HTC Vive

HTC Vive Review


The HTC Vive is the only virtual reality headset designed for home use that enables the user to walk around. Other rival brands such as the Oculus Rift and the Playstation VR are designed for you to play whilst sat down. That fact in itself makes the HTC Vive stand out from the competition. Below we are going to get into the nitty gritty and tell you exactly why we think it's the best VR headset currently on the market.


Setup

The setup on the HTC Vive isn’t as easy as the makers will have you believe. For a start you will need a really powerful PC that could set you back a few grand before you start (specs required below). The box itself is small considering the technology needed for a VR headset. When you lift up the upper compartment, you will see the cabling and power supplies that make the setup seem like a daunting task. Technically, HTC state it will take about 30 minutes to set everything up, but it took us 20 minutes to take everything out of the box! Once you take everything out of the box, the HTC Vive headset, two motion controllers, two base station room sensors, the linking setup box you need to connect to a PC, and a pair of earphones, it will be a good idea to see which cable connects to which device and place it next to it, as it can become confusing later on.


Headset Specs:


Display type: OLED.Resolution: Two 1,080 x 1,200 displays.Refresh rate: 90Hz.Field of view: 110 degrees.Tracking: Dual Lighthouse stations, 15 x 15ft roomscale area.Controllers: Dual hand-tracked wands.Extra features: Front facing camera, chaperone.



The HTC 2 base stations and sensors need to be placed either on the wall with provided wallmounts, or if you cannot drill holes in the walls, placed on a shelf above head height. The room needs to be 60 square feet, which is the size of a basic bathroom. Once the sensors are placed in each corner of the room (to be able to detect any movements you make in the play area) and you have added the base stations, you should be ready with the external parts.


The next step is to download the software from HTCVive.com. The site is really easy to navigate, with clear, step by step instructions. You will also need to register for a Steam account, as this is the place where you download the games you have purchased. We charged up the HTC Vive wireless controls beforehand (via USB sockets), to make sure they didn’t die out once we was 15 minutes into the game play. We are not sure if this is absolutely necessary, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Once you have everything connected and downloaded, you will need to configure the software to your room via the room setup software. This procedure is quite simple and is required so you do not bump into furniture within the room.


PC Specs required:


GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or betterCPU: Intel i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 equivalent or betterRAM: 4GB or moreVideo Output: HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or newerUSB Port: 1x USB 2.0 or better portOperating System: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or later, Windows 10


Gameplay:


Each and every game we played gave us the “Wow” factor. The graphics are mind blowing. Whether you are swimming with whales in the deep blue ocean or encountering Aliens species in another Galaxy, the visuals will make you feel like you are actually there. It is so “real” that after you finish your gameplay and take your headset off, you are almost questioning if you are now in reality! It really is that good. Developers are designing genres that simply wasn’t possible before, the game we played called “Jump” places you on top of a city's skyscrapers jumping from building to building, and when we fell off, our stomachs churned as though we was actually there. The HTC Vive tricks your brain into thinking you are actually there.


There are lots of games to look out for and here are some of the best we have played below:


Funhouse

There is so much packed into this wonderful game. You can choose between 10 mini games, from popping balloons or shooting at targets fired from a cannon. It is a real fun game that also helps you learn the ropes with your HTC controllers.


Edge of Nowhere

Edge of Nowhere is not for the fainthearted. The plot takes an explorer to Antarctica in search of his missing fiancee. You will battle the elements as well as madness on the journey.


Elite Dangerous

This space combat game is wonderful. Trade for a better spaceship as you earn extraterrestrial money by either mining, assassinating or bounty hunting. All narrated by the great William Shatner.


A Legend of Luca

Physically walk around dungeons while searching for treasures while battling with all types of Ghouls and Goblins. A Legend of Luca is a game that will require and your wits and skills.


Subnautica

Stranded on an Alien planet after your ship crashes, you will find yourself in an alien sea where just about everything sees you as a meal ticket. Find Oxygen and food as well as avoiding the alien creatures in this great shoot em up, survival game.


Overall

Once you have the HTC Vive fully setup (this is definitely the most stressful part) you will find yourself having a truly unique experience, one that you will want to have again and again. The list is endless of what can be achieved in the future and with that being said, the technology is only going to great better and better in the next few years. If you have the room and a high end PC then the Virtual Reality experience is something that should be had.