HTC Vive announces $799 price for VR system

The HTC Vive Virtual Reality System

HTC Vive virtual reality system is to retail at an introductory price of $799, more than the Oculus Rift's $599, as expected.

The five-piece virtual reality kit, comprising a high spec HD visor, two location-sensing cubes, and a pair of controllers, is set for an April launch, with pre-orders opening February 29 at 10am EST (3pm UTC).

Designed and manufactured in partnership with PC gaming giant Valve Corporation ("Dota 2," "Portal," "Half-Life" and the Steam store), the hardware company also unveiled another trick for its piece of premium VR kit.

A Vive Phone Service will allow users to make and take calls, compose text messages, and check up on calendar appointments all while within the Vive's virtual world.

Hardware requirements are more or less on a par with the $599 Oculus Rift: computers powering a Vive will need an Nvidia GTX970 or AMD R9 290 graphics card, and an Intel i5 or AMD FX 8350 CPU chip, but a minimum 4GB of RAM compared to the Rift's 8GB.

HTC is encouraging pre-orders with a "limited time" offer of two additional games, "Job Simulator" and "Fantastic Contraption."

With the Rift starting to ship initial orders of its consumer edition in late March and the Vive now set for an early April bow, attention turns to PlayStation, whose PlayStation VR is also expected to debut this year.

Video: Introducing the Vive - youtu.be/-mxDQycSyDg

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