GeForce GTX Is VR-Ready For The HTC Vive
Today, the virtual reality revolution takes one more big step with the global release of the HTC and Valve-developed HTC Vive.
Throughout the Vive’s development NVIDIA has worked closely with both companies to optimize and improve the Virtual Reality experience. Specifically, HTC Vive takes advantage of our VRWorks Direct Mode feature to ensure plug-and-play compatibility, and Valve is working with our VR SLI and Multi-Res Shading technologies to improve performance in their applications.
For optimum performance from the second you hook up your HTC Vive, grab our VR-optimized Game Ready driver and apply our one-click Virtual Reality GeForce Experience Optimal Playable Settings for supported games.
If you’re unfamiliar with GeForce Experience, our essential application automatically applies game settings that deliver a great experience on your system. And in the case of Virtual Reality this is particularly important, as frame drops, frame spikes, and poor performance can lead to motion sickness, eye strain, and headaches.
By applying Virtual Reality Optimal Playable Settings you’ll receive 90 frames per second performance, which will deliver a smooth, enjoyable, immersive experience that will allow you to play in VR for prolonged periods.
If you’ve yet to get your system ready for VR you can check out our Virtual Reality system requirements, or go full hog and buy yourself a brand new VR-Ready GeForce GTX system direct from our partners. These systems can be configured to your liking, enabling you to play at higher detail levels, and have all the ports, outputs, and USB 3.0 connectors required for VR.
The key differentiator with the HTC Vive is its ability to enable “room-scale” experiences with direct manipulation of objects. In other words, you can walk through a space in your home, which translates into 1:1 movement in-game, and with the included controllers reach out and interact with objects. In Japan, Namco Bandai is uniquely utilizing this technology to create a new interactive gaming experience, as demonstrated in the entertaining video below.
For most gamers, room-scale will be involve navigating spaces, moving objects from one area to another, and manipulating the in-game scene in otherwise impossible ways. These, and the many other new experiences that developers will create, are enabled by the two included base stations and the two wireless controllers.
Of course, all this amazing new VR tech is nothing without the games. For the HTC Vive release there’ll be around fifty launch-window titles, giving early adopters a fantastic sampling of VR’s possibilities. Here’s a look at seven that we’re particularly excited for.
Ever wanted to climb Mount Everest? Now you can do just that from the comfort of your own home with Everest VR, from Reykjavik-based developer Sólfar Studios. By collaborating with movie effects company RVX they have recreated the world’s largest mountain in astonishing detail, enabling players to immerse themselves in the key stages of an ascent of the world’s most famous mountain, including Base Camp, Khumbu Icefalls, Lhotse Face, the Hillary Step and the Summit.
The experience was created using over 300,000 shots of the mountain itself, Unreal Engine 4, NVIDIA VRWorks, and NVIDIA PhysX to bring the experience to life on HTC Vive. The results are simply breathtaking.
Budget Cuts is a tongue-in-cheek VR stealth game where the protagonist, who has recently lost his job due to budget cuts, breaks into the Trans Corporation in order to rubber stamp his own job application.
Whenever you encounter killer robots you have to grab a weapon, such as a throwing knife and take them out before they see you. Budget Cuts is tense, funny and a unique experience worth checking out on HTC Vive.
Final Approach is a celebration of all things aircraft-related that gives players the opportunity to fly, manipulate and destroy all manner of flying machines. It also manages to implement innovative control systems at the same time. In one segment of Final Approach, you have to use your on-screen finger to draw a flightpath for a plane taking it on a course that enables it to pop balloons that are floating in the air. In another scenario you take part in an aerial dogfight, firing missiles at other aircraft. Landing a fighter plane on an aircraft carrier and putting out its engine fire provides quite a challenge. And there are even fun mini games, one of which sees you throwing suitcases carelessly into luggage carts in the role of a bag handler.
Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Hover Junkers tasks players with scouring the land for old bits of junk to build themselves a “Hover Junker” ship. You can continually upgrade your ship and improve it using the resources you find around the environment. When constructed, players may encounter other gamers in online multiplayer, who may have to be fought to take control of new scrap.
Developer Stress Level Zero promises numerous tools and weapons to play with, the option to play as a human or robot, loads of loot that you can attach to your ship or sell, and ten large maps ranging from a deserted junk city to an enormous space elevator.
The Gallery: Call of the Starseed
The Gallery: Call of the Starseed is the first chapter of an episodic fantasy adventure built from the ground up specifically as a VR-only experience. The adventure begins when you discover a mysterious message from your missing twin sister. What follows is a narratively complex tale featuring bizarre characters, fantastical environments, a mad professor and a strange cosmic machine.
A system called Blink Locomotion has been implemented to help you navigate your way through the adventure without nausea, regardless of how much physical space you have to play in. As you explore the game’s environments, you will also use a number of different VR movements such as sitting, crawling, and even spinning around.
Fantastic Contraption was originally developed as a 2D puzzle game released way back in 2008, but it has since evolved into a much more elaborate and immersive experience on HTC Vive. The result is a colorful and extremely entertaining building game in which you have to transport a pink ball from its starting position to a target area some distance off. You have a small collection of simple objects, each with their own specific properties, which you can combine to make a contraption that will get the ball to its target.
It’s the way that you assemble the parts that will determine whether or not your contraption can get past all the level’s obstacles and reach the end zone. It’s simple and addictive and the introduction of the VR angle takes it to a whole new level on HTC Vive.
Thunderbird: The Legend Begins
Taking its inspiration from games like Myst and Riven, Thunderbird: The Legend Begins is an engrossing VR adventure in which you find yourself on a snowy mountain top next to an elaborate metal door and a strange statue. You are given no clue as to why you are there, and there are no tutorials on what you are supposed to do. From here on in you just have to experiment and explore to progress in Thunderbird’s weird and wonderful world.
What starts out as a perplexing puzzle game eventually develops into a cinematic experience in which you encounter huge mythical creatures. The idea, according to the developers, is to transport the player from a relatively realistic and mundane setting to somewhere that is clearly and dramatically otherworldly.
Behind the scenes, Thunderbird: The Legend Begins will be implementing NVIDIA’s Multi-Res Shading technology for even faster performance on GeForce GTX GPUs.