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Windows VR gaming with HTC Vive

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Stanley Tweedle, 8 May 2016.

  1. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    The first thing is that I didn't expect my Vive pre-order to ship so fast. I'd pre-ordered CV1 a few months earlier and now the ship date for that has been moved forward a few months.

    I'd always been a big fan of grumpy Palmer and his effort to make consumer VR a thing. A funny thing happened as CV1 was due to ship though... I became agitated and over the course of a week that turned into mild hostility the like of which I had not experienced before. I started taunting Palmer on Twitter about room-scale and VR controllers. I began to think about the Vive more and more. That chaperone matrix cam, the controllers... So I pre-ordered without fully committing (I knew they wouldn't charge my card until shipping and I imagined shipping would be a very distant thing).

    I was wrong. The target ship date when I pre-ordered was May... As April came to an end HTC began to make the charge to my credit card. It failed because I'd purchased a T300RS a week earlier and hadn't paid it back immediately. HTC let me login and change payment card... Switched to my bank card. Successful.

    My Vive shipped last week.

    I became agitated while the Vive was en-route because I discovered no official support for Project Cars and that Vive has no ATW. ATW had made my VR on Oculus a totally judder-free experience. To be fair.. as someone pointed out to me... ATW is only a very recent feature for Oculus so it's hardly fair to complain that Vive doesn't feature it. I've now been told that ATW could bring tracking problems for Vive and reduce accuracy so Valve prefer other solutions (i.e. better graphics hardware).

    Vive arrived in big box. Headset weighs a ton... it's four times heavier than DK2 (I weighed it) and causes neck injury after one hour's play.

    I'm lying... The Vive feels barely any heavier than DK2 and all of the bitching journalists do about it being "heavy" is nonsense. One can only assume they're like the ex-soldier who was ranting on a forum some time ago that he'd been in the army and hated wearing a helmet. When he came out of the army he went into construction and hated wearing a hard-hat. He'd never tried VR but was telling everyone it would be too heavy for everyone's head. I told him he was an idiot and expressed concern about the U.S. army letting in any old numpty.

    Was nice to see wall mount brackets with the Vive that allow you to angle the lasers via gimbal mounts.

    Having spent several hours drilling four holes into two walls my lasers were mounted. Then I noticed the ceiling light was blocking direct view between the two boxes. I had fecked-up. Still I couldn't be bothered to make new holes so I have left it as is.

    Tracking has been excellent.

    My room space is small (barely 2 metres square) but this works very well with most Vive games.

    The first 6 hours of use I had a hard time seeing any increase in pixel res over the DK2. Then I realised I'd left the plastic shipping film on the lenses. With this removed it was easy to see the increase and the Fresnel glare reduced significantly.

    Vive standing/room-scale games are mind-blowing. Having used DK2 since last year I wouldn't be without VR but DK2 by comparison is like toy VR. If you can't stretch to Vive or CV1 then DK2 used on eBay would be a very smart purchase. It's just that standing with VR controllers is a whole new level of realism.

    Space pirate trainer:

    The game looks rather bland on youtube... through Vive it's utterly mind-blowing. You instantly forget you're in a room playing a game. You're on a real platform with your spaceship behind you. It all looks and feels real. It's hard to convey the sense of awe seeing your hand controllers become two guns and feeling the recoil as you shoot (controller rumble is very subtle but it works as intended).

    The Vive standing/room-scale experiences are consistently mind-blowing. The sense of being there is so much more intense than with DK2.

    Tilt brush... excellent.

    Ethan Carter VR looked good on DK2 but on Vive it feels real. The textures are sharper, it feels like the scale of everything is more "realistic". I know the FOV is supposed to be taller with Vive but it's hard to see that for me. But the scale of things feels more real than DK2.

    I love the VR controllers. Precise. Lightweight (I always imagined they were heavy from the photos) but they are very light.

    I've bought quite a few games on steam for it.

    Job Sim, Tiltbrush and Fantastic contrap were included. I'd held off installing Job Sim because I assumed it was gonna be a really silly pointless game. Tried it last night and it too is utterly mind-blowing. A game I wouldn't play outside of VR... With Vive I am really in the store or office... It all looks and feels real.

    The matrix/chaperone cam works extremely well. I can double click on controller and get a matrix view at any time. I can also set it so the matrix view pops up if I get close to boundary but I prefer just to have the box grid lines appear.

    My two VR controllers needed a firmware update. Was done in a few seconds per controller. HMD firmware was up to date.

    I still have my CV1 on pre-order and as much as I like Palmer and what he's done for consumer VR... I don't want to buy two VR systems.

    A friend a mine is determined to keep his CV1 on pre-order and is in denial about shipping. He thinks it will be "sometime soon now".

    P. S.

    Elite Dangerous: the in-cockpit text is significantly clearer, the Fresnel glow is definitely noticeable but doesn't ruin play for me. I have a long history with Fresnel and knew what to expect.

    Since ED is now tied to steamvr the performance is down. I need to set "VR low" preset and even then it can be a bit choppy. Will need that 1080 GPU later.
     

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