Video games development and distribution company Valve Corporation, on Thursday, announced that the company's much anticipated Vive headset, developed in conjunction with beleaguered Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, is not going to ship commercially to end-consumers at least until Q1, 2016. While the company has been shipping developer editions of the virtual reality headset since May this year, the commercial launch was widely expected to happen towards the end of this year. The current announcement from the company however, has put paid to any such hopes. The statement from the company came as part of a press release which announced that the company will be present at the PAX Prime Expo to be held at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, WA from this Friday, August 28th onwards. Announcing its plans about the VR headset, Valve Corporation released a statement, saying that by the end of this year, "HTC will offer the first commercial Vive units via a limited quantity of community and developer systems". However, "larger quantities" would only start "shipping in calendar Q1 2016", according to the company that runs the popular online video game distribution platform, Steam.
While smart wearables have been a recurring theme amongst tech companies over the past few years, the one sector that has really caught the fancy of enthusiasts and industry watchers over the past year is virtual and augmented reality. The sector has seen a lot of activity lately, with many analysts and device manufacturers viewing the sector as the next big frontier in entertainment, which could potentially revolutionize the smart wearables category and redefine immersive entertainment. Earlier this year, Samsung launched its second generation Gear VR headset based on the Oculus VR platform, after having launched its first generation VR headset late last year. Oculus, the startup behind the software that powers Samsung's Gear headsets, is itself expected to launch the much talked-about Oculus Rift headset early next year. Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony meanwhile, has already shown off its Project Morpheus headset which promises to offer immersive gaming with PlayStation titles. That particular device is also said to be shipping in Q1, 2016. What all this means for the end consumer is that by this time next year, in all probability, they will be spoilt for choice with multiple titles available to make immersive gaming experience a reality.