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Eyes-on With the HTC Vive Pro


Sam Machkovech:

But I was officially in new VR fidelity territory. Lines of text were not necessarily as sharp as if someone was waving a real-life banner in front of my face, but I’ve tested games with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift often enough to know how blurry even their big-text content can look. The most telling moments came when HTC reps bounced me back to the SteamVR Home interface between demos, which let me look at familiar, text-filled menus and recognize an instant, appreciable jump in text and texture quality. I didn’t have to teleport up to the Home interface’s text menus to read them. I was good at a comfortable distance. And within the RP1 demos, I could actually appreciate detailed environment textures during high-action alien-blasting scenarios. That’s never really been the case with the VR headsets I’ve used the most.

As of the time of writing, the Vive is the VR headset I’ve had the most time to play with. Each time I came away impressed, but that screen door effect did go some way toward ruining the illusion. It sounds as though this 2.0 iteration improves things, but there still some room for improvement. Being able to actually read text text sounds like a very good thing, though.

The cameras in the front of the device make me think they’re trying to do away with the need for the lighthouses. That would make an at home setup much easier, but I can’t help but wonder how they’d then track the hand controllers. The hand controllers, incidentally, might be my favourite part of the the Vive experience.