SteamVR Performance Tool knows if your PC can Vive

SteamVR Performance Tool knows if your PC can Vive

We recently learned the price of the HTC Vive and all that your money will get you, but there was still one major detail that had yet to be confirmed by HTC or Valve; what PC specs will it take to run Vive. The new SteamVR Performance Test is the tool that will give you all the details you need even though you haven’t bought the Vive yet. And we know you want to!

Valve’s new tool will evaluate your PC, or rig as those who custom built their own call them and it will give you a metered chart based on the hardware inside your box. The results of the test will let you know if you any of your equipment fails to meet the recommended specs to run a smooth VR experience with the HTC Vive or other VR Ready hardware on the SteamVR platform.

The handy little tool can be downloaded from the Steam store or the SteamDB site and will only take up approximately before extraction. After you run the app on your computer you’ll find out if you need to get a new graphics processor or CPU or possibly both due to the details the Vive will need sent to those little displays in the Head Mounted Display.

Update: After a comment below from Andre and actually having the time to download the test it appears the download is much larger than I stated earlier. Steam reported the app to be 4700+ MB’s, but my download says the file ended up taking 1.9 GB of disk space. So depending on your network speed it could take a little while to download.

HTC adds new feature and throws in two games with the Vive

HTC adds new feature and throws in two games with the Vive for $799

HTC has kept the price of the Vive from us long enough! While at Mobile World Congress the team let the cat out of the bag and officially announced the Vive’s price and all the features those dollars will get you. The price of HTC and Valve’s state-of-the-art virtual reality system is going to be $799 US dollars with the price possibly varying per country and with tax/shipping costs.

We anticipated the cost to be a bit above the cost of the Oculus Rift, but less than $1000 and the confirmed price is right in the middle. The included hardware will be the HMD, two wireless controllers, two lighthouses for tracking.

HTC has outdone themselves by adding so much technology into a beautiful package. Speaking of the package, for a limited time HTC is going to include two fully-fledged VR experiences to get you started. Those titles are:

  • Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives,by Owlchemy Labs: In a firmly tongue-in-cheek world where robots have replaced all human jobs, step into the ‘Job Simulator’ to learn what it was like ‘to job’.
  • Fantastic Contraption, by Northway Games in collaboration with Radial Games: Imagine walking around a grassy island floating in the sky, building a machine the size of a horse with your own hands, and then watching it roll out into the world.

Here’s a teaser video of Fantastic Contraption using early Vive tech:

Along with the Vive’s polished Head Mounted Display (HMD) with a front facing camera that blends reality with the virtual, brighter displays for deeper immersion, and wireless haptic feedback controllers HTC has added Vive Phone Services.

HTC bridges another gap by extending your phone into the virtual environment. The Vive allows you to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset, it creates a hybrid reality opening up a whole new world of possibilities for both consumers and businesses.

The Vive we saw at CES will be the same design shipping at launch. The only changes until then, if any, will be software tweaks and all future updates will be passed along through the SteamVR platform which is HTC’s main method for delivering content to Vive with.

HTC specifically says pre-orders for the Vive will go live at 10AM ET on February 29th and will begin to ship on the 1st of April.

Now that you know the price of the Vive we want to know if you will be first in line to buy the Vive online.

This is the HTC Vive retail model

This is the HTC Vive retail model

While roaming the halls of MWC this afternoon, we received an email from HTC which informed us that the retail version of the HTC Vive was on its way to HTC’s booth and would be put on display. As you might expect, we adjusted our plans and headed towards HTC. The images below are of the final product – exactly what customers will get wen they pull the Vive out of the box.

It doesn’t look much different from the Vive Pre, but the retail version has a triangular strap connection on the top and the body appears to have a few subtle tweaks. Based on what you’re heard about the Vive, will you be shelling out $800 at launch to be among the first to get your hands on the world’s best VR system?

Epic build with its Unreal Editor in virtual reality

As we teeter on the brink of modern virtual reality, developers are hard at work coding the imaginary worlds we’ll one day step foot in. Ironically enough, they’ve largely been building virtual experiences using traditional tools – you know, a mouse and keyboard.

For the past year, Epic Games has been working on bring its Unreal Editor inside the virtual world. Instead of developers building games the traditional way, Epic’s new approach allows them to strap on an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and build the game fromwithin the game.

Epic founder Tim Sweeney told The Verge that things like a sense of scale don’t translate well between flat screens and VR. Props, for example, may feel normal in a traditional PC game but may look overly large or small in an immersive environment.

The VR Unreal Editor looks and acts much like its flatscreen counterpart but with the ability to roam free and edit on-the-fly using hand motions and gestures. For example, one can physically “grab” an object and move it around or use a two-handed pinch-and-zoom technique like on a mobile device to adjust its size. For more complicated tasks, developers can bring up a handheld version of the flatscreen interface which is kind of like having a tablet with you at all times.

Epic says it’ll showcase its VR Unreal Editor in greater detail at the Game Developers Conference on March 16. We’ll also learn more about Unreal’s release plans at that time.