Mobile World Congress has begun in Barcelona, Spain. All of the mobile companies have put their devices on display, and big announcements have been made. One of them is from HTC, who has finally given a release date and price for their Vive Virtual Reality System that the Taiwanese company has developed with Bellevue games producer Valve. The price is currently higher than its chief competitor, the Oculus Rift, and those that want it will have to decide if it is worth it.
According to CNET, HTC and Valve have confirmed that the Vive virtual reality system is going to launch in early April, with a price of about $799. Those that want to pre-order the product can do so at 7 AM PT on February 29th.
This means that the Vive is about $200 above the price for the Oculus Rift, which is going to be the main competitor for this Virtual Reality system. The price for the Oculus Rift was announced at CES 2016 last January, and the Rift will ship sometime in March. Also keep in mind that users of such Virtual Reality devices will require some kind of gaming PC to even power these devices, and the PC alone could cost $1,000. This might be a small price to pay to enter the Age of VR.
As someone who tried out the Vive at PAX 2015, I found that it was the best of the three that tried. The other two were the Oculus Rift and the PlayStation VR, which at the time was called Project Morpheus. You can read about my experiences here, and since this was last summer, all three headsets have been significantly improved. However, I found the Vive to be a much better product because it gave the user the ability to stand up and walk around in a digital world.
Of course, this could be a problem with the HTC Vive, as it requires some space to wander around in order to properly function optimally. There are controllers that are not like the Xbox controller that the Oculus comes with, and these handheld controllers gave me the user a lot of power to play in a virtual world. These two base station controllers come with the headset and are part of the Vive package, as well as some earbuds and a link box to the PC.
In addition to the long-awaited announcement of the price and release date of the Vive, HTC also made some other announcements at MWC 2016 as well. It was possible that the company would announce the HTC One M10, the successor to the HTC One M9, but instead, they unveiled three new smartphones with the Desire 530, 630, and 825, according to Ubergizmo. These particular phones will be available in March.