The HTC Vive is expected to be released sometime in Q1 2016. Being the first product available to consumers in a brand new category is an immense and risky venture so the delay in release may be worth it.
Since the HTC Vive has had 5 demos with the 5th being announced as part of the Paranormal Activity movies. It’s the same pre-release headset and controllers but the fact that with HTC Vive you can move around in a virtual reality space in practice makes you realise how incredible it is.
Oculus Rift and Sony PlayStation VR are both due to launch in Q1 206 so you can bet the launch of the HTC Vive will be around that date.
HTC Vive – Design
In terms of looks, don’t expect the sophistication of the PlayStation VR. Its chunky and similar in design to the previous Oculus Rift headsets with a few more curves. Its lightweight and comfortable to wear despite the less refined design. It sits snug on your head with velcro strapping no matter how much you move around.
The controllers bend at around a 45-degree angle which curves into the palm of your hand. It has an adapted haptic feedback pad from the stream controller with a click for selecting options and application. There is haptic feedback in the controllers too which allows you to make gestures between controllers.
There’s a generic trigger for your forefinger which act as your main selection button and a further pair of buttons on either side of the grip which can be squeezed together for other input.
HTC Vive – Technology
The Valve Lighthouse base stations and the tracking dots on the headset controllers help the HTC Vive deliver a great VR experience.
Valve’s stream VR system uses lasers to track your head and hand movements unlike the camera used in PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift. By placing two Valve Lighthouse bases in opposite corners of the room you can be tracked wherever you are.
The HTC Vive has a 15ft by 15ft tracking area which allows you to walk around your virtual reality and doesn’t give the sense of motion sickness which you might find with VR sets before. With the combination of Valve’s enhanced VR tech and controllers there is no miscommunication between your brain and your body.
Of all the VR headsets available and soon to be released HTC Vive has the highest screen resolution at 1,200 x 1,080-pixel-per-eye which displays with 90fps refresh rates.
All in all, the new HTC Vive should be a hit due to its unique communication technology and screen resolution however it won’t be as pretty as the rest and unlikely as expensive.