HTC Vive First Impressions: VR impressed

The HTC Vive is the best VR option in the market now. Despite starting much later than their competitors, HTC have managed an absolutely wonderful and completely mind boggling device that gives arguably the best immersive VR experience. We spent some time with this impressive device. Let’s talk about this

HTC Vive Headset

First things first, the Vive is not for sitting in a corner and getting into the VR world, also the computing power needed is not your average PC or laptop. Not as demanding as the Oculus Rift, but yes, definitely above average. So to get started with the Vive, you need a lot of room and the pretty good computer.

Headset Lenses

The two screens within the headset – one for each eye – have a 1080 x 1200 resolution, and with the very high frame rate you need about thrice the power you would for gaming at 60fps on a Full HD monitor.  And any slip lower than this can bring on the notorious lag related nausea that is now a big headache for anyone doing VR.

Headset Side View

The Headset part has been designed with a lot of care to make it ergonomic and comfortable. Trying to even describe the difference between the Vive and the Cardboard or the Oculus Rift is a pointless exercise. The difference is like the different between SRK and KRK, absolutely no comparison.

Headset and Controllers

The entire experience just blows the competition out of the field. The controllers are a revelation in design and crafting. Quite literally feeling like guns in your hands, they make shooter games more real than any other way you can experience them.

Controller

Out of the box, there are two sensor cubes, two chunky controllers, a link box and enough plugs and Micro USB cables. The cables are quite expansive and more than adequate to incorporate the extensive movement that you will be getting into.

One issue which bothered the team was the weight of the headset, long stints with shooters or first person action games do give you a sore neck and over time it gets a bit painful.

PC Display

We saw that the Vive takes up at least three plug sockets, one for each sensor and one for the box that connects the headset to the PC. There are also two plugs and Micro USB cables for recharging the controllers, we found it less painful to just plug them into spare USB ports on the PC

Sensors

The sensors are very well done. The are mountable and they give you a fine grid when you are about to bump into something. They need to be mounted at a minimum height of 2m and need to face down so that they can cover the maximum area to make the experience as immersive as possible! HTC recommends a 2 x 1.5-metre space, but we suggest at least a 2 x 2-metre one. Some games warn you if your setup doesn’t allow for a 3 x 3m area. So, if you have a man-cave with a table tennis setup, time to clear that room and set up the Vive! You’ll need that for the amazing experience that the Vive gives you!

Vive Standup

The Vive can be used as a sit down or a stand up device, but we don’t see the point in buying a Mercedes and using it like a Maruti. The whole platform, the games and the controllers have been painstakingly designed to help you quite literally walk around and have a brilliant immersive experience.

Headset Wires

So far, VR are impressed. This will ensure that 2016 will be amazing for HTC and the VR scene. Can’t wait for the commercial version to launch in India! VR very impressed!

 

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