Virtual Reality is NOW
I am super hyped to see and read all of the daily news that is coming out about Virtual Reality right now. I believe that VR is the biggest change in computing since the invention of the internet. I am personally very interested to see how this change in computing will relate to gamers and how that will translate to Twitch and Twitch streamers.
We will start to see a lot of people using virtual reality on Twitch soon and I wonder how the technology will unfold to allow streamers to create engaging streams whilst using virtual reality headsets.
The latest update from SteamVR
Yesterday Valve released a new video on their YouTube channel showing people using the Vive HTC headset in a green screen room and then they overlayed the gameplay on the video. I think this is the best way I have seen so far to demonstrate the insane amount of fun that VR technology will bring to households all over the world.
Are you VR ready?
It won’t be cheap to get started with a high end VR headset. I estimate my personal investment will be around $2000 just to get started. I already have solid gaming machine but my graphics card is now several years old and will need replacing. My personal choice will be to upgrade to the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB AMP! Extreme because this card is an absolute beast and should last me for a few years before needing an upgrade, this card costs around $700 but after that I will be VR ready.
You can download the SteamVR Performance Test to see if your machine is VR ready.
The 2 major Virtual Reality players right now
The next concern I had was where to invest my money in VR technology. Do I go with the Oculus Rift which is backed by facebook or do I go with the HTC Vive which is backed by Steam. Initially I was following the Oculus Rift and I was sure to purchase the headset when it became available.
The Oculus Rift has been in development since 2012 and was the device that started most of the hype you see now. Then came along the HTC Vive with a slightly different way of seeing VR. The main difference is that the Vive will allow users to stand, walk and move around in a physical space that will then map itself into a VR experience, this is quite different to the Rift which will have you sat at your desk.
The headsets will retail starting with the Rift pre-selling at $599 with an expected shipping date of July 2016 and the Vive will be pre-selling at $799 with an expected shipping date of around May 2016. There is quite a difference in price between the two but to make things even worse for the Rift they have announced that this price will not include the VR controllers and will only include an Xbox One controller, you will have to purchases the VR controllers separately. The next consideration is that the Vive has 2 additional pieces of kit, two base stations which help map the physical space you can navigate and will included 2 VR controllers making the Vive in my opinion the better value for money of the two headsets.
My next concern was how the development community will work with these devices. The hardware from both companies is similar in many ways but it will be the games and software which make the two different. The fact that Steam is behind the Vive will mean an easy way for developers to sell their games to users on the Steam platform as a developer you will want sales and if I was making VR games I would lean towards the Steam platform. I really struggle to see how the Rift can even begin to compete with the Vive in this area.
The Final Word!
I will be an early adapter to virtual reality and right now I am leaning towards the HTC Vive in fact I would say I am 99% committed to buying the HTC Vive as soon as I have upgraded my graphics card at the end of this month. To me it looks like the HTC Vive has killed the Oculus Rift before it has even been released and the general opinion amongst people who have tried both seems to be the same.
The following video was released by Barnacules Nerdgasm a popular YouTuber titled: HTC VIVE Demo & Game Play – Oculus Killer?
I would love to hear your comments below, what are your thoughts on VR technology and how will Twitch streamers use it?