Valve are working with HTC to bring their own Vive VR headset onto the market in direct competition with Oculus Rift. The headset will offer competitive features and of course work with HTC devices as well as Valve’s Steam. However, the difference between Vive and Rift is a matter of price – a large sum is required by Oculus to get a developer version, but we’ve heard that Valve are being much more forgiving to developers on the cash side of things.
Vive developer kits will be offered by the company for free – Valve’s huge sums of money obviously are behind the project, and developers will just need to register or contact Valve for approval. Already some cool developers have been given the device, a list from Ars Technica says that the likes of Alchemy Labs, Bossa Studios, Fireproof Games and Cloudhead Games have got hold of the developer version.
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Vive certainly came out of the blue – with not much being known about it except a single round of rumors following the announcement. Valve and HTC’s headset is slated for a release at the end of the year, along with a companion service, SteamVR, running through the Steam games platform itself.
Virtual reality isn’t just going out to gamers – Oculus Rift is expected to link up with Facebook to bring 3D video to news feeds. Whether Valve’s Vive VR will be compatible with or rival such a service isn’t yet fully explained, but you can bet when Vive does land the headset will aim to be just as good.
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In fact, first hand accounts from various sources put the Vive experience at being better than the one from Oculus – reviewers and tech show attendees have all praised the device for its positional tracking and external input detection.
So for now, vie appears to be one upping Facebook’s Oculus in the VR race – not only is the technology better but also the framework from Steam behind the product lends itself far better to the VR headset’s abilities. We’ll see if Oculus catches up or gets better game support, but for now it looks like Valve is winning the race.