The HTC Vive Review

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picture_perfect

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Moore's law is slowing down which is bad for VR but means less iterations. I'll wait for pascal / polaris to avoid at least one upgrade. Maybe Oculus Touch will be out around the same time.
 

kcarbotte

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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.
Valve has made sure that every iteration of development kit works just fine with the new hardware. You can still use the original lighthouse trackers with the new headset and vice versa.

I have to assume at thist that any newer versions in the near future will have similar compatibility.

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.
I definitely agree. Second hand VR kits will be a big boon to the market in general. Some of the early adopters will also move to the newer hardware, leaving lots of room for resale hardware to hit the market. That will certainly make the cost of entry much lower.

Moore's law is slowing down which is bad for VR but means less iterations. I'll wait for pascal / polaris to avoid at least one upgrade. Maybe Oculus Touch will be out around the same time.
CPU clock speeds can't increase at the same pace, but GPUs are all about multi-core computing already and thier progress is not slowing down at the same pace.
 

Jumbobreakfast

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Are you sure that those dips to around ~45 fps are not due to Interleaved Reprojection?

https://steamcommunity.com/app/358720/discussions/0/385429254937377076/
 

OkinSama

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Great review. My Oculus Rift should be on it's way soon, and once Touch ships, it'll be basically the same as the Vive. So I can't wait for that experience.
 

lepermessiah

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Fixed.
 

kcarbotte

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To the best of my knowledge interleaved reprojection was not introducted until monday. The performance tests were all done last week.

I've noticed a big change with it enabled now. I'll be doing some testing this week for show the differences it makes in different games.
 

NeilDodsworth

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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.
I believe they have already tried overhead cables and it doesn't work, when you move around the cable weight plays havoc with the HMD positioning. Having the cable running down your back works with the straps rather than against them and provides the best experience by far.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
 

Badelhas

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Great, great article. Congrats, its the best and more detailed review I´ve read about the HTC Vive so far. This is the way Tom´s Hardware used to be.
I am very eager to get a unit, I just dont know when it will be available in my country, Portugal.
 

spellbinder2050

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"The truth is, I’ve never in my life had this kind of experience, and I mean that. I can't compare it to anything I've ever done before. Playing games on one monitor is fun. A bigger, higher-resolution screen is incrementally cooler. And gaming across multiple displays seems like the most immersive window into that world possible the first time you sit down in front of three screens. But none of that compares even remotely to being inside the game. "

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to compare this to 3d Vision? That would be closer to this then 3 monitors.
 

Sakkura

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The input latency of a controller is not as critical as the "latency of the world" as you move your head around. If the entire world is stuttering, you're gonna feel sick.
 

erikalikesfire

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Thank you for the data point about your motion sickness prone friend. I don't get regular motion sickness in cars or airplanes, but playing a first person game with too-smooth motion and a restricted field of view nauseates me (I had to take Dramamine to get through Portal). I'm really excited about VR and the Vive in particular, but I'm worried that I'll try it and 20 minutes in realize it won't work out for me; your friend's experience gives me hope..
 

kcarbotte

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From my experience, as long as you have a GPU that is up to the task then you should be fine.
The Rift has several games that will likely put you over the edge, but room scale with tracked controllers and proper frame rate is very comfortable.
 

LuxZg

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Sorry, but by which math does the 16.5 feet diagonal allow for 15x15 space? Pitagora says that's 21.2 diagonal. 16.4 feet ugonal is a rough 11.5x11.5 square
 

Badelhas

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Pi-who?!
 

LuxZg

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Just in case that was a real question...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_theorem
(sorry, we here call him Pitagora, and not Pythagoras (as it seems).

Anyway, square (or triangle) with a diagonal (hypotenuse) of 16.4 feet would have the equal sides of 11.6 feet.

So to get back to article, maximum supported room size would be 11.6 feet by 11.6 feet, NOT 15 x 15 as written in article (quote: "The maximum space between them shouldn’t exceed 16.4 feet diagonally, which allows for a trackable space as large as 15x15 feet" ). And also, my living room is roughly 18 x 18 feet, so who says that Vive is enough for all rooms? Specially at CORRECT projected room size of 11.6 x 11.6 feet (3.5m x 3.5m), that's a normal bedroom size in any apartment (space for 2x2for bed, a closet, and a walking room) so I don't know what's author been drinking to write something like (quote again) "That sounds scary" ! Does everyone live in those Parisian lofts where whole apartment is 3m x 3m, (toilet and kitchen included) to be scared by free-space of diagonal of 16 feet??
 

Badelhas

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I was joking. I know the who the man is :)
I live in Portugal and have a 5mx4,5m living room so I guess I will be fine eith the recommended room scale VR for the Vive. I justi whised HTC would hurry up and make it availalble here. We cant pre order it )but Spain can...grrrr)
 

kittle

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Same question here as for the Oculus - what about those of us who wear glasses? yes they say it "supports" adjustments, but has anyone who needs glasses to read a computer screen actually tried it had have things work?
if so, i'll put in my order

as to room sizes - there are a lot of people who have to fit their PC in a bedroom, so there isnt much space around the desk. And then there are huge numbers of "shoebox" apartments, where you cram 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living, dining, kitchen & laundry into 800sq fteet of space.
 

seraphynx

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Same question here as for the Oculus - what about those of us who wear glasses? yes they say it "supports" adjustments, but has anyone who needs glasses to read a computer screen actually tried it had have things work?
if so, i'll put in my order

as to room sizes - there are a lot of people who have to fit their PC in a bedroom, so there isnt much space around the desk. And then there are huge numbers of "shoebox" apartments, where you cram 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living, dining, kitchen & laundry into 800sq fteet of space.
this reviewer is a glasses wearer

http://www.roadtovr.com/htc-vive-review-room-scale-vr-mesmerising-vr-especially-if-you-have-the-space-steamvr/
 

kcarbotte

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The Vive accomodates glasses very well. A few of the people I've shown the headset wear glasses and they have had no trouble. The Relief makes it easy to fit them without touching the lenses, and the foam has cutouts on the sides that leave space for the arms of glasses.

