To see is to believe. Cliché perhaps, but nowhere is it more applicable than in the now revived virtual reality industry. But since getting your hands on an honest to goodness VR headset isn’t exactly that easy, even with Google Cardboard, HTC has decided to bring virtual reality to you instead. Sort of. The HTC Vive, its lovechild with Valve, is making its way to different cities around the world, all in the US and Europe actually, to give people the chance to take it for a spin and experience a new kind of reality.
Among the recent batch of VR headsets, it’s the HTC Vive that probably received the smallest share of attention compared to the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and even the Samsung Gear VR. And that’s even with Valve’s involvement. HTC just isn’t the sort of company you’d immediately associate with VR, just as its RE camera isn’t something you’d immediately link with HTC, or photography for that matter.
It doesn’t help either that the HTC Vive has had very little public exposure and test drives, which only serves to make people both curious and skeptical. Add that to the fact that Valve’s Steam Machines haven’t shaken off its “vaporware” aura just yet, and you have some reason to have doubts about the headset. Good thing, then, that HTC is taking it to the road to prove that it is something worth waiting for. Presuming, of course, it actually becomes a commercial product soon.
HTC’s Vive World Tour will take it across the US and at least two countries in Europe, namely, Germany and France. Those European tour dates have been scheduled for events like Gamescom and IFA. The dates and locations are as follows.
• July 9-12, Island St & 6th Ave, San Diego, CA, USA
• July 17-19, Forecastle Festival [Invite Only], Louisville, KY, USA
• July 21-23, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, USA
• July 25-28, specific location TBD, Kansas City, KS, USA
• August 2-8, The International, Seattle, WA, USA
• August 5-9, Gamescom, Cologne, Germany
• August 13-16, specific location TBD, San Francisco, CA, USA
• August 20-23, specific location TBD, Portland, OR, USA
• August 28-31, PAX Prime, Seattle, WA, USA
• September 4-9, IFA, Berlin, Germany
• October 28-November 1, Paris Games Week, Paris, France
HTC notes that the schedule and locations are subject to change. It doesn’t give details on who can get their turn at trying out the Vive or how, so we can only presume a long queue will be the procedure. For those unable to be there in person, however, HTC will be teasing photos and videos.