The HTC Vive Review

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kcarbotte

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Limited in its use? You clearly haven't been paying any attention to the Vive whatsoever. It is the LEAST limited solution of all VR systems. It gives you litterally every possible configuration choice. Seated. Standing. Room-scale.
In what way do you see the Vive being limited?

People will buy what appears to be the better value, not necessarilly the more affordable system.



Oculus is already going to be releasing hand tracked controllers with a second sensor, that can track your movement. So can the PSVR.
The common dinominator for VR will be hand tracked controls and minimum of standing gaming area. Room-scale is here to stay. I would litterally bet my last dollar on it.



Massive support for Valves titles? What?
Valve released one first party title for Vive. The Lab. That's it.
The rest of the company's catalog is not Vive enabled.

There are 127 titles listed in Steam that support the Vive. 75+ of those support room-scale, and the majority of those require at least standing space and hand controls.




the minimum space for Vive room-scale is 2 meters by 1.5 meters. You need less than that for standing VR.
The space requirements for the Vive are no where near what you are assuming.
It's pretty clear you didn't even read the review.



Flight and racing games have no need for room-scale, but theres no reason they won't work on the Vive. Elite Dangerous already does, and Eve Valkyrie has been announced for Vive for later this year. No racing games yet, but there's no reason why they can't.

FPS games are absolutely NOT the "most beneficial" for VR. VR makes traditional FPS games infinitely worse because they make the vast majority of people sick.
FPS games in VR will be VERY different than what you are used to as an FPS game.

VR Games that work the best, are designed with what VR offers in mind. Traditional games don't often translate well to VR.




The hand controls are a direct replacement for everything a mouse does, and as a gun, they are infinitely more accurate than a mouse.
The problem is you can't run arround comfortably with a joystick in VR.



Fove is no where near ready for the market. The dev kits have just been delayed to the end of the year, and they announced that they have to create thier own tracking system (by the way, FOVE is doing room-scale too).

If you think the FOVE HMD will have more dev support than the Vive and Rift any time soon, you're dreaming my friend.
I agree, eye tracking will be a huge improvement, but we're a year or two away from primetime on eye-tracking VR. By then, HTC and Oculus will be talking about thier second generation kits that will also likely have eye tracking.



4K per eye will make the image more crisp, and realistic. There's no doubt about that, but litterally none of these things are deal breakers.
Ask absolutely anyone who's actually tried the current VR kits. Go take a look at the Vive subreddit and see all the testimonials from people who have Vives already that were utterly amazed.



And that day will come, eventually. Right now, that's not the reality, and getting you a cheaper GPU doesn't help when Oculus and HTC can't keep up with demand as is.

A products success is not measured by your ability to buy it. It's measured by the number of people out there willing to buy it, and right now there's plenty of people lined up waiting to get thier hardware.



Yup. You're absolutely right, it adds more control methods, and it will improve performance, but it's not here yet. It simply isn't.
If you haven't noticed, eye-tracking is somewhat new technology in the consumer space. There's a grand total of one laptop with eye tracking ability right now.



Eye tracking is on the horizon, but it's not here for the first generation. Oculus has already said it is looking at eye tracking for the future. Foveated rendering is a goal for the industry as a whole, but it's going to take some time.




Not according at anyone who's tried it. Developers are embracing room-scale and hand tracking. So are the designers of the tools used to create games (Unity, Unreal Engine).

As I said above, I would literally wager my last dollar that room-scale tracking is not going away. Ever.



I have both the Rift and Vive in my house. I had 6 people over on Tuesday to try them both out.
All six people agreed that room-scale tracking is magical.


Please, just got out and try it. All I ask of people is to put thier assumptions aside until they've actually experienced it. I promise you, whatevery you assume about room-scale VR is wrong. Whether you believe it's awesome or not. That goes for everyone, not anyone in particular.
 

Vayra

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Is this a Sponsored Content article or an actual review?

Of course, there is a WOW factor the first time you can truly experience VR, but that shouldn't make its way into a review.

What I am reading is an awful lot of drawbacks and an extreme requirement in terms of the PC specs, and even then the VR experience is jittery and non-consistent with even these very basic applications. Once the game entails more than a glorified tech demo and offers true interactivity like a bit of sword fighting, frame times are off the charts.

Meh. Not convinced. Too expensive and too many things to take into account while playing, and that says a lot about a product like the Vive that has puts focus on the premium 'experience'...

PC hardware is definitely still underpowered for VR. All in all a lot of money for something very promising, but not quite there yet.
 

kcarbotte

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My opinion can not be bought. This is not sponsored content.

