Valve and HTC shocked the virtual reality (VR) industry earlier in the year by revealing what’s quickly become one of the most anticipated head-mounted displays (HMDs) on the horizon, the HTC Vive. The kit separates itself from the other major PC-based HMD, the Oculus Rift, by offering Room Scale user tracking across an area of up to 15 feet by 15 feet. Despite being revealed in March 2015, Palmer Luckey, creator of the Oculus Rift, is still yet to sample Valve and HTC’s work, but is keen to note that his own kit is no slouch in the tracking department.
Luckey said as much in an interview with German site Golem. “I haven’t had the chance to try their hardware so I can’t really fairly comment,” he stated when asked about the HTC Vive. “But it looks like what they’re doing is pretty interesting. I’m still obviously– I’m biased but I prefer our hardware and software, but it’ll be interesting to see what they end up shipping.”
He was then asked about the Oculus Rift’s own user-tracking capabilities, to which he replied: “We can go a long way. You tried Oculus Touch; we can track in that whole room which is a maybe 4 metre by 4 metre room. So it’s pretty– we can go bigger than that room it’s just that’s how big all of our demo rooms have been, these cube rooms.”
The HTC Vive is set to launch ahead of the Oculus Rift in time for holiday 2015, with the latter arriving in Q1 2016. More specific release details for either kit are yet to be revealed, making it impossible to compare factors such as price just yet. The other main HMD on the way is Project Morpheus for the PlayStation 4, which is due to hit in the first half of next year.
VRFocus will continue to follow both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.