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HTC Vive - Pro HMD Announced (Wireless, Integrated Audio, Improved Optics, etc)


HarryBizzle
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Received my free games bundle code for Fantastic Contraption, Tilt Brush and Job Simulator.  Vive now sitting at the delivery facility at Gatwick.  I would drive there and pick it up but not sure that's possible...

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It was bound to happen but someone has killed their TV

 

IcBOjYn.jpg

 

Hope I'll be ok.  My monitor is not at standing punching height and will make use of chaperone I can factor in arms lengths.  I've got long arms so my 2.5 x 2.5m may get cramped :(

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HTC's customer service are completely inept. I have been trying to cancel my preorder for the last seven days and have been sent around the houses. Email addresses that don't work and repeatedly promised return phone calls that don't happen. You can't cancel your order via email or over the phone apparently  - another department has to call you back that you can't call direct.

 

And now they have dispatched it. fucking morons.

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Damn, my order is still not here. Bloody DHL and all day delivery.  Room all setup, drill charged and I'm rushing towards the door at the sound of any van driving past or pulling up outside.

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Mine just arrived! Surprised to find myself in the Tuesday club because I only ordered it at the end of March so they must have really ramped up production from the shaky start.

 

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you simms!

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Did someone just try to post a couple of images in this thread or something? Got an error on the server about exceeding the maximum post size, just wondered what you were trying to do at the time, as images should be handled as separate uploads... I think.

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After bodging up my walls drilling holes I got it all setup lighthouses nicely sat up in the corners.  The lighthouse installation was the hardest bit really.  I was a bit worried at first as the one of the controllers was not connecting which was solved by pairing, then the headset was not getting picked up but a system reboot sorted that.

 

Just finished playing through The Lab. Oh my. This is my first substantial time with VR and I'm blown away.  It's just incredible the feeling of being there and enveloped in the world.  I just sat up the mountains taking in the views but in the real world I was sat on my floor watching my robo dog run around.  Played a few of the demos but will probably have more play time tomorrow.  Or maybe one more go before I go to bed.

 

Edit:. Choddo,  I tried uploading pictures of my lighthouses.  

image.jpeg

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Thoughts so far on the setup and limited usage:

 

  • I was a bit sceptical about the whole "it's difficult to set up" narrative coming from the tech press. Considering the vast majority of the target audience have very likely put together their own gaming PC, it seemed a bit irrelevant when you're just pointing two dumb boxes towards the middle of the room and walking through a software install. The actual experience was... OKish. The bits that I had some issues with were firmware updates and USB power/bandwidth.
  • The headset, base-stations and controllers all have separate firmware. To be fair, the base-stations can be updated wirelessly over Bluetooth (I had no issues) and the headset is wired by default, so that's no problem. The controllers were/are a nightmare. One of them took me several attempts to get a successful update. The other... I still can't do it! I have no idea what effect I'll have with two controllers with mis-matched firmware (seems fine!), but SteamVR keeps reminding me of an update and that's annoying enough.
  • USB bandwidth is the bit that I think will trip people up. My machine is a bit overspecced and I didn't anticipate having any kind of technical hiccup, so I'm guessing that this is going to be something that comes up quite a bit. Basically, I found that the Vive needs an entire USB3 controller to itself to give you 100% operation. It wouldn't play nice if even a keyboard was plugged in on the same controller. It runs the headset, both controllers and the camera off a single port, so it needs a lot of bandwidth. If you can live without the camera (which is disabled by default in SteamVR), then it's a lot more flexible. But with the camera enabled, it needs all the bandwidth. And you may as well have it enabled, right? So just plug your other USB stuff into different controllers.
  • My #1 piece of advice for any kind of mysterious issue with Vive setup is to try another USB port. If anything looks like it's not tracking (i.e. the icon is grey), it's probably a USB bandwidth issue.
  • Lighthouse setup was fine (other than the obvious laying of cable and room tidying); Room setup in Steam is fine. So fine that you'll probably want to keep tweaking it to get an optimum area; the software is really good too, but then it is Steam. The tutorial is magical.

 

And then you get to use it (phew!)

 

  • I took the time to adjust it properly so that the rear of the strap sits low down and distributes the weight evenly. It's comfortable. I had no red marks or anything. I don't see any issues with comfort during long sessions... except! Except it does get a bit warm. Not so much the device itself, but when you're leaping around in Space Pirate Trainer or whatever, the device (plus headphones) doesn't disperse body heat especially well (and I'm not sure how it could really, without light-leaking gaps). That said, I had zero problems with fogging, impressively. The separate nose piece really helps with that and was one of the things that sold me on the device when I first tried it.
  • Resolution/SDE seems fine. You really don't notice it in normal use. The one caveat is that desktop resolution stuff isn't very readable. You have the option to bring up your desktop in the default SteamVR interface (of course), and while usable you do have to squint a bit on the tooltips etc. In normal VR use, the resolution is fine.
  • Fresnel artefacts. I was interested in this since the reports of Oculus "God rays" in high contrast areas. There is a definite fresnel effect on black areas bordering bright white, but it doesn't look like a glowing ray or halo, it actually looks like you have a slight reflection on the lens coming from behind you. It's totally acceptable and ignorable. If you've ever used a HMD that had a gap in the bottom (i.e. the vast majority of them), it's kind of a similar effect.

 

Content-wise.

