HTC Vive price and release date revealed at Mobile World Congress

Pre-orders for the device open on 29 February

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The Independent Tech

The release date and price of HTC's seriously impressive Vive virtual reality (VR) headset has been revealed at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show.

HTC revealed the first version of the Vive at MWC last year, and this time around it's returned with the final consumer version.

The Vive costs $799 (Mashable is reporting the UK price is £689), and pre-orders open at 3PM GMT on 29 February. They're expected to be delivered in early April.

The whole Vive package includes the headset, two wireless controllers which will allow users to interact with the virtual world, a Vive Link Box, which is used to connect the headset to a PC, two 'lighthouse' base stations used to track the user's movements, and a pair of Vive earbuds. Users will be able to plug other headphones into the headset's jack if the stock earphones aren't good enough.

Interestingly, the Vive can also be linked to your phone - so if you get a text, a phone call, or a reminder, you'll be able to respond without having to take the headset off.

For a "limited time" this package will come bundled with two games - Job Simulator, in which you play a human in a futuristic world run by robots, and Fantastic Contraption, a building game in which the player creates bizarre machines to complete tasks.

They're both fairly simple, fun games, designed to show off the capabilities of virtual reality to newcomers.

Obviously, $799 is a lot of money, and users will need a similarly expensive high-end gaming PC to run VR games properly. The Vive is also pricier than its main rival, the Oculus Rift, which costs $599.

However, this is the first generation of consumer VR - the cost of entry will go down as time goes on, and with other companies like Samsung, Sony and possibly Apple making big moves in the world of VR, 2016 could be the year the technology really gets off the ground.