Things are moving fast for HTC and Valve’s virtual reality (VR) new head-mounted display (HMD), HTC Vive. The tech was revealed at the beginning of the month with its creators expected to release a development kit later this spring. That’s set to be followed with a full consumer launch in time for holiday 2015. HTC and Vive will have to move fast in order to ensure a smooth launch, then. Fortunately it seems that the companies are doing just that; sign-ups for the developer edition of the Vive are expected to launch this week.
Valve spokesperson Doug Lombardi recently confirmed as much in an interview with Ars Technica. Talking about the unlaunched sign-up site, Lombardi stated that the companies hope to get everything up and running this week. Once it’s live, studios will be able to apply for kits, with Lombardi also revealing that selected teams will be receiving them for free. It’s not clear just how many teams will be able to take advantage of this offer and for what period of time it will be available for. Shipping for the developer edition is also yet to be confirmed.
A handful of developers have already been working with the HTC Vive, including the likes of Fireproof Games, Cloudhead Games and Bossa Studios. The HMD offers room-scale position tracking using Valve’s Steam VR system. This consists of a pair of base stations that allow users to walk around a real world area of up to 15 feet by 15 feet and have these movements replicated within the experience. Plenty of developers have expressed interest in working on the device since its reveal, so demand is likely to be extremely high.
A solid release date for the HTC Vive’s consumer version is yet to be set. VRFocus will continue to follow the device closely, reporting back with any further updates on its progress.