HTC Vive is a new VR headset made in collaboration with Valve

HTC and Valve have joined forces to blast into the virtual reality market with the new HTC Vive, which is going a step further by removing the need for a controller.

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Game Developers Conference week is set to be a busy one for Valve and it's already starting off with quite a bang. Electronics manufacturer HTC has announced their entry into the growing virtual reality market during a press event in Barcelona this morning by unveiling the Vive headset. What helps this particular headset stand out is that it is being made in collaboration with Valve.

The Verge offers up a lion's share of the details. The Vive dev kit will offer dual 1200x1080 displays that run at 90fps. The headset will feature full 360-degree field of vision, with a gyrosensor, accelerometer, and laser position sensor to help track head movement. Valve is also set to contribute something called the Steam VR base station, which will allow users to wander around virtual space (in lieu of using a controller) by tracking their physical location in 15x15 foot spaces.

HTC is seeking to have the Vive dev kits ready this spring, while also looking to have consumer versions ready before the end of the year.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 1, 2015 9:56 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, HTC Vive is a new VR headset made in collaboration with Valve

    • reply
      March 1, 2015 10:06 AM

      Man, this is getting tense.
      On one hand, there is a definite need to be first to market, but on the other, the manufacturers have only one chance to get it right.
      Facebook has all the money and engineers, but Valve has a good catalogue of games.
      Come on Facebook, release the Rift!

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        March 1, 2015 10:08 AM

        Correct me if I'm wrong (and I could very well be, because I just woke up about 20 minutes ago), but I believe this is the first of the VR headsets aiming to actually have a consumer version ready before 2015.

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          March 1, 2015 10:26 AM

          I don't think anybody is going to have a consumer version available before 2015.

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          March 1, 2015 10:46 AM

          Although Oculus has not announced a date, Palmer has said the team would be disappointed if the they didn't release in 2015. Oculus could still beat them out. Valve is going to benefit from developers who have already been using the oculus for a year or more. My guess is they will have close release dates.

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            March 1, 2015 5:28 PM

            Didn't they are one point say that Valve's VR was basically Oculus? I thought I remembered a while ago they talked about doing VR and then they came back and said they were working on a Oculus technology. Not sure... maybe I'm losing it.

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          March 1, 2015 3:33 PM

          Are we counting the Samsung VR headsets? They're available as a consumer product, although it's limited to the Note 4 right now.

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        March 1, 2015 7:20 PM

        You forgot to mention the fact that Valve also has all the blind fanboys suddenly jumping on the VR wagon simply because HTC put VALVE'S name next to it's VR device.

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          March 2, 2015 2:28 AM

          This is like a YouTube comment level post.

    • reply
      March 1, 2015 10:07 AM

      Valve VR?

      SOLD!

    • reply
      March 1, 2015 10:08 AM

      It's awesome seeing VR starting to take off after decades of hype for it.

      • reply
        March 1, 2015 10:47 AM

        Small enough components and an appetite to solve the software challenges. The original VR headsets were neck-breakers and the software sucked.

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      March 1, 2015 10:11 AM

      This is the year!!!!!

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      March 1, 2015 10:22 AM

      If the innovation in HL1 is storytelling, and HL2 is physics, then HL3 must be VR.

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      March 1, 2015 10:24 AM

      So my next monitor may well be a VR headset, - it's going to be an interesting year.

    • DM7 legacy 10 years
      reply
      March 1, 2015 10:42 AM

      No using a controller? Useable in a 15x15 space? My lazy ass ain't moving around when I want to play a game. :P

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        March 1, 2015 10:49 AM

        Ah c'mon. Those details are pretty great, it's surprisingly distinct from the Rift. About time there was some real competition in this imminent market!

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        March 1, 2015 3:46 PM

        Your base station could look like a camp fire and you just sit around it.

        • rms legacy 10 years mercury mega
          reply
          March 1, 2015 5:14 PM

          Maybe we could build a fire, sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don't we try that?

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        March 1, 2015 5:35 PM

        Yeah, everything I've read says this is intended for walking around in 3D space. That might be great for like, architectural/real estate demonstrations and stuff, but doesn't sound ideal for killing combine soldiers with a crowbar.

        Unless the walkaround feature is just a bonus on top of regular Oculus-style functionality, then this doesn't seem great for gaming to me. But it is Valve, so I'm probably just wrong.

        If the base station can also just function as a type of positional head/upper body tracker, to allow leaning and general movement from a chair, then that'd be cool.

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      March 1, 2015 10:42 AM

      Well we know the valve library will be good. But 6 months is not enough to develop anything ground breaking. Hopefully those already developing content for the rift can port easily. I am excite! Competition is a very good thing!

