Updated 05:32 PM EST, Tue, Jan 18, 2022

HTC Valve ‘Vive’ VR Headset Developer Edition Offered for Free: Release Date & Features

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Unveiled in this year's Mobile World Congress, HTC and Valve's Vive VR headset continues to make rounds over the headlines, now that its Developer Edition units are coming free of charge to qualified developers.

The news comes from Ars Technica, which revealed that a number of kits have already been given to "specially chosen" developers, including Owlchemy Labs ("Aaaaaa! For The Awesome"), Bossa Studios ("Surgeon Simulator" & "I Am Bread"), Fireproof Games ("The Room)" and Cloudhead Games ("The Gallery").

Doug Lombardi, a Valve spokesperson, told the outlet, "More info and 'sign up' forms will be available to all interested developers, big or small, via a new site coming soon."

Valve is the company behind popular video games such as "DOTA 2," "Half-Life," "Portal," "Left 4 Dead" and "Team Fortress 2."

According to VG247.com, the kit comes free "initially," all in a convenient package that houses the headset, two base-stations and controllers.

As previously reported, Vive packs two 1,200 x 1,080 displays that refresh at 90 frames per second. Situated above the hardware are two USB ports, an HDMI port and a headphone jack.

The device grants users a 360-degree visual experience.

The Guardian previously noted that Vive is set to hit the market later this year. Interestingly, the commercial Oculus Rift is expected for the same release, so we could be looking forward to steaming competition. Both technologies employ virtual reality.

The developer-edition Oculus Rift is also available at the present, though it's not for free. The kit costs $350, Engadget said.

The Vive VR headset joins a slew of virtual and augmented reality products slated to arrive in the future. To date, Microsoft has introduced its HoloLens; Sony has its Project Morpheus / SmartEyeglass; we know Samsung's Gear VR and of course, the Google-funded Magic Leap continues to be just as intriguing. It may be safe to say that this list will most certainly go on.

In fact, Apple's name stirred speculations just recently, following claims of an analyst who said that the Cupertino giant has a small team already working on "augmented reality applications."

The distinction between virtual and augmented reality is easy to spot at one point. For those who may not know, Virtual Reality (VR) is the creation of a virtual world where visual interactions are made possible. Note, however, that nothing is physically real here.

Augmented Reality (AR), on the other hand, is the merging of real and virtual worlds. Users become aware of their physical environment when interacting with this type of technology.

What do you think of the Vive VR headset? For a preview, catch The Verge's hands-on clip below.

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