2016 is starting off to be a banging year for those who can’t wait to embrace the next big technology: virtual reality. No fewer than three major VR headsets are due out this year: the Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation VR, and the HTC Vive—the last of which has now announced its official pre-order date: February 29th.
The date is a clever marketing move as it's a Leap Day this year—an extra day tacked onto the calendar every four years. HTC is hoping that the HTC Vive will revive the company’s sales and help it take a giant leap into a new, successful market. Another clever (or frustrating, depending on your point of view) tactic the company is taking in regards to the Vive is not announcing its pricing just yet. The Oculus Rift began pre-orders last week at the cost of $599 per unit—a price considered high by many fans who have waited years for the device, since a top-of-the-line gaming console costs several hundred dollars less.
However, those holding out for the Vive can likely expect a similar price point. Newer technology is always more expensive, with prices only dropping after mass adoption kicks in. And HTC needs a big break right now. Speaking to the Telegraph about the company’s declining smartphone sales, HTC CEO Cher Wang said the company has high hopes for the new VR market. "Now we are more realistic. We feel that we should apply our best design to different type of sectors. Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important."
Those who pre-order the HTC Vive on February 29 can expect to receive the units in April.