Vive developers just received a doozy of an email stating a new developer kit will premiere at CES in January (essentially a Vive DK2) and the consumer version of the headset is slated for release in April 2016.
HTC also posted a blog (that is not working properly right now) with the following:
We will be starting the new year by making an additional 7,000 units available to developers, followed by commercial availability in April 2016.
The email from the SteamVR team details a new HTC Vive developer edition premiering at CES in January with a new industrial design that is said not to impact development. The reveal will be followed by a content showcase in Seattle where some developers will show experiences they have been working on to press and public. This event will be followed by additional showcases throughout the first quarter of the year as well as showings at SXSW and GDC.
The first developer event is being held in Beijing from Dec. 17 to 18.
This is a huge blow as HTC had promised to ship the consumer version of the Valve-powered headset in 2015. The new timeline likely puts the release of the consumer Vive hardware behind that of Oculus. However, the systems are different as the Vive is built for room-scale VR with hand-tracked controllers from the moment it arrives while the Oculus Rift will add hand-tracked controllers with the freedom to move more freely around a room in the first half of the year.
So it’s looking like the Rift will arrive for consumers in the first few months of the year, Vive will arrive sometime around April and then Oculus will ready for phase 2 with the Oculus Touch controllers shipping to more closely match the more capable feature set of the Vive.
Here’s the full text from the HTC blog post via Robert McGregor:
— Robert McGregor (@ID_R_McGregor) December 8, 2015