You like free gear? Interested in cutting edge stuff? Know how to program? If you’re shaking your head yes, have we got a deal for you.
Valve and HTC have begun to offer free development kits for their new Vive VR headset to qualified developers, Ars Technica reports. Kits have already gone out to a handful of specially selected developers, like Bossa Studios (Surgeon Simulator, I am Bread) and Fireproof Games (The Room). And Valve plans on launching a new site in the next week or so where “all interested developers, big or small,” can apply for a free kit.
Approved developers will be sent a Developer Edition of the Vive. According to Valve’s SteamVR page, the Developer Edition includes “a headset, two controllers and two base stations — everything you need to dive in and start creating new interactive VR experiences.” The kits “will be free, at least initially,” Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi told Ars Technica. They will start shipping out later in the spring in order to build up a solid body of games before the planned 2015 consumer launch.
This distribution method is decidedly different than Oculus Rift’s approach, which is to sell the dev kits to anyone interested for $350. Giving the kits to developers by application will make it much harder for the press and general public to get their hands on them before the commercial release, while simultaneously making it easier for independent developers with limited budgets to get them. At least in theory — Lombardi didn’t provide any specifics on how many kits are going out and what the selection process will be.
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SOURCE: Digital Trends, Will Fulton