HTC’s Vive VR Headset Will Leap Forward on Feb. 29th With Preorders

Vive, one of the world’s most advanced virtual reality headsets will hit the market in April after a four month delay.

HTC moving away from smartphones and into virtual reality

HTC‘s chief executive told The Telegraph on Monday that the company is shifting it’s focus to virtual reality from smartphones in order to make the company “more realistic.”

“Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important,” said Cher Wang.

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“I think the problem was competition – Apple, Xiaomi, these companies spend tons of money on communications and marketing, they pump a huge amount of investment into the market. There are a lot of Chinese competitors.”

So April will see the release of the Vive developed with game maker Valve to immerse wearers in a 360-degree virtual environment. It will immediately become a competitor to the Oculus Rift, and Sony’s Playstation VR. While the company announced that pre-orders will begin on February 29th, leap day, the company declined to give a price for the headset.

What people saw from the Vive Pre at CES

While many said the Vive Pre was very similar to the many makes of the Oculus Rift there was a notable exception. While also a large black plastic unit that completely covers the eyes, the Vive Pre includes a front-facing camera to make the device safer to use.

The camera is able to sense walls and objects in front of the user and then creates virtual safety walls for the immersed user. If you find yourself getting close to an object you could run into or knock over the Vive creates glowing blue walls in front of you and saves you the trouble of having to explain what the hell happened when you’re in the emergency room.

Like the Oculus Rift, the Vive has two wands equipped with motion sensors that are held in each hand. The wands each have a large trackpads with a trigger on each. All this said, the controllers like the headset displayed at CES last week are development hardware and there is no guarantee that they will ship in this incarnation.