HTC Vive delayed to April 2016, consumer pre-orders start in February (update)

HTC Vive

Update: HTC just sent out the following statement regarding the HTC’s Vive specific shipping date. While the HTC Vive has officially been delayed until April 2016, consumer pre-orders start in February.

“HTC announced an updated timeline for the consumer availability of the HTC Vive, now planned for release in April 2016. Understandably this caused some concerns amongst people who were hoping to get their hands on the world’s most advanced VR system earlier. The reason that we have made the decision to shift consumer availability is because we are committed to delivering the best possible product, the most vivid VR experience, and the most immersive content on the best content distribution platform in the world. In less than a month at CES, we are going to be revealing the next version of our Developer Kit with technology advancements that deliver on the promise of the best VR experience. Furthermore, we would like to underscore the fact that we are 100% committed to beginning Vive pre-orders in February, with final products in consumers’ hands (and on their heads) in April. We’re confident that when you experience Vive for yourself in April, you will agree with the decision to deliver the product once it’s perfect.”

After months of speculation, HTC and Valve have announced that their Vive VR headset is set to be commercially released in April 2016. According to HTC, the Vive’s retail release will be proceeded by the distribution of an additional 7,000 developer kit units in early 2016.

This release date shift pushes back HTC’s previous plan to begin shipping retail units in the first quarter of 2016, which was a delay from the device’s initial release date of late 2015. The Vive is set to compete with other upcoming VR headsets, the Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR, two devices that are set to be released in the first quarter of 2016.

The company still hasn’t revealed a specific release date or information regarding launch titles and a final price.

“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,” says HTC in an official statement sent to MobileSyrup.

“Since announcing the HTC Vive in March of this year we have focused on developing immersive content, refining both hardware design and user experience, and building relationships with new partners both inside and outside of the gaming industry. 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.”

HTC’s Vive is one of the more promising upcoming virtual reality devices thanks to the device’s ability to track the wearer’s location in the real world. This opens up a number of innovative gameplay capabilities not possible with competing devices like the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR. It’s likely HTC made the decision to delay the Vive in order to ensure the device launches with a solid library of games worth playing.

HTC initially posted a statement about the Vive’s delay but has since removed it from its website.

Related reading: Tête-à-Tête: HTC Vive vs. PlayStation VR – Which VR headset is more impressive?