We might be in the thick of Mobile World Congress, but HTC and Valve have given us a VR Christmas present: a price, pre-order date, and launch time window. On 2/21/16, HTC published a post to their blog announcing that, on Monday, February 29, 2016 (A day only in existence once ever four years), the HTC Vive would be available for pre-order for $799, with fulfillment and commercial availability starting early April, 2016.
The bundle will include the headset, two motion tracking base stations, and two wireless controllers built for the Vive and the VR experience. Those who pre-order will also get two VR experiences, Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption.
You can see the full post/release here: Unveiling the Vive Consumer Edition and Pre-order Information
What stands out immediately to me is the price at $200 more than it’s competitor, the Oculus Rift. The Vive does come with it’s touch controllers, which the Oculus Rift does not, and should help justify the cost difference, however it does not come with a standard game controller, such as the XBOX Controller that comes with the Rift. Although, if you already have a game controller you love, it doesn’t matter.
Using SteamVR, I would think many games will be easy to get up and running on the VR experience and Steam will be quick to adopt the Vive as it’s VR headset of choice, just due to pure ease of integration, but time will tell. With any luck, both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift get devs to make their VR games work on both devices.