TAIPEI — The commercial release of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp.’s Vive virtual reality headset, co-developed with U.S. video game developer Valve, will not be widely available until early 2016.
In an Aug. 27 statement announcing the company’s presence at the PAX Prime expo in Seattle, Valve said: “Later this year, HTC will offer the first commercial Vive units via a limited quantity of community and developer systems, with larger quantities shipping in calendar Q1 2016.”
“To date, HTC and Valve have received over 10,000 developer kit inquiries and over 80 VR titles are known to be in production for the Vive. The developer sign up page has closed but development kits continue to ship through this summer and fall,” Valve said, adding that the Vive developer kits have been available for free since May.
The announcement could make 2016 the year of virtual reality, with the Rift headset from Facebook-owned Oculus scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2016 and Sony Corp.’s Morpheus headset due in early 2016.
Announced at the 2015 Game Developer’s Conference, the HTC Vive was originally expected to be the first complete VR system heading to consumers by the end of 2015.
The Vive features a head-mounted display (HMD) and tracked controllers, allowing wearers to inspect objects from every angle and interact with their surroundings in virtual reality.