​HTC Vive is first Steam VR headset

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HTC has unveiled the HTC Vive, a Steam VR headset made in a collaboration with Valve, which is set to be released to consumers later this year.

 

HTC has unveiled the HTC Vive, a Steam VR headset made in a collaboration with Valve, which is set to be released to consumers later this year.

 

The headset will plug into PCs and work with Valve's mammoth gaming ecosystem.

 

The HTC Vive's design is certainly reminiscent of Oculus Rift's Crescent Bay edition, but HTC's top dogs were keen to stress what a big deal this is for the VR industry.

 

Jeff Gattis, on stage at the HTC press conference at MWC in Barcelona called the Vive the "first full room scale experience", and pointed to the 70 sensors and 360 degree head-tracking which he said "enabled you to freely explore your environment."

 

He boasted that the headset set a "new benchmark for performance and comfort", before adding that "it won't make you sick."

 

Under the hood the HTC Vive offers a 90Hz refresh rate, the stat that's key to keeping down latency – which is the lag that can lead to in-game nausea. To put that in context, Oculus refreshes at 75Hz and Sony's Project Morpheus at just 60Hz.

 

Elsewhere, there's an accompanying "context aware controller", so you can shoot, move and interact with elements in the virtual world.

 

However, the biggest boon for the HTC Vive is its release date. Gattis revealed that a consumer ready version of the headset would be on sale by the end of 2015, which means it could beat Oculus to market.

 

The headset is going to be on show at GDC 2015 this coming week, and Gattis urged people to get behind the technology, and said that the experience blew him away:

 

"I was skeptical at first. I thought 'VR what's the big deal?'. I put on the headset and immediately I found myself on a 2x2 plank with a 1000 foot drop. I was afraid to move around. Part of my brain was saying 'come on I'm in an office in Seattle', and the other half said 'it's really scary!' That's essence of virtual reality, and of HTC Vive."

 

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