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HTC Vive release date and price announced, but don’t get too excited

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Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive 37

HTC and Valve have finally revealed the release date of their hotly anticipated Vive virtual reality headset.

The Vive will go on sale be available to pre-order for $799 from 29th February and begin shipping from 1 April.

The headset will initially be bundled with two bundled titles, Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives and Fantastic Contraption.

Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives is a game by Owlchemy Labs set in a world where robots have replaced humans in the workplace and have created a special ‘Job Simulator’ to learn what it was like working as a human.

Fantastic Contraption is a title by by Northway Games that tasks you puzzles using virtual gadgets and inventions you build.

Considering some of the awesome demos we’ve seen on the Vive this feels like a distinctly lacklustre pair of launch title.

Related: HTC Vive preview

Vive: An even more immersive virtual world

HTC and Valve unveiled the Vive concurrently many moons ago at MWC and GDC 2015.

HTC claims that, unlike competing virtual reality headsets, such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the Vive can create fully rendered 3D, virtual reality environments where users can interact with objects.

Tracking is done using a horde of gyro sensors, accelerometers, and laser positioning sensors that can detect user movements “to one-tenth of a degree” and wireless “controllers” that track the user’s hands.

The commercial version set for release adds a variety of new features, compared to the version Trusted tested in October 2015.

These include a new Vive Pre feature as well as updated wirelessly tracked controllers, an enhanced front facing camera, and an “improved”, brighter display.

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HTC Vive

Vive Phone Service: With a firm anchor in the real world

Vive Phone Services are another new addition. Vive Phone Services are a custom feature that will let users receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages with the headset on.

Vive owners will also be able to send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset.

Related: HTC Vive vs Occulus Rift

More games on the horizon?

The Vive is set to have 40 other titles. However, it’s likely the number will expand fairly quickly, thanks to the release of the Khronos Group’s new Vulkan API.

Vulkan is a games focused application program interface (API) specification based on AMD’s Mantle tech. Created by the do-gooder Khronos group the API specification aims to make it easier for developers to create cross platform titles.

It’s set to be supported by most major game engines, including Valve’s own Source 2, and should make it easier for developers to create new, or migrate existing games, to work in virtual reality.

What games would you like to see on the HTC Vive? Let us know in the comment section below.

TheHulksMothersCousin

February 21, 2016, 6:49 pm

I'll have to wait about fiveyears anyway for a decent VR headset at a price I can afford then if I ever can afford one.

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