Among the improvements to come to the latest version of the Vive is easier access to a feature that will maximize the device’s field of view between users and be a boon to glasses wearers.

The Vive Pre (and consumer Vive, which is essentially the same) has both a mechanism to adjust the distance between lenses (IPD), but also the distance from the user’s eyes to the lenses. Maximum field of view is achieved when the lenses are as close to the eye as they can comfortably be, and for each user this distance will be different depending upon facial structure.

htc-vive-lens-to-eye-distance-adjustment-knob 2

Revealed in the Vive’s manual, HTC has smartly combined the headstrap attachment and lens-to-eye adjustment knob into a single mechanism. To adjust the lens-to-eye distance, grab the rubber part of the headstrap attachment on the sides of the headset and pull outward to unlock the mechanism. From there, twist each knob equally to move the lenses forward or back. Click the knobs back into place to lock in your setting.

htc-vive-lens-to-eye-adjustment-knob-2

This adjustment will come in especially handy to make room for those who need to wear glasses while using the headset. On the original HTC Vive development kit, this adjustment was even more hidden, with a tiny knob inside the face-gasket, making it impossible to adjust while wearing the headset. The Vive Pre’s way of doing it should make it easy to dial in your fit while actually wearing the device (rather than doing trial and error).

htc-vive-pre
See Also: Hands-on – HTC Vive Pre Brings Notable Improvements to Visuals, Tracking, and Ergonomics

The Oculus Rift DK2 also had such an adjustment, but the consumer Rift that’s shipping next month doesn’t. Oculus instead says they’ll include several different foam liners to create a buffer for those with or without glasses, though we suspect this will be a more cumbersome adjustment, especially when passing the headset around between several users.

Sony’s PlayStation VR headset also includes a lens-to-eye adjustment though it’s achieved in a slightly different way. The PlayStation VR headset hangs down from the supporting band around the user’s head, and a button on the bottom of the headset allows the user to slide the entire display enclosure closer or further from their eyes.

  • sirlance

    I have already allocated money for the vive..and we are building a home soon ,i told my wife my office has to be a certain size which has befuddled her…lol

    • care package

      It doesn’t REALLY have to be a certain size though. Any room size can be made to work, from a jail cell to a warehouse.

      • CURTROCK

        Hmmmm….Jail cell….Imagine the incentive to prisoners for good behaviour, if the reward would be time allowed in VR. A jail cell equipped with a Rift or Vive takes on a revolutionary & controversial new meaning. Locked in a cell, yet roaming through vast open spaces? Freedom, through VR?

        • care package

          Wow that really does spark up an interesting idea! I guess until one of them rage quits and smashes the HMD.
          I think we all tend to feel like we are in a prison to some degree. It is after all, a ‘virtual’ reality.

        • yag

          Some sort of “VR evasion” as an incentive could work, but conservative leaders don’t like the idea of prisoners having good times…
          I think VR will be used in prison mainly for education and therapy (that would be already great).

        • Sam Illingworth

          It could be great for rehabilitation programmes!

  • care package

    The lack of adjustments for the rift most likely make it lighter. I’m sure the Rift will be the lightest one, and with integrated headphones? I love that idea. Vive, Rift, and SPVR aren’t making it easy for me choose a favorite. I’m going to have to get all 3. I’ll probably wait on Sony’s.

    • Mateusz Pawluczuk

      Yup gotta buy both, as both Rift & Vive seem to offer some unique features. Rift seems to focus on allowing users to spend many hours at a time, including TPP RTS and other genres, while Vive focuses on giving you a full blown feeling of presense that makes you feel like you’re teleported somewhere else. Yup… gotta have both lol

      • CURTROCK

        Yup. Gotta get all 3. It’s just a matter of order of preference. For me, it’s Rift, then PSVR, followed by VIVE. Hopefully all 3 by the end of the year.

        • John R

          I had planned on the exact same order based on expecting the Vive to be 1000-1200 USD. Now I have flipped the Rift and Vive as the pricing is so close.

          I’m actually kicking myself for even considering getting the Rift before the Touch comes out as I already know the experience is basically novelty without motion controllers.

