For those who were waiting for details of how to buy HTC's Vive in the wake of Oculus' own pre-order announcement, the wait is over. In an interview with The Telegraph, HTC CEO Cher Wang confirmed that the company's VR headset will be available for pre-order starting February 29. The Vive is expected to begin shipping sometime in April. HTC didn't reveal how much the Vive will sell for, but we think it's a fair bet that the entire system will cost more than the $599 Oculus is asking for its Rift headset.
If the Vive does end up costing more than the Rift, it's worth noting that HTC is aiming for a different kind of VR experience than the one the Rift provides. We got some hands-on time with the Rift and the Vive at AMD's Radeon Technologies Group summit in December and at CES last week. The Vive already lets users experience VR by standing, walking around, and interacting with the virtual environment using a controller in each hand, while the Rift is still a mostly stationary experience.
The flip side is that Rift users will likely be able to enjoy their devices seated at a desk, while Vive owners will need to chalk out a dedicated area or room to take full advantage of the system. It'll be interesting to see just how much of a premium that more immersive experience carries when Vive pre-orders open next month.