Valve is currently accepting sign-ups for the Developer Edition of its anticipated virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD), the HTC Vive. The company will be distributing these kits to successful applicants for free and will be shipping them throughout the summer. Competition for kits is likely to be stiff, then, but those that don’t secure a device need not fear, as Valve has confirmed that the upcoming retail version of the device will also act as a developer kit.
Valve programmer Joe Ludwig said as much today at the 2015 Silicon Valley Virtual Reality (SVVR) Conference and Expo. When asked what developers could do to ensure they got their hands on a dev kit, Ludwig confirmed that the retail version of the device, which will be shipping in time for holiday 2015, will also be a developer kit. This approach seems similar to the ‘Innovator Edition’ of Samsung’s Gear VR, which can currently be purchased by consumers but is largely intended for developers to work with.
The new isn’t too surprising given that Valve’s software development kit (SDK), OpenVR, will allow anyone with SteamVR hardware to develop experiences for the system. Still, it’s reassuring to know that, once the consumer kit is available, anyone with an HTC Vive will be able to develop for the kit.
VRFocus will continue to follow SteamVR and the HTC Vive closely, reporting back with the latest updates on them.