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February 22, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 5:03pm

VR phone calls and text messages arrive in April, but HTC Vive will cost more than Oculus Rift

News: HTC Vive will retail at $799, while Facebook's Oculus Rift is priced at $599.

By CBR Staff Writer

The consumer edition of HTC’s Vive virtual reality (VR) platform will cost $799 when it ships in early April.

The pre-orders will start on 29 February. The Vive system, powered by SteamVR, will ship in 24 countries, including the UK, the US, Ireland, Germany, France, and Switzerland.

HTC designed the headset in conjunction with games firm Valve. It is set to be delivered a few days after Facebook’s Oculus Rift, which is due to be shipped next month for $599.

The Vive consumer edition features two wireless VR controllers, room scale movement sensors, and an HMD incorporating a built in camera and phone, as well as the two VR titles.

The Vive will be accompanied by Vive Phone Services, which lets users stay connected to the real world without exiting the virtual world.

The Vive Phone Services allow users to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, receive text messages and send quick replies, in addition to checking upcoming calendar invites directly via the headset.

HTC chairwoman and CEO Cher Wang said: "Since announcing Vive this time last year, we have worked tirelessly with Valve to deliver the best VR experience on the market, winning multiple awards and receiving critical acclaim from media, consumers and the industry.

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"With the Vive consumer edition we are now able to realize our ultimate vision; bringing Vive into homes around the globe so that people can experience immersive virtual reality in a way that fires the imagination and truly changes the world."

The Vive system will ship with two full VR applications that include Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives, by Owlchemy Labs, and Fantastic Contraption, by Northway Games.

Last month, HTC denied rumours that it is planning to spin off its VR operations into a seperate, independent business unit. The statement of denial followed reports from Taiwan which said that Wang was considering the VR spin-off.

The company reassured investors that it will continue to develop its VR business to further maximise value for shareholders.

The VR industry is expected to reach $6.7bn this year and by 2020, a growth of 40% is predicted in the number of shipments to 38 million headsets, according to TrendForce.


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