back to article In Barcelona, no one can hear you scream ... HTC, Valve unleash Giger-inspired VR headgear

HTC has followed in the footsteps of Facebook-owned Oculus and Microsoft with its own VR headset. It’s making the unit, dubbed Vive, in partnership with Valve, and claimed it would be in punters' hands by the end of the year. HTC was coy showing it off at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today: El Reg didn’t even get to try …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    +umpteen for the Ivor Cutler link

    Brings back memories of the man himself - sometimes struggling to keep a straight face, you could hear, among your own helpless tears of mirth - and of John Peel as a bonus.

  2. Ragequit
    Devil

    Hololens isn't VR...it's AR..

    But rather than quibble over semantics I'm rather underwhelmed at all the hardware announcements. I agree that VR/AR both have great potential but am disheartened that nobody really seems to be talking about truly harnessing that potential. I roll my eyes at video watching (at least the 2D projected into 3D affair). Everyone's very quick to adapt current content into VR/AR, but very few are considering how to make something from the ground up tailored to it. At least in the near term. I would argue that these tailored experiences need to be available at launch for success. But I suppose that's a bit of a chicken and the egg thing. Content types don't want to invest in unproven (and low marketshare) kit and the kit needs content to drive marketshare.

    That all said I'm really wondering if this so called partnership with Valve is much like the clumsy (non) launch of the Steamboxes. Piston? claimed they were Valve partners too. But in the end it seems valve likes to court hardware manufacturers with little care for real commitment. Unless Valve themselves announce this partnership I'm a little dubious.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Hololens isn't VR...it's AR..

      The developers have to have some hardware before they can really get stuck into creating some great AR applications.

      Sony have taken the approach of making some developer-only AR goggles.

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: Hololens isn't VR...it's AR..

      WRT to Steam, SteamOS is coming along pretty well, just still in beta/testing. It's never been claimed as anything else that I recall. Sort of hoping that the GDC conference has a bit more info. It's 'launch' has really been series of announcements of progress on SteamOS and info about how hardware partners would work with them and what to expect from them.

      As for Xi3 (makers of the piston), they worked with Valve for a bit in the early days, then backed out - Valve mentioned that they had worked together but have since gone seperate ways - probably after a senior person at Xi3 started banging on about how awsume Windows was. Xi3 then continued to use Steam terminology to fluff up their PR, saying that the Piston was the first commercially available Steam Box, even though (more likely because...) partner hardware is called Steam Machines....

      Basically Xi3 are a pretty shady bunch when it comes to their association with Valve, and I'm prepared to cut Valve some slack on that one as I got confused by it too back in the day.

      Source? Google and widely known facts. Plenty of info on the Xi3 debacle here.

      Steven R

  3. Khaptain Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Giger - Really !!

    Anyone that knows Gigers works would have a hard time finding anything Giger related... A couple of cables sticking out the top, cmon... I really don't see too much of the BioMechaniks here, or is it all virtual.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Giger - Really !!

      > Anyone that knows Gigers works would have a hard time finding anything Giger related... A couple of cables sticking out the top, cmon... I really don't see too much of the BioMechaniks here, or is it all virtual.....

      I came here to say pretty much the same.

      Most of Giger's work involved the diabolical fusion of the technological with the biological.

      I honestly really don't see any of that here.

  4. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    All HTC could divulge is that the Vive will stream at 90fps – anything less induces nausea

    I always thought VR actually stood for Vomit Realization.

  5. Graham Marsden
    Alien

    Pah!

    I was expecting something that looked like a Face Hugger...!

  6. Long John Brass Silver badge

    This is the one I want

    http://technicalillusions.com/

  7. John Tserkezis

    "So perhaps as you sit in your driverless car, you can recreate the experience of what people used to call “driving” … in 3D."

    I get the same thing looking through the regular windshield now. Without the framerate limitations, though, depending on who's driving, nausea may or may not be an issue.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Yes, but with AR you can entertain yourself by running over some virtual pedestrians made to look like your boss...

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Sony isn't really Sony as much as it used to be"

    Good. About time their rootkitting, awful, privacy-invading, PC-crashing hardware division burned to the ground. And putting Java into a bloody thing made for watching movies was the absolute worst idea anyone has ever had in the history of entertainment.

    I will never buy another piece of Sony hardware again, period.

    So I'm not at all unhappy that Sony keeps to films. That, at least, will not be rooted - for the time being.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "Sony isn't really Sony as much as it used to be"

      >I will never buy another piece of Sony hardware again, period.

      Are you sure? I mean Sony camera sensors are used in kit from quite a few vendors.

  9. Boothy

    API standards

    Are all these various vendors of VR and AR hardware going to be sticking to some form of common API for the games and applications themselves?

    I'm all for multiple competing companies bringing out their own hardware, as competition should be a good thing here. It should help keep the specs up, and the costs down.

    But what I don't want to see is, 'VR Game X' requires the Rift, but 'VR Game Y' requires Vive etc.

    Granted you might get one game running 'better' on certain hardware, i.e. one VR headset might have a better resolution, but another VR headset a better framerate, so some games would likely favour one vendor/headset model over another, but we should still be able to play all the VR games (for a given platform) on a single headset, irrespective of vendor.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: API standards

      Hardware vendors can't agree on the cables used to plug their kit into a PC, or the power supplies used to recharge their toys, or the standards used to encode videos, DVDs or HD variants thereof.

      Hardware vendors also insist on shipping their own "enhanced" (and after six months, unsupported) versions of free software, rather than simply pushing the necessary mods upstream.

      Stick to a common API? I'm not holding my breath. More likely is that they try to sue the shirt off anyone who tries to implement such an API.

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