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Valve Time Strikes Again: No SteamVR / HTC 'Til Spring

It wasn’t that many months ago that I had fondly but confidently dreamed I would be spending Christmas in a VR wonderland. Those tykes at Valve seem always able to convince me that this time, this time they’re going to meet a mooted release date. Of course they’re not going to! It is completely, absolutely their thing to not do it! Would they even still be Valve if they did?

In fairness, their Steam VR headset, the Vive, is a partnership with HTC, who are doing the heavy lifting in terms of manufacturing, and it’s them who’ve finally broken cover and admitted that the thing definitely won’t be with us until next year. DAMMIT.

“We will be starting the new year by making an additional 7,000 units available to developers, followed by commercial availability in April 2016,” reveal HTC in a new blogpost confirming the already-likely delay, which they rather oddly open with “we are excited to give the community an update on the status of HTC Vive.” Delays aren’t exciting! Delays are annoying.

Still, that’s only four months away, presuming that date is stuck to, though I sure would have liked somewhere fantastical to retreat to during these cold winter months. HTC don’t quite manage to give a clear reason for the delay, though imply that it’s to do with wanting to have tons and tons of software available at launch. See if you can pick anything else out of this, though:

“Since announcing the HTC Vive in March of this year we have focused on developing immersive content, refining both hardware design and user experience, and building relationships with new partners both inside and outside of the gaming industry. In collaboration with Valve, we have been distributing the HTC Vive Developer Kits to developers and content creators, and are continuing to work with many other innovative companies to create content that spans gaming, entertainment, medical, education and retail.”

They also note there’ll be a developer conference in Beijing on December 18th, so we might get to see a whole bunch of new stuff then. No major upcoming new game has announced Vive support yet – Elite Dangerous has but, expansions notwithstanding, that’s a game which has been around for a while (and has boasted VR support for almost all that time), not a big shiny new hardware-flogging launch title – perhaps something is brewing there, and they really didn’t want to launch their virtual reality roadshow until they had a headline act to go with it.

April, then. Can’t wait.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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