The HTC Vive Review

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comedichistorian

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Well it looks like as of 7:30 AM on April 5th you can't order one from the official site if you're from the US or Australia. It doesn't say this anywhere on the site, they just won't let you continue on after the order summary. However, if I select "Ireland" as my location I am able to go to the next step and presumably complete the order. Anyone have any ideas as to what this might mean? Anyone else able to actually complete an order after having selected US?
 

DrakeFS

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They have got to do something about that cable. I fully expect a base station and belt receiver accessories to be sold soon, probably not by HTC\Oculus though. The latency that a wireless solution would add to an application sensitive to latency may be the reason both HMDs are cabled. Then again, it could just be cost, after all $800 sounds a lot better than $1000.

Guess if it annoys me enough, I could always do a ceiling mount.
 

comedichistorian

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Ooooh yeah I like that idea. An easy/cheap yet surprisingly reliable option would be one of those Command Strip units. Get a few loops that'll hold 5lbs and mount them wherever needed in your room and you're done. Those things really hold up, I've mounted heavy pictures with them and they've been holding up fine even with all the temp changes and a small quake we got here.
 

kcarbotte

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They have got to do something about that cable. I fully expect a base station and belt receiver accessories to be sold soon, probably not by HTC\Oculus though. The latency that a wireless solution would add to an application sensitive to latency may be the reason both HMDs are cabled. Then again, it could just be cost, after all $800 sounds a lot better than $1000.

Guess if it annoys me enough, I could always do a ceiling mount.
Ooooh yeah I like that idea. An easy/cheap yet surprisingly reliable option would be one of those Command Strip units. Get a few loops that'll hold 5lbs and mount them wherever needed in your room and you're done. Those things really hold up, I've mounted heavy pictures with them and they've been holding up fine even with all the temp changes and a small quake we got here.

The problem with a ceiling mount is the length of the cable isn't enoug for that.
you'd have to run the cable up the wall, which would require at least 7 feet, likely more, than across the ceiling to your play space - which would be around 5 feet from the wall or more.
You might have enough range to reach your head, but you definitly won't be walking around in a room-scale space like that.

The cable is somethign we're just going to have to live with for now. It's not going away for the first generation, so get used to it. We're looking at probably two years or more with the current hardware before any major iterations hit the market. I may be wrong about that, it could end up being like the cell phone market, but for now, this is what we have to work with.

It's really not as big of a concern as people think. Yes, you are aware of it always. No, it doesn't detract from the experience enough to brush it off due to a tether.
 

Borisblade7

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They have got to do something about that cable. I fully expect a base station and belt receiver accessories to be sold soon, probably not by HTC\Oculus though. The latency that a wireless solution would add to an application sensitive to latency may be the reason both HMDs are cabled. Then again, it could just be cost, after all $800 sounds a lot better than $1000.
Yeah its teh latency added by the wifi. Until someone finds some work around, its going to be cabled. It doesnt matter so much with the Rift since you can only sit on your ass and play it, but with this being superior with its ability to actually move around, being tethered can cause issues. Having said that, most every vid i've seen of people using this, it really wasnt much of an issue.
 

kcarbotte

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This makes me now want to dish out the extra $200 for this over the Oculus. Except, I actually don't have the open room, I don't even have 5x5 feet so I don't think it's a possibility.
You can filter the SteamVR store to show you what is available for Standing experiences. These games still use the hand controlls, but they don't required that you walk around.
A quick search on steam showed there are 54 titles that support standing configurations and don't need room scale.
Over 30 of those titles launched today and are true VR games designed from the ground up on Vive.

http://store.steampowered.com/search/#sort_by=Released_DESC&sort_order=DESC&category1=998&tags=-1&vrsupport=101%2C302&page=1
 

kcarbotte

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They have got to do something about that cable. I fully expect a base station and belt receiver accessories to be sold soon, probably not by HTC\Oculus though. The latency that a wireless solution would add to an application sensitive to latency may be the reason both HMDs are cabled. Then again, it could just be cost, after all $800 sounds a lot better than $1000.
Yeah its teh latency added by the wifi. Until someone finds some work around, its going to be cabled. It doesnt matter so much with the Rift since you can only sit on your ass and play it, but with this being superior with its ability to actually move around, being tethered can cause issues. Having said that, most every vid i've seen of people using this, it really wasnt much of an issue.

For smooth graphics in VR, the target is 11.11ms of latency. GPUs are just barely able to deliver that reliably over HDMI, adding a wireless signal in there will make it far higher, making it infeasible for the majority of people.
I'm sure there's a wireless version in some research lab somewhere, but we're likely going to have to wait a while for that to hit consumer markets.
 

hoofhearted

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Intel NUC, GTX980 MXM, a lith battery and a backpack will solve the cable issue. Maybe something that converts methane gas to electricity combined with an anal probe will solve the power issue. Throw in a free can of beans.
 

