It turns out that HTC and Valve may have miscommunicated things just a bit earlier this year when it was announced that the HTC Vive virtual reality headset would be launching in Q4 this year. While it is still true that there will be some units available, they aren’t necessarily targeted at the wider market as previously thought.
Instead, The Vive will see a “limited quantity of community and developer systems” release this year, with a proper launch planned for some time in the first quarter of 2016. This new information was revealed in a press release, alongside the announcement of the headset’s presence at PAX Prime this week.
While developer units have been freely available developers that signed up, Valve has also closed this program for the time being: “New Sign-ups are now closed but we will continue to ship HTC Vive Developer Editions to new developers through summer and fall. Thanks.”
The wording of Valve’s post suggests that sign ups will be back in the Winter, around the time of this ‘limited release’ for The Vive headset. This now means that The Vive and the Oculus Rift consumer versions will actually release at a fairly similar time, with Sony’s Project Morpheus expected later on in the year once its software library beefs up a bit.
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KitGuru Says: It did seem almost too good to be true when it was initially announced that The Vive would release this year. Now that the headset is going to be widely launching at a closer time to the Oculus Rift, it will be interesting to see how that affects sales.