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Feature Article

HTC Vive Pro Review: Paying For The Privilege

The high price of higher definition.

HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR brought us virtual reality gaming back in 2016. While software has matured at a steady pace over the last two years, VR hardware has remained the same for the most part, until now. Strapping on the ergonomically refined HTC Vive Pro opens your eyes to a perceptible step forward in visual fidelity for VR gaming. Unfortunately, these enhancements come at a hefty price that make it a product reserved for the most demanding VR enthusiasts.

Look Good, Feel Good

What makes the Vive Pro so noteworthy is the higher resolution of its dual OLED displays. Going from a combined resolution of 2160x1200 (1080x1200 per eye) on the original HMD to 2880x1600 (1440x1600 per eye) of the Vive Pro significantly refines the visual quality of any VR game. The simple bump in resolution translates to a much sharper image; small details like foliage, vegetation, and tree leaves look like fitting pieces to the graphical puzzle rather than fuzzy textures that fill up spaces, which was immediately noticeable when playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR. And when a game environment heavily relies on a number of these objects to create a more lively, lush world, the absence of jaggies is both immediately apparent and much appreciated. Even the barren wasteland of Fallout 4 VR benefits from the resolution bump as building interiors and abandoned towns felt a bit less artificial. By swapping between the original Vive HMD and the Vive Pro multiple times in different scenarios for each game we played, the improvement was evident.

The simple bump in resolution translates to a much sharper image; small details like foliage, vegetation, and tree leaves look like fitting pieces to the graphical puzzle rather than fuzzy textures that fill up spaces...

In-game text is also much more clear. Navigating menus and reading prompts is significantly easier as you spend less time trying to get the right focus on text in virtual reality. By nature of VR projecting images so close to your eyes, graphical blemishes come to the forefront, so for the Vive Pro to reduce aliasing to great effect alleviates some of those flaws. Again, these enhancements are due to the increased resolution; don't expect better textures, lighting, or character models.

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The Necessary Power To Go Pro

Higher resolution isn't without its drawbacks, though. Like with any game, increasing resolution is going to demand more performance from your PC. With Vive, it's absolutely crucial to maintain the 90 frames per second that the 90Hz displays offer. Because of this, HTC raised the minimum and recommended PC specs to use the Vive Pro. When it comes to your GPU, you'll need at least a GTX 1060 or RX 480, but the recommendation for an optimal experience is either a GTX 1070 or RX Vega 56. CPU and memory requirements remain the same, so you're in the clear running at least an Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 and 4GB+ of RAM.

To get the most out of the Vive Pro, you should really have the recommended specs or higher.

While were spent most of our time on the Vive Pro using a system equipped with the top-end GTX 1080 Ti GPU and an Intel Core i7-6700K, we tested the new HMD with a 6GB GTX 1060 to make sure the minimum spec is enough for games like Fallout 4 VR--sadly, even with graphics settings turned down, we often had missed frames throughout our time playing it, monitored via Steam's displayed frame timings and missed frame notifications. We didn't have this issue with Skyrim VR on medium settings and native resolution. Raw Data ran just fine with a few missed frames on rare occasions, and didn't hinder the experience. But, to get the most out of the Vive Pro, you should really have the recommended specs or higher. Otherwise, that higher resolution would be all for naught if graphical compromises need to be made to run a smooth framerate.

As Comfortable As Vive Gets

A comfortable framerate is one thing, physical comfort is another--and the Vive Pro's stock head strap is on point. With a form-fitting facepad around the HMD and dense foam on the back of the strap, the Vive Pro provides enough comfort for long sessions. Also, its seamless design has the head strap moving as one piece. The top is made up of an adjustable velcro strap, while the back consists of an easy-to-use dial that loosens and tightens the whole thing, similar to the PSVR. Not only does this design make it extraordinarily simple to put on and take off, but it provides balanced weight distribution--no longer does HTC's headset have that nagging front-heavy feel.