If you don't want to believe it, fine. But everything I wrote is 100% genuine. None of those problems were game changers for myself, or any of the people I've shown the Vive to.

 

sephirotic

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@kcarbotte

Limited in its use? You clearly haven't been paying any attention to the Vive whatsoever. It is the LEAST limited solution of all VR systems. It gives you litterally every possible configuration choice. Seated. Standing. Room-scale.
In what way do you see the Vive being limited?
[/quotemsg]
Yes, I have, pretty much. I've been interested in headtracking, eyetracking and kinetic technology ever since I college and took classes in game development back in 2008~2011.

IT IS Limited in how much significant titles would actually fully utilize the +200 usd cameras for the roomscale feature. THAT feature will be very limited IN HOW MUCH TITLES fully it utilize it. I'm sorry If I wasn't clear enough.

The point is, the room scale seems like a glorified, overpriced kinetic. Yet we all know how much diasapoitment the kinetic was, at least it didn't cost 200 usd, more like 50 bundled with a whole video game system that was SUPPOSED to be on the living room anyway, which have more space. Yet most of my friends that have xbox 360, me included, only played the manjor hit titles all of which never bothered utilizing the kinetic. In the end kinetic was only used for "family" and silly games, which is good, in a sense, since it wasn't that expensive. At least kinetic could work with 2 people at the same time.

Not true to VIVE's room tracking. Most people have limited space in their rooms compared to living room, where most high end computers are. 2x1,5 meters is not a small space AT ALL..

People will buy what appears to be the better value, not necessarilly the more affordable system.
I don't see 800 as a good value, specifically the 200 usd for the over glorified kinetic


Oculus is already going to be releasing hand tracked controllers with a second sensor, that can track your movement.
The common dinominator for VR will be hand tracked controls and minimum of standing gaming area. Room-scale is here to stay. I would litterally bet my last dollar on it.
I wouldn't. Thank god it will be an extra sold separately, And again, I believe very few SIGNIFICANT titles would benefit from that technology. So I believe most enthusiast gamers that would spend almost 2000usd, (and much more outside US due to taxes), wouldn't care much to silly little indie games that utilize that room tracking technology. Hand tracking is more interesting than moving around on the room, and maybe it would be more common than room tracking, but I wouldn't bet on it either.


Massive support for Valves titles? What?
Valve released one first party title for Vive. The Lab. That's it.
The rest of the company's catalog is not Vive enabled.
I expect valve to try and keep interest in its product, by enforcing more titles with the "exclusive" room-scale support, if they don't, it will be even more certain to flop.

There are (...) 75 titles that support room-scale, and the majority of those require at least standing space and hand controls.
How many of those 75 titles are big titles with millions of people ordering it anyway? None. Even the most well developed and awaited VR game, EVE Valkyrie is not really AA much less room-scale.

the minimum space for Vive room-scale is 2 meters by 1.5 meters. You need less than that for standing VR.
The space requirements for the Vive are no where near what you are assuming.
It's pretty clear you didn't even read the review.
I've read the review, pal, it's clear for me instead, that you are deepely underestimating how much 6 square meters is considering that most of gamers computers are not on living rooms.

Flight and racing games have no need for room-scale, but theres no reason they won't work on the Vive.
I didn't say they wouldn't, you seem to not have read my post properly as you made much assumptions differently from what I was trying to convery.
FPS games are absolutely NOT the "most beneficial" for VR. VR makes traditional FPS games infinitely worse because they make the vast majority of people sick.
FPS games in VR will be VERY different than what you are used to as an FPS game.
VR Games that work the best, are designed with what VR offers in mind. Traditional games don't often translate well to VR.
True but, most nausea issues have been fixed, Playing ARMA with VR was AMAZING, and the game was even programmed for VR. you clearly haven't tried it, believe me, FPS with VR won't be that much different than what it already is and will be pretty awesome.

The hand controls are a direct replacement for everything a mouse does, and as a gun, they are infinitely more accurate than a mouse.
To be hones, I obviously haven't tried VIVE's hand controls for FPS, but I really doubt it and will only believe with more feedback and less arcade-style FPS games coming around.


Fove is no where near ready for the market. The dev kits have just been delayed to the end of the year,
and they announced that they have to create thier own tracking system (by the way, FOVE is doing room-scale too).
So what? I repeat: For VR techonology to trully refined, immersive, have exceptional quality and thus be sucessfull, eyetracking is a must for proper parallax simulation and foveated rendering giving a better image quality. I never said that FOVE will be more succesfull, simply because it's late in the game and haven't that much support and money in it,
If you think the FOVE HMD will have more dev support than the Vive and Rift any time soon, you're dreaming my friend.
Of course I don't, stop assuming things from my post.

