Thursday, May 5, 2016

New Wave- Day One with the HTC Vive

You's the future outside. Hold onto your hats, and I'll wait here while you look outside. Dancing, sorting, emoting robots...little tiny pocket computers you take everywhere...VR.

That last part just came to be in my realm today, when the HTC Vive arrived.  I pause here to say I am only writing this for my own amusement and to hopefully help others who are curious know what it's like, I've not gone all product placement on all of you.

I'm not going to go specs, suffice it to say your computer has to be pretty darn decent to be able to run it. If you're blessed enough to have that and are able to get a is pretty amazing. We set it up within a half an hour, and as soon as we played around with the first little programs, it was impressive. The Lab software you get with it is a LOT of fun, and everything has that sort of Valve/Aperture/Portal flair to it.

The controllers fit your hands really well, are rendered perfectly whenever you're wearing the headset as if you were actually looking at a non virtual copy, and for whatever reason, make everything you do that much more immersive, from shooting a bow and arrow, to picking up and manipulating things, to becoming....


One of my favorite moments in the few hours I've been around the Vive came in playing AudioShield. It's a simple concept, and kind of a simple program. It's not trying to make you feel like you're in the real Atlantic, or the real anything. What it IS is you and your music in space, as an incredible, surrounding game a la Guitar Hero. For some reason, the pure fun of punching/shielding out the beat to any song you have on your computer just got me all misty-eyed. It's the meeting of playing a game and actually doing things, kinda like DDR, but...even more amazing.  Instead of you hitting arrows on a pad lying on the floor in front of you, it's you and this open space and all sorts of crazy, pretty, glowy orbs waiting to be blasted into colorful confetti as you move along to the music.

I *love* the ability to have a big play space to move around in.
I love the controllers.
I love the Valve/Steam/Portal flair.
I ABSOLUTELY love AudioShield and can't wait to try TiltBrush, which is an immersive art experience.

I think Vive knows exaaaaactly how to produce a sense of awe with the technology it delivers. I think it knows that fun is fun is fun, and I'm really, really excited for the whole thing to become a little bit more accessible to everyone and more refined.

Is it a little weird wearing what feels like a slightly lighter brick on your face and having a cord running down your back? Yeah, a little. But with no motion sickness to report (coming from someone who gets motion sick from regular PC games and 3d movies sometimes) and all the amazing fun I'm having...I fail to care. Vive is really, really neat, and a whole new kind of fun, and I'm looking forward to more adventures.

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