With Sony’s Project Morpheus and Facebook’s Oculus Rift not yet ready for retail release (they’re coming, though), that leaves room for competitors to come in and easily snatch a piece of the market. Samsung already has a jump on that with its mobile-ready VR device; and now Valve, hard at work with its own Steam Machine line-up, has a device that’s ready to make an impact at the Game Developers Conference this week.
The company has partnered with HTC on a new device called the HTC Vive, which is set to be unveiled this week. This is a more high-concept sort of virtual reality device, capable of plugging straight into a user’s PC for access to various applications and games. And with Valve’s support, there’s no doubt that it will get a huge push in the gaming department.
The Vive will be built for comfort, but also comes with two high-end screens, so that the user feels perfectly engulfed in their virtual reality experience. In addition, it will also come with support to scan for full room-scale environments. HTC also plans to make compatible controllers, so that users will be able to interact with their experiences in real time, as the device can easily scan for these peripherals and incorporate them into users’ experiences.
But perhaps the most startling news about the Vive is that it’s not going to take its time heading to the market. HTC and Valve fully anticipate launching the device into the community this spring, with a full consumer launch expected in time for the holidays, according to Engadget.
While that still isn’t quite a full-on release date, it does show how serious both sides are when it comes to launching a devoted virtual reality unit – and it could push Sony and Facebook to make plans for their respective devices as well, in the hopes of creating demand for a virtual reality-based market with consumers. With GDC happening over the next few days, we might even see announcements this week. Sony is actually holding a special event for the Morpheus tomorrow night, and could have more details in terms of what potential customers can expect.