Need a virtual reality headset ASAP? I don’t know how many people that statement could possibly apply to, but in any case the HTC Vive is looking like your best shot. HTC had two announcements today: 1) Vive demos are arriving at retail stores and 2) There is no longer a waiting list. If you order a Vive, it’ll ship within three days.
Either that means Vive sales are tapering off, or it means HTC ramped up production to the appropriate levels. Lacking hard numbers from Valve/HTC, there’s no real way of knowing.
But it’s good news for you, especially if you’re still stuck waiting on an Oculus Rift. Encountering numerous delays since its March release, some Day One Rift preorders still won’t be fulfilled until later this month—to say nothing of what will happen if you put in an order today. If you’re trapped in the queue, maybe it’s time to spring for the Vive instead? It’s $200 more, but you get hand-tracking controllers from the start. Still no word on how much Oculus’s similar Touch controllers will cost when they eventually launch.
If you’re not sold on Valve’s room-scale VR tech, you could always test it out. Search for a nearby demo on the official Vive site, or test your luck by stopping in at one of HTC’s retail partners—The Microsoft Store, GameStop, and Micro Center. Looks like demos are mostly confined to cities at the moment, with the Microsoft store boasting by far the most locations.
Just make sure nobody’s taking goofy pictures of you before you start.