You can now pre-order the HTC Vive virtual-reality system

Fair warning: The Vive is a bit pricier than the Oculus Rift.

 

Imad Khan

Tech

Published Mar 1, 2016   Updated May 27, 2021, 3:51 am CDT

Not to be left behind by Oculus in the virtual-reality gaming space, Valve is now taking pre-orders for the Vive on its Steam game distribution platform.

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The Vive, which ships in May, starts at $800, or $200 more than the Rift. The extra cost comes from added motion-tracking sensors that must be placed anywhere from 10 to 16 feet apart.

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Interestingly, there is no HTC branding on Valve’s pre-order site. It could just be to make the Vive more marketable, by sticking with an easy-to-remember, one-syllable name. The headset itself still has HTC branding, so shareholders have little to worry about.

Although we found Oculus’ accelerometer-based motion-tracking system to be jarring—with one demo having us stare down the jaws of a T-Rex—using the Vive to talk with GLaDOS from Portal felt like a profound experience. Being able to move around a room and have GLaDOS’ robotic eye follow and confront you was absolutely freaky. That interactivity could be the silver bullet that attracts buyers in an already crowded VR landscape.

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Now we’re just waiting to see how much Sony will charge for its PlayStation VR, which is expected to ship during the holiday season.

Photo via Maurizio Pesce/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Mar 1, 2016, 8:48 am CST