2015 is the year of VR without a doubt, with all the excitement and development of multiple VR headsets and technologies finally coming to fruition in the form of final consumer units releasing near the end of this year. About 2 months ago back at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona HTC announced a brand new partnership with acclaimed video game developer and Steam creator Valve. This new partnership has birthed a VR headset that's being officially supported by Valve and appears to have immediately won the hearts and minds of the gaming community as a whole. As is the norm with technologies this new and exciting everyone had been clamoring over when they will be released, and today we get a small hint at when that might happen.
Valve has officially opened the signup page for developers who want to create games for the Vive, and they're promising that the units will begin shipping out later this Spring. The units, which currently have no retail price but have been hinted at being fairly expensive compared to rival VR headsets, are actually going to be completely free for developers. This incredible revelation shows just how committed Valve and HTC are to the success of the Vive and VR as a whole. This is also evident in the way that Valve has been promoting the headset, even showing off an early game designed for the Vive called The Gallery: Six Elements. You will have to be a developer to sign up for this so consumers need not apply for now, but Valve and HTC will be consistently shipping out units every couple of weeks to developers to keep the community filled with talent.
Valve has also showed off a number of tech demos that could turn into full-fledged games including one that takes place in the Portal universe. VR gaming extends itself to more than just PC gamers though, as HTC's hand in this ensures that there's going to be some pretty incredible hardware behind the mask. We've seen plenty of other VR units out there do things a little bit differently in order to differentiate themselves from the pack. Samsung's Gear VR is a partnership with Oculus, the company behind Oculus Rift that's owned by Facebook, and features either the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge behind the mask powering the entire experience. VR is a fledgling market that's got tons of excitement and support behind it, with manufacturers and developers hoping it'll be the next big thing in gaming, but much like other innovations in gaming this isn't meant to completely replace or become the gloaming of traditional gaming, rather enhance certain types of games that really make sense to become fully immersed in.