The Vive Is Out: Here’s What’s Available & Wot We Think

Today marks the release of the HTC Vive [official site] virtual reality headset and associated games. That means headsets are starting to be shipped and should arrive with pre-order-ers soon. We have imprisoned Alec in virtual reality to play everything and see what happens/write reviews but while he does that I would like to point out a glaring inaccuracy on the dedicated Vive website before pointing you to all of our Helpful Insights and so forth.

The cat.

Look at this cat:

Have you ever EVER known a cat that sits respectfully to one side when it could be getting in the way or tangling itself in your legs and trying to kill you by tripping you up when you can’t see?

I feel like this must be an ornamental stuffed cat otherwise the entire scenario makes no sense.

If you are less bothered about the cat and more interested in the ins and outs of the Vive experience we have the following:

  • A WHOLE HTC VIVE GUIDE which goes into detail about spatial requirements, whether it’s comfy, the image quality, and more
  • A growing collection of articles which look at current or upcoming games and experiences like Everest, Pool Nation and Fantastic Contraption
  • You can also read about:

  • Whether virtual reality will work on gaming laptops
  • What it’s like to play non-VR games in Steam VR.
  • Aaaaaaaaand which games you can try on VR if you pop along to EGX Rezzed
  • The Vive costs $799/£689. If you’re based in the UK I’m not actually sure when you can expect a headset as the site indicates that pre-orders will start shipping in May rather than this month but the US option has no such restrictions so my educated guess for those of you who live in America is “soon”.

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    1. brokeTM says:

      The cat isn’t ornamental, it’s clearly studying it’s pray. The hypothetical next frame of this picture would be that cat, using the tether as your leash.

      • Cinek says:

        Looking forward to see the statistic of number of people who died while playing with Vive.

        • Rizlar says:

          Looking forward to see how many cats die while their owners blindly stomp around the room playing Vive.

          Anyway, RSPCA baiting aside, what we really want to know is how do you pronounce ‘Vive’? It’s Vive as in ‘vivre la France’, right? Not Vyve, like ‘born to hand jive’, which would be clearly insane.

          • Sakkura says:

            It’s pronounced as in revive. Which is the word they used at the reveal a year ago:

            • Rizlar says:

              Oh god, it’s going to take forever to explain to everyone that they are saying it wrong. :(

          • Chaz says:

            Everyone I know pronounces it the same as ‘vivre la France’. So if it’s supposed to be pronounced as ‘revive’, then their marketing team haven’t done a very good job of that.

            • Asurmen says:

              I’m confused as to why you’d pronounce it like a word from another language.

            • silentdan says:

              “Vive” (pronounced “veev”) is an English word, imported from French like so many other English words, which means “long live” and strikes me as an optimistically aspirational name for a technology with an uncertain future. Admittedly, it’s only used in a few phrases, but it counts as an English word. “Vive” (pronounced “vyv”) is not an English word at all. So, while I initially assumed “vyv” was the correct pronunciation, and that’s been borne out, I think the opposite assumption is also defensible.

            • Psychomorph says:

              Apparently “vive” is a Latin adjective that stands for “lively”, “vivid”, “animated”, but also “life like” in a sense.

              So it makes perfect sense for a VR device that makes the experience vivid and nearly life like.

            • Sakkura says:

              Names don’t have to be actual words.

          • Ace says:

            Gabe pronounces the same as in “revive.” He probably knows better than you.

            • Sleepery says:

              If he’s pronouncing it right then he’s spelling it wrong :)

      • try2bcool69 says:

        The real question, is, who is he preying to?

    2. FieldyGB says:

      hmm yes my order is likewise due to ship in May. Looks like some of our euro cousins will receive theirs first..

    3. Scelous says:

      For more recent North American preorders, they were showing May for quite some time now. It also currently shows May for any orders for North America.

    4. Sakkura says:

      The launch catalog of games for the HTC Vive is sparse compared to the Oculus Rift. Lots of early access or tech demo-ish stuff. Fantastic Contraption looks amazing though.

      All the more reason not to fret if you’re not first in the preorder line.

      • Cinek says:

        No worries, it will grow in size as a time goes on, and the fact that you can play Vive games on Oculus will only encourage devs to make their games vive-compatibile. The real question is if games in the catalog are those that you are interested in. Anything on top of that will be only a bonus (and if tech demos for Vive will get as good opinions as these for Oculus did than it will be quite a significant bonus).

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        Sure sure, early adopters have all sorts of problems to deal with.

        I just kinda object to the whole idea that a VR headset has a “catalog” of games associated with it. In the very short term that’s true, just as we had three competing APIs in the bad old days of 3D graphics.

        But this is going to change rapidly. SteamVR already supports the Oculus Rift, for example. Or if you’re making games with Unreal Engine 4, it’s easy to support all *four* notable VR platforms (from Oculus, Valve, Sony, and Samsung).

    5. Premium User Badge

      kshriner says:

      I’m still waiting for a single player Mechwarrior or similar mech game announcement before buying. Heck, wing commander or similar even sounds great. I appreciate those may be too obvious and thus avoided by developers but I know I’d buy one of these for one of those games. Heck, buying new gear was almost always required in early gaming for wing commander, helicopter, mech sims, etc..

      • Premium User Badge

        kshriner says:

        More heck I say! Actually I just wanted to add that reviews of Eve or Elite don’t seem to suggest the single player expierence I’m looking forward to as a pilot/mech pilot with one of these Occulus/Vive etc..

      • Cinek says:

        Elite:Dangerous is there already with Oculus and Vive support, and it’s great. Squadron 42 (Wing Commander successor) is also planned to have a VR support. MechWarrior Online plans to implement Vive support and people already run it on Oculus. Then there are flight sims which also seem to be going for VR pretty much universally – either supported officially or through mods.

        Exciting times ahead :)

    6. kael13 says:

      I’m still waiting for my Rift to arrive. Or ship, for that matter.
      Apparently I have to wait until at least the 12th for some new info. At least we get free shipping now, I suppose. That’s 30 quid I can spend on a game or two.
      Still, these are exciting VR times!

    7. mwoody says:

      I’d like to see RPS comment on recent revelations regarding the privacy policy and nature of Facebooks’ always-on service. It’s been enough to lead me to preorder a Vive and put my early Oculus order up on Ebay.

    8. Burnspeed says:

      Honestly the UK launch has been a shambles. Everyone who paid with paypal is getting shipping notifications, and everyone with credit cards has a pending hold and nothing. I’m in the same boat as these guys:
      link to

      • Severn2j says:

        HTC royally screwed my preorder, was supposed to ship in the first batch, but instead they failed to take the payment, then cancelled my order.. After calling them, they then got back to me and said the only way to reinstate it was to allow them to remote into my PC via Logmein and they would reorder it. Or I could reorder myself and get it in June.

        I chose option 3, tell them to stick and see which headset comes out on top once the rush has died down…

    9. fp581 says:

      Can it work with the steam link?