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Valve and HTC's Vive headset launching to consumers in April 2016

2016 is shaping up to be the year of VR

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The HTC Vive, the virtual reality headset that the company is working on with Valve, will be available commercially in April 2016, HTC announced today.

That represents something of a delay. HTC told Polygon this past summer that it was hoping to start selling the Vive online in limited quantities by the end of 2015, although the company said that a retail release was always scheduled for early 2016.

"Retail will absolutely be a part of our strategy, but that would be closer to a first-quarter [2016] strategy," said Jeff Gattis, head of global marketing for HTC's connected products business, in an interview with Polygon in July.

Valve began shipping out Vive developer kits in June, and HTC said today that it will begin 2016 by "making an additional 7,000 units available to developers." A commercial release — in other words, the point when anybody will be able to buy one — will follow in April.

That puts the Vive in line with two other major virtual reality headset, Sony's PlayStation VR (née Project Morpheus) and Oculus VR's Oculus Rift. The Rift is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2016, while PlayStation VR is coming sometime in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, Samsung's Gear VR, which works with four different Samsung smartphones, was released last month.

For more on the HTC Vive, check out our in-depth hands-on from July.

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