Valve and HTC are pressing on quickly with the rollout of the HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). Having only been announced a few months ago in March 2015, development kits for the SteamVR-enabled device are now being shipped out to certain studios for free while HTC itself has taken the device on the road for what’s becoming a worldwide tour. All that said, details on the actual release of the kit, which is promised for holiday 2015, are scarce right now. But, according to HTC, news should be coming in October.
Jeffrey Gattis, Executive Director of Global Marketing at the company, confirmed as much in an interview shot by HTC that can be seen below. “We’re targeting October for an announcement of our consumer version where we’ll unveil what the actual final idea looks like, the final controllers and should have a pretty decent view of what our content line-up will be like at launch,” Gattis confirmed.
We had of course already heard that this content line-up would be revealed in this timeframe, but this is the first mention of hardware reveals. This might seem to be a pretty tight timeframe between announcement and release, with only 2 months left in 2015 once the details are revealed. Keep in mind, though, that HTC is first and foremost a smartphone manufacturer, involved an industry that typically has a much shorter waiting period between announcement and release than within the videogame industry.
Following on, the executive also reassured that the HTC Vive will be releasing this year. “We’ve made the public commitment that we’re gonna have a consumer product in market before the end of this calendar year,” he said. “So it’s a really big statement for us, we’re driving very aggressively toward that and I think really in Q1 of next year you’ll start to see this ramp up.”
Of course, Q1 of 2016 is also when the HTC Vive’s main competitor, the Oculus Rift, launches. Both are PC-based kits, though SteamVR support allows HTC Vive to offer ‘Room Scale’ user-tracking in which players can move around an area of up to 15 feet by 15 feet and have those movements replicated within an experience.
VRFocus will continue to follow the HTC Vive closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.