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In addition to impressive comfort, the head strap comes with built-in on-ear headphones. These don't exactly have the clarity of high-grade audio equipment, but they pack enough thumping bass, and there's minimal distortion for high and mid frequencies. Accurate positional audio is also a highlight, which is a necessity for the VR experience. One drawback is that the headphones won't sit perfectly flush on everyone's ears, which can compromise sound isolation.

Shelling Out The Dough

One of the most intimidating factors with VR is the cost of entry; price drops from all the leading platforms have certainly lowered the barrier, but unfortunately, the Vive Pro abandons the trend entirely. For $800 USD / £800 GBP / €880 EU / $1,200 AUD, you're only getting the upgraded HMD with the new breakout box. That's it. The Vive Pro does not come with the Vive controllers or the two required base station sensors. Those who have yet to hop on the Vive ecosystem will be shelling out a pretty penny for the necessary equipment. This essentially posits the Vive Pro solely as an upgrade for those who already own the original headset. Even then, that price tag is a lot to ask.

As great as the Vive Pro is, you won't miss out on any games or functions that you don't already get with the original Vive.

Verdict

With Vive Pro, HTC is raising the bar for VR gaming headsets; the benefits of its higher resolution are undeniable. Along with an improved head strap for better comfort and weight distribution, it seems the Vive Pro is a clear win for HTC. However, the high price may make it cost-prohibitive for VR newcomers, especially because of the incomplete package. This is very much for the VR enthusiast with a high-end PC who wants the latest and greatest hardware regardless of the price tag, which is further reinforced by the fact that minimum specs won't cut it for more graphically demanding games. If you don't fall into the category, there isn't enough to warrant a Vive Pro as it stands. As great as the Vive Pro is, you won't miss out on any games or functions that you don't already get with the original Vive.

The GoodThe Bad
+ Higher resolution translates to a noticeable improvement in visual clarity- Expensive, especially if you don't have the original Vive package
+ Improved ergonomics; more comfortable to wear and better weight distribution- Doesn't offer enough over the original Vive to warrant the price
+ Built-in headphones produce decent audio quality- Will need to upgrade your PC if you use the minimum specs of the original Vive
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Michael Higham

Associate Editor at GameSpot. Southeast San Diego to the Bay. Salamat sa iyong suporta!
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Iemander

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Edited By Iemander  Online

The jump is too small imo

You pay 1000$, you have a little bit more clarity, a little bit more comfort. You'll love it for a week. And then you'll forget the improvement was there to begin with and complain about something else.

The improvement from Oculus Rift to Vive was huge with possibility for full motion tracking. But this? Just graphics does not define what vr is great at

I'll keep my current vive

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xantufrog

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@Iemander: I think the difference actually makes a big... difference. But I agree - the price is just off the hook, even for a good upgrade. One review I read suggested "maybe if it included the wireless tech they were demoing bundled in for the price" - that sounds fair to me

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naryanrobinson

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I really just find it hard to see VR going anywhere.

An explosion in popularity is basically impossible.

The financial barrier for entry is insanely high. Only really the gamers who can afford a GTX 1080 are the audience for this. Factor in the fact that interest may die, and the extra space necessary, and all the tricky setup, and the removed social aspect, and the massive degradation in control, and the limited genres suited to the tech, and the discomfort factor, and the people who wear glasses, etc., and the nausea and motion sickness problems, and tiny library of games, and the split exclusives across Vive and Rift, god the list just goes on and on.

I just can't see it doing any better than merely treading water.

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Blueberry_Bandit

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@naryanrobinson: The barrier to entry will get much better with newer headsets. Once headsets start adapting eye-tracking with foveated rendering, even a $300 PC would be able to run it.

Space requirements are not that big. All you need is something close to 1x1m to play almost all games.

The setup process is getting easier with inside-out tracking in Windows MR headsets meaning no more camera setup, and once wireless is built in, it will just be plug and play.