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      March 1, 2015 10:44 AM

      GDC soooooon.

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      March 1, 2015 10:51 AM

      Chances of half life 3 only working with valves headset to push sales of the headset?

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      March 1, 2015 11:13 AM

      Exciting! So we have three big players already in the game. 2015 will be the year of linux desktop VR!

      • reply
        March 1, 2015 11:14 AM

        Oculus, Valve, Razer?

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          March 1, 2015 11:23 AM

          Sony.

          • reply
            March 1, 2015 11:36 AM

            They had their Project Morpheus prototype working fine last year in Gamescom but I haven't heard much since then.

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              March 1, 2015 11:37 AM

              They have some significant time dedicated to it at GDC this week.

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            March 1, 2015 3:18 PM

            Derp, of course. Very interested to see how that turns out, it feels like they've got stronger pricing pressures than Oculus for some reason given the console audience, not to mention it's easier to just throw hardware at a PC to get it doing silly FPS than it is the PS4. I'm not counting them out by any stretch, both because they're not new to this shit and there's room for more than one player here.

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          March 1, 2015 5:22 PM

          does the samgsung thing not count?

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        March 1, 2015 12:16 PM

        How are CCP Newcastle doing with Valkyrie? Would be great to see this come out at the same time.

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          March 1, 2015 4:09 PM

          The demo at Eurogamer was much fun, he's to judge completeness though.

    • reply
      March 1, 2015 11:59 AM

      Is it vive or is it re-vive? The video with the name seemed to have "re" in a different font

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      March 1, 2015 12:07 PM

      WOW, dual 1200x1080 displays that run at 90fps

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        March 1, 2015 4:10 PM

        That's pretty sexy, I wonder where their display tech is from, can't be many options.

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        March 1, 2015 5:20 PM

        I always wondered why The Rift wasn't dual displays. That would solve the resolution problem they had.

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          March 1, 2015 5:30 PM

          Wait, what do you mean... are you saying Rift doesn't have dual displays?

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            March 1, 2015 5:55 PM

            Nope. Uses a Galaxy Note 5 screen IIRC.

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            March 1, 2015 8:51 PM

            The Rift has a single display that displays side by side views for each eye (just like what's displayed on a mirrored monitor, if you've seen that setup), and each eye has a lens that only covers its half of the screen.

            It actually makes sense, as far as connecting a single DVI cable, using common resolutions, and using off the shelf parts.

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              March 4, 2015 6:07 AM

              I never realized that, I guess it makes sense now when I think about it, but I always assumed it was two screens. That janky ass Samsung thing where you stick a Note in a cradle and strap it to your face make more sense now.

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                March 4, 2015 6:19 AM

                Yep. Two screens would get you more resolution possibly, but it would be more complex and probably a lot more expensive. They're going to have to up the resolution by putting little 4K panels in them next time around probably.

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      March 1, 2015 12:31 PM

      Crazy hey, they could take out the Occulus(my feeling and bet) looks like the VR WARS has begun, just wait for GDC when Nvidia drops theirs then we will have a full out balanced MMO faction war.

      This is going to be interesting.

      One thing I love :) that promo video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5XVq4NLnwk LOL that VR unit and all the others that have been announced can never actually out put what is in the video(in a game format) with their puny resolution and the current GPU tech it just can't. If it really could I go pitch a tent right now and be the first one to buy it.

      Heck the day any game looks that good is when I can say "I have seen it I can die now in piece the ultimate video game visuals has finally been hit".

      Any ways I know baby steps and marketing but its going to take a long time for companies to up their game for the VR gear we still don't have FOV sliders in ever game that comes out now let alone always support resolution > 1080p

      If any thing VR will help push things in all direction forward(I hope) which is a good thing.

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        March 1, 2015 1:59 PM

        I would love to be able to virtually tour a city, but it seems like we're 10 years away from having that actually be a good experience.

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        March 1, 2015 4:59 PM

        I have doubts that this will "take out the Oculus". What is your basis for this? Simply because of the name Valve?

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          March 1, 2015 9:04 PM

          the Vive has more of a release date than Oculus' consumer version has ever had

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            March 1, 2015 9:07 PM

            Your point? A release date means nothing. Oculus has been at this longer than Valve and HTC. I'm not saying the Vive won't be good. I'm simply saying that spouting out that it will kill the Oculus is a bit pre-emptive. We haven't even seen it in action yet.

