HTC Vive: In Depth Review

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Comfort:

I have some experience with VR headsets.  I own the Oculus DK1, GearVR and now the HTC Vive.  I’ve also used the Oculus Rift Retail headset as well.  Of the 4 that I have tried I can say the Vive definitely isn’t the lightest of them or the most comfortable, but it isn’t uncomfortable by any means.
20161109_124401The headset rests just around your T-zone (above eyebrows and on cheek bones.)  and actually doesn’t rest on your nose at all which assists in keeping the mass of the headset from feeling too fatiguing, although there is a bit of pressure along the cheek bones from it. The spongy foam could have been something more plush as it sucks up sweat like…well, like a sponge.  I’m not sure a leather/faux leather face rest would be better from the device, but it would feel better on the skin over long usage.

In terms of long term use, for me personally, it hasn’t caused too much eye strain when playing games that are developed for the platform.  What does that mean? Well, the average consumer is going to be downloading games design specifically for the headset from Steam, which, when it works, works beautifully and is an all purpose environment, but for those more adventurous there is the ability to play a bunch of your older games using software such as VorpX.  VorpX is a driver/Frontend utility that adds head tracking and stereoscopic 3D to games such as Borderlands 2, Dirt 3, and many more.  What does this have to do with comfort? I’m glad you asked… because some games, due to them not being made with VR in mind, has motion that can cause motion sickness and pretty heavy eye-strain after even just a few minutes of use.  While Borderlands 2 with @justinp “BeefSquatch” was really funny in VR, I wasn’t able to play for more than 45min at most.  I don’t get motion sick, but my head was starting to hurt from the eye-strain.

The long, thick, single cord coming out of the headset is pretty long, could be longer, honestly, but it really isn’t too short.  After a little while you get used to step over it or moving it with your foot, but it does remind you that you are in a game which pulls you out of any immersion the game is engulfing you in, so I suggest some sort of hanger to keep it off the ground if possible.

Ultimately, it feels fine, once the lenses are dialed in the eye strain is minimal, and depending on the software it can be played for decent amounts of time without to much wear on your body.

Also… the Matrix is all around us:

 

 

 

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