As Aladdin once did for Jasmine atop a magic carpet, so to have HTC and Valve done with the Vive - they’ve shown me a whole new world.
Over a couple of articles titled “A Look at the HTC Vive”, I’ll be writing about my initial experiences with the HTC Vive, and where I think both the device, and more importantly Virtual Reality could go, but first, I thought I’d give the NZGamer.com audience an idea of the actual costs involved for an average Kiwi to get into this space.
For those who may not be aware, there’s something of a competition going on within the Virtual Reality space. This has seen several major companies with ridiculously large pockets attempt to bring about the next generation of interactive experiences, and they all seem to be doing an interesting job.
Facebook has purchased and is funding the Kickstarter darling Oculus Rift; Samsung have also teamed up Oculus Rift to bring mobile users the Gear VR; StarVR is being helmed by the crew at Starbreeze; Sony has the Playstation VR coming to market in a few months for the Playstation 4; and finally Valve has teamed up with the Taiwanese tech company HTC Corporation to bring us the HTC Vive - this will be the beast I am talking about.
Back in March, I was among the first groups of people to lay claim to a Vive when official pre-orders for the retail unit began. I didn’t have the cash, and wasn’t quite sure how much it would actually end up costing me, but I knew I wanted to see what this technology had to offer; was it truly as good as so many people had claimed? I come before you now saying an enthusiastic YES! But, this is really just the beginning (it has flaws).
Let’s go back a bit. Mid-way through last year as we were beginning to see that at least two of these Virtual Reality headsets were going to be available in 2016 - the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, I decided that I would need a machine capable of running them when they’re released. So I set out to put together my current rig.
The recommended minimum system requirements for the HTC Vive are as follows:
Just to be sure I’d be able to see things as well as I could for a sizable, yet affordable amount of money, I figured I’d go a little further. For just under $3480.00 (which included a warranty, setup, OS configuration, and secure delivery) I put together a machine that I hoped would get the job done (and it does quite nicely):
It’s no hardcore, elite gaming rig, but it’s a damn fine machine for me. Throw another 980TI in there - or maybe pick up one of the newly announced 1080TIs, and it’ll be 4k ready… What can I say, one can dream.
For those wondering, if you’re looking for a new PC that’s compatible with the tech, you can check out the Vive Optimized PCs from HP, Alienware, and MSI that are linked on HTC’s website. However, I suggest you look around at your local or NZ online PC stores - who knows, you may find a decent build, or the few parts you need to upgrade in order to get you going at a fraction of what I paid, or what the pre-built models cost.
Continue reading on page 2.