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First-hand accounts of Vive VR suggest it's better than the Oculus Rift

By Shawn Knight
Mar 4, 2015
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  1. early vive sony valve facebook htc mwc gdc virtual reality vr oculus rift oculus vr project morpheus mwc 2015 gdc 2015 vive vr

    Earlier this week, I wrote a story on the unveiling of HTC’s new virtual reality headset, Vive VR. Based on everything I’d read up to that point, I classified Vive VR as a true contender (I.e., not a smartphone strapped to your face) and described it as the Oculus Rift’s first serious threat.

    In hindsight, after having read more than half a dozen first-hand accounts from those in the media that have tried HTC and Valve’s creation, my casual description of Vive VR was deadly accurate.

    early vive sony valve facebook htc mwc gdc virtual reality vr oculus rift oculus vr project morpheus mwc 2015 gdc 2015 vive vr

    Select members of the media in Barcelona covering Mobile World Congress as well as those in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference were given the opportunity to try out Vive VR.

    Participants were taken into a secluded room with hardly any furniture. Cameras weren’t allowed but by all accounts, the hardware is still in an early stage with wires and tethers dangling all about. Even the unique controllers – described as Nintendo Wii remotes with clickable touchpads under the thumb, triggers for the forefingers and squeezable grips for the remaining fingers – were wired. Everything should be wireless by the time it ships to consumers.

    early vive sony valve facebook htc mwc gdc virtual reality vr oculus rift oculus vr project morpheus mwc 2015 gdc 2015 vive vr

    Once equipped with the headset and controllers, users took part in four different demos over the course of half an hour or so.

    The first was an underwater scene in which users could explore a sunken ship and interact with fish as they swam by. In another demo, wearers got to prep and cook food in a virtual kitchen. A third demo let wearers witness a virtual warzone between toy soldiers while the final demo was an interactive Portal short movie.

    early vive sony valve facebook htc mwc gdc virtual reality vr oculus rift oculus vr project morpheus mwc 2015 gdc 2015 vive vr

    What makes Vive VR stand out from the crowd is its positional tracking. It uses a pair of sensors mounted in the room you’re in to track the headset and the two controllers to allow the virtual world to respond to your every movement as if you were really there.

    Immersive is a word that I’ve come across time and time again. Many described it as the most immersive VR experience yet, something that should have Facebook-backed Oculus VR very worried. The key to virtual reality is just this, immersion. If you don’t feel like you’re 100 percent in the virtual world, the whole effect goes out the window.

    early vive sony valve facebook htc mwc gdc virtual reality vr oculus rift oculus vr project morpheus mwc 2015 gdc 2015 vive vr

    Perhaps that is why I’ve lost interest in gaming as I’ve grown older. When I was a kid, it was easy to get lost in a video game but now I realize how far-fetched everything is which is a serious buzz kill. Could virtual reality – with its believable immersion – revive my interest in gaming?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015
  2. Filip B

    Filip B TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +9

    I feel a bit same. Probably it's the uber-immersion what gaming has been lacking all this time. Really like to see it myself.
     
  3. "What makes Vive VR stand out from the crowd is its positional tracking. It uses a pair of sensors mounted in the room you’re in to track the headset and the two controllers"

    First off, I just want to say I'm super excited by what Valve has managed to come up with. They've come to a solution for positional tracking that may be the most accurate so far and far more scalable than anything that has been currently proposed. That said I think you've got that statement above a little off. The "pair of sensors mounted in the room" you mentioned are actually "dumb" units. Their only purpose to shoot IR lasers around a room. The sensors themselves are actually mounted on the headset and controller themselves. The advantage been that you can add extra headsets and controllers (or other sensor points if you want to strap something else to your hands and feet) whilst still using the same dumb laser units and the system recogising each new device. There also the bonus that positional tracking happens at a faster rate.

    It's a small change to oculus' implementation (which you basically described above), but it's one that makes a world of difference!
     
  4. The reason why you have lost interest in gaming as you have grown up is that you have grown up and have other things to do and occupy you


    I played games for hours and hours for years, now my main gaming is playing pool on my phone whilst commuting.

    With so many sequels it's hard to get too excited about games as having played games for so long it's a case of seen it all before plus I have other things to do
     
  5. BloodyMatters

    BloodyMatters TS Rookie

    A nice feature would be a suit. Like they use to make some animations. Ofc that will be really expensive... A suit costs in the thousands of euros/dollars But that would make the whole experience even more immersive! you can just use your actual body to duck, jump etc.

    I want to see the nervegear or the neurolinker from Sao and Accelworld happen. That would be awesome! It's like your soul being dragged into a game. you yourself are lyign on bed completly numb so you won't knock **** over. ofc you have to be carefull and use it in a trusted environment.
     

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