    KATVR announced they started shipping units last week. I have reached out to their sales team to see if I can get a tracking number for my unit.
  • Quick update - my unit hasn't shipped yet. I have been told that "Goods of most customers will be completed shipping in September and October".
  • semicasualsemicasual Posts: 21
    edited January 28
    I don't know who all is still here and still reading, but I've received my KAT Walk Mini, tried it out, and now I'm reselling it.

    It wasn't hard to put it together, but actually getting it working was a job and a half. I repeatedly had to call KATVR's support team for assistance. KATVR support is very helpful and friendly, but they only work from 9-6 Beijing time and without being physically in the room with you it's difficult for them to understand what's going wrong. The program you use to actually customize how the KWM behaves *isn't* the online-only KATVR software you download off their site, it's the Runtime Debugger you have to find in the same directory as said software. Calibrating the system isn't very intuitive, either, and isn't explained in the in-the-box instructions.

    Before I finally got calibration figured out, which took a few days of work with tech support, I had problems with suddenly moving sideways, or backwards, or trying to walk straight forward only to move diagonally to my left.

    Once you *do* get it running, you find that the KWM will only work with specific games and programs. That wouldn't be so bad on its own, but for one detail that I probably should have guessed from the outset - most games aren't made to work with KWM at all, and those that are were never designed with any kind of treadmill in mind. This means that most games, VR or otherwise, have only one or two movement speeds, triggered by a binary on/off input. Therefore, when you walk on KWM, it's functionally the same as holding down a button on a keyboard or gamepad - you move forward at a speed that is unrelated to the length of your stride, whether you're physically walking or running.The end result is can be kind of disorienting, especially in games like DOOM VFR where your default speed would be a hard run in real life. And it takes practice to get consistent forward movement, as opposed to suddenly pausing on every 3rd or 4th step because the rhythm of your walk makes the KWM think you've stopped moving for a second.

    On top of that, the KWM seems designed for wireless play. You can't place with your cable on the floor - turning around in the KWM will inevitably stretch it and pull it loose. And if you use the included wall anchors and cable mounts to set up a rig that comes down over your head... it works OK, but you have to pay close attention to how much slack you have and how many times you've turned around. Otherwise the cable will get in your face - or worse, wrap around your neck.

    The experience of getting my KWM wasn't fun, either. They don't tell you this when you buy on the site, but you're responsible for covering the cost of shipping and customs. I wound up paying about another $1100 to cover those costs, and there was a surprising amount of paperwork involved.

    All together, I was very disappointed. It's possible that this machine would work well if there was another person on standby to act as an operator for the person playing, or if I just practiced until I got used to walking and ceiling cable-maneuvering, but after trying for about 10 hours I just got tired of it.

    Two weeks ago, the KWM Owner facebook group hosted by KATVR put out a poll asking for users to give detailed information on their experiences. I feel like I've spent thousands of dollars for the privilege of being a beta tester.

  • sutekiBsutekiB Posts: 1,069
    Thanks for the write-up on your KW Mini experience @semicasual. With an ODT you should adjust the in-game speed for greater realism when possible, and have good cable management. For anyone who wants the experience without the cost and preparation, you should head to an arcade where you can try the Omni. The new VR Arena attraction is amazing - I was able to play with a team in a VR Arena competition at IAAPA - https://www.facebook.com/ExploreVR/videos/532626270481791/ Look forward to these appearing at venues TBA this year!
    Community Manager at Virtuix
  • Thanks for the writeup! It sounds like the Virtuix is still the superior system at this time, since a lot of what you're describing are specific areas where the Omni is said to do better. Still waiting to get my Omni and I'll find out for myself. :)
  • CsnorlaxCsnorlax Posts: 18
    The virtuix omni is a great device. But it sucks normal people are only able to use it with 3 native games. And the other 17 games are behind a paywall called omniverse. I feel like we consumers got kicked in the balls and dumped and this device is only usefull for commercial users like arcades. Even tho we paid a lot for the device it self
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