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HTC Vive Launch Thread -- Computer, activate holodeck

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Jan 11, 2013
Fresno, CA

April 5th, 2016 marks the arrival of the HTC Vive: the first consumer VR headset with fully tracked controllers. With it comes the ability to get up, walk around, and naturally interact with a whole new virtual world. So get ready, get hyped, and prepare to experience room-scale VR!

Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Cost: $799/£689/€899/CAD$1,149/¥111,999/AUD$1220/CNY 6,888/NT $28,288/NZD$1386.
Platform: SteamVR
Setup: Vive - Pick a Play Area
Vive - Set up Base Stations
Vive - Set up Vive headset
Vive - SteamVR Room Setup

Display: OLED
Resolution: 2160 x 1200
Refresh Rate: 90Hz
Field of View: 110 degrees
Tracking Area: 15 x 15 feet
Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Laser Position Sensor, Front-Facing Camera
Connections: HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

Check if you PC is ready for the future: http://store.steampowered.com/app/323910/
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 /Radeon R9 290 equivalent or greater
Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater
4GB+ of RAM
Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
1x USB 2.0 port

List of games from r/Vive (kindly linked by Durante): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QHuT5nmH2Mi1X1eqRf7z8NNWaJLPpBYgOOdzY5fd3Uc/edit#gid=0
Steam Store:
Some videos for your mind to be blown:
Node- VR Alien Surgeon Simulator - HTC VIVE
Node- BUDGET CUTS - Virtual Reality Spy Game
OwlchemyLabs- Spectator Mode for Job Simulator - A new way to display social VR footage!

The Lighthouse laser tracking system provides high speed, high precision position+orientation tracking at distances up to 5 metres (15 feet).

Animation of Lighthouse sync flashes and sweeps: HTC Vive Lighthouse Chaperone tracking system Explained
Reddit post with more technical detail
Well where the crap do I put the base stations?!
The base stations have a 120-degree arc for tracking, so there's a lot of flexibility. To minimize occlusion problems, it's best to have them high in the room, looking down at you from opposite sides. Ideally they should have clear line of sight to each other for the sync flashes, but that may not be necessary since the flash can bounce off other surfaces.
Two-sided tape can be used for attaching them to the wall, but may loosen over time due to vibration. The base stations have standard camera tripod threading on the bottom. Here's one approach posted by Compsiox:
This is simply the best solution there is:

2 of these: http://www.amazon.com/Grifiti-Threaded-Microphone-Diameter-Motorcycles/dp/B00E5M39AW

2 of these: http://www.amazon.com/Task-Tools-T74500-81-Inch-108-Inch/dp/B000CRDD6Y

How this works is the support rod extends to the ceiling and holds itself in place. Then you put the pipe grips on them. The pipe grips have the threads to hold the lighthouse.



VR is here, and I have been sold as a believer. While the Oculus is a very strong VR headset, the Vive feels like it's in a league of its own comparatively. The big sticking issue is how the market reacts to the price long term, and if development of new games maintains a consistent pace."

The Verge- 8
In the end, there’s a good argument that the Vive’s ideal customers are neither makers nor players of games. Virtual reality has a long history in fields like architecture, industrial design, and military training, and the solid, no-nonsense Vive can replace older solutions like CAVE rooms at a fraction of the cost. Oculus has clearly thrown its weight behind VR film and gaming, but Valve and HTC have been more circumspect — they didn’t craft an entertainment ecosystem, they just showed up with some goggles and controllers and let people play with them. For now, at least, that’s turned out to be enough.

Perhaps the sheer novelty of the Vive’s experience will wear off with more time, or perhaps developers will fail to take the fullest advantage of the new interaction models the Vive provides. At this point, though, I’d say that’s unlikely. If you can get over the significant space requirements, the facial comfort issues, and the price point (especially if you don’t have a decent gaming PC), HTC and Valve will sell you a little glimpse of the future that you can use in your house right now. And when the only real analogies for a new piece of technology come from science fiction, it might be worth overlooking a few hassles.

C|Net- 8.1
Vive is the best virtual-reality experience you can have right now, thanks to its motion controls and room-scale tracking. It's the closest thing to having a holodeck in your home.

Engadget- 82
The Vive is no doubt the geekiest thing I have in my home right now -- and that's saying something. It's an impressive effort by HTC, which has had a rough few years in mobile, and Valve. It's oh-so-close to being the Holy Grail of VR experiences. It's just too bad that ergonomics get in the way of truly enjoying it.

Polygon- 8
So yes, the Vive asks a lot from anyone buying the platform, but it gives just as much back, if not more so. Everyone has the same reaction after a demo, in our experience: They remark on how complicated it seems and how little they’d want to set one up in their own home, and then they get wide-eyed and want to tell you all about how amazed they are by the experience.

The HTC Vive is without a doubt the most cutting-edge gadget you can buy right now. Its capabilities surpass any other device on the planet, and for that alone, it deserves to be celebrated. Whether it’s worth the $800 (that doesn’t include the additional $900 or so for the gaming computer) is a different story.

If you list the features it has compared to Rift, there will only be a few differences, but Vive's few advantages make a big difference in practice. To go with Rift is to wade in the waters of VR; choosing Vive is like jumping into the deep end.

