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By 2 March 2015 | Categories: news

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HTC and Valve have jointly thrown down the gauntlet with regards to virtual reality, introducing the latest VR headset at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The headset, called Vive, boasts two displays, with 1200 x 1080 resolutions which refresh at 90 frames per second. Considering that 60 fps is considered the gold standard on consoles for the smoothest gameplay experience possible, this is rather impressive.

Additionally, HTC asserted that the Vive will afford users 360o views, while apparently granting the facility to explore one’s virtual space in its entirety, such as inspecting objects from every angle and more fully interacting with the (virtual) surroundings.

Worth noting is that Valve is one of the heavyweight companies in the gaming world, carrying considerable clout with its Steam platform, and well known for being somewhat obsessive about quality.

Virtual immersion

Speaking of interaction, along with its built in accelerometer, gyrosensor and laser position sensor, which will track users head movements, the companies explained that the device will launch with a Steam VR base station. This will apparently enable users to walk around the virtual space by tracking their physical location within 15 square metres.

HTC also addressed the other major concern with virtual reality headsets: weight. They can be cumbersome and heavy on the head, but the company reassured that the Vive is lightweight and easy to wear for longer periods.

The appeal of this for games is obvious; however, the companies noted that its uses would extend beyond that realm to include attending real time concerts within a virtual space, relive memories or learning.

Another reality

However, perhaps most exciting about the newly announced tech is its aggressive release timeframe – developers will apparently have units a little later this year, and general users can expect to see it in stores by the end of this year.

Pricing details have yet to be announced, although more details on the Vive are expected to emerge at the Game Developers Conference 2015. If the end product fulfills the ambitions in the launch video below, then all we can say is: watch out, Occulus Rift.

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