HTC Vive: A Review

Hey, folks I have had the HTC Vive for a long enough time that I feel I can give a pretty thorough review. As you all know from reading my previous posts, I had a little bit of a struggle setting up my Vive. Once I got through that headache, there hasn’t been any more headaches.

Take a look at this intro video to the HTC Vive from Valve itself.

The Vive is honestly the best virtual reality experience I have ever experienced! I had the Samsung VR that had come with my smartphone when I purchased it. The Samsung VR was not a bad experience considering it was all running off of my phone! But the Samsung VR could never touch the Vive. The Vive has capabilities of no other virtual reality device out there to date. Correct me if I’m wrong! Take note, I have never used the Oculus Rift

The Vive is able to track your space so that you can move around in the environment to play. This is pretty awesome. The only other experience that even comes close to this was my time I spent with Microsoft’s Kinect. Even that though is just scanning your body. This is scanning your play space! There are sensors on the headset and sensors on the handheld controllers that track your relativity to the room. This is all done by using base stations that are to be mounted at least a foot above you.

In my experience with the Vive, my play space does not have high enough ceilings to put the base stations a foot above my head. This has not seemed to be a problem when playing, The only problem I have had with tracking is when I move my head down quickly. When I do this it results in a gray screen for maybe a second.

I’ve played Job simulator that came with the Vive, and it was really good! I was convinced I was in the simulation. I’ve played TiltBrush that also came with the Vive, and I can honestly say that was amazing! The other game that came with the Vive was Fantastic Contraptions. That game is okay, I haven’t spent as much time with it. But if you’re going to play a game on the Vive I highly recommend The Gallery Episode 1:The Call of the Starseed! That game really showcases the capabilities of the Vive.

The controllers are really comfortable to hold in your hands, and they don’t feel awkward at all when playing games. The virtual representation of them are different in each game I’ve played, but they are really cool to look at. You move your hand any particular way, and it mimics that movement almost perfectly. There is little to no stutter in the motions! I was really surprised by this! The buttons react the way you would expect, and are not in a bad layout. I like the way everything is situated.

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The headset can be rather clunky sometimes after prolonged use, but it was never uncomfortable with the memory foam pads that line where your face rests. It can be a little detaching to the virtual world you’re in when you trip over the long cord that runs down your back to your PC. But this is something that you will eventually get used to. The first few times using the Vive, I wasn’t sure about the cable, but it really isn’t too bad once you get used to the movement. I would recommend calibrating it so that when you start up you are facing away from your computer so that you don’t have to worry about the cord wrapping around your body, which tends to happen anyway from turning and doing the movement. Probably the only downfall to the headset is the cord.

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If you’re on the fence with getting the Vive, I can say that I have not regretted making the plunge. Sure most of the games feel like tech demos at this point. But there is so much going into development for this technology! I know it takes a little bit of a beefy computer to use, but if you have the capabilities, be sure to pick this up and try it. There really is no way to describe it other than to show you. It’s that type of experience. Words can not give it justice.

So if you know a friend that has one, get to his or her house and try it out. You’re going to have a blast in these virtual worlds, and will not want to come back to reality. Thanks for taking the time to read my review, and keep an eye out for more material. I’m working on a review of an alpha game called 911 operator.

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