You are somewhat removed from your physical environment socially if you're not playing an asymmetrical VR game, but you gain social presence that is otherwise impossible, making it the most social platform to have ever existed. Just look at VRChat and Ready Player One.

There are no limits to genres in VR, except for 2D. Everything else works, and there will be lots of new genres as well.

The Vive / PSVR supports glasses users reasonably well and future headsets will certainly get better in that regard.

Motion Sickness problems are overblown. Most people can get past it asumming they get it in the first place. There are also ways to avoid it completely or significantly reduce it from a game design perspective. Improved refresh rates will help this as well.

The library of games is getting better with more quality titles releasing, and the big hitters are still yet to come, but are in development.

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naryanrobinson

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@blueberry_bandit: “The barrier to entry will get much better with newer headsets.”

That's assuming it'll survive that long. These companies have had to drop the prices again and again as their sales expectations constantly fail to be met. That's to say, it's already become cheaper, to the point that they're probably making a loss, and it hasn't done the trick. If it does become popular, the price is more likely to go back up to normal.

“All you need is something close to 1x1m to play almost all games.”

If your desk is up against a wall and there's no other place it can be, stretching out your arms may not be possible. Also many VR sets are still using wires, which obviously has its own problems when you can't see.

“you gain social presence that is otherwise impossible”

While that's true, what you're replacing it with simply can never compare to seeing your friends sitting beside you with your eyes, and hearing them with your ears, and laughing about what you're both looking at from the same perspective, even if you're not playing. It'll never be something to break out at parties, as it's an inherently introverted activity. Whoever plays is cut off from those around them.

“Everything else works, and there will be lots of new genres as well.”

Actually there's plenty of genres which would be crippled playing in VR. Who's going to choose to play FIFA in VR? Or DmC in VR? Or Forza in VR? Yes, it's technically possible, but the fact is, if you're not using a gamepad, you're at a massive disadvantage. No one wants to play like that. As for the new genres, well, only first-person and RTS really work from that perspective. Otherwise it's not really VR, it's just a TV strapped to your head. How many different ways can you spin first person? Not that many. FPS and FPA, and that's about it. And who wants to play an RTS without a mouse?

“Motion Sickness problems are overblown.”

Overblown if you don't have them maybe. I personally only know one guy who has this hardware, and he needs to lie down for 10 minutes after only 30 minutes. OK so it's not a large sample size, but it's a real problem. Even if only 20% of people get sick, that's another cut of 1/5th of your market.

“The library of games is getting better with more quality titles releasing, and the big hitters are still yet to come, but are in development.”

Extremely big hitters like Skyrim and Fallout 4 have already retooled themselves extensively for use with VR, and it kinda works, but it's not shifting the masses. The vast majority of people just want to play the game, and not actively have to think about how to draw their bow or walk forward.

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Blueberry_Bandit

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@naryanrobinson:"That's assuming it'll survive that long. These companies have had to drop the prices again and again as their sales expectations constantly fail to be met."

That isn't true. Every company has had their sales targets met, and all of them are fully expecting a slow rollout because that's how all technology works.

"While that's true, what you're replacing it with simply can never compare to seeing your friends sitting beside you with your eyes, and hearing them with your ears, and laughing about what you're both looking at from the same perspective, even if you're not playing. It'll never be something to break out at parties, as it's an inherently introverted activity. Whoever plays is cut off from those around them."

It's not meant to be an outright replacement. But most people connect with the majority of their friends and family at distances, not in person. This now makes it much more comparable to being in person. That last statement is also incorrect, because VR has shown time and time again that it's a great party tool with people taking turns and having fun watching reactions. Not to mention that there are asymmetrical VR games.

"Actually there's plenty of genres which would be crippled playing in VR. Who's going to choose to play FIFA in VR? Or DmC in VR? Or Forza in VR? Yes, it's technically possible, but the fact is, if you're not using a gamepad, you're at a massive disadvantage. No one wants to play like that. As for the new genres, well, only first-person and RTS really work from that perspective. Otherwise it's not really VR, it's just a TV strapped to your head. How many different ways can you spin first person? Not that many. FPS and FPA, and that's about it. And who wants to play an RTS without a mouse?"

