HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset

Brand: HTC
Manufacturer: HTC Virtual Reality System
Model: 99HALN002-00
EAN: 0821793048853
Category: #5264 in Video Game (Electronics Features)
Price: $719.00  (127 customer reviews)
Dimension: 9.00 x 18.40 x 13.10 inches
Shipping Wt: 7.55 pounds. FREE Shipping (Details)
Availability: In Stock.
Average Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Product Description

 VIVE gives you an unparalleled, true-to-life virtual reality experience. Using a headset and wireless controllers, you can explore and interact with VR experiences, apps and games that blur the line between imagination and reality. From AAA games to unforgettable experiences, there are over 2500 apps and games available for VIVE.

Headset Specs

  • Screen: Dual AMOLED 3.6’’ diagonal

  • Resolution: 1080 x 1200 pixels per eye (2160 x 1200 pixels combined)

  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz

  • Field of view: 110 degrees

  • Safety features: Chaperone play area boundaries and front-facing camera

  • Sensors: SteamVR Tracking, G-sensor, gyroscope, proximity

  • Connections: HDMI, USB 2.0, stereo 3.5 mm headphone jack, Power, Bluetooth

  • Input: Integrated microphone

  • Eye Relief: Interpupillary distance and lens distance adjustment

Controller specs

  • Sensors: SteamVR Tracking

  • Input: Multifunction trackpad, Grip buttons, dual-stage trigger, System button, Menu button

  • Use per charge: Approx. 6 hours

  • Connections: Micro-USB charging port

Features

  • FLEXIBLE PLAY AREA - Use VIVE seated, standing or in a space up to 11'5" x 11'5". SteamVR Tracking provides the most ideal experience possible, so play the way that works for you.
  • FULLY IMMERSIVE - Realistic movement and actions from precise, 360-degree controller and headset tracking with realistic graphics, directional audio and HD haptic feedback in the virtual world
  • POWERED BY STEAM VR - Enjoy over 1500 games for SteamVR, plus everything you love about Steam, including new releases, automatic game updates and millions of your closest friends
  • PLAY SAFER - The Chaperone system warns you when you reach the boundaries of your play area and the headset's front-facing camera gives you a glimpse of the real-world when you need it
  • VIVE VIDEO - An immersive, cinematic VR video player for standard, 3D, 180 and 360 degree videos. Available free on VIVEPORT and Steam.
  • VIVEPORT INFINITY – Get 2 months of unlimited VR play of 700+ games & apps. Code included in box.

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Top Reviews

The Second Best Decision You Could Make
by Wil Schroter (4 out of 5 stars)
May 13, 2018

I own both the HTC Vive original model and the Vive Pro. You're reading this because you're trying to figure out which one to buy - the Vive original that's just over $400 or the Pro which is .. a lot more.

Short version - if you're new to VR and you're worried the Vive Original isn't good enough - it is. At $400+ it's a steal. You get so much value for what's an introduction price to typical consoles that you really can't go wrong. If you're waffling on your decision, go with the Original and you'll be a happy camper.

For those of you, like me, who are constantly asking "But what if this 'Pro' model is so much better?". It's nice - it's just not "Holy cow I'm so happy I blew my paycheck" nice.

Undoubtedly you've read the professional reviews so here's the non-professional review - the kind of advice you wished your best friend would just give you. They did everything right with this headset. It's more comfortable, the resolution chops down on the "screen door effect" that the pixelated original feels like, and it just feels like a more polished experience overall. Even the remote camera sensors are a bit sleeker.

The problem with this generation of VR is just that they can't deliver a "retina like" experience anywhere close to the price point consumers are willing to pay. So while the Vive Pro is better, we're still 2-3 years away from getting an experience that doesn't feel compromised.

You're still dealing with the issue of having to look dead straight to get the picture to resolve correctly. You can still see pixels, albeit fewer. The headset is still a bit wonky and heavy. It's still Gen 1 VR. Think of this as the Iphone S model upgrade where it's a bit better, but you're still a generation behind.

So I'd leave the decision tree like this -
1. Just testing VR and want to see if it's legit? Buy the Original
2. Totally enamored with VR and can appreciate a subtle improvement. Buy the Pro.