I agree, eye tracking will be a huge improvement, but we're a year or two away from primetime on eye-tracking VR. By then, HTC and Oculus will be talking about thier second generation kits that will also likely have eye tracking.
God hopes second generation VR's already come with eyetracking. That is what I'm hoping for.

4K per eye will make the image more crisp, and realistic. There's no doubt about that, but litterally none of these things are deal breakers.
It's not about being deal breakers, it's about being a proper refined experience. Not that feeling that: "This is awesome.. BUT it doesn't look that good, maybe I'll just go back to my normal 2D display instead."


Ask absolutely anyone who's actually tried the current VR kits. Go take a look at the Vive subreddit and see all the testimonials from people who have Vives already that were utterly amazed.
I've read many reviews and testimonials, but people tend to over exaggerate the experiency on novelty techonology without realize all the con-sides, and after 1 month using such novelty items, all the magic is gone and the downsides tend to weight A LOT more than the novelty factor. This is a serious things that many people tend to underestimate. I've already seem it happen with other technologies before. More notably, the kinetic.

And that day will come, eventually. Right now, that's not the reality, and getting you a cheaper GPU doesn't help when Oculus and HTC can't keep up with demand as is.
I hope you are right. i'm already ready to go with my 980, but I really hope people with 960 could play with VR too, otherwise the VR hype may die because a too much reduced market that can afford it and thus the business nothing being profitable enough.

A products success is not measured by your ability to buy it. It's measured by the number of people out there willing to buy it, and right now there's plenty of people lined up waiting to get thier hardware.
I don't know where you get your figures, but the pre-order numbers are pretty low compared to other gaming and techinlogy products. I wonder if they would ever pay all that R&D money, which is the most crucial part about the technology, not the profit per unit sold per see.


As I said above, I would literally wager my last dollar that room-scale tracking is not going away. Ever.
Did you also wanger all your dollar that kinetic would be a game changer? Like I said before, no significat AA title use it. Gamers that spend 800 dollares on VR, expect a lot of good AA titles to play with it. I remain skeptical.

I have both the Rift and Vive in my house. I had 6 people over on Tuesday to try them both out.
All six people agreed that room-scale tracking is magical.
Like I said: Novelty-factor. I want to see those same people saying they would pay 800 dollars on it to play silly simple indie games with it and no proper AA titles.

Please, just got out and try it. All I ask of people is to put thier assumptions aside until they've actually experienced it. I promise you, whatevery you assume about room-scale VR is wrong. Whether you believe it's awesome or not. That goes for everyone, not anyone in particular.
I promisse you I have a pretty good Idea what I'm talking about as I've experience with room tracking on college, as well as head tracking, and have been hyping it for years now. With no good titles that proper use the techonology, It'll be useless. Like a fuel cell Hydrogen car without hydrogen stations, or even worse, without hydrogen produced by non-polluent energy plants.
I will buy a VR, but It won't be VIVE specifically because I haven't see any impressive title using room-scale, and I don't think paying 200 usd on a over-glorified kinetic is worth it.
 

kcarbotte

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You haven't tried it, so I wouldn't expect you to. Long before the prices were announced, I was expecting the price to be 1000+ based on what I had experienced with the Vive Pre at CES for 15 minutes, and my 10 minute demo with the older dev kit in September.

Since recieving the hardware at my home, I've shown it to a dozen or more people. Of them, one has ordered a Vive for himselt, and another guy (a former skeptic of VR in general) is already putting aside money to do so. The rest of them are not willing to spend that kind of money but none of them said it was overpriced.
By the way, I live in Canada, so that price is $1149+taxes, shipping and import duty fees. Not to mention a GTX 970 is over $500 and a GTX 980 Ti will touch $1000 up here.

I'm in a positon of privilige to have these headsets, so my opinion isn't what I'm echoing here. I'm speaking for the consensus of those I've given the oportunity to experience room-scale. I've yet to meet anyone who's not impressed.



Then don't buy it, but hand tracking is not going away. this is nothing at all like the kinect or the wii-motes.
Hand tracked controllers open up a massive amount of opotunity. Not least of which is the intuitive nature of using your hands to interact. It takes a way a ton of abstraction.

Moving around in your space is the next natural progression from that, and something that most people want to do shortly after trying VR. Even with the DK2, many people tried to move around.


http://steamcommunity.com/app/250820/discussions/0/365163686074422120/



The Gallery: Call of the Starseed is the most flushed out title right now for Vive currently. I highly suggest you look it up.
You have to keep in mind that Vive has only been on the map for a year. Even those in the inner circle have only had a year and a half to work out title for the system. Of course most of the titles are experimental.

