Last week VRFocus complied a list of the best videogames that have launched during 2017 for Oculus Rift, so it was only natural that its PC-based rival HTC Vive should get one as well. HTC’s head-mounted display (HMD) has fared better with consumers – unofficial figures are anything to go by – even though it’s been the more expensive of the two. Created through a partnership with HTC and Valve, the device has a massive collection of titles available on Steam – with a more concentrated selection on Viveport – although the quality of that content can vary wildly from premium experiences to dodgy tech demos. So with 2017 already half gone VRFocus brings you some of the best videogames released this year you can buy for HTC Vive.
Before getting into the videogames lets look at the technology that’s bringing consumers to a headset that retails for $799 USD, seeing very little in the way of price reductions apart from the odd $100 off of special days such as Black Friday or Vive Day, celebrating the HMDs first year.
The initial draw of HTC Vive was the fact that it was the only virtual reality (VR) headset at the time of launch to provide motion controls and full roomscale tracking right out of the box. This drew a significant amount of studios to the system, as they were able to imagine new immersive worlds in which players could walk around and pick stuff up. Early titles such as Owlchemy Labs’ Job Simulator, Northway Games and Radial Games’ Fantastic Contraption, and I-Illusions’ Space Pirate Trainer perfectly showcasing what immersive VR gaming was all about.
Whilst these videogames still hold up well after a year and a half, and should still be considered a worth while purchase for anyone new to the platform the VR industry is moving at a fast pace, with developers getting to grips with the technology and coming up with evermore inventive and exciting projects.
But the HTC Vive no longer has that immersive roomscale field all to itself. Oculus might not have been quick to catch up, but catch up it has, releasing the Oculus Touch controllers in December 2016, then launching a much needed update earlier this year to support 360-degree roomscale tracking – it can be done with two sensors but works better with three. And with Oculus’ aggressive push this summer with a big sale reduction that puts it at half the cost of HTC Vive that user gap might be closing a lot quicker.
On the outside at least HTC don’t seem to be too worried, sticking fast with the $799 price. That’s not to say its standing still, Valve’s working on the Knuckles controllers while HTC is collaborating with Google on a standalone headset that’s supposedly going to arrive later this year.
So what about the videogames? Well the titles that VRFocus has chosen are a mixture of HTC Vive only titles and multiplatform experiences you can find on Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR. Even so that doesn’t mean they can’t be included here. You may disagree with some choices (whittling down five is never as easy task) so as always VRFocus encourages you add your own personal favourites in the comments below if it’s not listed here.