It’s a leap year, so by the company’s logic, why not spend it pre-ordering the HTC Vive?
Now that we know exactly how much the Oculus Rift will cost consumers in the United States ($599), Canada ($849), the EU (€700), in the United Kingdom (£499) and abroad, it’s now the next major player’s turn to show their hand. However, the HTC Vive will let the dust settle first, according to HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang, as she tells The Telegraph that pre-orders for the virtual reality device will kick off on February 29, 2016.
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The move comes after the revelation that HTC will be refocusing their brand towards virtual reality and away from the smartphone business, one that saw their phone shipments record -43% year over year in the reported Q3 2015. At this point in time, there is still no price point or price window provided, which is certainly done in order to prevent contextual quotes from the past coming back to bite them in the present. However, HTC Vive VR lead JB McRee did mention the impact non-gaming virtual reality has had on people he’s tested the device on, including virtual underwater dives with people in wheelchairs.
“As you push them through the demo and turn them around, they feel like they’re swimming,” Mcree said. “That’s a super-powerful thing for me. I think that’s really cool.”
It will be interesting to see where the HTC Vive will sit at, concerning price points. Their hardware specifications point to a more demanding piece of hardware, meaning that they would probably have to eat costs if they were to launch at $599 or below. However, as noted previously, they’re not really in the position to have that big a loss leader right out the gate, even if they’ll make their money on games, education and other apps that come through virtual and digital marketplaces.
Virtual reality looks to be the technology of the future, especially if costs for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are prohibitive as such.
You can read our staffer’s thoughts on the HTC Vive here.
h/t Game Informer