  • Space Pirate Trainer (played about 30 mins). So good. You'll be leaping around like a mad person. I think this is the one I'll show off to people.
  • Job Simulator (about 30mins). I find it incredible that this wasn't even on my list. If it wasn't bundled, I'd have never played it. But it's such a joy. It shows off the potential of hand-tracked, room-scale VR so well.
  • Radial G (about 5 mins). I had to try some seated VR as well. This one felt kind of weird, kind of like a last-gen VR experience. Which I guess it is, since it's a Gear VR upconversion. The sense of speed is fantastic, but I did feel woozy afterwards. I'm not sure if it was a "I've just been on a rollercoaster" type woozy, or a "this VR is confusing my head" woozy, but as a big WipeOut fan, I'll be giving it another go.
  • Windlands (about 5mins). I kind of have a thing about falling in videogames. Even having Link jump off something gives me that feeling in the pit of my stomach, so I had to try this. And I do totally get that feeling with it, I was giggling with the wobbly sensation. Swinging around didn't make me feel sick, but walking around/jumping definitely did (walking and jumping controlled on the thumbpads). It's a bit weird, but I think this one is a good demonstration of what kind of movement works and doesn't in VR, all in one place.
  • Dark Souls 3. YES. I didn't want this VR thing to eat too much into my Dark Souls progress, so I fired it up in Steam cinema mode (mainly as a test if I'm honest). It seemed playable in terms of resolution and frame rate, but there was a strange flickering on the virtual screen. It could be to do with a mismatch between my 1440p G-Sync monitor and the virtual display. Worth investigating.

 

Mostly though, it's just awesome being in the VR space. You just constantly want to play with it. The sense of presence is amazing, the optics and comfort keep you in the space. Love it.

 

 

 

TL;DR: Still enthusiast-level technology; not perfect in a few ways, but totally amazing regardless.

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I was on Space Pirate Trainer and The Brookhaven experiment last night as I fancied some shooty action.  Just incredible the way you can operate in 360 degrees flawlessly.  

 

SPT - It's a 360 degree shooting gallery type game where flying robot drones can come at you from any angle and fire upon you.  You can dodge fire within you designated playspace. Im horrendous at aiming but was slowly getting better.  I was holding my shield blocking fire from the right while shooting to the left at the same time.  You can even reach around the sides of the shield and shoot.  There is no way this can be done without VR.  I'm pleased to hear that this is going to be more fleshed out as a game.

 

TBHE - This is very similar in concept to SPT whereas you shoot from a fixed point within your playspace but replace drones with zombie type monsters.  I was just staring at my pistol and torch for ages it just looks so solidly real.  The zombies are about 7ft tall when they get close and tower over you and I squealed like a girl when they got right up in my face.  

 

I've got to mention the haptics in the controllers it's just so well done when firing a weapon or pulling a bow and arrow.

 

If anyone has the opportunity to try a Vive at a friends or demo station you really have to give it a try.  Just too much incredible stuff to mention.  A couple of years ago I would of never of guessed I would see this kind of tech in the home.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Space Monkey said:

Get yourself into Vanishing Realms, it's one of the most impressive and solid experiences I've encountered in VR.

 

Ive got my eye on that.  I think the dev is going to develop the game some more so will love to see where he takes it.  

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53 minutes ago, Space Monkey said:

Get yourself into Vanishing Realms, it's one of the most impressive and solid experiences I've encountered in VR.

Oh yeah, I had that in my steam cart and got cold feet. Will likely re-visit soon!

 

The other one I tried last night and forgot to mention was Irrational Exuberance. It's a free demo, but it was a real spectacle. It generates stuff outside of your movable zone though, so it's easy to get carried away and punch the wall.

 

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Ohh ive got Irrational Exuburance installed.  I've got so much to try I sometimes don't know where to start.  Can I just say The Lab is absolutely magical.  It's got so much Valve flair and little secrets to find.  It's a VR Disney land.  I've only gone through about half the experiences on the White board.  Not sure why it's not a pack in game and a goto place after the initial Steam VR tutorial.

 

Ive found a slight annoyance.  A couple of times the system has crashed or frozen within Steam VR and I don't know how to restart without taking the headset off to get to my mouse ank k/b and reset.

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2 minutes ago, rubberducker said:

i was intent on sending this back after HTC failed to cancel my preorder... now just staring at the box thinking I want to try out proper room scale VR..

 

This is exactly the reason they didn't cancel your order!

 

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Since you're in doubt, I'd say try the bundled stuff and see how it goes:

 

Job Simulator (whimsical greatness)

The Lab

Fantastic Contraption (I haven't tried it, but it has great feedback)

 

Then get Space Pirate Trainer and play that all night.

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Sorry if obvious. Have you given it a decent amount of time to move from 0%? Virus or other security software blocking install?

 

you may be able to install without the HTC software.  Assuming all the hardware is setup. Try installing Steam VR within Steam, then launch it, and follow the steps from there?

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The thing that stopped the HTC download for me was that it was expecting me to sign in to a HTC account (or set one up). I faffed around with that for a bit and only realised afterwards that it wasn't downloading the setup files until I'd got the account going.

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Thanks.. but have tried that. Uninstalled previous attempt and retired it. Got further with HTC desktop but just seems to be endlessly downloading going up to 40% - then dropping down to 0% - then going up to random numbers again. Now in its third hour of download.

 

Literally everything I have experienced of HTC (as a company) has been completely broken  so far.

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