HTC Vive Hands-On

When we found out that there were doing live demonstrations of the HTC Vive just down the road from us in Leeds it was only a matter of time before we headed over there. We'd heard tales of how busy the event was, and of queues over the weekend so we got up bright and early and shot down the motorway to get there as close to opening time as we could. 

It was very quiet, which was great. Both number one son and myself had a good go at all the demos. My favourite was the Google painting program which was amazing. On the way down in the car we had discussed all the ways that the experience could be horrible. Poor tracking, slow updates, dodgy display, etc etc.

There was none of that. It just worked. Even over glasses. I could just about make out the individual dots in the display, which surprised me, but once I started moving around in a fully realised 3D environment I completely forgot about that.

It wasn't until after we'd finished that we remembered that there was a complete absence of any queasiness from either of us. The thing just works. The environments that we were in were a bit "cartoony", which is probably because the detail is dialled down a bit to keep the refresh rate up, but they were real. And the sensation of walking around in another world was very well realised.

The experience was quite unlike the Hololens that I tried last year. That device can overlay virtual elements onto your view of the environment. The Vive just makes a completely new one. Both systems have their place, and both work really well. 

Number one son ordered a Vive there and then. Me, I've got to buy a PC first as this kit requires some fairly hairy hardware to drive it. But I'm very tempted.