          • CURTROCK

            Ultimately John, I think you are correct about motion controllers, but we have been using game controllers with Rift for years. “Touch” actually looks more natural than Vive’s controllers. Perhaps hand tracking will be the ultimate “control” in VR. If you have tried Eve Valkyre, you will know that for some VR experiences, game controllers work. But I have tried VIVE, and it’s awesome, so I want BOTH. Congrats to HTC/Steam on what looks like a successful launch today!

          • John R

            Hand tracking with something like gloves (if that is what you mean by ‘Touch’) would be much more natural but technology is not yet at a level to achieve that complexity at a low latency.

            Yes, I have been using K&M as well as game controllers for years with my devkits, that doesn’t make them good or immersive input devices for VR, it just means they are usable. While Vive’s controllers aren’t a perfect fit, they definitely feel much better than any other input device available currently and give you further immersion into virtual worlds (Touch seems to be more ergonomic but I am only comparing what is currently available) – the first thing everyone wants to do in VR is reach out to things and interact with them; motion controllers allow you that freedom which is the point I was trying to make.

      • care package

        Exactly! you talked me into it….
        Even though I’m confident the Vive will be the best VR experience, I really see myself using the rift more because I’ll probably want to sit more, and the integrated headphones look cool (temp) and easy. I used headphones ONCE with the DK2 and hated it. It was just too much. I felt like I was wearing a helmet at that point and I started overheating fast. I’m a fit guy too.
        The PC speakers won’t be an option with a stand up experience.

        • Bryan Ischo

          If you want to save some money …

          You can sit with the Vive as well as the Rift. The Lighthouse sensors are perfectly capable in that configuration.

          You can buy earbud headphones or headphones that clip above the ears instead of having a headband going over the head if somehow having normal headphones overheats you.

          Then just buying one – the Vive – would be sufficient.

          In my experience with the DK2 the eye-to-lense distance adjustment is key to having the best visual experience (if you get it right, the field of view is as wide as it can be and the lens “sweet spot” is much easier to stay in and encompasses a larger part of your field of view). However, the DK2’s adjustment mechanism is just crappy. You have to pull and push the thing and the force required means it’s difficult to stop at just the right point, plus the fact that it doesn’t lock in means that inevitably it pops out as you adjust the rift on your head, or take the rift off and put it back on.

          I am impressed to see that the Vive creators actually took this aspect seriously. I believe that at this point I’ll be skipping the Rift and just getting a Vive.

          Last year before I got my DK2 I was also in the camp of “I’m going to get all three headsets when they come out”. However, after living with the DK2 for a while my enthusiasm is tempered a bit. When these displays have 200 degree field of view and 4x the resolution … then I’ll plunk down the big bucks. Until then, just one device will be sufficient for me.

          • care package

            I have a feeling the Vive will cater more to the stand up experience though, which is fine, that is what it’s being marketed as.
            The rift (and PSVR) will cater to the sit down experience more. I’d love to save money, but I think it’s going to come in the form of no PSVR.
            My other problem with the Vive is my office is a bit small. I have bigger rooms, but it’s not where my PC is.

          • John R

            The Vive is just as capable of a seated experience (and would be ridiculous not to be) so “catering more” to the stand up experience is an unusual statement to make.
            It has the ability to be used as a fully capable room-scale stand-up experience over the Rift, sure, but it doesn’t negatively impact the seated experience.

            I have a Vive setup in a shoe-box closet room (room is literally 3m x 2m dimensions) working just fine seated; if anything, I don’t have to worry about issues when turning in my chair with the Vive while I do with my Rift DK2 (which will be the same for the CV1 Rift).

          • care package

            I never said the Vive wouldn’t work seated. Why would anyone say that? “catering more” means games for the Vive will cater to what the Vive can do. Not sure why you don’t understand that. Games where you are meant to stand, mini golf, hover junkers, job simulator, etc.
            Games I won’t be playing on the Rift. If the exclusives are few and far in between, than really the Vive is a clear choice, but the Rift does have it’s advantages. Lighter headset (from what I’ve gathered) and integrated headphones.
            Vive “type” games will be more novelty, and like the wii, people will end up back on their asses most of the time. You’ll see.

