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HTC Vive headsets will now ship within three days of purchase

By Jos
Jun 8, 2016
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  1. After some early hiccups in the preorder and order fulfillment process, HTC has announced that orders for its Vive virtual reality headset will now ship within three days of purchase, putting an end to long pre-order waits. Those with outstanding pre-orders from its retail partners — GameStop, the Microsoft Store, and Micro Center — should also finally see their headsets ship this week according to the press release.

    The company is also expanding the number of demo locations at brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S. where customers can try out the headset before buying. Microsoft Store demos will expand to 51 showrooms, up from the current 29, GameStop will have 40 demo locations up from 10, and MicroCenter will have 10 total, up from 5.

    Though the high admission price remains an obstacle for mainstream adoption, building awareness is equally important for virtual reality to take off and having more demo locations will help towards that goal. The demonstrations are open to the general public to experience room-scale virtual reality first-hand with the variety of content available on Steam. The full list of participating locations is available at vive.com.

    HTC says it’s seen "incredible interest in Vive" since preorders began in late February and orders began going out in early April. The company hasn’t shared any sales number besides touting 15,000 units in the first 10 minutes of preorders.

    On the other side of the VR market, Oculus has reportedly been making progress in fulfilling pre-orders too, but right now when you place an order for the Rift the expected ship date is August 2016. The Facebook-owned company recently made headlines too but for the wrong reasons, after an Oculus app update took steps to break cross platform compatibility with the Vive. Interestingly, CEO Palmer Luckey had previously said he had no interest in doing so as long as people buy the games from Oculus' online store.

    Oculus Rift demos are available in 48 Best Buy stores. Those curious about VR can go here to see what stores are participating and schedule a demo.

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    I'm really curious to see if VR goes the way of Google Glass or 3D TV, or if it someday becomes like HDTV where we all have it and would never want to go without.
     
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,682   +787

    I think they will sell enough to make it viable, but until they get the price point way down it's a long way from going viral. And to date I personally have not heard of a lot of games that will yet take advantage of it, not to mention other applications. For simulators it will have a strong market and a few other applications, but at this point you're going to have to have money to burn to jump in......
     
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,561   +862

    I think the best uses will be games that utilize a sitting position as opposed to running around, until the omni treadmills become standard.
     
  5. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Addict Posts: 143   +59

    I must have shown my Vive to about 30 people so far, everyone bar one person was absolutely blown away, and that person was just incredibly sensitive to motion sickness.

    The software support isn't quite there yet, as most of the games are more proof-of-concept or testing out ideas in VR, but the promise is staggering. The handful of more fleshed-out games are so much fun. I have no doubt that once the entry price comes down, and software development gets smoother and quicker, VR will definitely break into the mainstream.

    @ikesmasher: While there are definitely some excellent sitting experiences to be had, the motion controls and being physically "in the game" just blow out of the water any sitting experience I've tried so far. I've got about 35 games/experiences, and the "room scale" ones are far and away the better ones, even if they're just at Early Access or demo stages.

    I realise that this post seems a bit superlative-laden, but the two months I've been playing with my Vive kind of warrant that...
     
    Panda218 likes this.
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    I can imagine the potential. For gaming - I can see it being huge. but the other industry that can't wait to use it is sports. They want to put the spectators on the field so they can be in the middle of the action. That would be awesome. Imagine sitting around with friends and passing that thing around to each check out a great replay.

    Next time I want to buy a house - I want to go to the real estate office and get a VR walkthrough of 10 homes at one sitting instead of driving around a neighborhood.
     
  7. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 957   +273

    I think you nailed it here... out of all the computer games played I think a majority is FPS and RPG. FPS games don't lend themselves well to VR and sitting in a chair pressing buttons on a controller to move around. I think for some that will be really disorienting. For myself and some lucky ones, we don't have any discomfort but we want to actually walk and run around in our virtual worlds as if we were actually there. That idea is really what FPS games are about. Now we just need a virtual gun and we should be mostly set.
     
  8. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Addict Posts: 143   +59

    Have you tried VR yet? Because the locomotion solutions that people have come up with are quite ingenious. Hover Junkers, an online FPS for the Vive, uses hovercrafts to circumvent the movement problem and it works superbly. Ok, so you can only move within your area (2.5m x 2m for me), but within that, you're ducking, dodging, taking cover, popping up, looking down your sights and headshotting a "real" person. The immersion and satisfaction from physically out-playing someone (not just being more accurate with a mouse, or quicker on a gamepad) is astounding.

    Similarly for RPGs, swinging a sword, parrying attacks, ducking under swipes and jabbing your weapon into an opponent's gut is worlds-apart from pressing A, A, A, special attack with B, A, A, dodge with Y.

    And just as a relatively minor addendum, to your first point about what types of games are mainly played - FPS and RPG, we're assuming - you'd really be surprised at how the change in medium, from 2D screen to 3D world, changes what types of games you enjoy. Honestly, everyone just needs to try this medium.

    /end_fan_boy_rant.
     
  9. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 957   +273

    Yes I have... but my point is moving around in a traditional FPS game. You're not talking about FPS games. Hover Junkers is first person, and you are shooting but it isn't the traditional FPS that I was referring to. And the immersion level with what you are describing is great, but again... not really traditional FPS games here. Perhaps you aren't interested but myself and many others are interested in actually walking and running in their virtual world. These VR "treadmills" of sorts are a decent solution but not perfect, and are currently out of the price range for most people. And only your hardcore gamer who is somewhat fit, or willing to become fit will get one. It is a niche market, unfortunately. The only other FPS that I think would be practical without actually moving around would be a Mech Warrior like game, because it makes sense as you are in the cockpit controlling the thing with a controller.
     
  10. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Addict Posts: 143   +59

    Sorry, that wasn't meant to be an accusatory question on my part, merely asking if you'd tried it. Not everyone has, so I was setting out some of the cool ways movement have been handled so far. I'd love to have an Omnitreadmill or something similar when they're ready, because as much as the step from flat-screen to "room-scale" is amazing, I have no doubt the jump from room-scale to free roaming will be even more impressive. I will be most definitely interested in things like CoD VR when such fleshed-out games start to appear in tandem with better movement mechanics.

    As for other types of FPS, I've been day-dreaming about things such as a Western-style shooter on horseback, or something like the old Road Rash games played from a first-person perspective. Control your vehicle with one hand, shoot the hell out of people with the other.

    But yes, I do take your point about more traditional style FPS/RPGs, and wish there was a simple solution to the problem!
     
  11. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 957   +273

    I didn't take it as such... Anyway I don't think there will ever be a real solid VR experience for FPS games. The fictional Star Trek Holodeck is really the only thing that would suffice. Just don't ever say "computer, disable all safety overrides."
     

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