It's officially time to get saving. If you thought Oculus Rift's $599 price point (opens in new tab) was a bit steep, Steam's HTC Vive wants to take an eye watering $799 - or around £565 - chunk out of your bank account. We still don't have a set release date yet but preorders start on February 29 and shipping will start in 'early April.'
Before you grab your torch and pitchfork on that price though, it's worth looking at what this VR option delivers. The Vive comes with everything in the box. Two tracking devices to see you as you move around the room, two hand-tracking wands with haptic controls and of course the headset itself which has been newly updated with a front facing camera. Oculus might have its Touch controllers incoming but they're being released much later than the headset itself. There's currently an Xbox One controller in the box with the Rift. The Vive has the complete set and comes with two VR games - Fantastic Contraptions and Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives.
Last year when I played with the Vive for our VR headset comparison (opens in new tab) it was definitely one of my favourite experiences in VR. The headset was comfortable and instantly fully immersive and the capacity to wander around in game was incredible. Add in the fact that one of the tech demos was set in Aperture and had you being chastised by GLaDOS and the potential for immersion in game worlds we've only ever seen through a screen was ridiculously exciting.
What is worth noting however, is the technical specifications required to run the Vive on your PC. These are similar to the Oculus Rift with the minimum suggested graphics card an Nvidia GTX 970 running on an i5 processor with at least 4GB of RAM. If you don't already have the card, that's around £250 so adds on considerably to the already high price point. The future of gaming might look incredible but you can't argue that it's coming at a serious cost. Sony has everything to play for with the PlayStation VR pricing.
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