HTC and Valve join forces for the Vive VR headset

htc vive vrHTC has been busy. Not only did it drop the expected, and rather lovely, One M9 it also entered the wearable arena with Grip. What I wasn’t expecting was HTC to start doing virtual reality. Well, it has. Say hello to HTC re Vive.

Just as it partnered with Under Armour for the Grip fitness tracker and brought Dolby on-board to tweak the BoomSound speakers on the M9, HTC has had gaming giant Valve on the team for Vive.

The HTC Vive, as it was referred to throughout the presentation even though the splash screen showed it as re VIVE, has a 1200 by 1800 pixel screen placed in front of each eye with refresh rates of 90 frames per second. This, HTC claims, eliminates the jitter common in other VR headsets and should prevent you feeling sick when going about your virtual business.

A gyrosensor, accelerometer, and laser position sensor will track the rotation of your head, allowing you to look around the virtual environment naturally. HTC said that when coupled with a pair of SteamVR “base stations” in spaces of up to 15 feet by 15 feet, the device will be able to track your movement as you walk around the room.

These “base stations” may explain how Valve was able to turn its VR room prototype into a consumer product.

The Vive headset will also use a custom wireless game controller.

HTC re ViveThe user will hold an “Ergonomic VR game controller” in each hand in order to interact with the virtual world. The position of each controller will also be tracked, similar to how Sony’s VR headset, Project Morpheus, uses Move controllers to track player movement.

The Vive will support two different software platforms. The first is Steam VR, a future storefront for Valve’s VR experiences and games.

Some impressive content partners have already been announced: HBO, Lion’s Gate, Google, Vertigo Games, Bossa, Wemo Labs, Steel Wool Games, Owlchemy, Microsoft Flight Simulator X developer Dovertail Games, The Room developer Fireproof Games, and Cloudhead games and obviously Valve. HTC has also promised a separate HTC software platform, also aiming for new VR experiences.

HTC Vive will be a pure PC accessory, but HTC has said that the Vive will aim to work with phones — most likely, notifications and incoming messages — to display important information on Vive’s display as you play.

You can get your mits on a developer edition of Vive this Spring through the HTC VR website which will direct you through to the Steam portal on Valve’s webspace.

The consumer version of the Vive VR headset will release before the end of this year.

The Vive headset was developed in conjunction with Valve, creators of such ground-breaking games as Portal and Half-Life… HTC manufactures some of the finest consumer electronics on the planet and Valve is an unrivaled architect of virtual worlds, so you know the collaboration is something special. Vive is powered by Valve’s SteamVR so plenty of games that take advantage of its capabilities will soon be available on the Steam service.”

Later this week, Valve and HTC will be showcasing Vive to developers attending the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Nip over to to learn more about the HTC Vive.