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              March 1, 2015 9:47 PM

              As little as a release date means, having one is infinitely more meaningful than not having one, and that's all we have to go on for now

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              March 1, 2015 11:01 PM

              "Oculus has been at this longer than Valve and HTC" this is not true, why do you think they are releasing it this year they did not just simply slap something together. The R&D takes a long time and a lot of finances and resources which Valve has in abundance over Oculus in spades(past Facebook merger).

              We all knew that Valve was working on VR for a long time http://www.joystiq.com/2014/03/11/valve-vr-leader-joins-oculus-randd-with-new-seattle-team/ & http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/ex-valve-staffers-launch-kickstarter-for-augmented-and-virtual-reality-glasses/ there was not only one team there where multiple R&D groups working on all sorts of VR concepts it has been a big deal for the company for a long time.

              Even if they started latter it be totally is redundant when you consider their resources, finances and game dev supporting info structures(game dev, game engines, OS, Steam etc).

              The Oculus merger with Facebook is very fresh in comparison with Valve's long term R&D and VR development initiatives, not to mention Facebook only brings tot the table the bank nothing else.

              On the other hand Valve is all backed with their game dev, game engines, Steam, Steam OS, other hardware dev, info structures, their unlimited resources and finances which quiet plainly = to no comparison between the two initiatives in terms of backing power. It is like a few squatters compared to a city. Yes now the squatters have a shit load of money but that will only help you so much.

              Do you really think Valve with its reputation, R&D, resources, and finances is going to releases a half assed VR hardware head set to be a laughing stock of the gaming community?

              Then there is Facebook which is a totally different beast than Valve there is no comparison with what each does you would have to be crazy not to think Valves hardware could/will be better. And the specs already hint that they are better.

              We shall see I guess, I still believe the rumor of Nvidia dropping its VR @ GDC is still going to happen then Oculus will really be shitting bricks.

              Let the best VR win, us gamers all win I don't care which is the best but my money be on Valve and second Nvidia (if its real) and then Oculus.

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                March 1, 2015 11:12 PM

                I never said Valves hardware wouldn't be better. And when I said oculus has been at this longer I was indeed correct. Valve has NEVER released any VR applicable devices to the public, whereas Oculus has had 2 on the market for developers to mess with and tinker with. I love Steam and Valve as much as the next guy, but simply assuming that they'll overtake the VR market in a "flash" is pre-emptive.


                Remember when everyone though Steamboxes and Steam OS was gonna hit it big?

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                  March 1, 2015 11:22 PM

                  A small team doing a VR KS compared to Valves R&D(for years) = no comparison. Of course Valve didn't release a VR kit they where not doing a KS its two totally different things you can not compare them. Big companies never show their cards it be like Sony would put out a test Alpha version of a PS4 to the public it doesn't work like that as I am sure you know.

                  Valve not releasing a kit is obvious and meaningless why on earth would they big companies never do such a practice that is what internal R&D is for.

                  Steam Machine are not released, no one knows how that will turn out and Steam OS is still in development, while the VR head set has a release date it completely different case you can not compare the two.

                  Like I said we shall see hey, the good thing it will push all VR initiatives so its a good thing no matter how you look at it.

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                    March 1, 2015 11:23 PM

                    The biggest thing I keep seeing in your argument is "you can't compare them" yet that's all you are doing here. Like I said. I don't care. But I still feel calling it like this is pre-emptive.

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                      March 1, 2015 11:25 PM

                      Because it obviously is too early. If it was so easy to dismiss people like Carmack (not to mention Abrash, who was leading Valve's VR research) wouldn't have moved there.

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                      March 1, 2015 11:37 PM

                      Just excited man, same I don't care who will come on top.

                      Its all good, bottom line it makes VR better and that is what matters, like you said things are too early anyways, so best wait and see what will happen.

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                        March 1, 2015 11:38 PM

                        Yup. Nothing personal in this argument. I just find it too early to call winners. But hey, Oculus, Valve, I don't care. Both will be good products I'm sure. And both will have their purpose and sales.

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                          March 1, 2015 11:56 PM

                          Cool totally, well one thing is for sure this years E3 is the one to go to I bet it will be INSNAE. Can you imagine what is all going to be shown!, man if the new Nintendo drops as well I bet people will be passing out could be the golden year.

                          Exactly.

                          • reply
                            March 1, 2015 11:57 PM

                            I know. I'm excited.

                            I hear those Shacknews people might let me out of my cage to go...

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                              March 2, 2015 12:07 AM

                              Oh shit! cool, you got to do what ever you can to go, dude this is the year it going to be massive!

                              Better learn to make a good chocolate cake or something LOL :) and bribe the staff, everyone one loves chocolate cake spike it with rum that is key.

