There is a cable that connects the Vive virtual reality headset to the computer. When you're walking around your room-scale VR experience, or even just standing in front of your system, you can feel it. It's always there, and during my time with the Vive's games at the recent developer showcase I often felt that I was going to trip over it, or perhaps pull a computer off the shelf.
But the developers working with the technology say I'll get over it.
"The things people expect to have problems with aren't problems for those who have been spending significant time with the hardware," Alex Schwartz, CEO of Owlchemy Labs, the developer behind Job Simulator told us. "Some devs have thousands of hours in VR. It's not something that's actually posed a problem after giving hundreds of demos."
"This isn’t just marketing, but I honestly find that there’s kind of a sixth sense you develop over time, to the point where anybody who is using the Vive regularly doesn’t even think about it," Joel Green, producer and audio director of the upcoming VR game The Gallery told Polygon. "Developers don’t really talk about the cable being an issue anymore, that I’ve heard. Because of the way it falls down the headset and you feel it on your body occasionally, you just kind of learn where it is and now it’s not an issue. I don’t think it takes too long for that to happen."
That thought was repeated multiple times when I asked about the cable.
"The cable itself becomes a little more natural once you’re in the game, you find yourself kind of flipping it with your leg and with your foot," Alex Knoll, the lead designer on Hover Junkers said. "To us the cable just becomes natural, like a natural extension of yourself. We don’t really find big problems with it."
It just takes a bit of time.
"We found that players who have spent some time in the Vive or people who have spent about 20-40 minutes playing in game are able to subconsciously manage the cable without any problem, either by moving in ways that wont tangle it or by kicking it out of the way without thinking about it," Knoll continued. "Many of the experiences have players turn around frequently and all developers have reported the same findings: the cable is just something you deal with, its never a real hindrance."
So don't worry! According to the developers spending the most time in VR, you get used to it. And apparently it's a fast process. "At the content showcase we demo'd for the three days to over 50 people and even to some people who have never set foot in VR before," Knoll said. "We didn't jockey the cable for anyone and there were no problems."