If you've had an appetite for room-scale virtual reality lately, HTC may have some delighting news. That's because, according to The Telegraph, you'll be able to pre-order the Vive headset starting February 29. While there's still no mention of price, if it goes anything like the Oculus Rift, we can expect a last-minute reveal complete with a larger-than-expected price tag.
The news come less than a week after HTC unveiled its second developer kit for the SteamVR-powered headset. The new rendition includes a front-facing camera that lets users look around their real-world environments without removing the headset. This effectively allows the Vive to serve as both a VR headset and an augmented reality one.
And yet it's not so much the price of the headset itself that may inspire concerns for the Vive manufacturer, rather the cost of a PC powerful enough to utilize its functionality. As Nvidia noted earlier this month, less than one percent of the world's computers will be compatible with the new technology. Although this won't apply to a majority of TechSpot readers who already possess powerful enough discrete graphics on their machines, for the rest of the population looking to hop on the VR bandwagon early, they can probably look forward to an exorbitant PC upgrade as well.
Companies like HP and Asus, however, are negating the need for laborious DIY projects by releasing in the coming months a number of desktops and laptops labeled "VR Ready." Naturally, these rigs are preconfigured to ensure that they meet the requirements of the slowly materializing new tech.
The HTC Vive was originally announced back at the 2015 Mobile World Congress as a collaboration project with Valve. Since then it's been delayed twice, with the latest news indicating an April 2016 release window. For HTC's sake, let's hope the impediments were worth the head start they're giving Oculus. In our brief but notable time with the 'Vive Pre' last week at CES, we liked what we saw, a lot.