Almost about a year ago, HTC announced an unexpected product during its MWC 2015 event, a VR headset of its own called the Vive. The company partnered with none other than Steam to create the device and surrounding ecosystem, and after a year of hard work, testing and refinement, HTC and Steam are now ready to unleash the Vive on the masses.
That’s right, if you’re looking to buy a VR headset other than the Oculus Rift or a smartphone add-on from other companies, you should check out the mind-blowing Vive, which will finally be available to preorder in a few days. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of cash saved up for this particular purchase because it won’t be cheap.
No, the HTC Vive isn’t as affordable as a Gear VR. In fact, it’s even more expensive than the Oculus Rift. Priced at $799, the headset bundle includes the VR headset, two controllers, room scale movement sensors and other accessories. It will be available for preorder beginning on February 29th, at 10:00 a.m. EST. The device launches in no less than 24 different markets on that day, including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
The Vive will ship to people who preorder it at some point in early April, complete with two full-fledged VR experiences (Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives and Fantastic Contraption) although there’s no firm release date for it just yet.
Down the road a bit, HTC and Steam will also announce details about special PC and graphic card requirements for the Vive, but the two companies did note that the majority of existing PC gamers who play Steam games should have no problem enjoying VR content on the Vive.
The full press release follows below.
HTC AND VALVE BRING VIRTUAL REALITY TO LIFE WITH UNVEILING OF VIVE CONSUMER EDITION
HTC reveals complete Vive system at Mobile World Congress, available for pre-order from 29th February 2016
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, February 21, 2016 – HTC, a pioneer in innovative, smart technologies, in partnership with Valve®, today unveiled the consumer edition of its ViveTM virtual reality system. Continuing to build upon the Vive’s exhaustive list of features, this complete Vive system, powered by Steam®VR, introduces yet another new technological innovation – Vive Phone Services – once again setting a new standard in virtual reality.
Enabling you to stay connected to the real world, without exiting the virtual world, Vive Phone Services demonstrates the ability to combine both realities without losing touch of either. By allowing you to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset, it creates a hybrid reality opening up a whole new world of possibilities for both consumers and businesses.
Taking Vive one step further, with refreshed branding and an updated headstrap, the Vive consumer edition builds upon the innovative features that were introduced into the Vive Pre. These include updated wireless controllers with haptic feedback and dual stage triggers, a front facing camera that blends physical elements into the virtual world, a redesigned headstrap that offers greater stability and balance and an improved visual system with brighter displays to give a deeper sense of immersion.
Priced at US$799, for a limited time the consumer edition will also ship with two fully-fledged VR experiences to get you started in the VR world:
• Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives, by Owlchemy Labs: In a firmly tongue-in-cheek world where robots have replaced all human jobs, step into the ‘Job Simulator’ to learn what it was like ‘to job’.
• Fantastic Contraption, by Northway Games in collaboration with Radial Games: Imagine walking around a grassy island floating in the sky, building a machine the size of a horse with your own hands, and then watching it roll out into the world.
But it’s not just about gaming. In addition to these launch titles, HTC is working with developers to foster the creation of content that spans multiple sectors including entertainment, retail, education, design, healthcare and automotive.
“From the beginning, Vive has been at the forefront of virtual reality, with HTC pioneering several ground breaking technologies,” comments Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO, HTC. “Since announcing Vive this time last year, we have worked tirelessly with Valve to deliver the best VR experience on the market, winning multiple awards and receiving critical acclaim from media, consumers and the industry. With the Vive consumer edition we are now able to realize our ultimate vision; bringing Vive into homes around the globe so that people can experience immersive virtual reality in a away that fires the imagination and truly changes the world.”
Pricing, Updates and Availability
The Vive consumer edition will be available to pre-order from 29th February, with pre-order fulfilment and full commercial availability starting in early April. Priced at US$799, the Vive is the first complete VR solution, including two wireless VR controllers, room scale movement sensors, and an HMD featuring a built in camera and phone, plus the two VR titles. The integration of SteamVR into the bundle ensures that all Vive equipment is kept up-to-date with the latest features.