HTC said today its Vive virtual reality headset will cost $799 and will be available for pre-order on February 29.
In a blog post timed to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, HTC wrote that it will begin taking pre-orders for the consumer edition of its Vive–one of three high-end VR systems that will launch this year–at 10 a.m. ET on February 29. HTC also said that the device will start shipping in April.
“Vive will be delivered as a complete kit,” HTC wrote, “allowing users to instantly jump into a fully immersive virtual environment using two wireless controllers, 360 degree tracking and room scale movement sensors.”
The Vive kit will come with two free VR experiences, Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption.
Finally, HTC said the Vive consumer version incorporates the ability to use a mobile phone without taking off the headset. “Enabling you to stay connected to the real world, without exiting the virtual world, Vive Phone Services demonstrates the ability to combine both realities without losing touch of either,” HTC wrote. “By allowing you to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for both consumers and businesses.”
Facebook-owned Oculus will release its own high-end VR gear, the Rift, on March 28. It will cost $599. Sony’s PlayStation VR is expected to come out sometime later this year.
Those three devices will together make up the higher end of the VR spectrum. Each will require being tethered to either a PC or, in the case of Sony system, a PlayStation 4.
On the lower end of the VR scale are devices like Samsung’s mid-range, $99 mobile Gear VR, which is powered by a smartphone, or on the low end, Google Cardboard.
All together, analysts predict the VR ecosystem will be worth $30 billion annually by 2020.