The ability to not just see a virtual environment, but physically explore it and have it react to our body movements will change the way we think about the future of gaming.

The HTC Vive is an absolutely wonderful piece of technology. Its ability to make you feel as though you’ve left your home and are floating through space or felling enemies with a bow and arrow is unparalleled. Ask anyone who’s used the Vive, and they’ll tell you how absolutely incredible the experience is. It’s flat- out ridiculous fun.

There are flaws, certainly, and the initial selection of games is disappointing. But given the early adopter audience, most customers will likely avoid frustration. Still, it’s a product that has plenty of room for improvement before it will be even remotely ready for the mainstream world to give it a second glance.

Tech Crunch
If there were a word I’d use to describe this piece of hardware, it would be ambitious. It tries so many damn things, and it gets most of the things so right, though not every feature is a home run. $799 is a lot of cash, but it really feels worth it here.

Wall Street Journal
After a week with each, I had more fun with the Vive than with the Rift. It’s clear that being free to roam with my hands and body makes VR way more compelling. But the experience only adds to the puzzle of how we’re going to fit VR into our lives—and our already overstuffed homes.

In conclusion, the HTC Vive and SteamVR offer an incredible fusion of cutting-edge hardware and software delivering an often mesmerising virtual reality experience the likes of which the consumer has never seen before.

Tech Insider
The Vive is both the best VR system available and something you probably shouldn't buy just yet. For as incredible an experience as it can create, it's equally matched in discomfort — the headset's straps, paired with the wire situation and the headphone situation, make an expensive, bleeding-edge electronics product feel woefully underdone.

That said, the potential is awe-inspiring. If I could spend nearly an entire day locked in a VR world full of demos and minigames, there’s no doubt in my mind that I could do the same with a full-fledged game.

If you're interested in VR and have the money to spare, we think you'll be absolutely blown away by the Vive. It's by far the most exciting first-gen product I've ever reviewed.

Q: Can you play VR games from the Rift on VIVE?
A: The Vive is not officially supported by Oculus Home, but by using the Revive compatibility layer for SteamVR, you can play many Oculus Rift exclusive games. Please check the compatibility list
to see which Oculus games are supported by Revive.

Q: Can you use a Rift with SteamVR?
A: YES! Just go to “Settings”> “General”> and make sure “Unknown Sources” is checked.
Looks like there are a few more steps to this - here's a guide: http://www.roadtovr.com/how-to-use-...l-support-non-vr-games-desktop-theather-mode/

List of games on Steam that support Rift (currently 44): http://store.steampowered.com/searc...ort_by=_ASC&category2=31&vrsupport=102&page=1

Q: Do I need a 15 x 15-foot area to use VIVE?
A: No. You can use the Vive in a seated position, standing position or scale it up to roomscale with a maximum place area size of 5m diagonally. For each game or experience however, it's totally dependent on what the developer has implemented.

Q: How much space do I need for a Roomscale experience?
A: A minimum play area of 5 x 6.5 feet (1.5 x 2 meters) is required.

Q: Do I need the basestations for seated?
A: Yes. They're used for head-tracking. That being said you don't need them in the corners of the room for seated.

Q: Motion sickness?
A: With improvements to head tracking, frame rate and latency compared to the earlier dev kits, motion sickness has been eliminated for almost everyone in many games, especially at room scale with the tracked controllers. It remains a challenge for some genres like traditional fast-paced FPS (due to unnaturally fast lateral motion) and developers are working on alternatives.

Q: What if I have only have good vision in one eye?
A: Stereoscopic vision isn't required for VR. The large FOV, life size scale and availability of other depth cues (like parallax motion with head tracking) still work to create something that closely matches the way your vision works in real life.

Q: Can I use it with glasses?
A: Yes. However, if you can use contact lenses, you'll get improved FOV with them due to being able to bring your eyes closer to the lenses.

Q: I'm planning on getting a longer USB/HDMI cable for the breakout box so that I can use roomscale in the larger room next door to the room I keep my PC in. Is there a point where a USB and/or HDMI cable becomes too long where latency starts to factor in?
A: As long as you get an "active" USB extender if going past 15', you're fine. HDMI is rated up to 50'.
Thanks X Shagrath for bringing this to my attention.

I wanna thank Durante for posting links when needed and throwing in a bunch of useful info! I wanna thank Compsiox for making the Rift OT which I used as a foundation to build this one as well as posting a bunch of helpful info. I wanna thank Dreams-Visions for making an epic gif for us to use here in the thread! Lastly I wanna thank Raticus79 this would not have been done without him, he was my consultant and confidant throughout this whole process.

Well guys, see you on the other side.

Maybe for the OP:

Android companion app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.htc.vivephoneservice

iOS companion app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/htc-vive/id1091173853?mt=8

You'll need for Bluetooth phone pairing.

available starting June 6 at Vive.com and Vive retailers
$99.99 (€119.99, £99.99, ¥799.00)
- Easy-to-use size adjustment dial and hard-sided construction
- Integrated on-ear headphones with height and angle adjustment
- Improved weight distribution and cable management


Jul 6, 2014
Yaaaasss!!!! The Vive will change everything.

