HTC SteamVR Vive hands-on

HTC SteamVR Vive hands-on


Gamescom is an exhibition that revolves around games. Yet there is a reason that HTC, a manufacturer that we know of smartphones and a tablet here and there, was well represented. The Taiwanese company is working with Valve namely a virtual-reality glasses, the Vive. We tested the glasses and spoke with Jeff Gattis, executive marketing manager of HTC’s Connected Products division, which he set up himself.

HTC does not disclose detailed specifications, but we do know that there is a screen with 1,200 by 1,080 pixels is available for each eye. In total, there is an aspect ratio of 9: 5. The displays have a fixed refresh rate of 90 Hz. This is substantially higher than the ‘ideal frame rate “of 60 fps which hold many PC gamers, but according to the manufacturer’s dire necessity to prevent motion sickness and headaches. Frame Drops may not actually occur, because they get the VR experience back and can make you sick but also quick.

You movements are detected by means of more than seventy sensors, including, of course, a gyro sensor and an accelerometer. Two SteamVR base stations, which are arranged on both sides of the space, to keep your physical location in the holes with a laser-based position system. They work in an area of ​​up to 4.5 by 4.5 meters, but the Vive can also simply be used in a chair.

The demo

Our demo room was slightly smaller than the maximum dimensions which the “folder” sometimes ran longer than the space. However, once you enter a foot from the wall, a blue screen appears which defines the physical borders. You never walk accidentally against the wall, but detection circular cameramen Unfortunately there is not (yet).

HTC SteamVR Vive hands-on

After setting up the glasses, which you currently still have to pull a strap over your head, we also got a headset and two controllers in hand. Those works completely wireless and have been kept as simple as possible, with the only functions the trackpad on the top and a trigger on the bottom. In all these applications can be deployed from before.

The demonstration consisted of five parts, each of which lasted a few minutes.

theBlu – WEVR Labs

WEVR is a relatively unknown company that only deals with VR. From them we got to see the theBlu demo. It starts with sounds of the underwater world, and you land on a sunken ship. Small fish swimming around you. You can drive them away by making movements with your hands. A giant whale is swimming up and stops in front of the bow of the ship, where he blinks his eyes. Where we first tried to pay attention to graphical detail and the limited sharpness, which otherwise looked much better than the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2, we were soon sucked into the virtual world and we look naturally no longer there. The whale swims away, taking you out of a reflex attempt to dodge the tail fin, and the demo ends.

Job Simulator – Owlchemy Labs

Owlchemy Labs is a five-year-old game studio that has paid full on VR. Job Simulator demo we were shown, will be available both on SteamVR as the Oculus Rift. The scene takes place in a kitchen, with plenty of items that you can pick up and where you somehow can do something with it. The controllers operate as hands, something that grabs you by pressing the trigger. After we had packed an egg from the refrigerator and which piece had thrown on the counter, our guide advised to use the microwave. A carrot changed after ten seconds in the microwave in a gray ball – it does not seem entirely realistic, but we’ve never really tried. A little ketchup on it and our dish was ready, but when the message “this demo lasts 10 seconds, you get those frisbees already noticed that the kitchen needs to be cleaned happy” came, were killed only a few signs.

HTC SteamVR Vive hands-on

Quar VR – Steel Wool Games

In Quar VR we look down on a battle field, which is positioned on a table. You can bend over the table to see the figures moving in the back, where the detail is much greater than from a distance. The soldiers fight and from the city wall hot oil poured down. Unfortunately there is no demo of this imagery available and HTC is also not keen on spreading it.

Tilt Brush – Skillman & Hackett

Tilt Brush is on the eye a very simple demo. We might call it a 3D version of Paint, but just as well a new manifestation of magic. You paint in the air, you can change the color by choosing a spot on the palette on the touchpad. We could choose different brushes, shiny stars of a rainbow. Of course you can order your creations or walk around to view them from all sides. Tilt Brush still feels special because you make something in a virtual world. So far everything appeared after all by themselves. Therefore, this is perhaps one of the most immersive demos, despite the further setting was completely black.

Secret Shop (Dota 2) – Valve

Valve has also made ​​its own demo for the Vive, based on his popular MOBA game Dota 2. You will be welcomed in the Secret Shop by a peculiar owner, who sells potions and include separate weapons. The merchant then gives you a torch, which lets you designate which can be found at various places in the “folder” his papers to stacks. When you press the trigger in such a place, you become reduced and the store became a huge space. Different animals emerge, some of us are better disposed than others. At the end there is a big monster on the roof. At the time the roof was crushed and he threatens to come in, the demo ends.

HTC SteamVR Vive hands-on updated: August 8, 2015 author: Jonathan Davis