VR is amazing - and I say that as a total cynic. Even though there are only a handful of games out they are so immersive that it doesn't matter. Don't think of it like playing console or PC games. In this cases while the graphics are always getting better, the experience is the same. In the case of VR, even games I've played an unreasonable amount of hours on (like Fallout 4) on my PC feel like entirely new experiences.

One last caution - VR lasts maybe an hour at a time. After that, it gives you a bit of a headache. It sucks because you want the experience to keep going, but putting blinding screens an inch+ from your eyes for any period of time is gonna add up. Think of it more like a ride at a theme park than an all-night couch dwelling console session.
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Horrible Quality Control and service!
by ITtom81 (1 out of 5 stars)
May 17, 2018

I had previously given this 5 stars and raved about how the upgraded resolution looks. I'm sad to say I have to do a 180 on that review. After less than a month of using my vive Pro it started having various issues across the board. I was getting red, green, blue static dots and both the video and audio would separately go out, or go out together.

I contacted vive support and after going through troubleshooting steps with them that I had already tried on my own they finally agreed to send me a replacement cable to see if that was the issue (this was the link cable that goes from the hmd to the link box). The replacement cable did not fix the issue yet support forced me to do the same troubleshooting steps yet again! Finally they agreed to set it up for repair. So I sent it out AT MY OWN COST and after 3 weeks to a month I got it back, in worse condition than I sent it out in! Now all I get is flashing light and never see or hear ANYTHING!

So let me ask you what kind of company charges $800 for something that NEVER works right, has you go through painstaking steps before agreeing to let YOU pay to send it to them and then sends it back to you even more broken than it was before?! I currently have an email out to HTC about this and am waiting to hear back. I will update this review if HTC turns this situation around for me and gets me a working vive pro but as of now it has been one of if not the worst experience I've ever had with a consumer electronic!
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Horrible...
by Andrei C (2 out of 5 stars)
October 9, 2018

I own the original VIVE headset since it debuted a couple of years ago. I decided to buy the PRO version for business, because of all the positive reviews about its reliability and increased resolution.

Set-up: overall, it was pretty bad. I've read the stories about the long setup process that the PRO headset requires. I chose not to believe them, because I thought of myself as a pretty experienced person with VR. After all, I have the original VIVE and know how to deal with software updates and troubleshoot issues.

Well, friends, I was wrong. At first everything was fine, as the little program that I downloaded from the HTC website was guiding me through the process. Then I was asked to sign in with the HTC account, so that I can "enjoy" my several months of free membership of their VR store. I googled around, and there was no way of continuing the installation of the headset without the HTC account. DEAR HTC, please don't drag me into your store if I am not interested. As a customer, I don't appreciate the strong-arming. I don't need another store subscription. I know what you are thinking: "he bought the headset, he has the installation running = he is invested deep enough now that he will register for the store account, even if he doesn't really want it." Nice calculus, but I am no longer a happy customer of yours after this kind of treatment.

Long story short, I did register for the HTC account; I singed in with my Steam account. Moving on, the HTC install program did not recognize my USB 3 port as USB 3, no matter how I tried. USB 3 is required for optimum performance of the two cameras on the headset. That's fine, I thought, let's just skip this step. Then the installation program proceeded to download a whole bunch of stuff, including their store program which I did not really need, all in excess of 1 gig. At this point, I felt the process was becoming too involving. I was asked then to update all the software in the headset itself and the controllers. When all was done, at the end of the installation, I began receiving error messages from HTC software trying to sort things out with the Steam store and Steam VR. It was confusing and annoying, like watching two stores - HTC and STEAM - fight it out on my desktop. I also downloaded the latest NVIDIA drivers (I run a 1080 card), and updated windows as well.

Actual Use:

I installed the lighthouses in the same spots where I had the original VIVE lighthouses installed. These things were supposed to be better, so I was pretty excited. Set up Room Scale VR as usual, set AUDIO in Steam VR to HMD, put on the headset and... the word to describe how I felt is "underwhelming." Many reviews say the screen door effect is "almost gone", "barely visible", or even "totally solved." I don't know how much these websites depend on advertising revenue from Steam or HTC, but the screen door effect is - clearly, 100%, in-your-face - there. I wasn't trying to look for it, I just wanted to focus on the image, but the screen door effect was photo-bombing everything just like it does in the original VIVE that was made 2 years ago.

Yes, the headset is more comfortable than the original! And like most reviewers claim, it is a big deal. This is the only positive thing that I can say about the headset.

