The HTC Vive virtual reality kit kicked off preorders with a bang, selling out in no time.

Despite the considerable $799 price tag, the virtual reality kits sold like hot cakes, with all preorders selling out in just 18 minutes after going live.

HTC's Shen Ye took to Twitter to announce that more than 15,000 HTC Vive VR kits sold in under 10 minutes, and it obviously didn't take long at all for the other remaining units to vanish. Eight minutes past that and they were all gone.

The achievement is even more impressive considering that VR is still in its early days, and that the $799 HTC Vive also requires a $1,000 PC. Nevertheless, virtual reality is rapidly gaining momentum and shows no signs of slowing down. Other heavyweight players are joining the arena as well, with companies such as Facebook, Samsung, Google and others all planning their own VR treats.

The VR industry is expected to boom into a $110 billion business by 2020 and the stakes are high. The HTC Vive is already shaping up as a powerful contender and judging by its strong start, it could turn into a massive hit.

As a reminder, the HTC Vive is a PC peripheral made in collaboration with Valve. Wearing the gadget over your eyes and ears allows for an immersive experience, setting the wearer right into the universe of a game or other simulated experience. Moreover, a number of sensors packed inside the Vive can track wearers' movements, further boosting the immersive experience.

"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," says HTC. "The integration of SteamVR into the bundle ensures that all Vive equipment is kept up-to-date with the latest features."

The Oculus Rift is widely seen as the biggest competitor of the HTC Vive, but plenty of differences set both VR devices apart. To get a better idea of which specs, features, options and prices each of them has to offer, check out our HTC Vive vs. Oculus Rift comparison.

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