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HolidayBuyer's Guide

HTC Vive

Vive Headset

Vive Controller

Vive Controller

Interactive experiences

Game time?

The Lab

Mini-games

That Portal Style

Not only the Lab

In control

Bows and arrows

Vive competitiors

And fun

Available from April 5 (but already pre-ordered into oblivion) the Vive is the VR headset made by HTC in collaboration with Valve, the software developers behind the Steam digital distribution service.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The system is priced a fairly solid $799 ($899 in US dollars for Australia, currently around AU$1185, and £689 in the UK) but unlike the PlayStation VR, the sticker price includes the controllers and eveything you need to play.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Much has been made about the controllers and how intuitive they are.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Which, honestly, is surprising when you see how completely weird they look.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

A lot of the demos have been more of the "interactive experience" variety leading people to ask...

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..."Where are the games?"

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

That's why Valve has used the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to show off The Lab on the Vive.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

It's a suite of 12 mini-games all connected by a central hub.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

As you might expect from something called The Lab from Valve, there are shades of the Portal series.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Of course, Valve wants to be the hub for a lot of VR experiences and the Vive wants to offer its users more than just Valve-made games.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The games are designed to show off the Vive system, especially its controllers.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

That means games like Longbow which has you battling two-dimensional paper warriors storming your castle with your trusty bow and arrows. Using the controllers you nock arrows, aim, draw and fire.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Vive needs to prove it's worth the extra $100 than the Oculus Rift.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

More importantly, it needs to be something fun to use, that won't just end up on a dusty shelf in 6 months time.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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