                              • reply
                                March 2, 2015 12:08 AM

                                Hahaha. I suck massively at baking... Let's hope just doing my job well is good enough. :P

        • reply
          March 1, 2015 11:13 PM

          [see my other post below] and yes the name Valve is worth a lot to me and I would think all the gaming community(might just be the most reputable in the industry) and to me is greater than Oculus and Facebook combined no question.

          Like I said in the post below Valve has been working on VR for a long time, if they are serious and they proved they are since they dropped a release date its going to be huge.

          The release date is massive and basically just showed up Oculus and everyone else and said "look we mean business, we have VR its real and its coming this year [throws a gauntlet on the floor], your move Oculus and anyone else bring it!"

          That's my take its pretty massive move from them to drop a date like that, I be sacred if I was doing VR, to me only NVidia could potentially have a trump card but that is not solid at this point its a hard core rumor and vapor ware/pipe dream but could end up being totally legit @ GDC.

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            March 1, 2015 11:18 PM

            I see your point, and I understand where you're coming from. However, I still feel that calling the Vive the "Rift-killer" is preemptive.

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            March 1, 2015 11:19 PM

            It's not necessarily some sort of winner takes all thing. SteamVR works with the DK2 right now, and a lot of these guys have worked together. Functional markets have multiple players.

            I totally agree with your 'may the best VR win', but sometimes you get into things with the enthusiasm I remember from 12 year olds arguing over blast processing in the SNES / Genesis era. It maybe comes across a little too combative.

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              March 1, 2015 11:32 PM

              For sure but like consoles you know customers are going to want to side with one or the other it how things are its only matter of time before the whole internet will fight over it.

              Yeah I guess that kid inside of me never died hey :) I suppose I do get carried away.

              I don't mean it that way at all " comes across a little too combative " if I sound like a dink I am not trying to be :( just juiced up on the announcement that is all.

              Really it makes no diff to me who wins I like things to go in the direction of Holodecks anyways(what I really want) so I am the odd man out any ways.

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                March 1, 2015 11:40 PM

                For me it's always been about the games I wanna play - I mowed lawns so I could buy a SNES and a Genesis as a kid.

                I've owned both Oculus devkits, but that doesn't mean I'm not eager to try Valve's stuff.

                We'll eventually get to the Holodeck (at least as far as experience, not necessarily the tech), but it's going to be a while. In the mean time we'll get ever improving headsets and, hey, maybe in a few decades a side-trip with occipital jacks and cybernetics.

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                  March 2, 2015 12:04 AM

                  Nice -> "I mowed lawns so I could buy a SNES and a Genesis as a kid" same but I only got a Genesis and games, those days where the best and the Arcade of course.

                  Yeah, I guess its like the people that have both a PS4 and XB1 same will probably happen its no diff if there are exclusives.

                  Man I hope I live to see it I would freak out, shit who knows what the future brings I just hope we all get to be a part of it.

                  Nvidia need to release those damn Titan 2s or 1000s and keep things moving and same with AMDs 300s they need to drop as well since they have 400s already scheduled after the 300s and are called Artic Islands.

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                    March 2, 2015 12:06 AM

                    Eh, they can wait a few months. After the 980 and the upcoming 120hz IPS monitors my wallet is going to need a break.

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                      March 2, 2015 12:08 AM

                      Amen..

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                      March 2, 2015 12:09 AM

                      OHhhh nice combo man, yup that will do the job nicely very cool good choice. Make sure you get a EVGA 980 for the 90 day trade up just in case, rumor is that the refresh could be that soon you might just catch it.

                      Either way that is a awesome set up.

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                        March 2, 2015 12:33 AM

                        Oh, no, I got a 980 at launch. I'm just sayin.

    • Ziz legacy 10 years
      reply
      March 1, 2015 3:32 PM

      Half Life 3D confirmed!

    • reply
      March 1, 2015 5:34 PM

      [deleted]

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      March 1, 2015 7:06 PM

      Wonder how this works for people with one eye.

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        March 1, 2015 7:13 PM

        Its my understanding it can't. Could be wrong though.

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          March 1, 2015 8:15 PM

          Yeah, that was my feeling as well. What I would give to be a guinea pig for optical game technologies. I can't be the only one eyed gamer.

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            March 1, 2015 8:57 PM

            I have about 1.5 eyes if that counts!

            Nerve damage in my left eye makes its vision really crappy when it comes to central resolution and contrast, and even some temporal weirdness with depth perception in motion. I can barely read the text on my screen with it, straining for one letter at a time. But fortunately it's enough information for depth perception and thanks to my right eye being awesome and dominant to begin with, I have 95% normal stereo vision in practice.