Fifa would work with foot and leg tracking which isn't far off. However it would need a full reconsideration of how the mechanics work, but the genre itself (sport) would remain intact, and there have been a bunch of VR sports games already. DMC is a hack and slash which has proven to work in VR with games like Vanishing Realms, though it wouldn't be as fast-paced, it's still the same genre. Or you could adapt the game in 3rd person and keep the same fast-paced gameplay. Forza in VR is something many people are asking for. Racing is objectively better in VR.

Brass Tactics is an RTS that works very well in VR.

So as you can see, all genres can work, and even 3rd person games can feel brilliant in VR. Just look at Moss as an example. There is nothing that VR can't do for a genre, except 2D.

"Overblown if you don't have them maybe. I personally only know one guy who has this hardware, and he needs to lie down for 10 minutes after only 30 minutes. OK so it's not a large sample size, but it's a real problem. Even if only 20% of people get sick, that's another cut of 1/5th of your market."

That will depend on the game in question. Certain games will not cause motion sickness.

"Extremely big hitters like Skyrim and Fallout 4 have already retooled themselves extensively for use with VR, and it kinda works, but it's not shifting the masses. The vast majority of people just want to play the game, and not actively have to think about how to draw their bow or walk forward."

Those are ports though. The true big hitters will need to be made for VR, and they are on their way, with Valve's 3 VR games, Respawn Entertainment's AAA FPS, and whatever Oculus / Sony are cooking up.

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naryanrobinson

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Edited By naryanrobinson

@blueberry_bandit: I'm going to stop this debate right here, because now you're simply lying. For what reason I'm not sure, but you are.

“That isn't true. Every company has had their sales targets met”

It was all over the news that Oculus wasn't meeting sales expectations. HTC was having the same trouble, which is why both companies permanently dropped the price of their product. Companies do not do that when things are selling well.

You're being intellectually dishonest, so I'm not going to engage any further.

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Blueberry_Bandit

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Edited By Blueberry_Bandit

@naryanrobinson: "For what reason I'm not sure, but you are." That just shows that you can't come up with a response, so you seem to think that I can't possibly be right.

"It was all over the news that Oculus wasn't meeting sales expectations. HTC was having the same trouble, which is why both companies permanently dropped the price of their product. Companies do not do that when things are selling well."

It doesn't matter what the news says, that's irrelevant. They only base things off analysts, which don't matter. What matters is what the companies are doing, and whether their internal projections are being met. They are all being met, and we have proof of this.

Oculus Rift is only meant to sell a few hundred thousand units, up to a maximum of 1 million over it's entire lifetime. This has been said multiple times before it even launched.

I can show you all the statistics if you'd like, which back up all of my points.

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naryanrobinson

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Edited By naryanrobinson

@blueberry_bandit: Sure, let's have them. Bearing in mind that they've already had to lower the price twice to get to where they are now. That's not based on analysts. That's objective fact. But sure, let's see them anyway.

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Blueberry_Bandit

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Edited By Blueberry_Bandit

@naryanrobinson:

Oculus expects their product to reach 1 million sales: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/06/oculus-expects-to-sell-north-of-a-million-units-for-first-consumer-rift/

Mark Zuckerberg expects Rift to sell in the hundreds of thousands:

https://venturebeat.com/2015/11/04/zuckerberg-early-oculus-rift-sales-will-be-small-just-like-palm-smartphones/

"In that first year, Blackberry and Palm Treo both sold around only a few hundreds of thousands of units.

And that’s how we think about [VR].”