Performance: With my 1080 card, I did not notice any jitter or frame drops. However, I had a lot of tracking issues where the floor would start flying from underneath me, or I would be pushed into the wall in the VR. I did room set up many many many times, and I adjusted the lighthouses many many many many times, trying all possible angles. I troubleshoot the headset for defective hardware, all was good. Did the setups again, and again received tracking madness. I switched back My original VIVE, and everything worked rock-solid. Then I did some googling, and it is a known issue. It seems, this new VIVE PRO is super-susceptible to issues if there are reflective surfaces nearby. I have several windows in my VR area that I suspect were causing the problem. However, my original VIVE has zero issues with those windows. I thought the VIVE PRO is supposed to be BETTER, right? I mean, more reliable? What's up with this, HTC? How come my original VIVE performs better than your newest PRO version? I bought this for business, I don't have time tinkering with it all the time. My original VIVE seems to be more PRO reliable than this newest, super-expensive, "PRO" version.

In the end, I decided to return VIVE PRO, because it feels like a step backward to me. Even the plastic looks cheap compared to the original version. Same with presentation - the box is horrible. Seems like HTC just doesn't care as much as they cared when they released the original headset. It feels like they were trying to cut costs with this (and charge an arm and a leg at the same time, to make it a winning business strategy).

Here's my recommendation:
- if you have the original VIVE, buy a strap with built-in headphones, and your VIVE will be as comfortable as the new one. The resolution bump sounds impressive on paper, but in real life, you will -barely- notice it. Barely. Wait until HTC gets it game together and produces a truly next generation VR headset. This VIVE PRO is a scam.
- if you don't have any VR headset and want one now; buy the original VIVE if you want superior tracking, plus the wireless add-on, plus the strap with built-in headphones. You will have a superior VR experience, AND save a ton of money that you can put towards the next generation VR when it comes out, spend on a Hawaiian vacation, invest in the stock market, or whatever you want to do with it. VIVE PRO is just too glitchy.

Still feel like you want VIVE PRO? Then read all the horror stories on redit about people spending weeks and months trying to make the tracking work. Google "VIVE Pro tracking issues". Still want to buy it? I totally understand, why believe someone else's experience, when you can witness these problems first-hand? Go ahead and buy it. Amazon has a great return policy.

To those of you who happen to have zero reflective surfaces in or near your VR area, and your PRO is working for you - good for you. I still don't understand how my original VIVE works so flawlessly in same area where this "PRO" version is a total puke-inciting mess. What's going on with you, HTC?
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Regardless of cost, you will absolutely love this. Let me explain why.
by Chris (5 out of 5 stars)
September 28, 2016

It's hard to do bulleted, concise reviews on something like this.. So this will be a little long winded. Stick with me if you can..

If you were like me, you might be a little hesitant about tech like this, because you tried a GEAR VR, or think 3d desktop gaming and 3d movies are kinda of cool, but certainly not worth this kind of investment. Get that out of your head right now. This is COMPLETELY different.

First, let me say that I've never been a huge gamer. I've spent many more hours on my 10 year old Wii than I have on newly released console/computer games.

I enjoy the interaction even if I'm sacrificing graphical beauty.

This system is kind of like a 5th generation Wii. They are really selling the experience more than the graphics. And the experience is absolutely something to be had.

Kind of like that first time you picked up that wii controller and "bowled" and thought "hey, this is pretty cool." but on a WHOLE new level.

Once you complete the setup you'll enter the tutorial and blow up a balloon.. You'll (without instruction) think.. What happens if I try to hit this floating balloon.. Probably nothing.. but you'll immediately realize how intuitive and accurate this "new world" is when the balloon flies in the direction and velocity you would expect it to based on your hand movement. And sure there are similar capabilities on other consoles. You separate when you realize you can (literally) walk underneath the balloon, look up at it, jump and swat it down to the floor. then walk circles around it while unrelentingly taunting it for obeying physics.

When you play "The lab" and your hand becomes a spaceship in a (truly) 3d realm, you'll really grasp what this thing is all about. I can't imagine how silly it looks in real life with your hand just jerking up and down, left to right, ducking, spinning.. etc. But in the game it really feels like you're in a serious situation and your hand needs to dodge these incoming blobs at all costs.

