For those with their toes in the world of gaming, talk of a VR headset from developer Valve has been under discussion for quite some time, but now, at MWC currently taking place in Barcelona, the company brought the Vive to the stage in partnership with HTC.
From HTC’s angle this is the second product to fall under its expanded ‘RE’ brand; a parallel line of electronics that fall outside of HTC’s typical mobile products. The RE Camera debuted the brand at the end of last year and the arrival of the RE Vive shows that HTC is serious about expanding its horizons beyond smartphones.
Whilst details remain slim as to what exactly the Vive will be capable of it aims to take the fight to obvious rivals like the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and in its current incarnation – the Developer Edition – it packs a pair of Full HD displays capable of running at 90 frames per second, a notable improvement over the majority of the other VR crop currently on the scene.
On the outside the housing of Vive is littered with laser positioning sensors (around 70) which working together with an integrated gyroscope and accelerometer are able to position themselves within three-dimension space within a physical location of up to 15 feet by 15 feet. This feature is also helped along by a pair of front-facing specialised cameras designed to work with Steam’s forthcoming VR base stations.
The Vive will also posses hand tracking through means of handheld controllers and a line-in for the user’s preferred headphones or earphones.
Whilst Valve’s SteamVR platform will serve as the main experience for the Vive’s core gamer user base, HTC also revealed that it would be partnering with content creators such as Google and HBO to create other interactive experience for users to enjoy.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Vive and the broader HTC/Valve partnership, but it’s an interesting new direction to see both companies move in, particularly HTC. The company also revealed that the first Vive units should hit retail before the end of the year.
What do you think about the RE Vive and the new HTC/Valve partnership pushing into the VR space? Let us know in the comments below.