Vive: https://uploadvr.com/htc-vive-gm-happy-sales-met-targets/

PSVR Hundreds of Thousands: https://uploadvr.com/sony-playstation-vr-sales-many-hundreds-thousands/

PSVR initial sales target was too low: https://youtu.be/MX97aycXvPQ?t=1135

"Are you optimistic that this thing is going to meet your targets for the year?"

"Well we had an internal target that we realized was too small.

That was the reason we pushed back the launch from the first half"

General sales expectations for VR: https://www.roadtovr.com/what-vr-headset-makers-not-analysts-have-actually-said-about-sales-expectations/

Sony announces 2 million PSVR sales, a figure they are happy with, exceeding their expectations: http://www.sie.com/en/corporate/release/2017/171207.html

You always need to ignore what analysts say, because they are guessing, and believe me, they are usually way off. I remember SuperData said that 88 million Google Cardboards shipped in 2016. Later on, Google announced they had shipped 10 million. SuperData was also the anaylst that said PSVR would sell 2.6 million in 2016. That was way more than Sony had manufactured.

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naryanrobinson

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Edited By naryanrobinson

@blueberry_bandit:

So the first link, about the Rift, says very clearly that they've had to scale back expectations again and again to arrive at an expectation that could be met. That's right in the first paragraph. This is little more than them saying they hope they don't die. It's guesswork, and not particularly optimistic gueswork at that.

The second link you've sent me is just Mark Zuckerberg guesswork/speculation. Oculus cut the price of their product more than any of the competition. Zuckerberg's predictions were evidently not Oculus's expectations, or they wouldn't have gotten it so wrong.

The third link you've sent me about the Vive, has HTC saying they're selling well, but totally refusing to prove how many they've sold, or even say what their expectations were. This is useless.

The second last link is a story about SuperData and how bad they are. They may well be, but every analytics firm says VR isn't meeting expectations. You don't get to paint all analytics firms just because one of them is bad at its job.

PSVR selling 2 million units is not a significant number at all if you're talking about securing the future of VR. 2 million is hardly a drop in the bucket. Less than a single percentage point of all PC and console gamers combined, and this is the only actual “statistic” you brought me.

This is seriously what you bring to the table? You said you had “proof” of what you were saying, but you bring me PR bobbleheads saying, “Everything's fine. No further questions.”

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Blueberry_Bandit

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Edited By Blueberry_Bandit

@naryanrobinson: You're misinterpreting that article. He's scaled back outsiders expectations. Expectations from the media and people like you who expect impossible sales numbers. Mark Zuckerberg has talked about how the best selling early smartphones sold in the hundreds of thousands. This is how every technology works. The first PCs from the 1970s only sold a few hundreds of thousands; the same can be said for consoles and tablets.

"They may well be, but every analytics firm says VR isn't meeting expectations."

As I said previously, all analysts have gotten things wrong by wide margins. You can't use them as a base for anything because this isn't just one analyst, this applies to all analysts when it comes to VR.

It seems to me that you need to educate yourself on how technology works. You can't expect individual VR units to sell 10 million units a year out of the gate, it takes many years for technology to reach that. Look up the history of technology, look up the gartner hype cycle, and see for yourself that VR is on a similar growth pattern to all the other big tech mediums like PCs, Smartphones, Consoles, Tablets.

It's as if you don't want to hear anything positive about VR, even when all of it is factual.

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Edited By naryanrobinson

@blueberry_bandit: It doesn't matter what Zuckerberg said. What matters is what Oculus did, and Oculus got their pricing wrong on multiple occasions, because they radically overestimated demand. Objective fact right there. No one made Oculus drop their prices multiple times. You're in denial. They got it wrong. Time to face facts.

“As I said previously, all analysts have gotten things wrong by wide margins. You can't use them as a base for anything because this isn't just one analyst, this applies to all analysts when it comes to VR.”

And when you have proof of what you're talking about, then we can talk. As of now though, you're just fabricating reality as you'd like it. “All the professionals are wrong and I'm right!" You can say it as many times as you like, it'll still be baseless the millionth time.

