*Disclaimer: This is an MRTV community article. The opinions, representations and statements made within the article are those of the author and not necessarily those of MRTV.*
I’ve been wanting a VR Headset for a couple years now, but only recently with my new computer I planned to get one. I was going to buy the HTC Vive + Deluxe audio, but after seeing the Valve HMD leaks I decided to get a Lenovo Explorer, and save the rest in case we get any more information on the Valve Headset
Originally, I decided I simply couldn’t get the Windows headsets because of the tracking, but generally it’s okay. It’s definitely not perfect, but it is good enough. In most practical circumstances I found no issues, except some expert+ custom songs on Beatsaber, but it rarely made me miss a beat. If they stay out the cameras field of view (which is larger than what you see in the headset) then they will freeze in place until the camera sees them again. Any movements like getting an arrow from your virtual quiver work fine, and so do shooting it. If you’re hands are behind you for 5 seconds you will be fine, although my experience does show that after around 5 seconds it will freeze in place. (Also, for reference I’m using the Microsoft recommended Pluggable bluetooth 4.0 adaptor in a USB 2.0 port)
As for the controllers, I was dreading them as I heard they do not fit in your hands well, but I don’t have huge amounts to complain about them. They fit in my hands relatively well – despite the fact I have small hands – and they seemed to feel fine for me. I’d rather them to the bulky heavy vive wands, but they’re nothing compared to the touch controllers. They have every button from the Vive wands, and most apart from the X and Y buttons on touch, although you can map pressing the touchpad in different areas to different buttons, so generally any game works.
As for the headset itself, I have had a couple issues. While it seems everyone found it more comfortable, I find Vive (with audio as that is all I’ve ever tried) and Rift miles more comfortable. They may be heavy, but because of my bad shaped head, the headset sits quite far in front of my head, and the halo always slides down too low. Although exchanging the front and back padding of the halo did help this a lot. (Thank you person on MRTV Discord who said that). It’s incredibly light and the display is good. I find the lenses fog up rather quickly, but only a couple times when you first start it up. The resolution makes the SDE less noticeable, and makes games nicer and sharper. However, the build quality of the headset isn’t good. I got it second hand, and the cable management clip wasn’t there, and from what I hear, it snaps off super easily anyway. I used a cable tie which helps, but it can become uncomfortable. To me the plastic feels cheap, kind of like a toy. It feels like if I intended this to last more than a year, I may be needing a repair or replacement part. Finally, the worst part of it for me is the lack of an integrated microphone at least. I’ve only got my microphone to work in steamVR once, but I’m hoping I can fix this with some tweaking.
As for game selection, it really has it all. It has a couple windows store games that you can get anywhere else (but I bought a couple with my Microsoft Rewards points, and the bigger ones are good), it has steamVR – in my opinion the best VR platform – obviously Viveport as that is part of steamVR (sort of) and finally oculus, which I haven’t yet used. However, everything I have used has worked well enough.
In conclusion, I love the headset and it was a steal for £120 second hand, but if I hear something new coming with the valve headset, I think this will be forgotten rather fast.