The longbow game is fun. And you may realize that the controllers are giving haptic feedback when you "pull" the bowstring and release it to give it that additional sense of immersion.

It's these seemingly small, polished edges that make this an incredible product.

You WILL feel immersed. I 100 percent guarantee it. You'll laugh the first time you try to set your gun down on a table in the virtual world.

The setup wasn't bad. Although I didn't find instructions included. I just googled it and followed the 10ish step process from HTC.

Windows 7 wouldn't install the drivers for the "link box" until I put it into the USB 2.0 slots (as others have stated) - the directions state that it's compatible with 2.0+ though. Maybe in later versions of Windows, or perhaps my BIOS settings are "bad". Either way, simple fix.

I had planned on using the single HDMI port that my GTX1060 has since I saw that some people had problems through other connections. The directions stated that you can use a display port to mini display port on the link box but I didn't try it.

So that makes two display ports out. One to my tv/monitor, the other to my receiver which passes the video to a projector, and then the HDMI to the Vive headset. All very seamless.

When you get to the point of powering on all your components (for the first time) you might need to right click one of the controllers in the steam VR window and click "pair controller" (if the controller shows blue when it comes on instead of green). The walkthrough failed to mention that.

The Steam VR software is very polished as well. Especially inside of VR. You can switch to your desktop and read email. When I realized that I could walk closer to my boundary wall that the desktop was on at that time, and the text got closer/clearer, it was an additional level of "that's friggin cool."

This is NOT for reading text like that though. The resolution just isn't there.

Once you've got a Steam account set up, be careful, it's easy to blow through 80 dollars (of real money) in a 4 minute virtual shopping spree.

You can connect your phone via Bluetooth and get notifications. You can enable the camera and see the room without taking the headset off. Plug in ear buds and "mirror" the sound so you can rock out hard to audioshield without waking the neighbors.

You can control pretty much all of the aspects of the virtual world from your 2d monitor. That comes in handy If someone new is using the headset. So you can control the session for them (get them into a game, get them started, etc) without having to walk them through everything - but again, it is pretty intuitive and should be easy to pick up for 90 percent of people.

There are just a lot of features that you can tell they put thought into.

Some complain that a lot of the games are "demo" types, and while that's true. There are several "full" games available, and I haven't even gotten to them, because The Lab, Zombie Trainer, The Brookhaven Experiment, and (especially) AudioShield have me completely satisfied for the time being.

We're all still waiting on the "major" releases of Doom, Fallout 4, Serious Sam, Arizona Sunshine etc. I am curious how games like Serious Sam will work. You're going to break yourself if you're constantly spinning around trying to fend off hordes of suiciders. The action of "teleporting" in large scale games seems to be the goto method for moving around in the world. It's not as intuitive as I'd like and it takes a split second to load the new landscape when you arrive, so it's a little offputting. But that's splitting hairs at this point. I just feel like it's going to be exaggerated when you're in a true "sandbox" world.

There are a few cons.
1. You're going to have a tough time doing true multiplayer with this. You can't just buy another 30 dollar controller and go to town with your friend sitting on the couch next to you. You're looking at another large investment and the space to set up another system. I'm interested to see how games like "Don't stop talking and nobody explodes" work and bring a "crowd" together with one headset. But it's probably not going to be the excitement of being (virtually) back to back with a buddy fighting the terrorists in a FPS.
2. I hope your friends don't mind swapping a large amount of face sweat.
3. The resolution just isn't what it is on a LED monitor. Obviously you're stretching that image out over a 360 degree 3d environment so it's a little tougher to do. So.. Again, you're not doing this for the "crispness". You're doing it for the experience. When you feel like a freaking rockstar defending yourself from incoming musical notes, you won't be thinking about the slight pixilation, or how the graphics in the background aren't super detailed. I PROMISE.
4. I find it a little bit of a pain to get the headset just right on my head. You need to get the straps perfect (not too tight, or loose) to make the area right in front of your face perfectly clear (especially when you're looking down).
5. I don't think the screens are quite big enough. You will probably notice the black ring around the outside of your vision when you're waiting for a game to load or whatever. You'll forget about it as soon as you're doing whatever.
6. I am seriously matting down the new carpet inside of my "game area."
7. You might think that the real world is less fun.