            I can't see magic eyes any more though. :/

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            March 2, 2015 9:43 PM

            As a disabled gamer with only 1 hand im hoping i wont be left out too! I'm only able to game using a razer naga and a stinkyboard, I just won my disability after 2 1/2 years of waiting(and 2 denials before i got a lawyer) im hoping once i get my bionic arm I'll be good enough with it to trick a VR setup. Really hope you can get a bionic eye one day too friend.

        • Ziz legacy 10 years
          reply
          March 2, 2015 9:00 AM

          Poor Willy.

      • reply
        March 1, 2015 7:24 PM

        Or people that are stereoblind!

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        March 1, 2015 8:53 PM

        It works the exact same way the real world does, I'd wager. They look around but have no depth perception, and in their case half the graphics processing power is wasted.

        They wouldn't get the same benefit as the rest of us, but it would probably still be awesome to them.

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        March 1, 2015 9:00 PM

        Just like the real world does for them. Sure, they're stereoblind, but they still get parallax depth perception, and head tracking provides that.

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        March 2, 2015 12:31 AM

        No eye, dear.

      • reply
        March 2, 2015 3:11 AM

        More like kencyclopz, right?

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        March 2, 2015 12:29 PM

        I have amplyopia (lazy eye) in my left eye, and it's pretty bad in that eye, so even though I don't have exactly one eye I can share my experience trying the Oculus Rift at Supercon (convention here in Florida) with one extremely dominant eye with little to negligible depth perception.

        I saw it the same way I saw the real world, with no depth perception. I can only assume that the strength of the device would be stronger when you have two fully functioning eyes, the effect of being put into a virtual world was still there. I experienced it with headphones on and a 360 controller, so I felt fully immersed in the world (even if the graphics of the demo I was playing weren't that great).

        It is worth mentioning that at one point in the demo that I played where you go to a public telephone booth, pick up the phone, and warp into another world Matrix style, with green numbers, letters, and various symbols flying to your face. That moment blew me mind because it was the only time in my life that I felt that I could distinguish the different symbols relative to each other in 3D space, truly feeling the perception of depth. Again, my left eye is just really bad, not completely blind, so I don't know if this would happen if you had just one eye, I can only share my experience. I don't know exactly what caused this during the demo, but I literally stood from the chair surprised and in shock when that happened and could not stop telling my friends about it afterward.

        So yea, aside from that one section, for the most part trying the Oculus Rift felt the same as the real world, just virtual. I can only assume this would be true for people with one eye as well, since I don't believe the screen is showing two completely different visuals, just the same one twice. Correct me if i'm wrong, though.

    • reply
      March 2, 2015 1:26 AM

      Rumor is it'll be tethered. I need that untethered freedom :(

      I would rather the headset be plugged into a battery pack that I have to wear around my waist than for it to be tied to a desktop.

      • reply
        March 2, 2015 1:29 AM

        I just imagined having information all around you. Imagine chatty auto refreshing on your left while you do other things, and if a new message or thread pops up, a red light goes on, that you can see in your periphery or by its light reflecting into your main line of vision.

        Going back to dual-monitor 2D browsing is going to feel so limited.

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          March 2, 2015 3:10 AM

          I dunno it totally depends on so many factors. I can see VR being huge for specific activities, like playing games, VR travel, communication and so on.

          But for work, something i might be doing for 10-12 hrs a day the thought is so depressing. I like sitting at my nice desk, seeing the trees outside and the sun shining in my windows. Living 50% of my life inside a dark work matrix vr world seems cool as a novelty but I could see myself suffering from depression quite quickly. I see AR as much better solution for work.

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            March 2, 2015 7:19 AM

            I bet if you told someone a hundred years ago people would be working at desks for twelve hours a day staring at an electron emitting screen, people would think it'd be super depressing.

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        March 2, 2015 11:07 AM

        Power isn't the main problem to solve to get rid of the tether. It's getting the video signal to the headset. Unless you want to strap your pc to your back also.

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          March 2, 2015 2:09 PM

          Wireless display technology has been around for a while now.

          • reply
            March 2, 2015 2:10 PM

            Meaning you're just sending the video signal over radio waves. Pretty much the same way Bluetooth audio works.

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            March 2, 2015 2:12 PM

            But how much of it lag free? Lag = headaches and barfing in VR.

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              March 2, 2015 2:19 PM

              Yeah one of the major stumbling blocks with VR until now was finding a way to reduce lag between the video source and the HMD, they've only just cracked that, so then making that wireless brings you back to square one again.

    • reply
      March 2, 2015 2:22 AM

      I don't understand why everyone here is arguing about who's going to be on top of VR between Valve and Occulus. Both companies seem to be looking at different markets, not going virtual head to head.

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