HTC to Open Vive Pre-Orders on February 29

HTC will start to take pre-orders for Vive, its high-end virtual reality headset/platform, on February 29 and reach commercial availability in April, according to the Telegraph.

HTC top exec Cher Wang told the pub that the Taiwan-based CE giant will refocus on VR and less so on smartphones. “Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important," she said.

HTC has not released pricing on Vive, a headset developed in partnership with game developer Valve (Portal, Half-Life) and built on the Steam VR platform.

Oculus opened preorders on the Rift last week for a package that starts at $599 and includes the headset, Oculus remote, requisite cables, an Xbox One Controller, and two games; shipments are expected to start in April, about the same time Vive will be hitting the market. 

On the high-end VR front for self-contained platforms (Samsung’s $99 Gear VR headset must be paired with a compatible smartphone), the PC-powered Oculus Rift and Vive will tangle with Sony’s PlayStation VR system for the PS4. However, a review of Sony’s system (via a demo at last week's CES in Las Vegas) calls it a “mid-ranged alternative” to Vive and the Oculus Rift.