HTC has redesigned its virtual reality system and is debuting the Vive Pre for developers at CES 2016.
By Chris Morris
February 29, 2016

Virtual reality enthusiasts have a decision to make.

Just shy of two months after Facebook-owned Oculus began taking orders for the Rift, HTC has begun taking pre-orders for its Vive headset. The $799 system ($829 with shipping) is $200 more than its competitor, but comes with controllers designed for a VR experience and 360-degree tracking and room scale movement sensors, allowing users to move around the room as they use the device.

People who pre-order will also receive free copies of the games Job Simulator, Fantastic Contraption, and Tilt Brush.

As was the case with Rift, pre-orders appear to be coming in at a rapid clip, though HTC has not experienced any notable traffic issues so far. While the first Vive headsets will ship in April, some people are already being told to expect their units in May, indicating the company might be facing supply constraint issues.

(It’s not alone. While the Rift, technically, will come out in March, many people who pre-ordered it won’t get it until well into the summer.)

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While HTC’s earnings have been lousy for the past few quarters, there’s a good deal of excitement surrounding the Vive. The device won Best of Show honors at CES in January and was a big hit among showgoers. (Be sure to check out our initial impressions of the unit.)

By the end of 2016, says Piper Jaffray analyst Travis Jakel, there could be 12.2 million VR headsets in homes. He expects Rift sales to come in at 3.6 million and Samsung’s Gear VR (a joint venture with Oculus) to hit 5 million. Vive is forecast to sell 2.1 million units, while Sony Morpheus is slated to sell 1.4 million.


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