Easily the biggest feature of the HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) is the ‘Room Scale’ user-tracking provided by Valve and its SteamVR system. Using a laser-based tracking solution named Lighthouse this unique option allows users to walk around a virtual environment of up to 15 feet by 15 feet and have those movements replicated in-game. It’s something yet to be seen in any other VR HMD but, all that said, Valve has recently stated that it isn’t thinking of VR as a ‘standing exclusive experience’.
Valve Designer Yasser Malaika said as much today during his ‘Interaction in VR: The Rules Have Changed (Again)’ talk at the 2015 Games Developer Conference (GDC) in Europe. When asked about using more traditional input devices with the HTC Vive the developer noted that the company was “not thinking of VR as a standing exclusive experience.” The company has confirmed that the HTC Vive will also support seated videogames in the past, although the kit is yet to be seen being used with such an experience.
The HTC Vive is set for release during this holiday season, pitting it ahead of the launch of the Oculus Rift PC-based HMD in Q1 2016 and the Project Morpheus HMD for PlayStation 4 within H1 2016. Specific details about the consumer device such as pricing are yet to be revealed, although HTC has suggested that it will be sharing such details at some point in October 2015. A launch line-up is also said to be being around this time.
VRFocus will continue to follow the HTC Vive closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.