Just like Oculus, HTC/Valve will start the push for virtual reality this year. The companies will start taking pre-orders for the HTC Vive headset on February 29th and start shipping in April.
HTC and Valve's VR headset
With confirmation from HTC we now know when to expect Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, in addition to Samsung’s Gear VR, which is already on sale.
The third major player in virtual reality is Sony that intends to bring PlayStation VR to PlayStation. Sony has yet to confirm a final launch date.
HTC sees virtual reality as an essential part of its future, and an even more important category than smartphones. The Vive headset has been designed in collaboration with Valve, which is best known for its Steam gaming network. Together the two companies hope to create a platform for virtual reality games (SteamVR) and experiences.
HTC Vice pre-orders will open on February 29 and the first headsets will ship in April. The price has not been announced but some speculate that it could be as expensive, or even more expensive, as the Oculus Rift, which costs 699 USD / Euro.
HTC also reveals Vive Pre
Despite HTC Vive not going on sale until April, the companies have already announced the second generation of the VR headset. At CES 2016 in Las Vegas, the HTC Vive Pre was unveiled.
Vive Pre is the second generation of Vive and is intended for developers, at least initially. It is smaller, lighter, and more comfortable. It also has a better display and a new controller with haptic feedback. The biggest change, however, is a front-facing camera that can record and render objects from the real world and bring these into the virtual space.
The company said that the new camera "allows you to do more both inside and outside your Virtual world by blending physical elements into the virtual space".