Game Developers Conference (GDC) is leaking out a little early, as smartphone company HTC announce a virtual reality headset in partnership with Valve. Further technical details and information is expected on Wednesday at GDC, when Valve will talk more about their VR plans.
For now, both the official site linked above and the BBC are listing a few technical specs for the device HTC are calling the Re Vive (or, at times, just the Vive.) The headset has a 1,200 by 1,080 pixel screen for each eye and can manage a refresh rate of 90hz – all important for people wanting to avoid motion sickness.
It uses technology prototyped in Valve’s ‘Crystal Cove’ Oculus headset that we heard a fair bit about last year.
The BBC piece also contains this interesting paragraph about what sounds like an additional SteamVR peripheral: “[The Vive is] also supported a facility developed by Valve that allows users to explore a virtual space and the objects within it from different angles – by moving about in real life within a 15ft by 15ft (4.6m squared) space. To do this, owners will also need to buy a Steam VR base station.”
HTC’s Vive will be available to purchase by “holiday” 2015 (so, October-November time) and will have a dev kit version available for Spring.
It’s not really clear at this point whether this is the SteamVR-powered headset or, as is perhaps more likely, just a SteamVR headset, with more company partnerships to come. Honestly, we still don’t even really know whether SteamVR is some sort of Application Program Interface (API) for VR, or a reference to headsets which are based on the Crystal Cove prototype. Or both. Or neither of those things.
We’ll no doubt learn more during the GDC presentation.
Here’s a puffery trailer for the HTC device. Eager conspiracy theorists may wish to consider the following acronym: Half-Life Three Confirmed.