VR enthusiasts who were hoping to escape Christmas dinner by secluding themselves into an artificial world look like they’ll have to sadly postpone their antisocial behavior and sullenly join the rest of their family in real life. HTC announced in a recent blog post that the Vive VR headset is being delayed until April 2016:
“We will be starting the new year by making an additional 7,000 units available to developers, followed by commercial availability in April 2016. We are incredibly excited about the future and look forward to sharing more information as we move forward towards launch.”
The HTC Vive, a product of a partnership between HTC and Valve Software, was previously slated to appear in limited quantities to community and developer systems in December, with a much larger rollout scheduled for Q1 2016. Many developers have already had a chance to fiddle with the Vive, as Valve had been sending out free dev kits since May of 2015:
“In collaboration with Valve, we have been distributing the HTC Vive Developer Kits to developers and content creators, and are continuing to work with many other innovative companies to create content that spans gaming, entertainment, medical, education and retail.”
But the marketing train has far from died down. Next week will also play host to a developer conference in Beijing, and after that HTC will be launching the second generation HTC Vive Developer Kit at CES. They’re also slated to turn up at events like the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Game Developers Conference, and Mobile World Congress. Sony’s PlayStation Experience saw a heavy focus on showing off the kind of games that could be expected on its own “Playstation VR” (previously called Project Morpheus), so it’s likely that HTC will follow suit.
Either way, 2016 has already been termed “The Year of Virtual Reality” by GameInformer, Fortune, and Gameindustry.biz, with Samsung’s Gear VR, The Oculus Rift, Playstation VR, Microsoft HoloLens, and now HTC Vive all coming out alongside a number of smaller VR headsets. Next year certainly does look like a busy year for fans of ignoring reality and substituting their own.