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Options for VR now, or Wait?

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Options for VR now, or Wait?

Hello everyone, anonymous who wants to get into the VR community soon. I've been very interested in VR, with how much impact it may have on both industry and gaming experiences.
Recently my dad has been wanting to try out VR because he plays Elite Dangerous, so he wanted to get an Oculus Rift. However, I know that if (we) were going to go for VR, I wanted to fullest experience. So I've built a new PC, specc'd with Ryzen 1700 and GTX 1080, but I was hoping to go for the HTC Vive, which, after some research, gave a generally better experience, and proper room-scale support, which I was very interested in. 
     This is at an awkward time for VR though, I believe, and I have some options to get VR now, or if I should wait for hardware revisions.
Right now, the Oculus Rift is going for $400 for the headset and touch controllers, which seems like a pretty great deal, but could that mean new hardware is coming to that soon, is Newegg trying to relieve their stock in preparation for new stuff? Also, it does not give me the roomscale support I want, in which I would need to buy multiple sensors additionally.
So I also have the option, whilst looking for the HTC Vive. Recently it went on sale, but my dad and I were not set on getting VR until the fall, so we did not go for it. Though, looking on craigslist, I have the option to pick up an HTC Vive (lightly used) for $670, which seems like a fairly good price. 
However, right now, it seems that news is coming out that a new Vive headset, alongwith knuckle controllers, could be coming out late this year.
My biggest question is, should I jump on one of these two options, or should I really wait for the possible new hardware coming late this year, which will also hopefully have a slight price cut, as the news has said that the new hardware is cheaper to manufacter?
Thank you.

3 REPLIES
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Vive Staff

Re: Options for VR now, or Wait?

We can't really speculate about the future of either hardware platform or the factors that go into things like pricing but I can talk about some broad differences between the platforms which will continue to grow by the day.

 

If roomscale and accessories are important to you, than a SteamVR setup is what you're going to want to stick to. The trackers will enable hundreds of different types of custom I/O devices, something that is entirely absent from the Oculus platform which is limited to a small set of I/O devices. Due to the design of the SteamVR platform, there will not discrete generations but a spectrum of compatible devices so you're not exactly "locked in" to a setup but can build a customized setup over time based on what speaks to your interests.  

 

One of the other things to consider also is that when new hardware is released, there is a massive delay (1-3 years) between when the hardware is developed vs when the software can make the most of it. Since the Vive is a little over a year old we're just now starting to see more refined software coming out and things like DoomVFR and Fallout4 will give us the first taste of big budget VR. More devs are currently targeting the Vive platform than Oculus so there will be amazing stuff coming out starting soon. If you're interested in developing your own content and art, now is a great time to jump in as well since the community has created some amazing tools to get started.

 

This comic also comes to mind with these types of conversations... It ultimately up to you to decide if VR is ready for you at this point and which platform best suits your interests and philosophy about technology. I'm sure you'll be happy whichever way you go and the VR community would love to have you regardless of which hardware you end up selecting. 


- David R

Technical Specialist; San Francisco, CA

Architect

Re: Options for VR now, or Wait?

Hi Vice_Emargo.
If you were to decide to get the used Vive, hopefully it's near your location so you can try before you buy. I would want to try out a used Vive for the reason that parts for the Vive are quite pricey (controllers, lighthouses, lenses) and if you can try it, here's what to check......
Lighthouses (aka base stations), wher you are very close to them, they should emit a faint high pitched noise, once turned on and ready, they should display a letter (B and C) and have 9 red LEDs lit up with a green LED at top center. Controllers should feel good especially the circular pad, the clicks in all 4 directions should feel positive and solid. Looking into the Vive, look carefully at the lenses especially at the center to see if there are scratches, getting the lenses replaced means sending the Vive into HTC and this is a costly fix.
Fire up the setup, making sure when wearing the Vive that head movements are tracked properly with no hiccup in movement and no occasional grey screens. Make sure the Controllers are also tracking properly and all the buttons on the controllers work fine. Also make sure the IPD adjustment (the small dial on the right side of the Vive) is working properly and adjust it to where you see best (you will see a IPD adjustment screen appear in the Vive). Also, check out the rings where the strap connects to the Vive, you should be able to pull these outward to adjust how far the Vive will be to your face.
If everything checks out and all is good, then I'd say you have a good buy on your hands. The debate between the Vive and the Oculus Rift will always go on, both have some advantages over the other but both are good depending on what you expect from the HMD. The future of VR is anyone's guess but it looks like it's here to stay especially when so many companies are making their own headsets (LG, Acer, HP to name a few). To wait or not to wait, well, I took the plunge early since I was very curious and I'm not sorry I did, I get to see how the software and hardware is evolving and get blown away by what I see often enough! Smiley Happy
Regards: Jack
Constructor

Re: Options for VR now, or Wait?

The comic strip was completely correct. With technology toys there will always be more capability for less money coming right around the corner. Tomorrow never comes. If you wait for it, you're just missing all the fun.

 

Buy it now. It's ready now. Close enough. It still has some rough edges. A number of us with Vives are having some problems but the devs will get it worked out. You should also check the Oculus forums for people having problems, too. No tech toy is perfect. Too many variations in environment and application. You will have some problems, too, in the middle of having a great time.

 

Some of the upcoming improvements are certainly compelling. When wireless becomes available I will probably add it on. The deluxe audio strap looks like a nice improvement, but not worth $100 to ME. Neither would be worth waiting for it to be included in the base product.

 

There will be a better one next year and the year after and the year after. Know that going into it.

 

I wouldn't go with the used Vive unless it was half price of new retail. I don't want somebody else's germs and sweat oozing all through the thing.