Operating system: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or later or Windows 10
OUR RATING 4.9/5 AN AMAZING VR EXPERIENCE
IF YOU HAVE THE BUDGET THE HTC VIVE IS IN OUR OPINION THE BEST VR EXPERIENCE ON THE MARKET AT PRESENT, IT’S AN AWESOME PIECE OF TECH MARVELOUSNESS.
PRICE CHECK & BUY
Once you’re plugged in and the room has been mapped out, you’re free to roam around every inch of the digital space. This means digital worlds can be more expansive and more immersive on the Vive than with other systems and, thankfully, less nausea-inducing, too.
The only limitations you’ll encounter once inside your digital world are faint blue walls made up of lines that keep you inside the playzone. These blue lines are superimposed into your game by SteamVR, the software put out by Valve that’s running underneath every virtual experience.
It’s called “chaperone mode,” and its practical application is to prevent you from moving too far outside the area that you’ve set up for the Vive and potentially stumbling into furniture/plants/animals/etc around your home and hurting yourself.
The headset is supported by three velcro straps that wrap around the top and sides of the Vive and meet in the back to form a cradle for your head. This cradle keeps the Vive from falling off or slipping too far left or right. And while they do a fair job preventing major problems, the straps are arguably the least user-friendly part of the Vive. Adjusting them while the headset is on is a bit of a pain, and getting an exact fit takes a bit of trial and error. But, once you finally find a position that feels right, all that’s left to do is turn the knob located on the right side of the headset to increase/decrease the focal length of the lens to reduce blurriness.
Three cords go from the top of the headset to a small hub that connects the visor to your computer. I know what you’re thinking, and no, there’s no way to connect it wirelessly to your PC at this time. Thankfully the cords are at least neatly bundled together which means you only need to avoid one large, 15-foot cable instead of three separate smaller ones. From the small grey hub, you’ll need to run one cord to a USB 2.0 port on your computer, another cord to an open HDMI port (something you might struggle with if you use the HDMI port on your PC for your monitor) and one power cable to an open outlet. Like the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive allows you to use your own headphones.
While other systems lag behind your movements or have a noticeable delay, the Vive can intelligently track exactly where you are in the room and what you’re doing with your hands.
Inside the headset is a 2160 x 1200 OLED screen that runs at 90Hz. For comparison, that’s slightly less than the PlayStation VR’s 120Hz refresh rate, but because the Vive is running off a more powerful GPU, it’s not exactly comparing apples to apples. You can expect a 110-degree field of view, which is one of the largest available on any virtual reality headset and results in a more immersive experience.
Moving around in-game might take a combination of pressing a trigger and the touch-pad, using a trigger to jump from spot to spot or physically walking from one part of the room to the other, depending on the title.
While the Oculus Rift can track a playspace of around 5 x 11 feet and the PlayStation VR can spot you in an area of around 8 x 6 feet, the HTC Vive has a maximum tracking area of 15 x 15 feet. It’s a substantial difference and one that takes VR to a truly immersive experience.
Visual Immersion: 110° field of view for captivating immersion.
Real-World Awareness: Front-facing camera blends real-world elements into the virtual world.
Form-Fitting Comfort: Adjustable headset strap provides balanced comfort for extended use.
Feast Your Eyes: 2160 x 1200 combined resolution and 90 Hz refresh rate deliver eye-popping graphics and smooth action.
Adjustable Ease: Interchangeable foam inserts and nose pads provide customized comfort – fits most glasses.
Seamless Interaction: Two handheld controllers each have 24 sensors for accurate motion tracking.
Navigate Naturally: Multi-function trackpad provides effortless precision and HD haptic feedback.
Remarkable Game Play: Dual-stage triggers with HD haptic feedback bring VR experiences to a new level.
360° Of Awesome: Two base stations deliver 360° motion tracking for superior VR experiences.
Simply Synced: Base stations sync wirelessly and only require a power cable.
WHATS IN THE BOX
- 2x Wireless Controls (1x for each hand)
- 2x Base Stations
- Link Box
- Bundled games: Zombie Training Simulator & Call of the Starseed
- Inside every box is a Vive headset unit, two controllers, two base stations, a cloth to wipe down the lenses, a small hub that sits between the headset and your PC, charging cords for the controllers and power cables for base stations. Also packaged with every unit are two games. It’s everything you’re going to need for a great virtual reality experience minus the computer that powers the whole thing.