Officially a two-horse race
After all the hype and anticipation, you can finally place a pre-order for HTC’s Vive headset today, just as the company promised last week. The cost, as stated previously, is $799, with the first batch of headsets slated to ship in April of this year.
There’s also an estimated $30 shipping charge for orders placed in the U.S., which brings the total to $829. What that gets you is the Vive headset, a pair of wireless controllers, two base stations, a link box, earbuds, an updated head strap with integrated phone functionality, two games (Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption), and Tilt Brush by Google.
What’s not included in the cost is a PC. Like Rift, the Vive requires a fairly powerful system. To see if yours is already up to snuff, Valve released a StreamVR Performance Test that can determine if your hardware is able to run VR content at 90 frames per second. According to the hardware specifications of that test, Valve recommends:
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 or better / AMD FX-8350 or better
- RAM: 4GB or more
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or better / AMD Radeon R9 290 or better
- OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
It will be interesting to see how the Vive sells in pre-sale compared the Rift, which is $200 cheaper. Even though the Vive costs more, the inclusion of two wireless controllers and room sensors add to the value proposition. Having Valve in HTC’s corner is also a major selling point.
If you’re interested in pre-ordering a Vive, go here.