HTC Vive | Australian Price, Release Date and Specs

VG (22)

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

QUICK GUIDECostRelease DateCompareSpecs - 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.

LocationStateStore
AlburyNSWHarvey Norman
AspleyQLDHarvey Norman
Melbourne QVVICHarvey Norman
North RydeNSWHarvey Norman
AuburnNSWHarvey Norman
BalgowlahNSWHarvey Norman
BallinaNSWHarvey Norman
BendigoVICHarvey Norman
BlacktownNSWHarvey Norman
Bondi JunctionNSWHarvey Norman
Broadway SydneyNSWHarvey Norman
Browns PlainsQLDHarvey Norman
BundallQLDHarvey Norman
CairnsQLDHarvey Norman
CampbelltownNSWHarvey Norman
CanningtonWAHarvey Norman
CaringbahNSWHarvey Norman
Castle HillNSWHarvey Norman
ChadstoneVICHarvey Norman
City West PerthWAHarvey Norman
DarwinNTHarvey Norman
Everton ParkQLDHarvey Norman
Fountain GateVICHarvey Norman
FyshwickACTHarvey Norman
Gepps CrossSAHarvey Norman
GladstoneQLDHarvey Norman
GosfordNSWHarvey Norman
AlexandriaNSWHarvey Norman
City CrossSAHarvey Norman
BundallQLDDomayne
KotaraNSWHarvey Norman
Hobart CityTASHarvey Norman
Hoppers CrossingHarvey Norman
JoondalupWAHarvey Norman
KalgoorlieWAHarvey Norman
Knox TowerpointHarvey Norman
LauncestonTASHarvey Norman
LiverpoolNSWHarvey Norman
MackayQLDHarvey Norman
MaitlandNSWHarvey Norman
MaribyrnongVICHarvey Norman
MarionSAHarvey Norman
MaroochydoreQLDHarvey Norman
Moore ParkNSWHarvey Norman
Mt BarkerSAHarvey Norman
Mt GravattQLDHarvey Norman
Munno ParaSAHarvey Norman
NewcastleNSWHarvey Norman
NowraNSWHarvey Norman
NunawadingVICHarvey Norman
Osborne ParkWAHarvey Norman
OxleyQLDHarvey Norman
PenrithNSWHarvey Norman
PrestonVICHarvey Norman
RothwellQLDHarvey Norman
SpringvaleVICHarvey Norman
ToowoombQLDHarvey Norman
TownsvilleQLDHarvey Norman
Wagga WaggaNSWHarvey Norman
WatergardensVICHarvey Norman
Fortitude ValleyQLDHarvey Norman
WarrawongNSWHarvey Norman
WarrawongNSWDomayne
Rundle Mall PlazaSAJB Hi-Fi
BankstownNSWJB Hi-Fi Home
BondiNSWJB Hi-Fi
BooragoonWAJB Hi-Fi
Bourke St, MelbourneVICJB Hi-Fi
BrightonVICJB Hi-Fi Home
Brisbane CentralQLDJB Hi-Fi
Broadway SydneyNSWJB Hi-Fi
Cairns CentralQLDJB Hi-Fi
Canberra CityACTJB Hi-Fi
CarindaleQLDJB Hi-Fi
CarouselWAJB Hi-Fi
Castle HillNSWJB Hi-Fi Home
Castle TowersNSWJB Hi-Fi
ChadstoneVICJB Hi-Fi
ChermsideQLDJB Hi-Fi
Doncaster WestfieldVICJB Hi-Fi
Elizabeth St MelbourneVICJB Hi-Fi
Perth Enex Shopping CentreWAJB Hi-Fi
Erina FairNSWJB Hi-Fi Home
HelensvaleQLDJB Hi-Fi
Hobart Collins StTASJB Hi-Fi
HornsbyNSWJB Hi-Fi
IndooroopillyQLDJB Hi-Fi
IpswichQLDJB Hi-Fi
Nox Shopping CentreVICJB Hi-Fi
Lakeside JoondalupWAJB Hi-Fi
Macarthur SquareNSWJB Hi-Fi
Macquarie North RydeNSWJB Hi-Fi
MalagaWAJB Hi-Fi
MarionSAJB Hi-Fi
Midland CentralWAJB Hi-Fi Home
Moore ParkNSWJB Hi-Fi Home
MyareeWAJB Hi-Fi Home
NewcastleNSWJB Hi-Fi Home
Osborne ParkWAJB Hi-Fi Home
PenrithNSWJB Hi-Fi Home
PrahranVICJB Hi-Fi
RobinaNSWJB Hi-Fi Home
Southland WestfieldVICJB Hi-Fi
Strand Arcade SydneyNSWJB Hi-Fi
Sydney City George StNSWJB Hi-Fi
Top RydeNSWJB Hi-Fi
TownsvilleQLDJB Hi-Fi Home
Warringah Mall NSWNSWJB Hi-Fi
Warun PondsVICJB Hi-Fi
Chatswood WestfieldNSWJB Hi-Fi
Parramatta WestfieldNSWJB Hi-Fi
Sydney WestfieldNSWJB Hi-Fi Home
World Square SydneyNSWJB Hi-Fi

Complete list of HTC Vive specifications

HTC Vive
Owner(s)HTC and Valve
Release DateTBC
Price (including GST)$US879
Display Resolution2160 x 1200 (1080 x 1200 per eye)
Screen TechnologyOLED
Refresh Rate (Hz)90
Maximum Frame-Rate90 frames-per-second
Field of View110-degrees or more
Integrated AudioNo
Bluetooth Mobile IntegrationYes
Forward Facing CameraYes
Head TrackingLighthouse - 2 base stations emitting pulsed laser - gyro sensor and accelerometer
Body TrackingYes, via laser position sensors over a 15-foot by 15-foot area
FormatPC
Operating SystemSteamVR
Controller2 x SteamVR controllers (one for each hand)
Required EquipmentTBC
Bundled WithSteam, Room Scale Sensors, 2 x SteamVR Controllers - Games: Job Simulator, Fantastic Contraption
Launch TitlesTBC
WeightTBC
Audio TechnologyNA
Virtual Reality StoreTBC
Games HighlightsHas 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 SpecsGPU: 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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