I fail to see how you can criticize the Vive for having a wide variety of experiences to try, versus the Rift, which has 30 titles, most of them are just as shallow as the vive games, and there's been 3 solid years of development time.
Games will come. Developers need time to actually make things for it.



The minimum space is 3 square meters. I know exactly how much space it is. It doesn't take a lot to reconfigure a room to have that much space unless you have your computer in your bedroom (which I can sympathize with, I was doing that just 3 years ago)

Please take a look at this video to see a wide variety of different possible room configurations that let you play hover junkers (and most other room-scale games)

Hover Junkers room config



Some people may be able to do it just fine, but game developers are shooting for the most common denominator. I absolutely can't play FPS games in VR while using a keyboard of joystick to walk. It makes me sick instantly, and of the people I've shown demos to, most of us are in the same boat.
I wasn't able to even play Adr1ft on the Rift, which was designed with VR in mind.

There's a reason that Oculus has intensity ratings on its games. They can make a lot of poeple uncomfortable, and even actually vomit.
That doesn't bode well for VR, and its exactly the type of thing that the major AAA publishers and developers are waiting on the sidelines to learn first.



You seem to think that success of VR somehow hinges on FPS games working, but that's really not true. Maybe one day someone will crack that one. It will likely need something like a Virtuix Omni to work though.

Hover Junkers gets around this by using a hovercraft that doesn't rotate latterally to reduce motion sickness and dizziness.



My apologies, but your whole post has been talking about developers not likely adopting hand controls, then you skip to FOVE and eye tracking. Not a bit assumption. More of a natural progression of your own conversation.



I would definitely bet on this as well.

3 things I feel are certain about VR: Tracking spaces will get bigger, not smaller; Eye tracking will be a big part of the next generation and into the future; hand tracked games will get much much better, and are the future of VR gaming.



The resolution is much better than you seem to think. If you're used to gaming on a 4K panel then it won't live up to expectations, but the visuals are much clearer than most people expect.
Graphics quality is a couple years behind the latest AAA titles, but they are still very impressive. You don't need photorealistic graphics to fool your brain into thinking what you are seeing is real.



I've been using the Vive daily for nearly 2 months now. My review was written after having a Vive Pre for over a month. The novelty is not even showing signs of wearing off at all. playing games that get you moving and make you active are a lot of fun. I can already see the health benefits of adding some physical activity to my daily routine and I have no intention of looking back.
I think this will be a popular opinion. There's a reason that people like being active. Now you can do that while also playing a video game.



A GTX 960 won't be capable of VR, not matter how you slice it. We tried it, and the experience is terrible.
The next generation of GTX 960 (whatever replaces it) will likely be as powerful (or more) as a GTX 970, bringing that price point into VR capable territory. This is not a theory, its inevitable.
A cheap graphics card means nothing if you have to shell out $800 for the hardware though. It's a step in the right diection, but not enough. It will take time for mass adoption.



Pre-order figures haven't been released. We have absolutely no idea how many Rift or Vives have been sold.
We do know that there are waiting lists for the hardware that stretch out for months. Neither Oculus nor HTC can sell more units than they have, because they already can't keep up with the demand.

Time will tell how many they sell, but they aren't hurting to get more customers just yet.




No. not at all.
Both the Kinect and the Wii-motes sucked. They offered a glimpse at what could be done with immersive tech, but they weren't very compelling at all. I also felt the same way about 3D TVs and movies. They aren't very compelling at all.

Room-scale VR is like nothing else I've ever experienced. It's the most impressive experience I've ever had in my own home, and rivals the best of them that I've had outside of my home.



in case you missed the link above. Please refer to this: http://steamcommunity.com/app/250820/discussions/0/365163686074422120/



I'm not trying to convince you that you should buy a Vive. The Rift is a good piece of hardware, but I wasn't convinced with any of the games on that system.
You want to talk about novelty? The novelty of playing the games that the Rift has to offer wore off very quickly. Even in my review I remarked that many of the titles make you feel like "Why do I need a VR headset for this?"
There may be some fleshed out games for the Rift, but they don't feel like they should be exclusive to VR. The Vive titles that I've tried don't leave you with that thought. It's pretty clear that you need the hand controls for the games that support it.

To each thier own, but don't expect this stuff to be going away any time soon just because you don't see the value in something you haven't even tried.
 

