Valve and HTC Reveal Vive VR Headset

Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC will make the device.

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Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC has revealed Vive, a new virtual reality headset that will use Valve's virtual reality technology.

The device has a 1,200 by 1,800 pixel screen in front of each eye with refresh rates of 90 frames per second. HTC claims it eliminates the jitter common in other VR headsets.

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 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 game controller. A 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.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X developer Dovertail Games, The Room developer Fireproof Games, and Cloudhead games have already signed up to make content for the device. Google, Lionsgate, and HBO are also listed as content partners on the game's website.

The VR headset will release this year.

"The Vive headset was developed in conjunction with Valve, creators of such ground-breaking games as Portal and Half-Life," HTC said in a statement on the device's website. "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."

HTC's executive director of global marketing Jeff Gattis said that he was skeptical about virtual reality until he saw a demo in Valve's office in Seattle. "That's the essence of HTC Vive," he said. "You have to see it to believe it."

Valve previously announced that it would be showcasing its virtual reality headset at the Game Developer's Conference this week along with new Steam Machines and the final version of the Steam Controller.

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