Valve to offer HTC Vive Developer Edition for free

The HTC Vive virtual reality headset will be made available free of charge to developers looking to build experiences for the platform.

An Ars Technica report reveals a selection of high-profile developers have already been seeded free versions of the exciting headset, while the scheme will be extended to others soon.

“More info and ‘sign up’ forms will be available to all interested developers, big or small, via a new site coming soon,” Valve spokesperson Doug Lombardi told Ars. That sign up site may go live as soon as next week.

Lombardi says the Developer Edition kit “will be free, at least initially,” as the video game company behind the Steam streaming platform makes a push to the get the headset to consumers before the end of 2015.

The dev kits will start rolling out this spring, the report says, and will come with a headset, two controllers and two base stations.

It’s not yet clear how many Valve plans to give away to developers, but the initiative gives HTC and Valve a great chance at having the widest range of gaming experiences available when the Vive arrives.

While the developer kits will be free to those building the software, HTC and Valve are likely to make that up when the headset itself comes to market. HTC recently said consumers should expect a “slightly higher price point” because the Vive will be “at the high end” of the VR market.

Read more: Oculus Rift vs Microsoft HoloLens

The company’s plans to give away the units differs greatly to the likes of Oculus, which which has charged developers upwards of $300 to get their hands on pre-release Rift prototypes. Samsung is also charging $200 for the Innovator Edition of its Gear VR headset.

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