Virtual reality is slowly becoming available in households across the globe. As it stands, there are currently three big contenders in the competition for VR dominance: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PSVR. However, none of these come cheap, and content is absurdly limited to this date. That said, one must be absolutely certain when deciding whether or not to adopt a VR headset, but fear not – I have taken the plunge for you and have come to a decisive conclusion on whether or not VR is worthy of the price. I have decided to purchase the HTC Vive over the other two systems, due to its room-scale gaming and Steam support. After having read this article, you will be aware of the major pros and cons of the Vive and will also be able to make a decision of whether or not the purchase would be right for you. Keep in mind that this article will be solely discussing the Vive, and not the other alternatives.
Let’s talk about pros! The Vive is a huge supporter of 1-on-1 room-scale gaming. What this means is that while playing, you aren’t simply sitting down and mashing buttons: instead, you’re standing up, crawling around, and doing the worm in the middle of the room, controlling the character in your game with your own physical movements, and also, that said, movements will be happening in game at the exact same time as they do in reality. This room-scale feature is currently exclusive to the HTC Vive and was the main reason I picked it over the others. This allows for total immersion in the game you’re playing, and if you read any other articles, you will hear something along the lines of ‘’there is no way to describe what it is to play a game through the HTC Vive –it’s THAT awesome.’’ And this is a feeling that I totally agree with. There is no similar experience offered in any other system that compares to the Vive, and I have tried the Oculus Rift – which is practically identical to the PSVR.
One major upside to the Vive is that it is backed by Steam. Any PC gamer should know that there is no such thing as PC gaming without Steam. This is important, because as opposed to Facebook’s Rift, the Vive is backed by a gaming company. That said, gamers can rest assured that with time, more and more AAA games will be coming to VR. Popular games like Doom and Fallout 4 have already been announced for the Vive, and even the creator of Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland, decided that VR was important enough that he founded Squanchtendo, a company dedicated to bringing full VR games to the table, as you can read about it on the company’s official page . Another fantastic bit of news is that the Vive is sharing its technology with pretty much any third party that asks for it. I won’t be going into too much detail about this, but what this likely means is that Vive’s technology will be expanding and growing a lot faster – since more than just first party companies will have the know-how on how to apply Vive technology to pretty much anything they want.
On the other hand, nothing is perfect. The HTC Vive is one of the scariest purchases I have ever made in my life. Unless you buy a VR-ready PC from a professional company, you are almost certainly going to run into technical issues while setting up your Vive. And though most of these issues can be resolved relatively easily, simply the scare alone can sometimes make the purchase feel like a total waste. What’s more, there aren’t many quality games available as we speak. The vast majority of games are tech demoes. There are of course some inexplicably fantastic experiences right now, but as for full games, you can count those with your fingers. Of course, this flaw will not affect such diehard fans of VR since the big games are certainly coming out soon, but it does definitely affect one’s decision on whether or not to wait out the VR just a little while longer.
To quickly reiterate, the Vive is the most immersive and unique gaming experience in the world, bar none, is backed by the staple to the PC gaming community, and has an overall huge potential that is practically guaranteed to be realized. On the negative side though, the Vive is difficult to set up smoothly and also currently lacks many complete games.
So, what is the decisive verdict? Wait a little bit. Despite the almost certain ameliorations that will be coming out soon, this promise is simply a speculation on my end, but nothing is truly guaranteed. The Vive is currently a very risky purchase. In about a year’s time, I can assure you that whether or not you’ve read articles, VR will have evolved enough for you to make an absolute decision without thinking too much about it, due to all the AAA games coming, the emergence of Squanchtendo, and also the rapid evolution of the Vive’s technology as a whole.
My subjective and personal verdict? Buy the Vive! After a month or two’s time, I don’t even care if the Vive flops now. The sheer amount of fun, excitement, and breathlessness I have undergone while owning the Vive is insurmountable, and I feel like even now my purchase was totally justified. The Vive managed to bring my family together a lot, actually, and I promise you that any owner of a Vive will have some killer VR parties with a handful of friends. These unique experiences justified the purchase for me, so if you feel passionate about the Vive as I did before I purchased my own, and if you are fully aware of your income and such, then go for it. The excitement your mind has been replaying over and over in your head will undeniably prove to be accurate – this I can assure you of at least this much. Take the plunge!
Written By: Mikhael L’Heureux