HTC Vive VR Kit Review: Experiences And Performance

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HTC Vive Summary And Conclusion

The promise of true, immersive virtual reality has come and gone a few times over the years. And though each generation was better than the last – as you’d expect – VR has never really caught on with consumers. Whether or not this latest wave of products catches on remains to be seen, but the overall vibe seems quite positive at this time. Save for some shipping and availability snafus, the general consensus is that VR’s time has come.

After spending a few weeks with the HTC Vive, we tend to agree. Our experience with the Vive was very positive overall. While it’s clearly a “first-gen” type of product, the HTC Vive is refined, relatively user-friendly once fully setup and configured, and most of all, it’s freakin’ fun. There is a good amount of software already available for the Vive, and the controllers and room-scale tracking work exceptionally well. The controllers fluidly track movements with surprising precision and the built-in chaperon warning system, which displays a grid in the headset when you get too close to a wall or object in the room, is effective and unobtrusive.

htc vive headset and controller
The HTC Vive VR Kit - Find It At Amazon

The $64,000 question is would we recommend the HTC Vive? If you asked us that in the weeks leading up to the Vive’s official launch, we probably wouldn’t have had a clear answer. We had seen nothing but positivity and enthusiasm from virtually all of the hardware manufacturers we work with regularly – especially the GPU folks – but we weren’t quite sold. We initially thought it would be a generation or two before VR was truly ready to go mainstream. GPUs needed to get more powerful. Headset screens needed to be higher resolution. The headsets needed to be wireless. And the list of quibbles went on. Despite the technical limitations of current VR kits like the Vive, however, now that we’ve really played with a retail-ready kit for an extended period of time, we’re pretty much sold. At $799, the HTC Vive kit isn’t cheap. It’ll require a beefy PC and the purchase of some games and applications, so we use the term "mainstream" loosely. But that kind of investment is not out of the realm of possibility for PC enthusiasts.

If you can afford one, have the space, and are itching to dive into virtual reality, we say give the HTC Vive a shot. We think it’s the current VR solution to beat. And after having sent the kit back to HTC after concluding our testing, we actually miss the darn thing...
   
  • Highly Accurate Tracking
  • Excellent Controllers
  • Large, Room Scale Capabilities
  • Good Software Library At Such An Early Stage
  • Bulky Cables Coming From Headset
  • Pricey

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