HTC's Vive pre-orders opened to the public last night, and despite some minor glitches the company's site appears to have withstood traffic volumes that saw the company sell more than 15,000 headsets in just ten minutes.
Produced in partnership with gaming giant Valve as the flagship implementation of its SteamVR platform, HTC's Vive virtual reality kit comes out at a higher cost than the Oculus Rift but with the added bonus of full-body positional tracking and a pair of bundled motion-tracking controllers - a far cry from the wireless Xbox gamepad bundled with Oculus Rift pre-orders. Accordingly, it's perhaps no surprise that demand for the Vive was high - and it's demand that HTC, which has seen revenue from its tablet and smartphone sales nosedive in recent years, will be welcoming.
Although the site suffered one or two glitches as pre-orders went live at 1500 last night - including one which saw users receiving an error that the hardware could not be shipped to their address, rectified by reselecting the shipping type and proceeding - things appeared to go relatively smoothly for the company. HTC's Shen Ye claimed via Twitter
that the company had allocated more than 15,000 units in under ten minutes, though HTC has not published official figures for the total number of sales.
Despite this success, some interested parties were left with a bad taste in their mouths over the company's shipping charges which saw UK customers paying nearly £60 on top of the £689 retail price of the hardware bundle in order to receive their devices.
HTC has indicated it will begin shipping Vive hardware on the 5th of April.