Like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive is a full system VR experience that requires a powerful PC to run. It too is now available, but while there were some shipping delays, wait time is less than its direct rival.
HTC Vive is different from other VR systems because it gives you freedom to roam around a room. While other systems will allow you some movement, HTC Vive uses IR sensors mounted on walls to map your location in the physical space, integrating this into the virtual space. That allows for freedom of movement other systems currently don’t offer. The downside is that you’ll also need a big enough play space to use it in that fashion.
The headset integrates a range of sensors, presenting the slick visuals to your eyes and you have to wear additional headphones to complete the picture. There are bespoke Vive hand controllers and their locations are also mapped within the 3D space, offering plenty of versatility when it comes to immersion and interactivity.
We’ve experienced a wide range of different environments within HTC Vive, from climbing Everest to maintenance of robots in a Portal-style setting and we’ve been blown away. However, setting the device up is tricky, so sensor placement is paramount.