The Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) is now available to pre-order for 20 countries at $599 USD but its main rival, the HTC Vive, won’t be opening its own campaign until February 2016. The two devices will be going head-to-head with a narrow window between their launches: the first Oculus Rift units will arrive on 28th March 2016 while the HTC Vive is set to release in April 2016. The latter company has yet to announce an exact date for the launch of pre-orders, though it appears that it may have just let it slip.
The Telegraph is reporting that HTC CEO Cher Wang told the publication that pre-orders will start on 29th February 2016. That would leave at least a month for the campaign to run before the full launch got underway at some point in April. That’s a Monday, and two weeks before the start of the 2016 Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) on 14th – 18th March where fans will no doubt see plenty more of the kit as well as most other popular VR HMDs. Wang didn’t make mention of the unrevealed price.
HTC itself hasn’t yet offered comment on the validity of The Telegraph’s claim, though it certain seems as if Wang could have let the specific date slip. Either way, both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive pre-orders are launching long before the arrival of early orders for the third major VR HMD, the PlayStation VR device for the PlayStation 4.
A new version of the HTC Vive’s development kit named the Vive Pre was revealed at CES last week. The kit features an improved design as well as a front-facing camera that offers an improved chaperone system, revealing details about the real world environment to players in-HMD.
Stay tuned to VRFocus for the latest on the HTC Vive.