The HTC Re Vive looks to be the main contender against Oculus Rift Crescent Bay, according to early hands-on tests by press at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Using Valve’s own Steam VR platform, the HTC Re Vive does more than strap a smartphone onto a VR headset, it offers the complete package similar to the Oculus Rift.
This makes it a true VR headset and not just two eye holes and a smartphone screen, allowing the developers to truly take advantage of things like depth and positional tracking, two sensors that will become very important in the VR battle.
HTC has added new sensors capable of understanding where you are in a room, creating a projection of the room and allowing the game to understand these limitations.
It offers a new immersive experience, alongside the new remotes for the HTC Re Vive. Oculus has had to get by on third-party remotes and accessories, meaning it cannot optimise the controls to the same level Valve can with its own controller.
Four demos are shown off to press at the two events, as teasers of what the HTC Re Vive is capable of offering in terms of gaming. Valve is clearly more focused on the gaming side than offering entertainment, but experiences could be a crucial thing in VR.
Experiences are not games per-se, they do not offer an end-goal or sense or reward. Instead, they plonk the user down in a world and let them walk around, potentially unravelling different mysteries inside of the world.
There are already games like this on PC, like Gone Home and Dear Esther, both without any sense of reward or fail-state, and only there to show a story. Most developers see virtual reality as a world for these types of genres to be explored, and the HTC Vr Vive offers the most intuitive and immersive platform to make these games.