HTC’s Vive bursts out of the blocks, sells 15,000 units in first 10 minutes

HTC Vive
The hype surrounding HTC’s debut VR effort appears to have paid off for the Taiwanese tech firm after it revealed the Vive had received 15,000 preorders within its first 10 minutes of availability.

The headset, which went on sale Monday, offers one of the best VR experiences out there, but with its hefty $800 price tag – $200 more than the Oculus Rift – it wasn’t clear if regular early adopters would rush to grab the new tech or hold back for more information (or perhaps to save the cash for a suitably powerful PC to handle the hardware).

Judging by the initial numbers, it’s looking good for HTC and its first virtual reality headset as it seeks to position itself as one of the leading players in the consumer VR field.

HTC revealed Vive’s impressive start in a tweet: “Woah, more than 15k units in less than 10min :o.” On its U.S. order page, the headset is still listed as in stock, with the first orders going to customers in early April (though orders placed at the time of writing won’t arrive till May).

Created in partnership with video game giant Valve, HTC’s Vive headset certainly impressed DT Deputy Editor Jeffrey Van Camp when he tried out an early version of the device last year. Indeed, he seemed positively overawed by the experience, describing it as “frightening, astounding, and surreal.” In a good way.

Your $800 gets you the all-important headset, two 360-degree motion controllers, and two laser boxes to track your movement from all angles. One of the major selling points of HTC’s device is that it’s been built on the idea of having users actually walk around inside video game worlds, and with its front-facing camera opening up the possibility of incorporating real objects into experiences, the world – in this case both real and virtual – could very well be your oyster. “Frightening, astounding, and surreal” is starting to make a whole lot more sense now, right? If you fancy learning more about the Vive, check out our hands-on piece here.

Meanwhile, the Vive’s main rival at the current time is the aforementioned Rift device from Facebook-owned Oculus. The Rift went up for pre-order in January with a $600 price tag, with the first shipments going out at the end of this month.

Besides the headset, you also get a separate camera that helps track your head movements and a Microsoft Xbox One controller so you can interact with VR apps and play games, two of which are included as part of the package. Finally, you’ll also get the Oculus Remote, described by the company as a “simple and intuitive [device] to navigate VR experiences.”

DT also has a hands-on review of the Rift here.

It’s of course still very early days for consumer-focused VR, but having two high-end devices duke it out for domination will certainly crank up both interest and competition in the space, and hopefully pave the way for some big leaps in VR technology as the year progresses.

Emerging Tech

What’s it like to die? This VR experience puts doctors in a dying man’s shoes

A new VR experience depicts the last days of a lung cancer patient. It is already being used as a teaching tool in hospices and medical schools. But can VR really make us more empathetic?
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Gaming

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Photography

Intel’s augmented reality brings Red Bull Rampage into your living room

The extreme mountain biking action of Red Bull Rampage is coming to your living room thanks to the power of augmented reality and 360-degree video that lets fans load a scale replica of the course right in their phones.
Mobile

From the road to your wrist, see how Android has evolved over the past 10 years

Android started out as just a mobile operating system, but 10 years in it's pretty much everywhere. Check out our round-up of all the different Android variations that have cropped up so far, and what might be coming in the future.
Photography

With flip-out lenses, the Vuze XR transforms from 2D to 180-degree VR camera

The Vuze XR is a compact, dual-lens camera with an integrated handle and a neat party trick: The back-to-back lenses can flip forward to transition from 360-degree, two-dimensional video to 180-degree, three-dimensional video.
Computing

Following the Portal, augmented reality glasses may be Facebook’s next step

Following the launch of its Portal smart display, Facebook says it is working on AR glasses, possibly in a move at challenging both Apple and Google and perhaps to rise up in the hardware scene. 
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Computing

Oculus VR could upgrade the Rift with a new display in 2019

Oculus could be set to release a new version of its Rift headset in 2019, but it will be more of a modest upgrade than a true sequel. The Rift S, as its purportedly called, will have a new display, and inside-out tracking.
Mobile

Google awarded patent for using eye tracking to detect expressions in VR

Google was awarded a patent that involves using eye tracking to infer facial expressions using machine learning in virtual reality. The tech could help make virtual reality a whole lot more immersive than it already is.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Virtual Reality

Prototype Valve VR headset leaked: HTC Vive challenger confirmed?

Leaked images revealed that a Valve VR headset is in development, even amid Valve's partnership with HTC for the HTC Vive. Sources confirmed the device, which may be bundled with a Half-Life VR game.