Before starting I think a lot of people do not agree on the term "roomscale." I take it at face value; an experience that essentially maps out a whole room. Meaning, a space around 12'x12' average sized room. That is the definition going forward I will go with; Oculus tracks 5'x5' reliably with one sensor, but I am not considering this "roomscale" tracking.
I believe that they chose not to go roomscale because it is not practical in any way, shape or form. Everything from dedicating all or most of a room to VR, the setting up of the sensors, potentially crashing into walls and furniture, still being tethered to a cord, and still having to use a "warping" feature for locomotion all make roomscale the impractical choice.
1. Dedicating a room to VR, I think that argument is obvious. The majority of people thought that the Microsoft Kinect required too much space, and that is just slightly more than Oculus' 5x5, nevermind the 12x12 recommended for "roomscale." If VR is to gain mainstream popularity, thinking that the mainstream is going to dedicate a room to VR is a bit naïve IMO.
2. Setting up of the sensors - "roomscale" requires sensor be placed in the back of the room. That sensor will require either a power cord, USB cord, or both. Again, the mainstream does not want to be mounting stuff to their walls and have cables hanging down just for a VR experience. The Oculus approach of two sensors on the front of your desk (or alongside your flatscreen TV) is much, much more practical.
3. What good is "roomscale" when the experience you are in is larger than the size of your room? At some point you will run into room boundaries and at that point the immersion is broken. Putting aside immersion, there is also the safety factor of wandering around a room essentially blindfolded. Even digital aides in VR are not going to catch everything and it could result in some broken items and accidents.
4. In the same vein, being tethered to a cord that you can easy get tangled around and trip on further exacerbates the limitations of "roomscale". Without 100% wireless HMD "roomscale" is much less attractive.
5. You can only walk so far before you hit the boundaries of your room. And then you have to warp in game. This is a bizarre concept to me because it breaks immersion, the opposite of what VR is supposed to do.
In my opinion, a competing HMD used "roomscale" as a big marketing push because it is a way it differentiated itself from the rift and justified its very inconvenient sensor setup. Without being able to compete on size, weight, comfort, price, and likely motion controllers either once the oculus touch is released - the company that made that HMD used a great marketing strategy to make it seem like this was a must-have feature, while in reality I haven't seen a single implementation that works well for anything beyond a tech demo (IMO).
Personally, I hope Oculus sticks to their guns with the two front-placed sensors. I don't want to be mounting stuff to the back of my room, and I don't want to be warping around every minute after reaching my room boundaries. Oculus gives a large enough zone for VR tracked motion without requiring a whole room or impractical setup.
Yeah, I get your points.. im kinda glad there are two approaches but I just want HL3 with VR support goddamnit! 😄