Valve, HTC Delay Roll Out of Vive Virtual Reality Goggles

HTC and Valve said Friday, Aug. 28, that the initial shipments of the HTC Vive VR virtual reality headset will be limited. Consumer units wonEUt be available until the first quarter of 2016. Mobile device maker HTC will offer the first commercial Vive units via a limited quantity of community and developer systems.

About 10,000 developer kit inquiries have been received for the Vive, and at least 80 VR titles for the Vive goggles are in various stages of development. Among the titles being developed are Fantastic Contraption from Radial Games & Northway Games and Final Approach from Phaser Lock Interactive.

Crowded Market

The Vive had been set to launch by Christmas in advance of FacebookEUs Oculus Rift and SonyEUs Project Morpheus. The delay means that the release of the Vive VR system will come right about the same time as those two products and compete with them head to head.

Are Valve and HTC gun-shy about their product being one of the early entries in this category, or could it be something else? We reached out to Roger Kay, founder of independent technology market intelligence company Endpoint Technologies, who told us a technical issue with the product rollout is as likely a culprit as anything.

"Perhaps some component remains a bottleneck, and getting it up to spec is taking time," said Kay. "Beyond that, I think VR is going to be a tough sell to a broad audience. Gamers, sure, and a few other specialty uses, but the headset is just too obtrusive for non-geeks to take it up anytime soon."

Other Applications

Both companies might be taking the extra time before ViveEUs release to reassess and reshuffle. HTC recently said it would be undergoing a round of layoffs, and Valve hasnEUt said much about the Vive system since early spring. The two companies,...

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