Keep in mind.. That while the software is pretty polished and works well, this type of thing probably isn't for someone who isn't at least a moderate "power user." I've had some minor issues like weird Steam crashes, VR world disappearing if the CPU is under a lot of stress, computer not completing POST when the link box was plugged in. Just stuff that you wouldn't deal with on a console type system. This "limitation" (not the price) is probably why the world isn't screaming about this from the rooftops. The mass population isn't exactly tech savvy so that excludes a major percentage of potential buyers.

All that said....

Honestly, I've got a lot of cool stuff but this is ABSOLUTELY and UNEQUIVOCALLY the coolest tech I've seen or played with in my entire life. I would still be happy with it if I would've needed to fork out an additonal 800 or so to build a computer. Everytime I'm away from it for a day or so, I think "was it really THAT cool?" and I answer my question as soon as I put the headset back on and enter a virtual world for what feels like the first time, every time.
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2017 and at first was very pleased By February one of the sensors had a fault ...
by Eric (1 out of 5 stars)
April 19, 2018

Bought this in October. 2017 and at first was very pleased By February one of the sensors had a fault that seems to be common online (FAULT 03). I initiated a request for RMA with HTC and sent it in. This was received by HTC on 2/20 and it is now April 19th and they not only have not replaced it, they cannot commit to a date, nor is there any guidance when this will be fixed. I have had better customer experience with Spectrum cable than HTC. Each week I start a new chat (only way to engage their support) and I am told something to the extent below
2/26 "Thank you for patiently waiting. I was able to check the repair details and it shows that the device was received 02/20/18. The repair process will take 7-10 business days from the day that we receive the device. Once done you will be notified via email with the tracking information for you to know when you will receive your device back."
3/12 "Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you may have experienced in respect to the device.

Your case has been escalated personally to our upper management. They have confirmed receipt of the escalation, and are diligently working towards a resolution. Once a resolution is obtained, we will contact you with the results"
3/20 " I took the time to read your email and I found that you have an issue with the Base Station fault 03. I understand your frustration with this eventuality. I know how excited you are playing with the amazing HTC Vive. They are amazing! Don't worry you are in the best hands to solve the issue."
3/21 - "We know the process is taking more than expected and we apologize for it, the process has been escalated, it means your device is in priority and as soon as our techs finish with it you are going to be notify with the outbound tracking number. Thanks for being part of the HTC family!" BTW, they suggested I try a new game on a system that is not working
4/2 " I completely understand your concern related to the repair of your base station, and yes, you have an escalation, they didn't contact you yet because we don't have additional updates like a return tracking number or something like that. Nevertheless, we are working really hard in having this resolved for you as soon as possible. Please give us a few days more and as soon as we get anything we will reach you back."
4/16- "I called RMA in order to check if we have more updates but for the moment, we have to still waiting, I know you are really worried and frustrated at this point, trust me, but we are keen to resolve this as much as you are, please give us one more week and as soon as we get any additional detail we will reach you back with it."

I would not reccomend anyone buy from this supplier based on this horrible customer experience
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So i bought this headset around January 20th and loved it, it's great
by Dustin D (1 out of 5 stars)
April 20, 2018

So i bought this headset around January 20th and loved it, it's great... although it broke on me. Less than 2 months of owning the thing it stopped working and came with tons of error messages... Well I sent it into HTC repair and waited...and just kept waiting. about a month later I contact them asking the status of my headset and am told to wait 2 weeks. Two weeks pass and no update so I contact them again and am told I will hear something in two days... well that passes and nothing, about 20 days later I finally get an email saying the repairs for my headset will cost $270. WHAT?! I waited 2 months for a response and am told I have to pay nearly half the amount I payed to get the headset in the first place to get it repaired??? I owned it for less than 2 months before it broke, you're telling me the headsets aren't under some sort of warranty for anytime longer than that?! The headset is great but if you come across any need to send it in to repair, don't, HTC as a company is trash and will hold your headset for an outrageous amount of time before pretty much telling you "OH Just pay for a new headset!"
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If unit breaks and you send it to HTC, you WILL NEVER SEE IT AGAIN!
by Albert Stgeorge (1 out of 5 stars)
April 11, 2018

My Vive only worked for six weeks. I bought it in late December 2017, and it stopped working in early February 2018. I returned it to HTC for repair in on February 9, 2018. As of May 15, 2018, all they will tell me is that "they are working on it," but have no other updates. HTC refuses to send a replacement, and cannot give me an estimate time to complete.