My rental unit is pretty much exactly as you describe. I found space in my living / dining room. I don't have a table in the dining area so that's where I play.
I'm going to be doing some testing with standing only space in my office where I have almost no space.

 

kcarbotte

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"The truth is, I’ve never in my life had this kind of experience, and I mean that. I can't compare it to anything I've ever done before. Playing games on one monitor is fun. A bigger, higher-resolution screen is incrementally cooler. And gaming across multiple displays seems like the most immersive window into that world possible the first time you sit down in front of three screens. But none of that compares even remotely to being inside the game. "

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to compare this to 3d Vision? That would be closer to this then 3 monitors.

I actually didn't catch this in the final edit. My words weren't so definitive. 3 screens is more emmersive than 1, but not "the most" immersive.
3D vision is a step closer, but most people liken that to a failed technology. I didn't want to like VR to that, because I don't believe it will fail at all.
 

kcarbotte

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Are the controllers wifi? Why do those work so good.[/quotemsg]

The controllers communicate directly with the headset, so they are never more than an arms length from the reciever. The signal is then sent to the computer through USB3.0.

we don't actually know what kind of wireless signla it uses. The FCC information simply states Unknown RF signal.


Sorry, but by which math does the 16.5 feet diagonal allow for 15x15 space? Pitagora says that's 21.2 diagonal. 16.4 feet ugonal is a rough 11.5x11.5 square
The base stations have to be in oposing sides of the room, diagonally. They don't have to be in the corners of the room.
For a maximum size setup, you'd want them on the sides, but not quite out to the edge.
The base stations also work a further distances, the recomended maximum is 16.5 feet.
 

mck22mck

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This sounds even more promising, since Facebook's terms for Oculus users have come to light. Such as "laying claim to user-generated content" and "recording of user activity including headset motions", and the possibility that Facebook could also be granted access to everything collected by the Oculus spyware. (See yesterday's Reg article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/07/oculus_vr_franken/)
 

picture_perfect

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Same question here as for the Oculus - what about those of us who wear glasses? yes they say it "supports" adjustments, but has anyone who needs glasses to read a computer screen actually tried it had have things work?
if so, i'll put in my order
Technically glasses are compatible but in reality if you have large frames, the sides will push against your head in an uncomfortable manor. I think Norman from Tested takes his off while some one else bought smaller frames specifically for VR. Of course there's contacts for you. I never advise Lasik, having had serious complications from it. But yes the headset has an adjustment which widens the clearance between eyes and screen to accommodate room for glasses but there is a penalty when doing that. The FOV is reduced even further, don't know how much. There is at least one company coming out with custom lenses which snap into the headset. I don't how the prescription thing would work and don't remember the name of the company mentioned.
 

sephirotic

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I'm not impressed by the "unique" room tracking of Vive at all. Ultimately is too damn expensive, limited in its use and people would end up buying the more affordable and not too exhotic format, which will likely be the Oculus. I doubt the room tracking will survive past the Second Generation of VRs. It'll be lucky to not completely flop in 6 months after people realize most AAA games not produced by valve won't support it. Even with all the massive support from valve's titles, in the end, the market will adapt to a more simplified and standardized VR interface which will likely be a simple headtracking with a single centered sensor, like Oculus. I doubt MANY people would have enough space to walk around in their houses unless they put their gaming pc in the living room and move all the couch and tables away, (face it, it'd be a pain) otherwise the utility of tracking in a room with less than 2 square meters of useful space would be virtually zero. Even so, for tactical FPS (like ARMA) or flight/racing simulators, which are precisely the genre of games I most enjoy and also most benefit from the VR experience, the controls are fixed and you can't really walk around.( Unless someone invent a revolutionary wireless controller for FPS that substitute the mouse, without reduced accuracy and that don't need to be programmed by each different game developers I doubt people would ditch the mouse and keyboard for FPSs).

The real future of VR, in my humble semi-anonymous vision (yet from someone that graduated in TI and had game design electives) is EYETRACKING, like FOVE is doing.
Low resolution screen door effect is still a thing, excessive hardware requirements completely reduces the useful market for VR. We can't wait for GPU power to catch up for full 4k rendering PER EYE, which is the bare as some papers have proposed for at least the already limited FOV of 110 degrees. The scalable quality rendering by eye positioning is the only solution that would allow people to play with sub 200usd GPUs. Eyetracking also permits extra controls in-game, and a much more precise tuning of the parallax which is limited by the fixed lenses in the design of any headmount display. If the biggest players of VR don't embrace the eyetracking technology and scalable resolution, VR WILL FLOP in a couple of years. The vive room tracking WILL FLOP in less than one years, It may only have some extra-life if HL3 is finally launched by the end of the year and fully utilize its potential. But them, by the time everyone finish the game, the'll put their furniture back on its place and never set up the sensors again. Mark my words.
 
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