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HTC's Virtual Reality Headset Has Been Delayed

Only a handful of people will get their Vives by the end of this year.


The ambitious rollout plan for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset sounded too good to be true. Turns out, it was.

Although originally promised for a late-2015 consumer bow very soon after being unveiled in March, HTC’s software partner Valve said today that the Vive would instead see a staggered release. “A limited quantity of community and developer systems” will ship this year, with the rest of the consumer hardware not coming until Q1 of next year.

An HTC representative confirmed Valve’s announcement but declined to add anything else.

The delay puts the Vive on a similar time frame as its closest direct competitor, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, which is also slated for a Q1 2016 consumer release. Both devices work by connecting to high-powered gaming PCs.

It also means that Oculus’ other VR headset, the phone-powered Samsung Gear VR, will now be the first higher-end VR device to see a full consumer release — if the company can meet the deadline it announced earlier this year. A developer-minded edition of the Gear VR has been on sale since late last year, and HTC has shipped several developer kits of the Vive to applicants starting in June; however, neither piece of hardware was intended for consumers.

VR developers had in recent weeks privately expressed concerns that HTC might delay or stagger the release of the Vive, as the struggling Taiwanese phone maker said it would lay off 15 percent of its staff and cut costs by 35 percent.

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