Clerk Max

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Great review, thanks as always Kcarbotte. Hats off to Valve and HTC for solving the motion sickness by using 1:1 room scale feature. The trade off is to give up locomotion as used traditionnally in FPS and use the "blink" teleportation... but the experiences in room-scale seem so engaging that it was worth it. Motion sickness was the major show stopper and it has been cracked to a large extent.
 

clonazepam

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I want to see these in schools for their robotics programs. This would essentially give them unlimited parts that never break or need recharging, and more freedom to experiment.
 

turkey3_scratch

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I want to see virtual reality connect to some sort of software controlled fan system that surrounds your body, and you get to ride a coaster simulation with the wind blowing on you as if you're actually riding a coaster.
 

acegamer123

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Thanks for the great review. Was glad to see the tests with multiple GPUs. Really showed that I'm going to have to go ahead and upgrade my 780 for some games. I was holding out for a Pascal announcement today but since that didn't come I guess I might as well go ahead and get a 980ti
 

kcarbotte

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Great review, thanks as always Kcarbotte. Hats off to Valve and HTC for solving the motion sickness by using 1:1 room scale feature. The trade off is to give up locomotion as used traditionnally in FPS and use the "blink" teleportation... but the experiences in room-scale seem so engaging that it was worth it. Motion sickness was the major show stopper and it has been cracked to a large extent.
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
I wanted to try and cover everything people would want to know. There's likely some more stuff to cover, so we'll have more on the Vive soon.


I want to see these in schools for their robotics programs. This would essentially give them unlimited parts that never break or need recharging, and more freedom to experiment.
I know of at least one high school teacher that recieved a Vive and is using it in the classroom.
I expect this will become much more commonplace in the comming years.

Thanks for the great review. Was glad to see the tests with multiple GPUs. Really showed that I'm going to have to go ahead and upgrade my 780 for some games. I was holding out for a Pascal announcement today but since that didn't come I guess I might as well go ahead and get a 980ti
980Ti is definitely handling VR exceptionally.
If you haven't ordered a Vive yet, or just ordered one, you'll be waiting a while. Might be worth holding out until you have the kit. You never know what will be announced in the next couple months.
 

picture_perfect

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Are the controllers wifi? Why do those work so good.




How is online gaming ever going to work with VR. I usually ping 20-200ms.




They have definitely NOT solved motion sickness. For a long-term honest review, check out TribalInstincts. Summary: VR is wonderful but getting sick is truly one of the worst feelings in the world.







 

cats_Paw

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Ill give it time.
Let the dust settle, get it slightly cheaper and when a mid range GPU can handle it... perhaps even a Laptop GPU, so I can make it into a portable gaming device.
 

Vorador2

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The problem is....i don't have the space to play it on room scale. I barely have a square meter available where my pc is. I could play seated or standing at most.

I might look into those pseudo "omnidirectional treadmills" like the Omni. But i also need to renew my computer since is not VR-ready. Expenses start piling up fast.
 

gdmaclew

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I don't like the fact that all the content for the HTC Vive will have to be downloaded from Steam. I'm in a rural area with wireless LTE with a 10 GB per month limit. I already have problems playing games that are supplied on CD/DVD because there are always DLC updates after installation which cutns into my monthly limit. If all game content has to be downloaded, then this is a deal breaker for me and, I suspect, most rural users. They should make content available on hard copy as well.
 

kyle382

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They have got to do something about that cable. I fully expect a base station and belt receiver accessories to be sold soon, probably not by HTC\Oculus though. The latency that a wireless solution would add to an application sensitive to latency may be the reason both HMDs are cabled. Then again, it could just be cost, after all $800 sounds a lot better than $1000.

Guess if it annoys me enough, I could always do a ceiling mount.
Ooooh yeah I like that idea. An easy/cheap yet surprisingly reliable option would be one of those Command Strip units. Get a few loops that'll hold 5lbs and mount them wherever needed in your room and you're done. Those things really hold up, I've mounted heavy pictures with them and they've been holding up fine even with all the temp changes and a small quake we got here.

The problem with a ceiling mount is the length of the cable isn't enoug for that.
you'd have to run the cable up the wall, which would require at least 7 feet, likely more, than across the ceiling to your play space - which would be around 5 feet from the wall or more.
You might have enough range to reach your head, but you definitly won't be walking around in a room-scale space like that.

The cable is somethign we're just going to have to live with for now. It's not going away for the first generation, so get used to it. We're looking at probably two years or more with the current hardware before any major iterations hit the market. I may be wrong about that, it could end up being like the cell phone market, but for now, this is what we have to work with.

It's really not as big of a concern as people think. Yes, you are aware of it always. No, it doesn't detract from the experience enough to brush it off due to a tether.
Oowee that's a scary thought. Annual iterations from occulus and HTC with no product recycling D: I want modular design like OSVR....although better quality hardware options would be nice.
 

dagnamit2

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Oowee that's a scary thought. Annual iterations from occulus and HTC with no product recycling D: I want modular design like OSVR....although better quality hardware options would be nice.
No way, the second hand market is going to be incredibly important to the establishment of VR. I would guess that both Oculus and HTC will offer trade-in discounts to first adopters so that a refurbishing program can start to sell used units at much less cost. The iPhone refresh model could work here. Flagship, $600, Year old New, $400, Refurbished year-old, $300. It's a good way for them to make some money and reduce the price of entry for the plebs.
 
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