I would recommend against buying anything from HTC.
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Improvement in every way over the Vive one.
by Evileyes (5 out of 5 stars)
April 9, 2018

Like others have said, yes it has better visuals, but not by a lot. That being said, I can never go back to the old Vive that I own. The comfort is underestimated, it allows you to have longer VR sessions which is what its all about! The sound is "good enough" nothing bad and nothing great. Its simply good sound.
-Reading Text is much better! (that also goes for UI's, Health bars, ammo bars etc!..
-Seeing gun crosshairs is WAY easier! (you can hit targets! your aim is on point!)
-Seeing farther and clearer is HUGE! (I shot a arrow straight up in Skyrim and followed it all the way down!)

The Pro blocks out the real world like a Champion! no light passes though the nose guard (which is more comfortable I might add) And the headphones cups your ears to block out outside noise. what this translates to is a more immersive experience and longer VR sessions which is a HUGE plus! I mean its what its all about, right?!

This small bump is actually HUGE why? because its just the right amount of tech that still runs the current hardware! We are a few years away from a proper Gen 2 HMD, (that also goes for the computer hardware to run the new HMD) so this will pass the time if its worth it to you.

Simply put, if you want the best VR.. look no further, this is it. The best room-scale tracking coupled with this HMD will allow you to experience the absolute best VR that's currently available!

A personal note:

I have to say, after modding the hell out of Skyrim it does LOOK SICK (45+ mods and tweaks). I was chilling behind Riverwood at night (with darker nights mod) crouched with my back against the mountain, listening to the sounds looking up at the insane sky with stars shining and the moon, cloud movement dancing on the mountain tops etc...Just taking it all in, it was so awe inspiring, I am constantly at a loss of words with this setup. This is a expensive unit, no doubt.. but do you think for a second I would trade it for the countless "oh crap!" moments i've had, not on your life!

As a kid in the 80's staring at store shelves filled with awesome hand drawn box cover art of high fantasy PC games. Wishing I could just teleport inside those images and explore the majestic worlds within, now finally after all these years, here I am.

I took a few screenshots last night, just to capture the moment, but it doesn't tell the tale. Whiterun in the distance, with a glorious celestial event. Being INSIDE this world is AMAZING.
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A True Blessing. I Am So Thankful!!
by Dusty Fohs (5 out of 5 stars)
October 17, 2016

This device is life changing. I'm a huge gamer. I'll admit, an unhealthy addict. Sitting in front of a desktop PC doesn't do my body any good at all. It's been causing me anxiety, loss of sleep and disappointment in myself. I was assuming the Vive would just add to it, but I had to have it anyway. The result were entirely unexpected. In less than a week I've exercised more than I have in years and had a BLAST doing so. I actually WANT to exercise more than my body can handle. My entire body is sore and I'm loving it.

I feared that I would use the Vive as a form of escape and ignore my real world responsibilities and kill my social life. The exact opposite has happened. This is not a casual toy. If you intend to use it room scale, it takes a lot of planning. There are sensors to set up, a good amount of space needed, a LOT of cable management. It works best if you have an entire room dedicated to VR, but not all of us are fortunate enough to have that kind of space.

Something you will learn early on is that when you take off the headset and return to the real world, you want your real world settings to be pleasing. The last thing you want to see when you return is a sink full of dishes, dirty laundry, clutter or anything that would cause you disappointment. My apartment is now spotless and totally in order. Half of my living room is set up for the Vive. I have a welcoming, clean open space complete with yoga mats. I now live in my previously unused workout clothes.

This is an experience to share. My friends are totally blown away. This didn't decrease my social life. Again, it did the opposite. I'm inviting my MOTHER over! GASP! That never happens! :) She used to be an avid scuba diver but can no longer dive due to health issues. Next week I'm taking her scuba diving in my living room! My friend's wife was trying to plan a small surprise birthday for him but they're new in town and don't know many people. I offered to host the gathering at my place. Why not? It's now clean! We had a wonderful evening. I'm planning on having people over most weekends to have fun and explore the possibilities the Vive offers. It's a joy to share!

My PC gaming addiction is gone. POOF! Just like that. I never would thing this would happen. Yes, I'm still playing games, but I'm fully active. Very active. I moved almost non stop for 3.5 hours yesterday. I'm much more aware of my time. I don't feel depressed or that I'm missing out or hiding from life. I feel exhilarated.

