HTC has announced a partnership with Hewlett Packard's consumer arm to offer an all-in-one PC and VR headset bundle, packing an HP Envy gaming desktop alongside an HTC Vive headset.
By far the biggest hurdle to mass adoption of virtual reality technology is, at present, the price. As well as spending multiple hundreds on the headsets, and potentially more on accessories like motion controllers and room-scale sensors for headsets where these are not included as standard, anyone without a top-end gaming rig already will be spending hundreds more to meet the minimum system requirements. While the march of technology is helping lower these aforementioned requirements, the price is still high - which is why HTC and HP are looking to capitalise on demand with a discounted bundle.
The 'Vive Ready HP Computer Bundle
,' HTC has announced, includes an HP Envy desktop with an Intel Core i5-6300 processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card, and a 128GB OS SSD and 1TB mass-storage spinning-rust drive, along with a copy of Windows 10 Home. A full Vive kit is also included, along with a USB flash drive packed with the Vive software, installation instructions, Steam VR, and copies of The Lab and a demo of TheBlu: Encounter to get gamers started.
While the claimed $200 discount over buying the PC and Vive separately is to be applauded, there's evidence that the bundle isn't exactly well-thought-out, at least if your monitor has HDMI but not DisplayPort connectivity. In that case, you'd normally need a graphics card with two HDMI ports, but the Radeon RX 480 has only one; as a result, such buyers will need to pick up a DisplayPort-to-HDMI adaptor dongle, and this isn't included in the box. Oddly, this adaptor is listed as 'required but not included' on the HTC Vive website, but this actually only applies if you need a HDMI connection for your monitor. If your monitor supports DisplayPort, you can simply use one of the RX 480's DisplayPort outputs without concern.
UK availability and pricing for the bundle has not yet been confirmed, with a US selling price of $1,499 (around £1,232 excluding taxes) being listed on HTC's Vive site
, and this includes a wired keyboard and mouse too.