Oculus CV1 & HTC Vive Virtual Reality Test Drive

Earlier this month, we attended an exclusive NVIDIA event in Singapore. The event started with a briefing on how NVIDIA was going to deliver near real-time ray tracing to the masses, with a demo of that capability on an NVIDIA Shield tablet.

As a bonus, we were also given the opportunity to try out not only the Oculus CV1, but also the HTC Vive, virtual reality headsets. As the software being demonstrated was still under embargo, we could not take any pictures of the display. But we still managed to take videos and pictures of the experience. Check them out!

 

The Oculus CV1

This is likely the same Oculus CV1 + Xbox 360 controller setup they used at E3. We had a few minutes to try out some of the titles they prepared – Edge of Nowhere, EVE Valkyrie, AirMech VR, etc.

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The experience was amazing although we can see that virtual reality is still not ready for prime time. The Oculus CV1 still did not have sufficiently high resolution to be really immersive. The headset itself, while reasonably light, was still cumbersome and it can get a little steamy inside. Although the cable was not noticeable once you start playing, we like the freedom that a wireless solution like the Samsung Gear VR offers.

The biggest problem was the controller. The Xbox 360 controller was, perhaps, not the best controller for these games. Or maybe I’m just too used to PC gaming. During the test drive, we needed “outside” help to realign our orientation. Perhaps a dedicated button on the headset to realign orientation would be useful.

 

The HTC Vive

NVIDIA set up two rather large HTC Vive booths, each with a HTC Vive headset and a lighthouse system inside. We got to experience a slew of virtual reality experiences and apps over 20 minutes. We also got to try out the Chaperone safety system, which warned us whenever we come close to the wall.

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The HTC Vive was amazing. Although it looks heavy, the headset was quite comfortable. It was immersive and fun to use. The controllers were quite intuitive to use although they obviously do not allow for precise control. The Chaperone system also worked very well, warning us when we approached a wall.

However, we were a little frustrated by the cumbersome cabling. Even if you don’t actually trip over the cables, you “feel” them get in the way when you walk all over the room. That kind of disrupted the experience.

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