Oculus fired 2016’s first shot for virtual reality. Now it’s HTC’s turn.
Pre-orders for the HTC Vive will open on Feb. 29, with orders shipping sometime in April. There’s no pricing yet, but HTC confirms that additional details — including price, release date and the final look of the consumer kit — will be shared closer to the pre-order date.
The Vive represents the highest tier of first-generation VR experiences, with wall-mounted sensors and motion-sensing hand paddles plunging users into virtual spaces that occupy an entire room. While Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and Gear VR all focus on sit-down content, the Vive encourages you to stand up and move.
What we don’t know is how much computer you’ll need to throw at a Vive. HTC has yet to share any minimum/recommended specs for the VR rig, but it should be similar to — and perhaps exceed — what’s needed for Oculus.
Setup is another lingering question. It’s not clear how dangling cords factor into any Vive content that spans an entire room. Pre-release previews always feature a “handler” that hovers behind the headset-wearer and shifts cords as they move.
There should be a better sense soon of the types of games (and other experiences) coming to Vive at launch. HTC told The Verge that content revelations should be coming later in January at a showcase hosted by Valve, which co-created the Vive.
We at least have a ballpark sense of the price now. Oculus launches at $599, and smart speculation puts the Vive at a higher price point. It’s got more pieces in the box, including room sensors and hand controllers, so something well north of $600 is likely.