What is room scale virtual reality and is my space big enough? These are common questions by doubters or those who haven’t heard of the HTC Vive. Many people seem to be worried or write off the Vive, because it is the first VR system to allow users to walk around in a physical space. The beauty of the Vive’s included base stations is that they know how much space you have available in your home for use in the virtual world.
We’ll try to elaborate a little below, but check out the video at the bottom of a great explanation/justification of why your space could work with the Vive, even if you think it’s impossible.
What does room scale mean?
Vaguely, room scale means you have the flexibility to move around in virtual reality as it applies to moving around in the physical space. Not all VR systems are the same. Some just have a headset and allow you to look around, some have a headset and controllers, but vertical movement is not detectable. With the Vive, users can lay on the floor if they wanted to and the system would know they were no longer in an upright position. It would even know if their head were sideways as if lying in on their side.
How much room do I need?
The Vive can be configured for seated or limited standing room experiences, but the minimum desired area space for room scale is 6.5 ft. by 5 ft. Base stations will be placed in two corners of the space for the system to know and track your movement during game play. During the setup, you can chose to use the Vive in a standing or seated position with limited movement and the system is supposed to be able to adjust to your environment. For games like Elite: Dangerous you can play from a seated position as you either fly a spaceship or drive a space buggy. For games like Hover Junkies you fly around on a ship and the team has developed several sizes to accommodate smaller to larger physical playing spaces.
The bottom line is that developers have created their game play to be enjoyed in multiple playing spaces and have designed for use with large spaces, but also kept in mind those that might be sitting in front of a computer or stuck on the couch. Is your space big enough for room scale VR? Yes, any space will work, but you might have to set the coffee table to the side when playing, for your own safety.
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- Back the PP Gun get a Vive Tracker in March, err April - March 2, 2017
- Sign-ups for Vive Tracker now open - January 25, 2017
- Vive hardware announced during CES 2017 - January 20, 2017
- VR For Impact offers $10million to develop for humanity - January 19, 2017
- Digital Trends calls Vive Best Product of 2016 - January 1, 2017
- Vive After Christmas Sale - December 27, 2016