HTC Vive | Australian Price, Release Date and Specs

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The virtual reality wars are really starting to heat up as the second of “the big three” manufacturers reveals its hand.

QUICK GUIDE: Cost - Release Date - Compare - Specs - Games

What is HTC Vive?

15 November 2016: The HTC Vive is a virtual reality headset resulting from a partnership between telecommunications giant HTC, and video game publisher, developer and distributor Valve Software (Steam, Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Left 4 Dead). The former has provided the hardware technology and manufacturing, while the latter has provided the operating system and software distribution channel. The HTC Vive is the main rival of the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headset, but also competes for market share with PlayStation VR. Despite a number of other virtual reality headsets releasing or (in the case of the Samsung Gear VR) already released in 2016, these three products have the largest brand awareness.

How much will the HTC Vive cost in Australia?

The HTC Vive is available for preorder now and will set you back $1,399 from JB HIFI and $1,398 from Harvey Norman,

When is the HTC Vive Australian release date?

Preorders of the HTC Vive from JB HIFI and Harvey Norman's online stores started 7 November 2016. The official release date is yet to be announced, but it's expected to mid-November.

What is included in the HTC Vive bundle?

Importantly, and unlike the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive ships with its two purpose built, motion-based controllers. (The Oculus Rift ships with an Xbox One controller, with the virtual reality focused controllers available late in 2016). In addition, it ships with the “room scale sensors” required to give the device one of its defining features - the ability to map your room and to read your movements through it.

Early adopters, and all those who pre-order the HTC Vive, will receive two free games in their bundle as well; Job Simulator (by Owlchemy Labs) and Fantastic Contraption (by Northway Games).

How Does the HTC Vive compare to the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR Headsets?

As you might hope from its price, the HTC Vive is the premium option of the big three. Offering a faster experience, a good field-of-view and sharper visuals, it’s also quite comfortable to wear and comes with two excellent controllers. Two main features on the headset itself help it stand out, too. The forward-facing camera gives the headset the ability to let you jump from the virtual world to the real one without taking the headset off, or indeed merge the two worlds together for an experience more akin to augmented reality.

The HTC Vive also offers more depth in its play space. By using sensors placed throughout your room, it can map your location – taking into account objects like couches and coffee tables – and read your movements within that space. This effectively allows you to walk around without breaking out of the game experience or indeed to enhance gameplay – the PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift require you to remain in the same location and cannot calculate where you are in relation to other objects in the room.

Just announced, the HTC Vive has an inbuilt phone service, literally called HTC Phone Service, which allows you to sync your mobile to the headset via Bluetooth. You will then be able to receive and answer phone calls, text messages and calendar requests from within the virtual world, so you don’t have to take off the headset.

Recommended PC Specs for the HTC Vive

For a smooth virtual reality experience using the HTC Vive, the creator recommends the following minimum PC specifications: note that some upgrade costs to your PC may be required to get the best experience, which will in-turn increase your launch costs.

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or better

CPU: Intel i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better

RAM: 4GB

Video Output: HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or newer

Ports: 1x USB 2.0

OS: Windows 7 SP1 or later

What games are coming to the HTC Vive virtual reality headset?

There are already over 100 games planned for the HTC Vive, including Valve's lauded Half-Life series, Alien: Isolation and The Talos Principle. Click here for a full list of HTC Vive games.

Where to try HTC Vive in Australia

JB HIFI and Harvey Norman stores across Australia are offering customers a chance to experience HTC Vive for free. Here's a full list of stores where you can get some hands-on time with HTC Vive.