          • John R

            It is implied by acting like the hardware dictates the games that will be played with the Vive. While game developers might develop games solely for the Vive (more indie developers who aren’t looking at a big market to target) which are aimed at being stand-up experiences, this doesn’t mean Vive is limited to these games, they can play whatever is made for seated experiences too while Oculus only has the choice of seated experiences without motion controllers; not sure why you don’t understand that as that is the point I’m making.

            Oculus ‘exclusives’ are exclusive to their software platform, not the hardware, which has always been voiced by Oculus and therefore means there is no limitations to having a Vive.

            I don’t believe any VR enthusiast doesn’t already have a decent headset or can’t afford a decent headset and being lighter means lacking adjustments for people with glasses, etc; with the devkits and prototypes I’ve never once heard anyone complain about weight. If you’re going to call those “advantages” over motion tracking and faster, more accurate room-scale tracking then you live in an unusual world.

            I love how you assume to know how the future of VR gaming will by comparing it to a Wii, your ignorance just makes you look stupid with the regurgitated comments every person who hasn’t tried VR uses.

            You can’t be serious in regards to whether or not Vive would work with a game controller – are you that delusional that you think other peripherals are setup to block the use of input devices? It comes down to the specific application on what they support, if you can use a controller then you can use a controller…

          • Steve Leach

            While you are correct is stating the the Vive is capable of doing both seated and standing experiences, the software developers are, for the most part, targeting stand up experiences on the Vive, and Sit down experiences on the Rift. And to be fair, the Rift is completely capable of doing room scale – it just needs a longer cord, second camera and motion controllers (and I believe all those things will be available in the near future). The real question is where the software developers will put their support. It’s the developers who will ultimately decide if a particular piece of hardware succeeds or fails by providing adequate content (or not). Both the Rift and the Vive are going to be excellent VR headsets. Personally, I did not choose – I ordered both…

          • CURTROCK

            I love the VIVE, but I still want a Rift. The DK2 experience is not comparable to the CV1.

          • http://www.djdowism.com/ Will

            Isn’t the Vive more expensive than the Rift?

          • chtan

            Not really when you factor in the Touch. That will be another USD200~300. So, they both ended up on par. Also you need 3 USB3 instead of 1 for Oculus.

          • http://www.djdowism.com/ Will

            My research seems to suggest $100 – $200 dollars?

          • John R

            Actually at 200-300 for Touch, Vive works out cheaper.

            To match room-scale you’ll also need to buy at least one more IR camera for Oculus and you need to factor in additional shipping costs for Oculus Touch and IR cameras as well (when they are finally available to match the experience).

    • james harrison

      Whatever headphones they come up with will be inferior to what the user can purchase on their own.

      • care package

        I read somewhere it’s not a cheap set, but if you want to use your own you can take them off. I’m no audiophile so I don’t care that much. Although sound placement is important, it’s a cost reward thing, and wearing headphones is not enough of a reward for the cost of wearing them. Even ear buds aren’t ideal since they get uncomfortable after a while. I see the Oculus solution as the easiest and the most comfortable – by far.
        Rift = best long term experience
        Vive = best short term experience

        • chtan

          Not really. Oculus has an occlusion problem and it cannot be solve easily even with 2 strategically placed camera. You cannot put in additional camera and hope it works. Also you need to tether the cable back to PC, this mean cable around the room.
          In Vive, you can just add in additional lighthouse to fill in the gap and you don’t need to tether the lighthouse cable back to PC. Secondly, seated experiences get old very fast. I have almost all GearVR games in Oculus store. They offered all the same seated shooting experience with slight variation and skin changes.
          I will pick Vive for it efficiency, room size experience and of course game since they are backed by Steam.

          • http://www.djdowism.com/ Will

            It seems unlikely that occlusion will ever be a problem for the vast majority of users; Lighthouse is very cool but mostly an advantage in very large rooms.