This does not come without a price. Please know that the current $799 price is just the beginning. You will need a top of the line computer with a powerful graphics card in order to run the Vive properly. Being a big gamer, I already had the computer ($1100 about six months ago) but I still had to upgrade to a GeForce 1070, which currently runs just over $400. Tripods and mounts: $60. Applications run from free to about $30 each. I've dropped a couple of hundred on games in the first week.

Budget your money, budget your space, know what you have to do to get this set up, get your act together and THEN buy this. Your story might end differently than mine, but I hope if anything it's better.

And for the love of all that is holy, buy Audioshield. It's by far my most used app and SOOOOOOOO much fun
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Reality and virtual reality collide
by Oriontm7 (1 out of 5 stars)
May 20, 2018

This is an amazing product that will blow your mind.... That is until it stops working. I did the usual trial and error fixes, but the headset went out and it was beyond something I could fix. So naturally I sent it in for repair. There is no phone number to contact support, so I initiated the chat. (Bad start) the rep was friendly and walked through all steps for repair. Nothing worked, so the rep told me to send it in and they'd repair it under warranty for 2-3 weeks. Seemed normal, I've done this before. I sent it in waited my 3 weeks but hadn't heard anything back. I chatted again, the rep was nice and told me there were delays, another 1-2 weeks. Again I understand there are delays, I wait 2 more weeks... Nothing. Contact them again and am a little more worked up now, told them to escalate me. 1 week later still heard nothing. Ive contacted the BBB (which I've never done before) and the issue is ongoing. It's been 2 months ,and I paid 600 dollars for this premium device. Do yourself a favor and buy anything else to get a good reality experience, outside the virtual reality.
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Regardless of cost, you will absolutely love this. Let me explain why.
by Chris,Top Contributor: Camping (5 out of 5 stars)
September 28, 2016

It's hard to do bulleted, concise reviews on something like this.. So this will be a little long winded. Stick with me if you can..

If you were like me, you might be a little hesitant about tech like this, because you tried a GEAR VR, or think 3d desktop gaming and 3d movies are kinda of cool, but certainly not worth this kind of investment. Get that out of your head right now. This is COMPLETELY different.

First, let me say that I've never been a huge gamer. I've spent many more hours on my 10 year old Wii than I have on newly released console/computer games.

I enjoy the interaction even if I'm sacrificing graphical beauty.

This system is kind of like a 5th generation Wii. They are really selling the experience more than the graphics. And the experience is absolutely something to be had.

Kind of like that first time you picked up that wii controller and "bowled" and thought "hey, this is pretty cool." but on a WHOLE new level.

Once you complete the setup you'll enter the tutorial and blow up a balloon.. You'll (without instruction) think.. What happens if I try to hit this floating balloon.. Probably nothing.. but you'll immediately realize how intuitive and accurate this "new world" is when the balloon flies in the direction and velocity you would expect it to based on your hand movement. And sure there are similar capabilities on other consoles. You separate when you realize you can (literally) walk underneath the balloon, look up at it, jump and swat it down to the floor. then walk circles around it while unrelentingly taunting it for obeying physics.

When you play "The lab" and your hand becomes a spaceship in a (truly) 3d realm, you'll really grasp what this thing is all about. I can't imagine how silly it looks in real life with your hand just jerking up and down, left to right, ducking, spinning.. etc. But in the game it really feels like you're in a serious situation and your hand needs to dodge these incoming blobs at all costs.

The longbow game is fun. And you may realize that the controllers are giving haptic feedback when you "pull" the bowstring and release it to give it that additional sense of immersion.

It's these seemingly small, polished edges that make this an incredible product.

You WILL feel immersed. I 100 percent guarantee it. You'll laugh the first time you try to set your gun down on a table in the virtual world.

The setup wasn't bad. Although I didn't find instructions included. I just googled it and followed the 10ish step process from HTC.

Windows 7 wouldn't install the drivers for the "link box" until I put it into the USB 2.0 slots (as others have stated) - the directions state that it's compatible with 2.0+ though. Maybe in later versions of Windows, or perhaps my BIOS settings are "bad". Either way, simple fix.

I had planned on using the single HDMI port that my GTX1060 has since I saw that some people had problems through other connections. The directions stated that you can use a display port to mini display port on the link box but I didn't try it.