Deuce78

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i am blown away, i am saving to purchase a new system and vive. I was wondering about the performance on the different gpus. Could you please do n article on the next vive headset. what the are planning for the next model etc also could some one please explain to me how playstation vr will work on the hd7870 gpu or there abouts. i can see how the play station vr will come close after seeing the gtx960 struggle.
 

Deuce78

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this is blowing my mind. i cant wait to be in one of napoleons wars as a soldier or commander. be a character in a movie open world like sims. I really want to walk around a ww2 city fight as first person. there is so much to come. once the new gpus come out and a next gen head set. wow i cant wait to see europe from computer desk.
 

kcarbotte

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PSVR games run at lower resolution, and will likely have lower graphic fidelity than most Rift and Vive games.
PSVR games also have the added benefit of locked in hardware specifications. Developers build on the same spec system as players use, so the optimizations for that platform make it run better on seemingly lower end hardware.

Many PSVR games will also be running at 60 fps and the system will use some sort of fram reprojection technology that will double it to 120 fps.


As for an article on the next generation hardware; that will have to wait. It's been only a couple weeks since the current hardware launched. Oculus is working on the next generation already, and I would be surprised if Valve/HTC aren't, but no one is talking about what's coming next specifically.
Based on tecnology trends, and comments made from people at Oculus, eye tracking is definitely on the radar, so we can expect to see that in the future. As for when? that's anybody's guess. I'd think they will start talking about them in a year or so.




Expect to see multiple "new" GPUs before you see a new generation of VR headset from eithe Oculus or HTC.
The upcoming GPUs should be a great match for the current VR HMDs, but by the time successors are released you'll want whatever that next gen GPU is.
 

picture_perfect

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Aiming with controllers makes games so cool.
Mouse should be more accurate though:

mouse:
2 degrees of freedom (2 ways to miss)
stable hand platform / body seated
fingertip precision
no outside forces (except friction which actually helps)
can change sensitivity
can use acceleration (if desired)

VR controller:
6 degrees of freedom (6 ways to miss)
no stable hand platform / body is mobile
coarse/ heavy arm muscles less precise
force of gravity pulling down
can't change sensitivity (always 1:1)
can't use acceleration

All this ignores that controllers have always been mechanically and ergonomically inferior to mice in the first place. Nothing has been found to beat a mouse which is why i'ts not been replaced in 50 or so years. Stylus comes close. Also, aiming a gun is hella harder than aiming a mouse.
 

kcarbotte

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The mouse is perfect for a 2D screen, but it does not translate well to 3D environements.

With hand controls, you are as acurate as you would be with a real gun (slightly better because there's no recoil).
It brings real physical skill into the mix.
 

picture_perfect

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And that's interesting. But before physical skill enters into it: 1) They have to solve the locomotion issue (without inducing nausea). I'm guessing it will never be perfect but there will be some pretty good solutions. I oinly know of treadmills and teleporting currently. 2) We have to get untethered, which means wireless latency below 20ms (Carmack wants 20ms Total system latency) OR we get tiny battery powed computers running dual gtx980s for hours on end. Is wireless up the that? What about when they go to 4K and beyond (4X the bandwidth). This one is looking bleak to me 3) For online gaming, they will have to reduce internet latency. Well a light beam takes 65ms to go halfway around the world and nothing is faster than light. There goes the 20ms target. Everybody will be time warping all over the place. I know Eve Valkyire is online so apparently it can be done to some degree. Well can't think of any more right now.
 

Republic3D

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Regarding wireless. It doesn't have to have latency at all. Wifi and bluetooth aren't the only options. Li-Fi could be the solution for the 2nd or 3rd generation VR headsets. Using the base stations and sensors on the headset itself to communicate via light. I'm sure they've thought of it, but probably too expensive to start with from the get go.
 
I think that "Fifteen square feet is a lot of open space, and you aren’t going to find many homes with large, empty rooms" should read "Fifteen feet square," or 225 square feet.

EDIT: OMG - Portal in VR. A classic gets even better!
 

Samsbase

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Just a slight error I've noticed here guys. Myst was published by bröderbund (spelling?) And created by Cyan. Might be important to change as they have a new game called obduction out later this year with VR support
 

Denigor777

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The future is for the headset to be able to detect walls/objects without corner controllers needed. By use of light/laser reflection in multiple directions. Then you start playing in any space with no tedious preconfiguration time needed. Plus, multiple users can then be in the same space.
 

kcarbotte

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Sounds like you'll be interested in the Sulon Q, which maps the space around you from within the headset .


The setup process for the Vive really isn't all that tedius. I've got it down to under 15 minutes now. The calibration process takes under 5.
 
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