This is most likely the most unexpected product from HTC but indeed, HTC unveiled today during its Mobile World Congress press conference in Barcelona a strategic partnership with Valve; to bring mass-market virtual reality (VR) one step closer. Through the strategic partnership, HTC promises to transform the way in which consumers interact with technology and the world around them with the debut of HTC Vive. The HTC Vive Developer Edition will be launched this Spring, with the consumer edition available by the end of 2015. Vive combines Valve's Steam VR tracking and input technologies with HTC's world-renowned design and engineering talent, setting a new gold standard for an industry that has, until now, struggled to move beyond concept stage.
Vive offers the most immersive experience of any VR package, plunging people into other worlds at a moment's notice. HTC and Valve have introduced a Full Room Scale 360 Degree Solution with Tracked Controllers, letting you get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and truly interact with your surroundings. Setting a new benchmark for performance, the headset features high quality graphics, 90 frames per second video and incredible audio fidelity.
HTC is also introducing new wireless VR controllers that will make you feel one with your virtual environment. The new HTC VR Controllers come in a pair and are designed to be so versatile that they will work with a wide range of VR experiences. Unlike typical game controllers, the HTC VR Controllers are simple and intuitive to use, helping everyone make the most of their experience.
Beta versions of the Vive Developer Edition have already generated rich entertainment content from some of the world's top game developers including Vertigo Games, Bossa, Barry-Fireproof, Dovetail Games, Wemo Labs, Google, Steel Wool Games and Owlchemy.
While amazing gaming experiences are a staple in the VR universe, the potential beyond gaming is limitless. HTC and Valve are committed to realizing a broader vision for VR and see a real opportunity in transforming everyday experiences. Travel, attending a game, meeting friends or even shopping will never be the same again and the companies are working with leading content creators, including Google, HBO, Lionsgate and the National Palace Museum in Taiwan in order to make that vision a reality.
HTC hasn't announced any prices yet. Neither for the Vive Developer Edition nor for the consumer Vive later this year.
Cheers ~ Arne