HTC and Valve have announced that the consumer edition of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset is going to be available for preorder starting Feb. 29 for $799.
Specifically, preorders will kick off on Feb. 29 at 10 a.m. ET on HTC's website.
The news was announced on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress, which is the same event where the VR headset also made its big debut last year.
"Vive will be delivered as a complete kit allowing users to instantly jump into a fully immersive virtual environment using two wireless controllers, 360 degree tracking and room scale movement sensors," say HTC and Valve. "The integration of SteamVR into the bundle ensures that all Vive equipment is kept up-to-date with the latest features."
The two companies announced that the HTC Vive will include a new smartphone functionality, including allowing users to check SMS messages, respond to phone calls and even view calendar reminders without the need to remove the headset or stop what they're playing. This feature will work with both Android and iOS mobile operating systems.
Customers who will preorder will also get these two free VR games bundled with the HTC Vive:
• Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives – in this game, robots have replaced all human jobs, and players are going to learn what it was like "to job."
• Fantastic Contraption – gamers will step into a grassy island floating in the sky and construct with their own hands a machine that has the same size as a horse.
At $799, the Vive is priced $200 more than the Facebook's Oculus Rift, which carries a price of $599. Do note, though, that both of these VR headsets require a gaming PC. This means that users will need to spend hundreds of dollars more for these headsets to work.
The PlayStation VR, meanwhile, will come powered by Sony's PS gaming console rather than by a personal computer. With regard to the VR headset's price, it was rumored earlier this month that it will have a $299 price tag, with its camera and controller expected to be sold separately.
The HTC Vive consumer edition will be shipped in early April. Preorders are open in 24 countries, which range from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Iceland, Finland, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, China, Taiwan, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.
When it comes to comments from people proclaiming the death of VR because of what they call consumer-unfriendly costs, a report from Forbes believes that a $799 HTC Vive will not kill VR.
"It's perfectly reasonable to sit on the sidelines during this new phase of VR infancy, but it's foolish to count it out based solely on the high cost of entry," it says.