Did you have an HTC Vive on your Christmas wishlist? You might need to come up with something else you want instead, or be prepared to wait. The official SteamVR partner headset will not be available until April 2016 – just a bit later than the December 2015 we’d been promised!
HTC made the statement official this morning via Facebook, in an effort “to clear up speculation and misinformation surrounding the launch of HTC Vive”.
We will be starting the new year by making an additional 7,000 units available to developers, followed by commercial availability in April 2016.
Predictably, fans who were looking forward to the “Holiday 2015” release were rather upset, particularly as the original date was promised by Gabe Newell himself.
The delay – slim as it is – is due to HTC creating more content that will work with the device. Specifically, it’s been working hard to refine both the user experience and the hardware design, and building strong partnerships and relationships with companies (both games-related and not). HTC has distributed dev kits to many developers and content creators, and continues to work closely with “many other innovative companies to create content that spans gaming, entertainment, medical, education and retail”.
We remain committed to delivering the HTC Vive to a broader group of content creators and partners, and remain focused on delivering the very best experience possible for a consumer release.
There will be a developer conference for HTC Vive in Beijing on December 18, the second generation of the dev kit is set to launch at CES in January, and a number of demo tours are already planned, including appearances at the Sundance Film Festival, GDC, MWC and SXSW.
We are incredibly excited about the future and look forward to sharing more information as we move forward towards launch.
…the interesting thing about this date is that it could well put HTC Vive just behind both Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, if they stick to their Q1 2016 release windows. Obviously, though, nothing’s set in stone just yet, so who knows what hardware we’ll have in our hands by Easter!