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My HTC Vive experience and questions about requirements

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have seen the future of reality and its name is virtual reality. Tried the HTC Vive at Microcenter and it was mind-blowing. I explored a sunken pirate ship, touched a whale's eye and crouched down to peer into a porthole that never got less detailed the closer I got to it.

It was like meditating, hallucinating or going on vacation. My body movements, including walking, exactly controlled my exploration. You could see pixels sometimes if you squinted but generally not, it looked far more real than AAA computer games (what was on the connected monitor didn't look nearly as realistic as when I had the headset on). It easily has real-world replacement possibilities that are practical--for example you could see five big-screen monitors and walk between them and type Word documents on them, all without buying any monitor except this little headset (maybe a slight exaggeration, but a little bit higher resolution and this would definitely be doable).

I thought this would be an early-adopters proof of concept but it seems to me it's a totally viable, working product. Of course it will see significant improvements and moderate price reductions in the next few years, but it already works, and half of the remaining part is just inventing the uses for it.

Field of vision wasn't 100% but I didn't notice much lack of peripheral, and you just turn your head if you want to see something to the side.

Of course, the demos rely on some gimmicks and being designed around some shortcomings. For example I was in beautiful terrain, but I didn't see humans--obviously they wouldn't seem as real as the spaceship did (since I haven't seen many spaceships in real life to compare to), and that might be jarring. The worlds were beautiful but also sparse, not rendering thousands of blades of grass. And although I walked around in them, I didn't have need to walk long distances to travel, as you would in most games or immersive experiences that would keep you interested for extended periods of time.

From what I gather, they intend to get around this in full-scale games by warping your vision slightly so that when you think you're walking in a straight line in a game for miles, you're actually walking in circles. We'll have to see how that works out.

The salesman said somewhat blithely that there is full compatibility with all steam games (or maybe new ones) but I am wary of that. They would have to be specially programmed for the controls, for some where you need quick access to many buttons it would be hard to do, and the walking problem wouldn't be solved--and I hear if you move with a controller instead of your body, you'd be nauseous, right, so they couldn't just to that for backwards compatibility?

Are there any full-scale games that are 100% designed for full Vive play, or mostly demos and proofs of concepts to far?

How much VRAM does it use? And has SLI been improved? I ask because I have 3 GTX780s. I saw threads from 3+ months ago saying SLI basically didn't help, but I game on 3 monitors, one for each screen, and I am under the impression that each GPU renders one screen (not alternate frame rendering), so I would think at least I could have one 780 for each eye. But 3GB VRAM could also be a problem.

I would buy this now except that I don't think upgrading from 3 780s to 1 1080 makes sense, I wanna wait for the 1080ti. I could buy it now and upgrade the card later, but I suppose none of us could know whether there will be a 2nd-gen Vive or price reductions on this gen before the 1080ti hits, whenever that is.

Here are the Microcenters you can try the Vive at: http://www.microcenter.com/site/content/VRReady.aspx
post #2 of 5
From what i've seen everything at this stage is fairly gimmicky, and proof-of-concept as you said.
I reckon next gen VR is where it will be at. For now I'm only looking at getting a Vive for development, and I think most people will find that they won't get their $800 worth from this current unit.
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Ol'Faithful
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post #3 of 5
There's a few full scale VR games out there, but nothing AAA 40 hours style. You won't see a "Call of Duty" or "Uncharted" for VR yet.

The games that are true VR games tend to be more arcade like, and can be quite good. The best I've seen so far (my CEO has one and I've been over to his place a couple times) is AudioShield.

Beyond that a lot of the products are more like VR experiments. If you want to be the guy on the cutting edge and get to first hand witness how this amazing tech (and yes, it really is amazing) is going to develop then I'd say pick up the Vive.

However, if you want the end product of full immersion VR games with multi-million dollar budgets and the size and scope you'd expect from today's best, I'd wait a couple years.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. If there is limited reverse compatibility with most Steam games (playing in sit-down mode using a controller) I can't imagine how mind-blowing Ark: Survivor Evolved would be, seeing and riding dinosaurs.
post #5 of 5
Sadly it doesn't work like that. Unless its designed to actually work with VR you can't just jack into any game and expect it to look real. There's a lot of design side reasons for that, but the #1 reason is you'd throw up on your keyboard, even if it were technically possible.

I haven't tried booting up "any game" into the Vive, but I think you'd just have a flat screen in front of you that you're playing on. Like watching a movie where they are watching a movie smile.gif
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