However, I feel that some of the issues in that game are really self-inflicted wounds, such as touching objects pushing the avatar away from them sounds like a really silly physics simulation/collision detection bug. I guess some of it is down to Unity limitations, but still. But good to know that Unity could be good for a spacewalk simulator! :-p
I could also argue with the presence criteria. First, there is a major aspect missing from the consideration – presence is all in your head. It is more important to provide an engaging story and gameplay than top-notch graphics and interactions. If you are engaged in the gameplay, you likely won't even get the idea of tinkering with non-functioning drawers or switches. Provide a good stimulus to the brain and the human imagination will bridge over the gaps and you won't notice them. Without that engagement you fall into them …
The second issue is that I don't believe that presence (whether or not I feel present) should be the judging criteria for a game or VR experience. I am not playing games to "feel present", but for their entertainment value. If I get so engaged in it as to feel present, great, that's a welcome bonus.
However, the game could be a lot of fun even without feeling present in it. We didn't use VR for games for a long time and there was no problem with it so why to suddenly bash something only because I don't feel present in it? Furthermore, presence is a very individual, subjective thing, as alsomentions.
So can we move away from the presence holy grail, please? It is important, but it shouldn't be the most important thing when looking at a game or a VR application.
Gamasutra: Sebastien Kuntz’s Blog – Lessons from the VR field
Introduction: presence. Through my career I have tested many different VR systems, from entry level to high-end, with systems costing several million euros. I have developed a feeling of what VR represents for me. This feeling of being present in the virtual world is very strong.