Virtual Reality Check: Reporter spends week with VR system

April 16, 2016 - photo frame

  • This design expelled by HTC Vive shows a Owlchemy Labs diversion Job Simulator, where players assume such roles as line prepare and store clerk. (HTC Vive around AP) Photo: Owlchemy Labs, AP / HTC Vive



LOS ANGELES (AP) — I’m no foreigner to practical reality.

For a past 3 years, I’ve been stating on and experiencing a expansion of complicated VR during several trade shows, party studios and attention events. It wasn’t until we set adult a many immersive VR complement on a marketplace in my possess home that we accepted usually how extraordinary — and frustrating — a interactive 360-degree middle can be.

After contrast Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR prototypes for 10 to 30 mins during a time over a years, we finally spent an whole week with a consumer book of a Vive, an $800 room-scale VR complement expelled this month by smartphone builder HTC and diversion colonize Valve. It uses a span of wand-shaped controllers to impersonate hands in practical worlds displayed within goggles.

My personal comment follows.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Derrik Lang covers a video gaming attention for The Associated Press.



It’s here!

The complement arrives on my doorstep in a large box. The headset, controllers, sensors, some earbuds and many, many, many cables are sleekly finished in a padded case. we fast bravery out a components until they resemble an octopus-like quadruped crawling conflicting a building of my home office, that will offer as my temporary VR cavern for a subsequent week.

An on-screen beam says it’ll take underneath a half-hour to get a Vive adult and using with a high-powered PC I’ve borrowed. It’s easy during first. we follow along, relating adult a plugs and slots. Suddenly, I’m during an impasse. My graphics label needs a wire that didn’t come with a Vive, requiring a outing to my internal wiring store.




With a scold cables in hand, we try to finish installing a system. The many unwieldy partial of environment adult a Vive is positioning a sensors to detect a headset and controllers in a room. The manufacturer suggests they be mounted on conflicting walls, aloft than 6 feet above a floor. we opt to temporarily fasten them to screen rods though issue.

I’m roughly in VR, right?

Wrong. Despite immature lights on all a gizmos and software, a room setup program keeps crashing. we strech out to HTC tech support. we spend a subsequent several hours reinstalling software, updating drivers and messing around with settings. Eventually, HTC tech support deems a usually resolution is to uninstall my handling system, that we can’t do.

I give up.



Can we finally make a Vive come alive?

I accept an email from HTC tech support. It turns out my top-of-the-line $3,000 graphics label won’t play good with a Vive. we barter it out with a $300 one approved for VR. It works flawlessly. The goggles start broadcasting imagery, and I’m ecstatic inside Aperture Laboratories, a mind-bending environment of a “Portal” diversion series.

It’s like Christmas morning. we wish to knowledge all all during once. we rebound around over 30 VR titles. One minute, I’m on a cartoony beach. The next, I’m clearly station atop a towering with a robotic dog. we spend a subsequent 10 hours in and out of opposite VR creations.

It’s maddeningly fun though not utterly as constrained as we anticipated.




My physique feels as if we spent an whole weekend during an entertainment park eating string candy and roving drum coasters. I’m not disposed to suit sickness, nonetheless a whole day in VR has me feeling like I’ve been punched in a face.

Besides wooziness, a haunt wall is surrounding me in a genuine world. See, Vive’s program employs what it calls a “chaperone,” a gridded separator that pops adult when a user moves too tighten to a corner of their real-life play space. After saying it so many yesterday, I’m now devising it everywhere we go.

I confirm to abandon venturing into VR altogether today.



After recuperating from my VR binge, I’m feeling like myself again and can’t wait to burst behind into “Hover Junkers,” a quirky sci-fi Western-themed diversion that pits online players conflicting any other in hovercraft shootouts. It’s a full-body knowledge since a controllers offer as practical guns and steering wheels, while participants contingency steep in genuine life to equivocate being shot.

I learn a “chaperone” environment can be altered to be reduction obtrusive. we also learn a neat underline that uses a headset’s front-facing camera to yield a glance into a genuine universe when navigating a Vive’s menus. we see now that my genuine dog has been staring during me this whole time. we can’t suppose what he’s thinking.

I’m usually blissful we haven’t stepped on him.




While valiantly attempting to lapse a offer in “SelfieTennis,” a tennis diversion where users play conflicting — we guessed it — themselves, we outing over a massive cord that protrudes from a tip of a 1.2-pound headset. we locate myself before totally descending on my face, nonetheless in a process, we mangle a design support sitting on a circuitously layer with one of a controllers.

Perhaps my knees were too diseased from holding cover in “Hover Junkers” so much?



I’m commencement to trust VR is inspiring my subconscious. It could simply be a coincidence, though I’ve been experiencing a many clear dreams this week. I’m articulate crazy, psychic fantasies where I’m drifting over castles and teleporting conflicting space and time. When I’m not in VR, it’s most all we can consider about.

However, I’m not fulfilled.

I’ve been eager about VR in a years heading adult to this week. I’ve longed to feel a same prodigy we had when playing, say, a “Super Mario Bros.” diversion for a initial time. There’s usually been passing moments of awe, like being surrounded by a overflow of intense jellyfish in “theBlu.”

One thing is certain. we need to distortion down. My conduct hurts again.


Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter during His work can be found during

Editor’s Note: Derrik Lang covers a video gaming attention for The Associated Press.

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