“It seems to me that you need to educate yourself on how technology works.”

And it seems to me you need to educate yourself on how debates work. Step 1: You bring proof of what you're saying. Step 2: You get taken seriously. Man, your “proof” was a total no-show. Your statistics were non-existent. Your arguments were made-up, and your credibility is in free fall. You told me you had evidence. You brought me nothing but yes-men and fuzzy sentiments, and now you're trying to change the topic. I wish I could help you save face on this one so you didn't feel like you have to keep beating this dead horse into the ground, but you're giving me nothing to work with here. You'll just have to learn to let your pride go on this one. Anyone can see the argument is clearly over. I'm out.

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Blueberry_Bandit

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@naryanrobinson: Oculus got their pricing wrong, yes. But that is irrelevant. All that means is their sales target gets higher which only strengthens the position that VR is in, something that will upset you I presume.

I'm not going to find all the anaylsts predictions; you can do that yourself and see that they were all way off base.

Here I am providing statistics and quotes, yet you have yet to provide anything yourself, and all your initial claims in the original post have been counteracted, yet you don't seem to want to touch on anything but one of those, being sales figures.

VR is moving at a standard pace, and most of the issues you brought up are non-issues in a few years. You might hate VR, but it will do good for the industry even if you refuse to use it.

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Edited By tonyleo01

@naryanrobinson: More and more efforts and tremendous amount of investment are being shifted toward VR and mixed reality experience everywhere you look if you are in the industry--- entertainment or otherwise.

I'm not going to lie. The stipulation is pretty steep right now. But people have paid a lot more for less to have certain experience. I can only see that the technology will get better and cheaper. well, not for Vive Pro and HTC apparently...

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tonyleo01

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yeah I was wondering about the 1060 requirement if that would have sufficed and sure enough it's not. I wouldn't touch this headset unless I have the hardware (and very deep pocket) that can push for the maximum fidelity of most experience. Otherwise, what's the point.

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deactivated-5b5dcc8ab71f9

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@lonesamurai1: is that a ps4 exclusive?

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Edited By dwbtd

@fivepercent: No – plus it's also not in VR on PS4. Pick it up on PC if you want to race in VR.

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deactivated-5b5dcc8ab71f9

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@dwbtd: Thanks man

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dwbtd

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@fivepercent: No worries, have fun. FYI Assetto Corsa and a bunch of other race games are also VR on the PC. I'm saving my pennies for a setup.

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deactivated-5b5dcc8ab71f9

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@dwbtd: VR on PC does seem the way to go for a good experience, but do you think VR is another fad soon to die off or is there going to be continued support?

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dwbtd

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@fivepercent: It's near-impossible to tell how much longevity and support VR will have in the long-term, but I think the tech and market is finally there where this stuff has traction. The re-commitment from Sony (and more importantly, developers) to the PSVR is very promising.

I know personally that the PSVR has been a very worthwhile purchase. I've found PC VR to be still a bit too expensive and gated-off (particularly if you are like me and need a new video card to get into it) even though the experience and quality is better. I'm tempted to wait on PC VR for a while longer to see where the hardware side goes, but you arguably get your best experience there, depending on your space & taste.

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@dwbtd: I'd have to spring for a new video card too and the thing about that is they're still HIGH. Another $500 for Vive, so it will set me back at least 1k not wanting to commit that much to VR just yet. I'll look into PSVR since they just made a perm price cut. Thanks again

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@fivepercent: Best of luck! I do always recommend to anyone wondering about VR to try it out before they buy, if possible. You don't want a shiny new VR headset only to find that every experience makes you feel sick.

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Dilandau88

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Need actual good games... all these tech demos and gimmicks aren’t going to convince people.

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Pyrosa

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@Dilandau88: Skyrim and Fallout 4 were great games... Which actually proves your point. Everyone already played them.

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ASnakeNeverDies

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Edited By ASnakeNeverDies

@Pyrosa: Fallout 4 is decent with its quest structure and companion dynamics, things which were at least new for Bethesda.

