The HTC Vive is currently one of the most promising virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) on the horizon and it comes from a surprising partnership. The Taiwanese smartphone maker teamed up with none other than Valve to help work on its kit, with the Half-Life developer implementing its new SteamVR system into the device. The story of how these two came together is well-known; HTC approached Valve itself after the Steam Dev Days event back in early 2014. This week, though, it’s been revealed that HTC ‘reached out’ to Valve’s VR rival before then.
Speaking at the VR Intelligence Conference and Expo (VRX) in San Francisco this week, HTC CTO Phil Chen revealed that the company had first approached Oculus VR, creator of the Oculus Rift, before it teamed up with Valve. According to Chen, the company got in contact with Oculus VR following its historic Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, which ended on 1st September 2012 with $2,437,429 USD raised. It wasn’t clear if the company approached Oculus VR with the intention of a Facebook-style acquisition, a partnership similar to what can be seen with Valve, or something entirely different.
In any case, Oculus VR and HTC are set to become competitors in the next few months as the two release their respective HMDs in Q1 2016. The HTC Vive will also be seeing a limited release later this year before a wider rollout in early 2016, though it’s currently not clear exactly how many units will be available. A final release date or price for either device is yet to be set, though details on the Oculus Rift’s launch should be arriving towards the end of the year as pre-orders for the device are put up.
VRFocus will continue to follow both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift closely, reporting back with the latest updates on both.