            As for game library, it seems that most PC games will be compatible with both Rift and Vive through Steam. Steam VR was developed ground up with Oculus in mind; Valve will always make most of their cash off of Steam itself rather than any hardware sales – similar to the console model.

          • chtan

            check up the discussion in reddit.
            https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/484t9d/palmer_luckey_notch_have_you_tried_anything_from/d0hdhpt
            Rift potentially has a problem to track fast moving hands movement. And you need two camera to tackle the occlusion problem.

          • John R

            Actually Palmer basically stated that was a load of BS and this post debunks it https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/489kya/how_the_rift_vives_tracking_actually_workj/.
            The only thing consumers need to factor in with the tracking systems is the Rift’s occlusion issues compared to Vive and that Vive is capable of proper room-scale tracking, especially when we are talking large rooms.

          • http://www.djdowism.com/ Will

            Interesting information. Still, every hands-on I’ve ever read has indicated it works quite well, and most prefer it’s mechanics to the Vive controllers. Sony has been using their goofy off the shelf camera and fluorescent Styrofoam ball system for ages and it seems to work quite well, despite clearly being lower tech than either Oculus’ or HTC’s solutions.

          • care package

            GearVR isn’t real VR. I can certainly see how someone would come to the conclusion it would get old using that.
            I played Alien Isolation all in VR, which would have been hard to do standing the whole time. It was the best gaming experience I’ve ever had. It didn’t get old at any point, especially since I play games now sitting down, much like everyone does.
            Does playing games outside of VR get old when sitting down, or do you feel like standing up while doing it?
            Games developed for a stand up experience are going to be different, utilizing the hand controllers more, shorter duration…etc. Games like Alien Isolation (racing games, ect.) are better with a gaming controller and sitting down.
            I’ve got the Vive and Rift on preorder but the status of either one of those can still change. I have a feeling, just like I said before, the stand up experiences will have a novelty feel to them and be the most immersive, but it’s the relaxing sit down experiences like I had with AI that will end up preferred.
            PSVR will probably end up reigning king.

          • John R

            I can’t help but laugh at this constant “standing all the time” quip. It isn’t a factor with Vive so it is a on-statement to start with – Vive’s seated experience is no less than the Rift’s.

            Also, even if standing all the time was the case – yes, standing can be perceived as “tiring” and a nuisance, and understandably so when you think of it theoretically and aren’t used to doing so.
            Lots of people with seated jobs say the same about standing while working yet there are lots of people that work all day standing that don’t have an issue with it.
            A lot of people at seated jobs are also getting standing desks and are not only finding it preferable but also more productive which kind of debunks the whole “standing experiences are gimmicky”, if that is what you are going for.

            In reality, both immersive seated and standing (if you have the space for it) experiences will have their applications and will be desired regularly (without even getting into the desires for health benefits). Rift does not allow for both while Vive does so deciding when it comes to “seated vs standing” should only be based on lack of standing instead of “standing all the time”.

            I don’t quite get saying Alien Isolation is better suited for a seated experience; it would suit a stand-up experience much more if it had been designed for it so a game like Alien Isolation in the future would not be designed as a seated experience with a controller (as it just wouldn’t be as good; and yes, I have played Alien Isolation in VR).

            Your comments leave me to believe you haven’t experienced motion controllers yet? As once you realise the immersion you feel in VR with them, your perspective of seated VR should be quite different. There will be a lot of seated VR experiences but standing experiences with motion controllers is where most of VR will lead towards.

          • care package

            Did I say ‘standing up all the time’? Not what I meant if I did. Do you really think I THINK the only games that will be available for the Vive will be stand up only?
            What I do think is many of the games WILL be a stand up only experience.
            Using jobs as and example isn’t fair since people that are sitting at work or standing at work are doing it because they have to.
            I would agree Alien Isolation could be made easily as a stand up experience, but I spent 30 hours in that game in VR. Could I have done that standing up and/or physically crouching? Would I even want to? I don’t think so.

      • http://www.djdowism.com/ Will

        The headphones have been reported as quite good, with a very balanced, neutral, transparent sound and excellent imaging with a very wide sound stage. Pretty much all you could ask for in VR headphones, and almost certainly much better than most users will currently own – as well as being more comfortable due to their mounting on the Rift’s frame.

