If you’ve been eagerly awaiting pricing information on the Virtual Reality collaboration between HTC and Valve, you can breathe a bit easier today. Or harder, depending on what you were hoping. Today at Mobile World Congress the HTC Vive price was revealed. For $799 you will get the Vive VR headset in addition to two motion controllers and two games. Pre-orders will begin at the end of this month, and orders will start to ship in early April.
Before you gasp and recoil in horror, let’s compare the Vive to its biggest competitor, the Oculus Rift. It was recently announced that the Rift would cost $600, and that’s without any sort of controller. After messing around with a demo of the HTC Vive and its motion controllers at CES I can honestly say that the Vive is worth the price of admission if you’re looking for a great VR experience. The interaction between the controllers and even the area around you while using the Vive is really very impressive.
In the CES demos, you started out with a simple demo to get yourself used to the VR and controls. The two controllers started on the floor around you, and you had to look around to find, and then bend down to pick up the controllers before some of the other controllers were explained. Some of the simplistic controls in this demo had you blowing up balloons using your controllers, then releasing and moving them around by swatting them in a similar manner.
Next up was an office simulation — likely the Job Simulator game that is included in the purchase price — where you had to look and move around your cubicle in order to answer phones, get coffee, and other mundane office-type activities all while your mocking robotic co-workers “cheered” you on. In another Valve demo, you were tasked with repairing an Atlas-style robot from the Portal 2 world. The timed demo had you searching through drawers to find the necessary tools and manipulating the robot itself in order to complete repairs before a self-destruct sequence initiated. This demo was full of Portal’s typical humor, with GladOS even making an appearance near the end. I didn’t get a chance to try out the zombie shooter demo, but got to see someone else try it and it also looked great. You can take a look at IGN’s hands on video below.
The visuals and controls were spot on in the demos I tried. HTC has also taken the time after CES to make a few tweaks to the Vive to make the device more comfortable for more people. I didn’t have any issues even with glasses and a gigantic head, but if they feel that changes are necessary to make things more comfortable, who am I to complain? When you purchase the HTC Vive you will get Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives by Owlchemy Labs and Fantastic Contraption by Northway Games.
I’m sure that Oculus has improved upon their product since my first (and only) experience with their product last year at the Chicago Auto Show, but at least in that form the video wasn’t even close to what I experienced with the Vive at CES this year. Oculus is also planning on releasing their own motion controllers at some point, but no pricing has been announced.
This is a great time for gaming if you’re interested in Virtual Reality. With two huge players set to release their headsets in the next few months, you’d better start making sure your PCs are ready to handle what Oculus and Vive are going to throw at them.
Are you still interested in the HTC Vive at $799? Or are you Team Oculus all the way? Tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.[button link=”http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/21/htc-vive-price-release/” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Engadget[/button]