It’s hard to keep things a secret in the tech industry and with the buzz of VR headsets it’s no surprise that HTC’s Vive VR headset’s price and release date have been leaked.
According to GamesBeat, the HTC Vive is going to be released in early April with pre-orders starting on February 29th. The standout information from this leak is the pricing. At $800 the HTC Vive comes out at a staggering $200 more than the already expensive Oculus Rift whose price was announced during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. Surprisingly, the Oculus Rift is also set to release in April, so it looks like we’ll have the two VR platforms vying for those dollars.
The HTC Vive is also supposed to feature Vive Phone Service, which is no surprise given HTC’s positioning in the mobile phone market. Though, it does seem strange that an “at home” VR experience would have phone services. The implementation is rather cool, the Vive will allow you to take calls and interact with those outside of the virtual worlds without interrupting your experience. “The Vive Phone Services allow you to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset.”
Shipping with the Vive are two VR applications, Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives, by Owlchemy Labs. And Fantastic Contraption by Northway Games.
HTC wants the Vive to be more than just a gaming experience, they are working with developers to create content for education, healthcare, automotive, and entertainment.
With such a high price, I’m not too sure how it will fare in the marketplace, especially if it requires the same beefy hardware in your PC as the Oculus Rift.