The VR apocalypse looms ever closer. While the Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR headset have both said that early 2016 is when gamers will be needing to set their wallets aflame, HTC has remained steadfast regarding their plans to launch the Vive in 2015 — albeit in limited quantity. Yet here we are quickly approaching the November holiday season and still no word on an official Vive launch. That may change soon, however, as an HTC Vive employee has now gone on record (twice) saying that December 8 will be the VR headset’s “premiere.”
Speaking with Polish website TVN24Bis.pl and again with Gram.pl, HTC Product Commercialization Manager Bartosza Żuka says that the HTC Vive will “premiere” on December 8. While exact translation of “premiere” may be unintentionally vague, it likely means that this is the date when the HTC Vive’s limited run will be launched. It’s also within the realm of possibility that the premiere might also simply be an unveiling of the final HTC Vive as well as the announcement of a final release date.
The other noteworthy part of the interview is that the HTC Vive’s premiere will only be in three different regions: the US, UK and Germany. That is to say that the rest of the world can breath easy, having avoided the looming VR apocalypse for a brief amount of time. This will likely anger many gamers outside of these three premiere regions though, as their cult-like obsession with VR has them begging for the looming apocalypse. Looming.
RoadToVR has since reached out to HTC for an official comment, but despite the date coming from an HTC employee home base was not prepared to make any official statements. An official HTC representative said the following:
“I would not consider this information confirmed or from HTC official channels.”
As far as leaks go, this one seems to be fairly reliable as it’s coming from an official HTC employee hosting an official HTC Vive event. Yet considering it’s coming before any larger scale announcement, it still be be treated as a rumor. Many things can happen even if December 8 is currently the planned premiere date, things that may very well push the premiere further back into December or even into 2016. Best take this news with a grain of salt.
With our bases covered now, December 8 would be about as late as any company would want to initially launch a piece of hardware in the holiday season. There’s a reason why the three or four weeks before Christmas are considered a dead zone in terms of announcements and launches. People take time off, they go on holiday, they stop spending as much money on luxury items because they’ve already splurged during November. If Vive’s going to make its 2015 limited release, then December 8 is the post it needs to hit.
Hopefully we’ll hear more on the HTC Vive and its initial launch plans withing the weeks to come, as well as what games that players can expect will be compatible with the headset at launch. And don’t forget, the HTV Vive VR headset is going to be expensive. Probably very expensive. Just how expensive may very well end up being revealed come December 8.