In an email to Vive developers and a blog post that is now down due to traffic, HTC finally clarified when they’d be launching their long awaited virtual reality headset, Vive.
Their post isn’t working right now, but here’s the important part:
We will be starting the new year by making an additional 7,000 units available to developers, followed by commercial availability in April 2016. We are incredibly excited about the future and look forward to sharing more information as we move forward towards launch.
This news comes after a statement back in August that the company was aiming for Q1 of 2016 — a window which they’ll just barely miss.
Having tried all of the major virtual reality headsets that are either on the market or on the way (Gear VR, all of the Oculus prototypes, Sony’s Playstation VR), I can honestly say: the Vive was the most impressive. The tracking, built in collaboration with Valve, was just ridiculous — and paired up with the Vive’s crazy looking controller, it gave an instant sense of immersion. I used the controller to “paint” objects into a 3d space; it made me feel like a friggin’ wizard.
Alas, Vive is also the most cumbersome of the lot: there’s a big ol’ wire dangling from your head, and you have to put a few big “light house” sensors around your room to handle the tracking. Compared to the wireless functionality of Samsung’s Gear VR (which uses a Samsung phone as the brains and display to keep wires out of the mix) or the plug-and-play simplicity of Playstation VR, that’s gonna be a tough sell to make to all but the most VR enthused.