So that makes two display ports out. One to my tv/monitor, the other to my receiver which passes the video to a projector, and then the HDMI to the Vive headset. All very seamless.

When you get to the point of powering on all your components (for the first time) you might need to right click one of the controllers in the steam VR window and click "pair controller" (if the controller shows blue when it comes on instead of green). The walkthrough failed to mention that.

The Steam VR software is very polished as well. Especially inside of VR. You can switch to your desktop and read email. When I realized that I could walk closer to my boundary wall that the desktop was on at that time, and the text got closer/clearer, it was an additional level of "that's friggin cool."

This is NOT for reading text like that though. The resolution just isn't there.

Once you've got a Steam account set up, be careful, it's easy to blow through 80 dollars (of real money) in a 4 minute virtual shopping spree.

You can connect your phone via Bluetooth and get notifications. You can enable the camera and see the room without taking the headset off. Plug in ear buds and "mirror" the sound so you can rock out hard to audioshield without waking the neighbors.

You can control pretty much all of the aspects of the virtual world from your 2d monitor. That comes in handy If someone new is using the headset. So you can control the session for them (get them into a game, get them started, etc) without having to walk them through everything - but again, it is pretty intuitive and should be easy to pick up for 90 percent of people.

There are just a lot of features that you can tell they put thought into.

Some complain that a lot of the games are "demo" types, and while that's true. There are several "full" games available, and I haven't even gotten to them, because The Lab, Zombie Trainer, The Brookhaven Experiment, and (especially) AudioShield have me completely satisfied for the time being.

We're all still waiting on the "major" releases of Doom, Fallout 4, Serious Sam, Arizona Sunshine etc. I am curious how games like Serious Sam will work. You're going to break yourself if you're constantly spinning around trying to fend off hordes of suiciders. The action of "teleporting" in large scale games seems to be the goto method for moving around in the world. It's not as intuitive as I'd like and it takes a split second to load the new landscape when you arrive, so it's a little offputting. But that's splitting hairs at this point. I just feel like it's going to be exaggerated when you're in a true "sandbox" world.

There are a few cons.
1. You're going to have a tough time doing true multiplayer with this. You can't just buy another 30 dollar controller and go to town with your friend sitting on the couch next to you. You're looking at another large investment and the space to set up another system. I'm interested to see how games like "Don't stop talking and nobody explodes" work and bring a "crowd" together with one headset. But it's probably not going to be the excitement of being (virtually) back to back with a buddy fighting the terrorists in a FPS.
2. I hope your friends don't mind swapping a large amount of face sweat.
3. The resolution just isn't what it is on a LED monitor. Obviously you're stretching that image out over a 360 degree 3d environment so it's a little tougher to do. So.. Again, you're not doing this for the "crispness". You're doing it for the experience. When you feel like a freaking rockstar defending yourself from incoming musical notes, you won't be thinking about the slight pixilation, or how the graphics in the background aren't super detailed. I PROMISE.
4. I find it a little bit of a pain to get the headset just right on my head. You need to get the straps perfect (not too tight, or loose) to make the area right in front of your face perfectly clear (especially when you're looking down).
5. I don't think the screens are quite big enough. You will probably notice the black ring around the outside of your vision when you're waiting for a game to load or whatever. You'll forget about it as soon as you're doing whatever.
6. I am seriously matting down the new carpet inside of my "game area."
7. You might think that the real world is less fun.

Keep in mind.. That while the software is pretty polished and works well, this type of thing probably isn't for someone who isn't at least a moderate "power user." I've had some minor issues like weird Steam crashes, VR world disappearing if the CPU is under a lot of stress, computer not completing POST when the link box was plugged in. Just stuff that you wouldn't deal with on a console type system. This "limitation" (not the price) is probably why the world isn't screaming about this from the rooftops. The mass population isn't exactly tech savvy so that excludes a major percentage of potential buyers.

All that said....

Honestly, I've got a lot of cool stuff but this is ABSOLUTELY and UNEQUIVOCALLY the coolest tech I've seen or played with in my entire life. I would still be happy with it if I would've needed to fork out an additonal 800 or so to build a computer. Everytime I'm away from it for a day or so, I think "was it really THAT cool?" and I answer my question as soon as I put the headset back on and enter a virtual world for what feels like the first time, every time.

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