One of the most anticipated VR, other than Oculus, the Vive VR developed by smartphone manufacturer HTC, is set to be shipped by Early April this year. The Consumer Vive comes with a Bluetooth phone integration to enable the users to answer calls while in VR.
Costing $200 more than it’s chief rival, the Oculus Rift, which is priced at $600 for the base package, the Vive VR, powered by Valve’s Steam VR, is priced at $799, and will include a controller for each hand and a pair of “Lighthouse” laser base stations to track movement in a room-scale environment. The system will ship with two popular titles, Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption for a limited time only.
The price of the Vive VR was revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where it was confirmed by UploadVR that the Vive will ship with an internal microphone and an Integrated Bluetooth support to enable users to communicate through a variety of smartphones.
From early April, HTC Vive will ship to 24 countries at first to people pre-ordering the device on 29th February. The Vive is set to compete with the Oculus Rift from the very first day as “the complete experience.” said Dan O’Brien, the Vice President of Virtual Reality at HTC.
In an Interview with UploadVR, O’Brien explained that it is different from the $200 cheaper Oculus Rift, as the Rift ships with an Xbox controller while the Vive includes hand controllers, providing more flexibility and mobility. The Rift is bundled with sit-down VR applications like space shooter EVE: Valkyrie and third-person platformer Lucky’s Tale. In late 2016, Oculus expects to ship an additional camera for tracking and its Oculus Touch controllers which will bring the experience to hands as well.
O’Brien continues by saying, “You have your hand interaction. Everything that’s there for you to actually move around in VR. And that’s what’s so critical is that you can move around. You can feel safe and you can actually experience all that content around you, [Buyers] don’t have to get other pieces later to do more, to get up and move around.”
Moreover, HTC is increasing features to give people room for a comfortable long time walk in the VR world. An outward-facing camera on the headset, combined with the “Chaperone” and “Lighthouse” systems will track movement and alert before a collision which are designed to work together to make users feel safe and enable them to communicate with people around them as well.
HTC Also revealed the SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS to run the VIVE VR:
Vive is set to be an international release, and the first countries to experience the Vive are: U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
It is expected that the available titles with both the Oculus and the Vive VR will be the ultimate arena for competition between HTC and Oculus in the last few months before the release. Oculus was a bit early to come up with the first development kit as a product of developing partnerships, and the consequences of this longer development times will be revealed at an upcoming event in San Francisco on the next month.
O’Brien sees the Vive as a platform for more open development In spite of the fact that Oculus-exclusive software are of much importance to Facebook.
“We’ve told developers we’re not doing exclusives. Be healthy. Put your stuff on other platforms,” O’Brien said. “That’s gonna make you a healthier developer and we don’t want to put those restrictions on them.”
There may be further announcements for both the Vive and Oculus that may affect the deal of both the headsets, which are most likely to be revealed in a Virtal Reality Developers Conference from 14th to 18th March in San Francisco.