HTC's Vive virtual reality system was made available to pre-order for the first time a few days back. Many have balked at the price - $799, a full $200 more than the Oculus Rift - although those with hands-on experience claim it's worth every penny.

It's far too early to know if the device will be enough to slow HTC's downward spiral but early sales figures seem encouraging.

Shen Ye, an employee in HTC's virtual reality division, recently revealed on Twitter that the company sold more than 15,000 Vive units in less than 10 minutes. That equates to roughly $12 million in pre-orders for a very niche product that also requires buyers have a high-end computer capable of powering it.

Without any sales data from competing products like the Oculus Rift, however, it's difficult to peg just how good (or bad) the figures really are. Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey did say shortly after the Rift went up for pre-order that sales were going much better than he could have possibly expected but who knows what that means.

What's more, the first 10 minutes of a pre-order simply isn't enough time to gauge true demand. Was HTC able to sustain that level of sales over the next 10 minutes / 30 minutes / hour or did sales fall off sharply once the diehards got their orders in? Right now, only HTC knows the answer to that question.

It's also worth pointing out that the admission from Ye is not an "official" announcement from HTC but rather, the "opinion" of a single employee.