Looks like the battle for the future of entertainment is really starting to heat up now as HTC has finally released some information about their eagerly awaited Vive VR system co-created with Valve. At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the consumer version of Vive was revealed to be shipping come April, with pre-orders set to go live on Feb. 29 at 10 a.m. ET.
And, steady yourself, for a whopping $799 you will get your hands on the headset, two wireless controllers/wands (?), a pair of Vive base stations, ear buds, a link box and, for a limited time, two popular games inside:
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$799?? That is a lot more money than the Rift's $600 starting point.
One Hell Of A Bluetooth Headset
But is all of that worth the price? Possibly, because right out of the box, Vive will be seeking to become your brand new personal assistant of sorts. With HTC's know-how in the world of mobile phones, Vive includes integrated smartphone functions such as call answering, checking, and replying to texts and having a look at calendar reminders.
And all of this without taking the thing off! But still, $799 for VR Siri or Google Now? I use those two examples because Vive's smartphone functionality only works with iOS and Android. So, yeah, sorry Windows Phone users.
More Trinkets Than A Magpie's Shed
Besides all of the mobile functionality and outrageous pricing, Vive is actually a spectacular piece of futuristic kit. The base stations are motion sensors, meaning they will track your movement and feed that into whatever game you're playing. And they've now been made wireless, which means less restriction and falling over clunky boxes and wires.
The system's chassis has been upgraded also, with a new head-strap being included and a built-in microphone that devs will hopefully begin to integrate into future VR titles.
All in all, Vive's price is rather disconcerting at first, but it is an exceptional view into how all technology will eventually merge into one solid state piece of badassery. Wonder how far we are from VR/AR contact lenses?
Vive will release in the the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand this April.