Wireless Htc Vive Headset

Photo of HTC Vive VR

What is the HTC Vive?

If you’ve tried Google Cardboard, Gear VR or the Oculus Rift and think you know what virtual reality has to offer, then prepare for a rude awakening. The HTC Vive provides the most immersive virtual reality experiences available right now. It’s unbelievable, and tops a promising 2016 for HTC after the excellent HTC 10.Wireless Htc Vive Headset

Aiming to describe it in words is a high order– there are none that can do it justice. It’s like aiming to draw a symphony or shape a ballet– the essence can be evoked, but it needs to be experienced to be really comprehended.

This suggests that this review will be different to TrustedReviews’ usual ones. I’ll still make certain that the positives and negatives are covered, however prior to you fret about any of that, you need to understand that the HTC Vive is enormous, wonderful and utterly great.

 

Beginning with the HTC Vive

Development may have started behind it provided for its major competitor, the Oculus Rift, but in numerous ways the Vive is the more complete product.

You can walk around and engage with virtual worlds by using specialised controllers that come bundled with the Vive. This is its biggest strength. It’s likewise its most significant weakness.

The sheer amount of space you have to devote to make the most out of the HTC Vive will make it a challenge for lots of to have it in their house. It’s also the most costly VR headset out there.

Still, if you’ve got the money, and enough spare space, then the HTC Vive provides experiences you simply can’t get anywhere else.

Prior to you start doing anything, it’s worth ensuring that your video gaming PC is effective enough to run the HTC Vive. Its minimum system requirements are a touch lighter than the Oculus Rift’s, however you’ll still require a great graphics card and a current processor.

I tested it with a Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 and it worked fine, but if you wish to max out the settings on some video games you’ll need something heftier. The two screens within the headset– one for each eye– have a 1080 x 1200 resolution, and with the extremely high frame rate required you require about 3 times the power you would for gaming at 60fps on a Full HD display. I also tested the Vive with a Nvidia Geforce GTX 980Ti in the Titan Virtual Force PC and I found the experience a little slicker.

The large size and weight of the HTC Vive’s packaging is a little worrying. The good news is, plenty of what’s within is cushioning, but there are a great deal of parts in there too.

Aside from the headset there are 2 sensing unit cubes, two chunky controllers, a link box and enough plugs and Micro USB cables to begin a little airport electronics store.

The sensors are important. They’re what tell the Vive where you’re standing, however likewise the exact place of the controllers– a fine grid appears when you get a little too near to bumping into something. They come with installing brackets, so they can be screwed into the wall, and need to be positioned high (around 2m) and facing downwards a little to cover as large an area as possible.

HTC advises a 2 x 1.5-metre area, but I ‘d recommend at least a 2 x 2-metre one. Some games caution you if your setup does not permit a 3 x 3m area. I wasn’t joking, owning a Vive is a bit like having a pool table– you require a huge area for it.Wireless Htc Vive Headset

You can utilize the Vive as a sit-down or stand-still experience, but I really do not see the point of that. Both the video games and the controllers are developed for extensive movements and shackling yourself to a chair or a single area is far too restraining.

No, it’s far better to just accept that you need to commit an area to it.

This does make the Vive difficult to setup. There are downloads and registrations and after that additional downloads until you think you’re done. And then everything needs a firmware update so you have to get the USB cables out and linked to your PC. All this is sprinkled with practical suggestions such as “get rid of family pets” so you don’t trip over them. HTC plainly hasn’t fulfilled my feline.

A practical detailed guide does its finest to make the setup idiot-proof, but it still took me over an hour, 17 post-watershed swear words and a few PC restarts to get whatever to work.

It’s worth keeping in mind the Vive uses up at least 3 plug sockets, too– one for each sensing unit and one for the link box that links the headset to the PC. There are also 2 plugs and Micro USB cables for charging the controllers, however I found it easier to just plug them into spare USB ports on the PC.

So establishing the Vive is a faff, but once it’s done you do not have to tinker. I’ve had the Vive set up for over a week and it’s worked well each time I turn it on. Oh, well, there are crashes that require a reboot to get it working again, and at times the sensing units refuse to identify the headset or controllers, however I never ever had a showstopper. It’s no place near as robust as the Oculus Rift, but the reward makes it much easier to forgive the periodic gremlin.

The headset itself is a good-looking thing. The dimpled plastic makes the Vive appear suitably futuristic and the straps are simple to adjust for a good fit. Whichever method you change it, though, it feels a little wobbly, as if it may fall off your head. It will not, obviously, and the more you utilize it the more you trust it will stay put.

More of a problem is the Vive’s weight. It’s 555g without the cables, and a reasonable bit more with them, and you need to add another number of hundred grams if you want to use over-ear headphones. The bundled in-ear headphones are rubbish and keep popping out, so you’ll want to utilize your own.

Initially, I discovered myself not bothered by the weight while playing, however a cricked neck a few hours later on made me remember. I hope HTC can lower the weight in the future, since I can utilize the Oculus Rift without discomfort for much longer than the Vive.

 

Controllers Made for VR

The HTC Vive’s dual controllers are brilliant. Made of strong plastic, they’re perfect tools for communicating with a virtual environment. There are lots of buttons and controls, however I never ever felt lost due to the fact that everything is where it must be and the controllers are visible, drifting through the air, when the visor is on.

The triggers are perfectly placed and the grip seems like you’re holding a weapon. It makes them best for shooting games. I’ve spent hours on end firing a pistol in the dazzling multiplayer game Hover Junkers. It feels about as near shooting a genuine weapon as you can without the acrid odor of gunpowder filling your nostrils. The grip also serves well as a hilt when using a sword in a video game.Wireless Htc Vive Headset

Clench your fist a little more firmly and you can activate a button on the grip. It feels like attempting to grasp something in reality and works well with video games that need you to get products.