Skyrim, on the other hand, could only be considered great if thought of as a modding platform. The vanilla game is insultingly mediocre in every other regard IMO.

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Scooooter

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Edited By Scooooter

You can get the same visual quality for much less with the Samsung Odyssey. $400 on sale nets you the same OLED panels and everything required to play. Sure, the tracking isn't quite as good and I'll bet the Pro is more comfortable, but if you don't already own a Vive or aren't willing to pony up $1200+ it's the way to go. Source: I own an Odyssey and a Vive.

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tonyleo01

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Edited By tonyleo01

@scooooter: Tracking is not that bad. The one cable (split to usb and HDMI) solution and minimal room scale setup required are the most attractive features about these Windows Mixed Reality headsets to me.

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Genji_Shimada

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@scooooter: That's exactly what I was thinking.

I was going to purchase one, but honestly I know it's going to collect dust for me. $400 is cheap and a good price, but I won't really use it. If it ever goes on sale I'll definitely look into grabbing one.

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videogameninja

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Edited By videogameninja  Online

Obviously this new HTC Vive withstanding, it's amazing how quickly these VR headset devices are coming down in price from just a few short years ago but then ago that's the way of technology. I still think we are in the advent of this new VR craze but I wouldn't be surprised if in another 2 or 3 years it finally takes off.

I think VR made some headway late last year with the release of titles like Doom and Fallout.

What's going to get VR into gamers hands is going to be...

1: Must have "step over your own grandmother just to get" games.

2: Price, Price, Price!

-VR DEPRECIATION NINJA APPROVED-

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TrueLink

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@videogameninja: Skyrim and Fallout are great, so are Resident Evil 7, DiRT Rally, and the recent update to WipEout Omega Collection. But VR needs some system seller titles that are only available on VR and not just best played in VR.

And I'm not saying that there aren't tons of a great VR games out there, there are. But they need something big that scratches a mass itch and can't be gotten elsewhere.

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gfantini

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@TrueLink: It's on the way. VR was always meant to be a slow burn.

We saw the first wave of titles in 2016, with a bunch of tech demos, simple VR only experiences and a few adaptations of smaller games.

Then we got the second wave in 2017: VR only games that felt more substantial and adaptations of big AAA titles.

And now we witness the third wave: pretty good games like Moss and Sprint Vector that clearly demonstrate how developers are getting to grips with the tech. And upcoming games like Ace Combat 7 could be groundbreaking in VR.

Besides Valve and Facebook, I'm sure Sony has some high caliber studios working on big titles for PS5 + PSVR2. By then, the market will be quite mature and the installed base will be big enough to justify the investment. It's gonna be awesome.

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TrueLink

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@gfantini: I would consider most 2017 titles to still be first wave. For most studios, they were their first titles and a lot of focus had to go on "how can we get this to work" instead of "what can we do with this." Plus those games were mostly in development in 2016.

To me, games like Moss and Sprint Vector are the second generation because the base technical work has been done and baked into engines. When I asked developers of early games, like Rebellion Games, what their biggest hurdles were, they would say things like getting turning to work at the right speed -- base level hardware stuff that you might not think about. When I asked Polyarc Games, they said all of that was already in Unreal Engine when they started.

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gfantini

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@TrueLink: Yes, that makes perfect sense from a technical standpoint.

I guess I referring to "waves" more from a market point of view. I mean, if my memory is accurate, we didn't get any AAA games in 2016. They mostly came about a year after release. It kinda feels like a second wave, but it's definitely first-gen techwise.

But at the end of the day, it's probably more like a ramp than a staircase as of now. Which may become a significant slope by the time PSVR2 launches.

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Blueberry_Bandit

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@TrueLink: Luckily there are 4 potential titles in the works that could be killer apps for VR. Respawn Entertainment's AAA VR FPS launching in 2019, and Valve's 3 VR games.

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