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Help an old lady..Son wants this Vive thing


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Hello!  My 17 year old son has informed me that he wants the "HTC Vive". I have no idea how any of this works or what I need to purchase to get him set up.  He plays a lot of first person shooter games etc.  What hardware do I need? What's the difference in the products?  Do I need additional accesories right away?  Does the subscription work like a NetFlix subscription where you can just play whatever with no extra cost?  What is all of this about?  I'm old and that is WAY more complicated than my Nintendo from the 80's! I have no clue what to get  and I don't want to buty the wrong thing.  ANY advice or thoughts would be great.  Thanks so much!!!

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Hello , 

In essence, the HTC Vive is a VR platform that you connect to a gaming PC that enables you to move around a virtual space the size of an entire room. It's a bit too abstract to explain in text... It's best to try a demo firsthand if possible as VR is an experiential phenomena. Depending on where you live there may already be VR arcades or VR meetups where you can try an HMD in person. 

does a pretty good job at showing what roomscale VR is.

 

Basically, you'd purchase an HTC Vive kit,

, and then connect the HMD to a gaming machine. HMDs require a fair amount of computational power to run so you'll need to have a PC that meets or exceeds our system requirements; if your son's current PC doesn't meet those requirements you may be able to upgrade components in their existing system or may need to purchase a modern gaming PC. There are now desktops and laptops that meet the min specs that are available for under $1,000 USD. 

 

Per software; they HMD is powered by content downloaded from online services. There is a ton of free content, some of which can provide endless hours of exploration (i.e. Google Earth VR), as well as a wealth of free user generated content - however, like any platform there are also paid games and apps which follow the same model as traditional PC games. We offer a subscription service - Viveport Subscription - that allows access to 5 apps in per month so that users can explore paid content at a fixed cost. 

 

You don't need additional accessories out of the box. The deluxe audio strap dramatically improves comfort and makes it easier to use. It's helpful to have PLU face cushion for hygiene, especially when multiple people use the same HMD.

 

 

VR is a super exciting and worthwhile endeavor but the ecosystem is still developing. I wouldn't recommend purchasing it unless your son would be comfortable learning how to self-troubleshoot via Internet resources as it does have a learning curve. If your son is interested in creating his own games, there has never been a better time to start and there are ample sources of free self-education content. Ask him if he's checked out https://unity3d.com/ ,  https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/what-is-unreal-engine-4 and http://voicesofvr.com/. Unity and Unreal can be something he can start learning for free without access to an HMD. 

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