The touchpads that I didn’t proceed with on the Steam Controller are a discovery on the HTC Vive They’re useful for scrolling, however the pad is also a button. Some games map various actions depending on where you push too, a bit like a D-pad.

If there’s one (minor) complaint, it’s that the “choose” button is a little too high to obtain to quickly. That’s eminently forgivable, though. The HTC Vive’s controllers are area on for virtual reality, proving that Oculus’ committed controllers cannot come quickly enough. The Xbox One controller is a poor alternative to VR.

 

Living with the HTC Vive.

While the controllers are great, Steam VR and Vive Home are less of a victory. HTC’s tried to replicate the Oculus Home environment, however it’s not as slick or robust. For beginners, you can start video games from 2 environments: Steam or Vive Home. It’s confusing and I ended up switching in between the 2 with neither rather fitting the quick. Some settings can be fine-tuned from one and some from the other. It’s all a bit messy.

I also found Steam VR to be unstable– it’s still in Beta and I can see why. I’ve had to restart my PC more than a lots times due to games not leaving properly or from inaccurate calibrations. Luckily, the Vive worked each time following a quick reboot.

Yet, bothersome as these concerns are, I find them easy to forgive when you begin checking out the Vive’s VR worlds.

There’s plenty to obtain stuck into, but the games the Vive come bundled with aren’t a patch on the Oculus Rift’s Lucky’s Tail or EVE: Valkyrie. They are fun, however. Task Simulator is cute, funny and a great entry to the world of VR, while Fantastic Contraption is a solid puzzler that reminds me of Besige and is brought to life by the controllers. Tilt Brush isn’t a game at all– made by Google, it lets you draw in 3D and individuals with a more creative leaning than me might find hours of fun with it.

Happily there are a lot of titles that you can purchase on Steam that are excellent and I’ve currently become obsessed with Hover Junkers.

Embed in a post-apocalyptic world, you’re in charge of a hovering ship. Your objective in the arenas is to pick up junk and shop it or, more significantly, utilize it to form walls around your ship. This scrap guards you from other junkers and offers you something to cower behind while you reload your weapons. As of composing there are only two weapons– a shotgun and handgun– but they feel solid and, if your objective holds true, can be ravaging.

Ducking and dodging to obtain your shot in is dazzling– if this is what future multiplayer shooters will feel like then I cannot wait. Playing it is a correct workout. I squat behind cover and leap out to fire or run to the other end of the ship when my scrap is shot off (which sounds more agonizing than it is) and I’m in the open. It may not be pretty, but there’s absolutely nothing else like it and it might lead to a brand-new type of super-fit gamers. We can dream.

Another video game that I fell for is Vanishing Realms. This is a standard dungeon RPG lifted to brand-new heights by the HTC Vive and its controllers. I found myself actually crawling across the flooring to avoid traps and pick up a little gold for a much better sword. It’s entirely immersive to the point where I put a virtual-reality apple to my mouth to recover health and I ended up opening my mouth in real life. I seemed like a total moron, however I’ve seen others do exactly the very same thing.

There are celebrations when I want the HTC Vive was wireless, though. Those long, tracking cable televisions do get in the way when you’re walking around a virtual world, however I didn’t discover this as annoying as I believed I would. You can feel them and simply step over or kick them out of the way.

The Vive is loaded with functions, but some do not work extremely well. It has Bluetooth so you can pair it with your phone and take calls with the visor on, however I could not get this to work with the iPhone SIX or Huawei Mate 8.

The creative front-facing camera, on the other hand, lets a little screen appear near your ideal controller to provide you a view of the outside world. Regrettably, it’s not well understood– it’s either constantly on or constantly off, with no between. Space View can be toggled in-game by pushing the menu button twice, but this gives you a weird, ethereal view of your space. I imagine it’s a bit like Daredevil’s “vision”.

 

Not a tip of illness

The virtual-reality landscape is currently lively and abundant, and the video games are created in a way that reduces virtual-reality sickness. I didn’t experience any queasiness while using the Vive, which is something I cannot state about the Oculus Rift.

It’s not the technology that’s better; it’s that the games are smarter. For example, Hover Junkers does not let you turn your ship. You move forwards, in reverse, left and right, however there’s no turning, and that makes all the difference.

Disappearing Realms lets you move by “teleporting” you to areas that you point at with your controller. A lot of video games and demonstrations appear to utilize this mechanic. It’s creative and, while not quite as immersive as strolling or going through areas, I’ll take it if it implies not feeling ill.

 

Should I purchase the HTC Vive?

If you have the space to dedicate to it and a PC good enough to power it, the Vive is a must-have gizmo for each tech head. Those huge ifs, however. I can practically get it to work well in my living room, but guess exactly what? That’s not where I keep my gaming PC.

The expense of the Vive and a suitable PC for your living room will be expensive for many, as will committing a whole room to it. Still, if you can afford it, nothing else compares.

The HTC Vive’s even more immersive than the Oculus Rift– so much so that you forgive the pixelated screen and irritating software application characteristics. However if you plan to immerse yourself in a virtual world while taking a seat, the Rift makes a lot more sense. It’s not as impressive, however it still offers a fantastic experience, if you can prevent the games that might make you reach for a pail.Wireless Htc Vive Headset

 

Verdict

If you can manage it and have the room for it, the HTC Vive provides, quite merely, the best virtual-reality experience you can get.