Virtual Reality

Instant gratification VR: HTC Vive now shipping without delay, expands retail presence

Instant gratification VR: HTC Vive now shipping without delay, expands retail presence
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For a while there, to get a high-end VR headset, you had to place an online pre-order and then wait months for it to show up on your doorstep. For the very best VR headset, the HTC Vive, that wait is no more. HTC is now shipping new Vive orders within 72 hours and is also expanding its retail presence.

HTC announced today that, in addition to the mere two- to three-day shipping wait for online orders from HTC, the Vive is also launching in "select" GameStop, Microsoft Store and Micro Center brick and mortar stores. And if you pre-order through one of those stores, you'll be able to get your order starting this week.

It's been a rocky launch for high-end VR – not because of the headsets themselves, but because of shipping issues. The Oculus Rift shipped without its hands Touch controllers anywhere in sight (they won't launch until later this year), leaving the headset with gamepad-only play for the time being. Rift pre-orders are still delayed as well, with current purchases estimated to ship in August. It briefly made a retail debut, but those flew off the shelves quickly.

The Vive's delays were never quite as bad as the Rift's, but at launch you still had to wait over a month between order and reception. Oculus and HTC even took a week or longer to cycle through pre-orders placed in their first few minutes of availability.

The Vive's new near-instant availability now makes high-end VR a potential impulse buy for the first time. Considering the Vive is our top recommendation in this burgeoning space, that isn't a bad buy for those with money to spare.

Product page: HTC

Derek Howe
As awesome as the Vive is, I hope HTC comes out with the Vive II next year. I know everyone says this, But it desperately needs 3 things: 1. Wireless HMD 2. Wider FOV 3. Higher Resolution screens
I own a Vive, and don't at all have buyer's remorse, it's a lot of fun. But, this day & age I've come to expect crisp HD screens...It's a bit of a bummer to throw on the latest & greatest VR headset and see individual pixels.
I tried one today at a local Microsoft store. Incredible! And not. Of course the experience is totally incredible, like nothing else. However, you could still make out individual pixels, which kind of ruins the experience for me. I'm one of those "early adopters" so I might just get one anyway, but my guess is this is the Atari 2600 of today, very soon to be made obsolete by VR with 4k displays in each eye with a wider FOV...