Since its launch in 2015, Vive is just not a plain headset but a complete VR system. Apart from its black goggles, the Vive also includes a set of wireless motion controllers in the shape of cup holders set on sticks, and there are two towers like lighthouses placed in such a manner that they stand in the opposite corners of the room. These towers shoot fields of laser lights for the purpose of motion tracking. The famous gaming company Valve corporation is the place where the prototype of Vive came up from, most certainly the remotes of the device does not look much like the one from the gaming hardware; in fact they are slimly designed to look more like a Steam Controller.
The Vive controller’s trackpad is truly revolutionary: each pad has a small circle that resembles a cyberpunk data chip. What makes it stand out is that the Vive isn’t just for the people who know how to play with a controller but for all the new users.
A HTC Vive unit will have a headset, two base stations, two controllers, a processing box, charging cords for controllers, power cables for base station and a cloth to wipe the screen. This is what you need to experience a wonderful virtual reality.
It has a bulky visor that could drag your face down, if it were not for the thick Velcro straps by which you can anchor it down. The mask is covered with tracking dots and has a front camera. You are likely to soak in sweat if you are playing a physical game. The Vive developers were aware of this problem earlier and would have been great if they fixed it on the final Vive.
Vive just like the other reality headsets can completely plunge you in the game that you are playing by producing two images concurrently. However unlike Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR which use single camera for tracking, HTC Vive has two stations, which can sit on the wall or someplace high and helps you map the space so that you can walk around. The divots on the headset and the controllers are what the stations track. There are around a dozen of these spots on controllers and helmet that help Vive track accurately.
Once your Vive is set and the room mapped out, get ready to immerse yourself in the digital space. The digital worlds are more expansive on Vive than any other systems. The “chaperone mode” sets limitations for you inside the digital worlds. These are faint blue walls and are designed to prevent you from going too far outside the area and stumbling into furniture, animals, etc. Playing games on Vive is fun, amazing and full of personality, you will not want to stop playing.
Unlike the other systems, Vive can cleverly track your movements in the room and what exactly are you doing with your hands. Vive solves your problem of being nauseated and unnatural while playing in other systems when you don’t get a one to one tracking. You get a 110 degree of field view which means you are going to feel more natural and will have a lot more space to work around in the virtual environment.
In order to move around in the game you need to press a trigger and the touch pad, using a trigger you can jump to different spots or physically walk from one end of the room to the other. While other systems like PlayStation VR can spot you in an area of around 8 x 6 feet and Oculus Rift can track a play space of around 5 x 11 feet an Vive can track you in a 15 x 15 feet area.
Finally, HTC Vive is something marvellous that HTC has designed and has immensely refined it with iteration of hardware. It makes you feel immersed in the game because of its ability to let you move around. The wireless controllers and base stations seem to make it hassle free. It would have been great if the resolutions could be a little better; however it might be too early for a VR game now. HTC Vive creators have struck a fine balance between size, resolution, performance, and price.
To sum it all, the HTC Vive is an awesome way to experience virtual reality, its time you order your kit.