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Vive Pre is HTC's second shot at a Valve-powered VR dev kit

With months to go until the SteamVR-powered Vive's commercial release, HTC brought a new version of its VR headset dev kit to CES called the Vive Pre. The biggest addition? A new front-facing camera.

Alex Wawro, Contributor

January 5, 2016

1 Min Read

After delaying the commercial launch of its SteamVR-powered Vive VR headset out of 2015, manufacturer HTC doubled down this week by bringing a second-generation dev kit, the Vive Pre, to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

If you're at all interested in VR game development, the new Vive Pre devkit (pictured) is intriguing because it sports a front-facing camera that (according to a Verge report) is being used in CES demos to do things like pipe in footage of the real world and clearly notify Vive Pre wearers when they're about to step outside the Vive's tracking area.

The Vive Pre reportedly improves upon the original Vive devkits in other minor ways -- improved controllers, lighter frame -- but the new camera is the main selling point, and is reportedly the main reason why HTC delayed the 2015 commercial launch of the Vive.

As of December HTC was promising a commercial launch for the Vive in April of this year, with an additional 7,000 devkits promised to ship ahead of that debut.

It's now unclear if that figure refers to first-generation HTV Vive devkits, or the new Vive Pre kits. It's also not yet clear how curious developers go about requisitioning a Vive Pre -- last year Valve itself opened a Steam sign-up page for developers to request free Vive dev kits.

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