Competition generally creates amazing products and I couldn’t have been more excited to see new competition arriving yesterday in the virtual reality headset market. HTC announced a few products at the beginning of Mobile World Congress on Sunday, March 1st, and everything they announced was exciting, but the most exciting to me was the HTC RE Vive virtual reality headset.
Virtual reality can have a lot of really awesome experiences attached. Samsung famously made a Paul McCartney concert available for viewing on their Gear VR. Google has embedded smartphone notifications and other smartphone features into their Google Glass. But gaming has been a driver for the virtual reality market. Gaming on a VR Headset can be a very exciting experience, Occulus has made waves in this market starting in 2012 and since then competitors have stepped up their development as well. Samsung made some incredible waves recently with their Gear VR by pairing it with their Galaxy Note 4. By doing so, Samsung immediately made virtual reality a possibility for the mass market unlike Occulus, Google Glass, and this first HTC RE Vive.
Here enters the HTC RE Vive, at face value, this is just another VR headset. However, what I believe makes this different is HTC’s partnership with Valve. Valve knows games. Valve has an incredibly popular gaming platform with Steam, and through their support of the HTC RE Vive, they are hoping to ignite developer interest in virtual reality. Content is what will make or break this market and with HTC and Valve attempting to inspire developers, hopefully we can get some solid games, movies, and/or other experiences developers will come up with.
The HTC Re Vive is not available for purchase yet and regardless the RE Vive looks to be geared towards developers (that shouldn’t stop you from purchasing, however it should put expectations into perspective). This is an awesome first step and I hope to give it a shot when it becomes available!