HTC Beefs Up Resolution and Adds Headphones to Vive Pro

HTC’s new Vive Pro VR headset made a major splash this week in Las Vegas and received notable Best of CES awards, including the Best Gaming Product from Engadget and the Best VR/AR award from The Verge. HTC added built-in headphones to this version and increased the resolution of the dual-OLED displays 78 percent to 2,880 x 1,600 (1,400 x 1,600 per eye). The headphones offer spatial audio support, but no noise-canceling functionality. HTC added dual microphones and dual front-facing cameras, which should attract developers. Continue reading HTC Beefs Up Resolution and Adds Headphones to Vive Pro

HTC Unveils Subscription Service for Vive VR Headset Users

Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC has rolled out its anticipated monthly subscription service for virtual reality content, including video games and short interactive films. For a $7 per month fee, users can download up to five VR titles a month from the online Viveport store. HTC is positioning the new service as a way for customers to try out an app before they decide to purchase it. The service is only available to owners of the HTC Vive VR headset. Among the titles initially available are “Everest VR” and “Mars Odyssey.” Continue reading HTC Unveils Subscription Service for Vive VR Headset Users

VRidge Streams VR from PC to Google Cardboard, Gear VR

For those looking for an affordable VR alternative, RiftCat has been busy developing an app called VRidge that streams virtual reality games from a PC to a smartphone over Wi-Fi. The beta is currently available for Android, but the company is also working on an iOS version. The most recent update added support for SteamVR and Razer’s open source OSVR project. The implications could be significant, especially when considering the cost of investing in a high-end VR headset, such as the $600 Oculus Rift or $800 HTC Vive, both of which still require a powerful PC starting in the $1,500 range. Continue reading VRidge Streams VR from PC to Google Cardboard, Gear VR

HTC Vive Ships in April, Pricier Than Facebook’s Oculus Rift

HTC announced shipping and price details of its highly anticipated Vive virtual reality headset during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday. In conjunction with Valve, HTC will begin shipping the VR headset in early April. At $799, Vive will be $200 more than its rival Oculus Rift. Pre-orders for the goggle-like headset, two wireless controllers, and two room scale movement sensors will begin on February 29 on HTC’s website. The pre-order bundle also comes with two games: “Fantastic Contraption” and “Job Simulator.” Continue reading HTC Vive Ships in April, Pricier Than Facebook’s Oculus Rift

CES 2016: HTC’s Chief Exec Hints at Major VR Announcement

The Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR are not the only anticipated virtual reality devices shipping this year. While VR fans may be disappointed that the HTC Vive release has been pushed to April, CEO Cher Wang hinted at December’s Vive Unbound Developers Conference in Beijing that Valve and her team recently made “a very, very big technological breakthrough” to the system that prompted them to push the original Q1 launch date in favor of a more sophisticated product. Wang did not offer details, other than to suggest that the company is poised to make a major announcement at CES. Continue reading CES 2016: HTC’s Chief Exec Hints at Major VR Announcement

CES 2016: Setting the Stage for VR Gaming’s Breakout Year

As the first major tech show for “The Year of VR,” the upcoming CES is likely going to be instrumental in setting the tone for the next wave of virtual reality devices. Largely seen as a platform for gamers, it is this segment of consumers that could ultimately drive large-scale adoption of the medium. In anticipation, the show organizers have dedicated a conference track and expanded the floor space devoted to gaming and VR by 77 percent. The devices and interfaces that debut at CES will become the foundation for E3 later in the year. We expect multiple HMDs to be announced, but, for gamers, much of the attention will be on the interfaces. Continue reading CES 2016: Setting the Stage for VR Gaming’s Breakout Year

HTC and Valve Join Forces to Develop New Vive VR Headset

HTC is partnering with gaming company Valve to develop the HTC Vive, a virtual reality headset with plans to compete with the Oculus Rift. HTC claims that the HTC Vive will deliver high-quality graphics, video at 90 frames per second and remarkable audio quality to provide an unparalleled VR experience. The device also offers users the unique ability to touch those objects projected around them in augmented space. The companies plan to roll out a consumer version of the HTC Vive by the end of this year. Continue reading HTC and Valve Join Forces to Develop New Vive VR Headset

Valve Says There are Now 75 Million Worldwide Steam Users

Following a strong showing at CES last week, Valve kicked off its 2-day Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle (Jan. 15-16) with the announcement that the online gaming platform now has 75 million users, a 15 percent increase from numbers released in October. Global sales for 2013 were strongest in North America and Western Europe. Steam Dev Days is an invite-only event, and the first of its kind for Valve, where 1,200 developers and publishers gathered to discuss the new Steam Machines. Continue reading Valve Says There are Now 75 Million Worldwide Steam Users