Everything You Need To Know About Valve’s VR Headset: HTC Vive

Valve and HTC have been developing their own headset, Vive, for some time now. Last night, they finally revealed how much it’ll cost and when the public will be able to get their hands on it. The Vive goes up directly against the Oculus Rift and the PlayStation VR as one of the three major virtual reality headsets to hit the market this year.

As expected, the Vive costs more than the Oculus Rift–$200 more, to be exact. Priced at $799, the Vive will ship to the public in March. Valve and HTC are promising more than what their competitors have to offer, with the inclusion of a headset with a built-in phone, front-facing camera, two wireless controllers, and two trackers that monitor your movements.

Much like the Oculus Rift, Valve and HTC’s Vive headset requires a powerful computer to run. Gamers with older systems will have a lot of difficulty getting the VR headset to perform to its maximum potential.

Just so you don’t waste your money on a device you can barely use, Valve has released the specs you’ll need to get the VR headset running on your PC, including a tool that will allow you to benchmark your system.

  • Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent, or greater
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 equivalent, or greater
  • RAM: 4GB+
  • Video Output: HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, or newer
  • USB Port: 1x USB 2.0 or greater port
  • Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 or newer

The HTC Vive ships with two games, Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption. It’s really nothing great. For the system to really take off, it’ll definitely need a killer app. On the plus side, you won’t ever have to take off the headset (except to wipe your sweat) as it’ll allow you to answer calls and reply to texts through the built-in phone. Additionally, the SteamVR software allows you to manage your entire Steam Library and play games in the comfort of your headset.

Valve says that they foresee apps for movies, business, and education being developed for the device. Google will be releasing an app called Tilt Brush for the system’s launch.

HTC and Valve are partnering up with system manufacturers to release Vive-ready PCs.