Amazing OT!
Glad I could help!


Seek victory, not fairness
Aug 3, 2012
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


The Birthday Skeleton
Jan 9, 2013
Great OT! Not feeling the subtitle yet but maybe I need to flail around a bit more.


May 7, 2009
Can't wait to get mine. Had issues with the site though so, kept saying out of stock on my PC so my order didn't get in until 15 minutes after... Missed the initial shipment.


Jan 30, 2011
Great OP. Just one small correction: there is at least one review already, by Destructoid. (no link since I'm on my phone)
It's not a CV1 review. Though I'm fine with Vive Pre reviews as they're nearly the same thing, and Destructoid's review was well thought out.


Jun 13, 2004
Wish I preordered one earlier than later. I'm so pumped.

I'm telling myself that owning both headsets is reasonable because I want to make sure my game runs fine on both APIs but lol I just want to fuck with those motion controllers ASAP.


Neo Member
Oct 29, 2015
New Orleans
OT needs a "Shipping Details" section with only this cookie monster gif in it.

Lot of people reporting the charges went from pending to approved today. With any luck they'll ship out a lot of the US Vive's overnight or next day air. I'm hoping for a tracking update by the end of the day, but who knows.


Sep 19, 2007
Watching the Fantastic Contraption trailer the other day kindled this idea: a VR version of the Spore Creature Creator. Spore the game was kind of meh, but the Creature Creator was distilled brilliance.

Imagine being able to squash, stretch, sculpt, and paint a life-sized 3D alien and then trot it around your room, or do the same thing with millions of other user creations... it would be AMAZING.
Dec 8, 2008
Miami, FL
Lot of people reporting the charges went from pending to approved today. With any luck they'll ship out a lot of the US Vive's overnight or next day air. I'm hoping for a tracking update by the end of the day, but who knows.

Let us all pray. But after I'm doing praying, I'mma

actually me trying to get work done atm.


The Birthday Skeleton
Jan 9, 2013
It's 17:20.

I still haven't received an email.

I... I think this is not happening tomorrow for me :(

You didn't? That's strange, because a lot of orders with PayPal have received today shipping emails (including me).

Edit: I'm talking about Europe (except UK)


PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 PS4 Xbone PS4 PS4
Mar 10, 2005
That's a great OP. I've been looking forward to this one.


Jan 9, 2014
God I wish I had both this and the PC to be able to run it.
Virtual reality has so much potential, and Valve is doing everything right.


Sep 4, 2014
Excited to see how the launch goes, as for me VIVE seems to be heading in the direction I'm most interested in seeing VR head in.

Won't personally be jumping in until the dust settles and we're onto VIVE V2 (or whatever) though. I can't imagine there won't be major lessons learned in a short space of time once these are out in the 'wild'.


Jan 8, 2009
Really looking for any excuse to buy one of these right now.. ATM there is nothing that looks remotely worthwhile IMO


Oct 3, 2009
I have a early Rift preorder but I still haven't been charged yet. Really debating on canceling it and putting in a preorder for the Vive instead. Wasn't really looking to spend ~$900, but having the motion controllers included on day 1 seems like a game changer. Also seems like it gives me more options when it comes to developing a VR game.

Oculus hasn't given me a whole lot of confidence that the Touch controllers will be out anytime soon. Think I will wait for a few more reviews before canceling my Rift preorder to see how the Vive stacks up.


Nov 23, 2013
Musing more about the foot tracking issue from the other thread... I think it would be possible to make a passable solution that wouldn't require special shoes. Take an ankle ring lighthouse solution and merge it with an IMU that affixes to the back heel area or lacing area of any shoe. The IMU attached to the shoe is connected to the ankle bracelet by a small detachable cable.

The ankle bracelet provides absolute spacial lock and rotational measurements around the axis of the leg. The IMU on the shoe would provide a measurement of the vertical angle of the foot in relation to the leg by providing a differential measurement between its measurement and the ankle's. Should be damn near as good as an actual shoe, and would be a hell of a lot cheaper to manufacture as it'd be close to one size fits all.


Oct 1, 2006
Excited to see how the launch goes, as for me VIVE seems to be heading in the direction I'm most interested in seeing VR head in.

Won't personally be jumping in until the dust settles and we're onto VIVE V2 (or whatever) though. I can't imagine there won't be major lessons learned in a short space of time once these are out in the 'wild'.
I agree actually, but to be fair they have been "in the wild" for a lot of developers for some time now.

Still, obviously the number of people experimenting with this stuff will explode.


Neo Member
Oct 29, 2015
New Orleans
To anyone that pre-ordered and hasn't gotten their shipping, consider watching TribalInstints' twitch stream tomorrow. He's playing through ~25 of the launch titles, and got close to 60 keys from devs to give out.

He won a Pre in an Intel contest, and streams pretty consistently to show off the software. So if you don't get to spend tomorrow training to be a space pirate, you can maybe snag something extra to play when your Vive finally does arrive.

EDIT: Link to his channel. Stream goes live tomorrow around 9AM PST.
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