      • UKRifter Oculus VR

        I understand why you would think this, because mobile manufacturers always include crappy ear buds. But the headphones are studio quality buds and retail at around $80 US. I found the sound to be better than my $400 Bose overear headphones.

  • james harrison

    “Maximum field of view is achieved when the lenses are as close to the eye as they can comfortably be.”

    Not sure this correct. Too close and you see the edges of the screen in your field of view. It’s all about getting the right balance.

    • benz145

      FOV will either be limited by the edge of the lenses or by the edge of the display. Either way, you get maximum FoV by having the lenses as close to your eyes as possible. Technically, this could be untrue based on the exit-pupil of the optical system, but for the types of lenses we’re talking about, I’ve never seen it come into play.

      • Sam Illingworth

        Won’t it make the individual pixels more noticeable though?

  • Matthew Lynch

    I really think the Vive, plus Gear VR is the Best all around combo at this time. Other than Lucky Tales, I am finding myself much more interested in the Vive and Gear VR experiences than CV1. I have been a big fan of Oculus and still am, but the CV1 is really not impressing me. I have tried the Vive for several hours and was totally blown away over crystal cove which is similar to the CV1. Somehow Oculus’s flagship product is closer in use case of the Gear VR than the Vive. How did this happen?

    • John R

      I feel the Rift will be a slightly superior headset (mostly due to lenses) but VR to be novelty without motion controllers, at the least, as well as 360 degree tracking. For this reason I feel like Vive is currently the only viable VR setup to consider right now (especially seeing as it is so close in price).

    • care package

      The Vive is certainly blowing people away, I know I will be if/when I get one, but I still see the standing VR more as a novelty the same way the Wii was. Give it time and people will end up back on their butts. The Rift will be a better sit down/long term experience mainly for comfort alone.

  • Hatless Chimp

    I’ve tried them all and taking everything in its this order.
    1st – HTC Vive
    2nd – PSVR
    3rd Oculus Rift CV1

    HTC Vive will be the VR eSports headset of choice. It works perfectly with the Virtuix Omni thanks to the better 360 tracking of the headset and controllers. The PSVR is amazing and 120hz is way better than 90hz. More people will be able to afford them and their are 36 million potential users on day one by buying a single product. Where as PC users with a capable system are few and far between. Oculus has an epic fail on their hands with the touch controller, hence why its delayed! There is no 360 tracking and the controller is weird in the hand. Watch this space!!!

    • CURTROCK

      All reports of UX speak to the natural feel of Oculus Touch, and 360 tracking works with 2 sensors.

      • John R

        Occlusion issues are improved with 2 sensors; there are still issues with 360 tracking with 2 sensors (with Touch).

    • care package

      I would agree with that list, except I don’t see how VR being powered by a console is even comparable to a PC powered one (the rift). The 120hz is being achieved via duplication. It’s native 60hz. The rest of your points for the PSVR only reflect user base, not how good of VR it will be. I have no doubt the PSVR will reign king, but for those who want the best VR has to offer, I would SUSPECT the PSVR will end up in 3rd place. I’ve only experienced the DK2 so I don’t really know.

      • Sam Illingworth

        Still interesting that. Does anybody actual care what the frame rate is or how it’s achieved? What matters is the result, not the means. If it works then it works (and presumably the same technique can be used with the PC VR systems for even better performance.

        It is curious though, how can they manage with a PS4 when it takes a pretty high end PC, and if it’s not really running at a frame rate that’s fast enough then how do they avoid motion sickness?

        • care package

          They aren’t managing with a PS4 what can be done with a high end PC. What will be developed for the PSVR will be less demanding. I’m sure the PSVR will be great, but it won’t be the best VR has to offer. Time will tell I guess.

  • UKRifter Oculus VR

    This is only a hidden feature if you didn’t read the manual. So, in what sense is it hidden? Additionally, discovering this “hidden” feature doesn’t allow you to increase FOV as the device is already set to full FOV by default, it only allows people with glasses (or Marty Feldman eyes) to pull the lens away a bit.