For those readers that are hyped up on VR (virtual reality) headsets, an HTC press release stated that the highly anticipated second-generation HTC Vive Pre is now available for pre-order in Canada for $1,149. The pricing includes two wireless controllers and three games, including Tilt Brush and Job Simulator. The actual day we can expect shipment for the pre-orders is in early April.
HTC announced their Vive Pre at CES and although it will not be available until April, HTC will make 7,000 of the devices available now to developers. If HTC has any hopes of the Vive being successful, it must have programs - read as games - available to interest potential buyers. HTC made quite a few changes on its second generation Vive Pre and the most obvious is in its new and improved design and not so obvious - until you use them - the improved camera. The controllers now have a softer grip that makes it easier to hold them for longer periods of time, not to mention their rechargeable batteries that HTC claims will last four hours between charges.
Not everybody will be able to use the Vive Pre - it takes a lot of computing power, although most customers interested in virtual reality and plan on buying a VR headset of some sort will probably have a tweaked out PC or laptop. You will need a minimum 4th generation Intel Core i5 processor, such as the i5 4590 or the AMD FX 8350 - so if you have a weaker cored laptop, you may be left out. Let us not forget that you will need a powerful graphics card with dedicated RAM and this will not just be for the HTC Vive Pre, we are talking about the Oculus Rift model as well. In order to enjoy the full benefits of virtual reality, you will have to possess the proper hardware set up to make sure are ready to go.
Many users are waiting to see what Google has to offer in the way of virtual reality, although many say they are buying the Vive Pre as it is offering the best experience so far. Many are thinking it will probably be another two years before anything much better comes along, not to mention the added support of developers. The weaken Canadian dollar and the Vive's high price are keeping others away for now. The Gear VR is more entry-level when compared to the Vive Pre, simply tracking your head movements, but does give you a taste of what VR is all about. The Oculus will track head movements and arm movements if you have a controller in each hand.