HTC’s Vive isn’t slated for release until April, but the company will start taking pre-orders as soon as February 29. HTC CEO Cher Wang revealed the news in an interview with The Telegraph, hinting that the launch could mark a shift away from smartphones for the struggling Taiwanese firm.
“Yes, smartphones are important,” Wang said, “but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important.”
Virtual reality represents a huge new market, and tech giants like Sony and Facebook are already rushing to release their own VR headsets. With HTC’s phone business seemingly drying up, this could be the company’s last chance at survival.
The Vive is already a pretty impressive device, and the recent addition of a front-facing camera means HTC is poised to offer both virtual and augmented reality in one package. The company’s partnership with Valve also means there should be plenty of great games to play once the headset launches this spring.
There’s still no word on how much the HTC Vive will cost, though hopefully we’ll learn more soon. Of course, you’ll also have to buy a new PC to power the experience if you don’t have one already, so it’s probably not a bad idea to start saving up now.