Location State Store
Albury NSW Harvey Norman
Aspley QLD Harvey Norman
Melbourne QV VIC Harvey Norman
North Ryde NSW Harvey Norman
Auburn NSW Harvey Norman
Balgowlah NSW Harvey Norman
Ballina NSW Harvey Norman
Bendigo VIC Harvey Norman
Blacktown NSW Harvey Norman
Bondi Junction NSW Harvey Norman
Broadway Sydney NSW Harvey Norman
Browns Plains QLD Harvey Norman
Bundall QLD Harvey Norman
Cairns QLD Harvey Norman
Campbelltown NSW Harvey Norman
Cannington WA Harvey Norman
Caringbah NSW Harvey Norman
Castle Hill NSW Harvey Norman
Chadstone VIC Harvey Norman
City West Perth WA Harvey Norman
Darwin NT Harvey Norman
Everton Park QLD Harvey Norman
Fountain Gate VIC Harvey Norman
Fyshwick ACT Harvey Norman
Gepps Cross SA Harvey Norman
Gladstone QLD Harvey Norman
Gosford NSW Harvey Norman
Alexandria NSW Harvey Norman
City Cross SA Harvey Norman
Bundall QLD Domayne
Kotara NSW Harvey Norman
Hobart City TAS Harvey Norman
Hoppers Crossing Harvey Norman
Joondalup WA Harvey Norman
Kalgoorlie WA Harvey Norman
Knox Towerpoint Harvey Norman
Launceston TAS Harvey Norman
Liverpool NSW Harvey Norman
Mackay QLD Harvey Norman
Maitland NSW Harvey Norman
Maribyrnong VIC Harvey Norman
Marion SA Harvey Norman
Maroochydore QLD Harvey Norman
Moore Park NSW Harvey Norman
Mt Barker SA Harvey Norman
Mt Gravatt QLD Harvey Norman
Munno Para SA Harvey Norman
Newcastle NSW Harvey Norman
Nowra NSW Harvey Norman
Nunawading VIC Harvey Norman
Osborne Park WA Harvey Norman
Oxley QLD Harvey Norman
Penrith NSW Harvey Norman
Preston VIC Harvey Norman
Rothwell QLD Harvey Norman
Springvale VIC Harvey Norman
Toowoomba QLD Harvey Norman
Townsville QLD Harvey Norman
Wagga Wagga NSW Harvey Norman
Watergardens VIC Harvey Norman
Fortitude Valley QLD Harvey Norman
Warrawong NSW Harvey Norman
Warrawong NSW Domayne
Rundle Mall Plaza SA JB Hi-Fi
Bankstown NSW JB Hi-Fi Home
Bondi NSW JB Hi-Fi
Booragoon WA JB Hi-Fi
Bourke St, Melbourne VIC JB Hi-Fi
Brighton VIC JB Hi-Fi Home
Brisbane Central QLD JB Hi-Fi
Broadway Sydney NSW JB Hi-Fi
Cairns Central QLD JB Hi-Fi
Canberra City ACT JB Hi-Fi
Carindale QLD JB Hi-Fi
Carousel WA JB Hi-Fi
Castle Hill NSW JB Hi-Fi Home
Castle Towers NSW JB Hi-Fi
Chadstone VIC JB Hi-Fi
Chermside QLD JB Hi-Fi
Doncaster Westfield VIC JB Hi-Fi
Elizabeth St Melbourne VIC JB Hi-Fi
Perth Enex Shopping Centre WA JB Hi-Fi
Erina Fair NSW JB Hi-Fi Home
Helensvale QLD JB Hi-Fi
Hobart Collins St TAS JB Hi-Fi
Hornsby NSW JB Hi-Fi
Indooroopilly QLD JB Hi-Fi
Ipswich QLD JB Hi-Fi
Nox Shopping Centre VIC JB Hi-Fi
Lakeside Joondalup WA JB Hi-Fi
Macarthur Square NSW JB Hi-Fi
Macquarie North Ryde NSW JB Hi-Fi
Malaga WA JB Hi-Fi
Marion SA JB Hi-Fi
Midland Central WA JB Hi-Fi Home
Moore Park NSW JB Hi-Fi Home
Myaree WA JB Hi-Fi Home
Newcastle NSW JB Hi-Fi Home
Osborne Park WA JB Hi-Fi Home
Penrith NSW JB Hi-Fi Home
Prahran VIC JB Hi-Fi
Robina NSW JB Hi-Fi Home
Southland Westfield VIC JB Hi-Fi
Strand Arcade Sydney NSW JB Hi-Fi
Sydney City George St NSW JB Hi-Fi
Top Ryde NSW JB Hi-Fi
Townsville QLD JB Hi-Fi Home
Warringah Mall NSW NSW JB Hi-Fi
Waurn Ponds VIC JB Hi-Fi
Chatswood Westfield NSW JB Hi-Fi
Parramatta Westfield NSW JB Hi-Fi
Sydney Westfield NSW JB Hi-Fi Home
World Square Sydney NSW JB Hi-Fi

Complete list of HTC Vive specifications

HTC Vive
Owner(s) HTC and Valve
Release Date TBC
Price (including GST) $US879
Display Resolution 2160 x 1200 (1080 x 1200 per eye)
Screen Technology OLED
Refresh Rate (Hz) 90
Maximum Frame-Rate 90 frames-per-second
Field of View 110-degrees or more
Integrated Audio No
Bluetooth Mobile Integration Yes
Forward Facing Camera Yes
Head Tracking Lighthouse - 2 base stations emitting pulsed laser - gyro sensor and accelerometer
Body Tracking Yes, via laser position sensors over a 15-foot by 15-foot area
Format PC
Operating System SteamVR
Controller 2 x SteamVR controllers (one for each hand)
Required Equipment TBC
Bundled With Steam, Room Scale Sensors, 2 x SteamVR Controllers - Games: Job Simulator, Fantastic Contraption
Launch Titles TBC
Weight TBC
Audio Technology NA
Virtual Reality Store TBC
Games Highlights Has the backing of Valve (Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, Counter-Strike) and will be integrated into Steam distribution network. Supported by popular, multiformat middleware solution Unreal Engine 4.
Advised PC Specs GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or better
CPU: Intel i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better
RAM: 4 GB or more
Video Output: HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or newer
USB Port: 1x USB 2.0 or better port
Operating System: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or later, Windows 10

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