March 3, 2015
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.
HTC hopes “to bring mass-market virtual reality one step closer to reality,” reports USA Today.
The company has an opportunity to gain early momentum in the business for wearables and virtual reality. Idris Mootee, HTC chief marketing officer, claims the Vive tech is “at least nine months to a year ahead of Oculus.”
The HTC Vive, powered by Valve’s SteamVR, “will have [a] full room scale 360 degree technology and tracked controllers that will allow the user to explore virtual spaces,” Wired reports. Users can walk around while wearing the headset. The same cannot be said of the Oculus Rift, which requires users to remain seated or in a stationary position.
HTC and Valve have been reportedly working with game developers and content creators to create unique VR experiences. HBO, Lionsgate, Google, Vertigo Games, Bossa, and Wemo Labs are among the companies already involved with Vive, according to Wired.
HTC and Valve have scheduled to release a developer edition of the HTC Vive this spring, with a consumer edition coming by the end of the year.
“This would put HTC and Valve ahead of what Gear VR can deliver, putting additional pressure on accelerated pre-release innovation for all players in the VR/AR space,” suggests ETC’s Phil Lelyveld. “HTC’s claims, in my opinion, may be ahead of what they will be able to actually deliver.”