The virtual reality headset wars are now arriving. Oculus shot first, making the pre-orders for their headset available starting last week. Today we have word on when HTC will return fire. According to the CEO of HTC, the HTC Vive virtual reality headset will start taking pre-orders beginning on Feb. 29.
“Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important,” Cher Wang told Telegraph. Wang is the CEO of HTC. “Virtual reality is something people have talked about for 20, 30 years, in movies, in books and finally it is real,” she said. “VR has been on our minds for a long time, and now HTC has made virtual reality real.”
While HTC plans on starting pre-orders on Feb. 29, there has been no word on the price of the headset. For comparison, however, the Oculus Rift has been confirmed to cost a hefty $599. The HTC Vive will probably end up being somewhere in that price range as well.
On January 5, HTC revealed the second-gen dev kit for the device. Called the Vive Pre, the redesigned headset features a front-facing camera that also functions as a peephole, allowing users to see what’s ahead of them.
The Vive’s controllers have also been tweaked with “updated ergonomics and softer edges, greater balance.” Textured buttons and grip pads have also been introduced, along with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery.
As of yet, the Vive Pre is only available to developers. HTC has not said whether the Vive consumer model will incorporate the changes to the headset and controllers.
So what do you think? Are you interested in pre-ordering the HTC Vive? Do you think you will instead wait for the second generation Vive Pre? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.