Get ready for your wallet to be a heck of a lot lighter if you want to get on board with room-scale VR.
Hot on the heels of Oculus opening pre-orders for the Oculus Rift on Jan. 6, HTC CEO Cher Wang has announced that pre-orders for the Vive virtual reality system will open on Feb. 29. according to The Telegraph.
That means we'll also likely find out the price for the PC-based virtual reality solution. And Vive, developed by HTC in partnership with Valve Software, could be priced even higher than the $600 Rift.
While the Rift is designed to primarily to support seated VR experiences using an Xbox One control pad, the Vive is designed for room-scale VR in which the user is standing and has more freedom of movement.
That means the Vive requires a pair of sensors to read the dimensions of a room and a pair of hand controllers for the user—control pads don’t work as well when you’re standing up. That’s a significant amount of additional hardware besides the Vive headset itself, and there’s no reason to expect it will be cheap.
HTC recently unveiled an upgrade to the first-generation Vive hardware at the 2015 Game Developers Conference. The upgrade includes a forward-facing camera so the user can switch between the real and virtual worlds while they are inside a VR simulation. The hand controllers have also been updated.