HTC Vive demo stations launch today at Currys PC World, Overclockers UK and Scan retail stores

HTC’s Vive headsets are now available to try out in-store at selected retailers on the UK High Street.

Launching today (March 17th, 2016), the demonstration stations will be fully open to the general public for individual sessions, giving consumers the chance to experience a host of virtual reality content supported by the platform.

The full list of participating UK stores is as follows:

Currys PC World – Leeds (Birstall)
Currys PC World – Reading
Currys PC World – Tottenham Court Road
Overclockers UK – Newcastle-under-Lyme
Scan Computers International Ltd – Bolton

Consumers will be able to pre-order Vive following an in-store demonstration, directly from each retailer.

Peter Frolund, HTC’s VP for VR (Europe), commented, “Through our partnerships with the UK’s leading consumer electronic retailers, we’re thrilled to offer the public additional avenues to experience and pre-order Vive at in-store locations nationwide.

“What truly brings Vive to life is trying it first hand, and we can’t wait to bring this opportunity to as many consumers as possible.”

Yesterday, OCUK officially announced the extension of its showroom to provide a permanent Vive Room Scale VR Experience in The Midlands.

The Room Scale VR Experience will be a permanent feature at the retailer’s store. Read more about OCUK’s VR showroom here.

At the beginning of the week, a part-time Currys PC World worker gave the industry a heads up about the Vive demo stations saying that titles likely to be demonstrated on the headset include Google’s Tilt Brush and Job Simulator.

The Vive is powered by Valve’s SteamVR, it comes with 32 headset sensors for 360-degree motion tracking, an adjustable headset strap, a 110-degree field of view, and a front-facing camera.

There’s 2160 x1200 combined resolution and 90 Hz refresh rate, as well as interchangeable foam inserts and nose pads to provide customised comfort for those who need to keep their glasses on while gaming.

The two handheld controllers each have 24 sensors for motion tracking, as well as dual triggers with HD haptic feedback. The headset also comes with two base stations to deliver 360-degree motion tracking.

Valve has released a VR performance test to help end users figure out if their PC is up to scratch for the Vive, or whether they need to invest in a new GPU before splashing out on the headset.

The test features high quality VR content from the Aperture Science Robot Repair demo, designed specifically for the HTC Vive.

Download the SteamVR Performance Test for free here.

The HTC Vive will cost £689 and goes up against other VR headsets that have been made available for pre-order/launched in the last month, including the £499 Oculus Rift, which starts shipping March 28th, and the PlayStation VR, which will launch in October with a $399 (around £280) price tag.

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