HTC said that preorders for its upcoming virtual reality headset, the Vive, will start on Feb. 29. HTC CEO Chear Wang has confirmed the date, with the company looking to compete with other virtual reality headsets including Oculus Rift and Sony's Playstation VR.
Here is everything that you need to know about the HTC Vive, for users that are looking forward to the virtual reality headset and customers that would like to learn more about it before sending in their preorders on the specified date.
According to the HTC Vive's official website, the virtual reality headset will serve as a passport to a new reality, with Vive being promised to deliver on the promise of the new technology.
HTC claims that with Vive, human imagination will be unleashed from the confines of reality, with examples such as stories that are richer, games that are more interactive and surgery procedures that are more precise.
Partnership With Valve
The HTC Vive was developed in partnership with American video game developer Valve, which is the company behind iconic franchises such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal and Left 4 Dead. The partnership brings together the knowledge of HTC in consumer electronics and the experience of Valve in the creation of virtual worlds.
In addition, the HTC Vive is powered by the SteamVR experience of Valve, which would mean that a significant number of games that would take advantage of the capabilities of the virtual reality headset will soon be made available on Valve's Steam service.
HTC Vive Features
HTC demonstrated the latest version of the virtual reality headset, specifically the developer-only version known as the HTC Vive Pre, at the recently concluded CES 2016. Compared to previous iterations of the headset, the HTC Vive Pre features a smaller cage with a more comfortable and stable head strap which can be easily adjusted.
Video And audio
The HTC Vive Pre features high-quality graphics and 90 frames per second video, with a port at the side of the device for users to plug in their headphones. The developer-only version also added a front-facing camera so that users will be able to see the real world in front of them.
Tracking And Room Scale
Why would users need to see what is in front of them? Because, unlike other virtual reality headsets that operate with the user just sitting down or standing up, the HTC Vive utilizes a full-room scale 360-degree solution that allows the wearer to walk around and explore the virtual space projected onto the headset. This allows the users to inspect objects in different angles and interact with the virtual reality surroundings provided by the HTC Vive.
The feature is made possible through two separate sensors that come with the HTC Vive, which when placed properly in a room allow the headset's system to properly track the user's motion.
In addition to movement, the HTC Vive also features a pair of wireless controllers, one for each of the user's hands. The controllers are not similar to typical ones for video game consoles, with a different set of input options that are designed to be intuitive to use within virtual reality environments and versatile enough to work with various kinds of virtual reality experiences.
Price and release date
The price for the HTC Vive, however, has not yet been revealed. The price of the Oculus Rift was revealed last week to be $599, higher than the rumored price of between $300 and $400, and the expectation is that the price of the HTC Vive will be even higher than that. A spokesman for HTC said that the official price for the virtual reality headset will be revealed as the preorder date nears.
After preorders, HTC is predicted to begin shipping the virtual reality headset once April rolls around.
PC For Virtual Reality
While waiting for preorders and the virtual reality headset to actually get into their hands, customers should begin to check if their PC will be able to support a virtual reality headset. While the guide that we have previously published is based on the minimum requirements for the Oculus Rift, the required specifications for a PC to support the HTC Vive should not be far off.