Valve has started shipping the Vive virtual reality system - Vive Developer Editions - to developers. This first wave includes a wide range of developers from major movie studios, triple A developers, to small indie teams working on their first title. Valve says it plans to continue to ship to additional developers through the spring and summer.
In the box is a HTC-built headset, 2 Lighthouse base stations, 2 wireless Steam VR controllers that can track the user's location in a room, various cables, instructions, and everything else needed to get started. This will allow developers to target the same system consumers will have in their homes later this year.
Valve hopes that developers will be able to have time to get comfortable with the hardware and produce games and software before its planned commercial launch later this year.
Meanwile, Valve and its partners plan to release later this year Steam Machines covering virtually every price point and component configuration - from iBuyPower’s $450 SBX to crazy $5000 rigs from Falcon Northwest and Origin.
Valve's website is promoting that two Steam Machines are now available for preorder, along with the company's own Steam Controller and Steam Link hardware. Limited quantities of the Alienware and Syber Steam Machines will be shipping on October 16, according to Valve.
GameStop offers four Alienware configurations ready for preorder, ranging from a $449.99 model with Intel Core i3 dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drive to a $749.99 version with a Core i7 quad-core CPU and double the RAM and hard drive space of the base edition. Syber is touting three levels of Steam Machine: a $499 Core i3 system, a $729 Core i5 model, and a $1,419 Core i7 edition.
Both Alienware Alpha and Syber's range of configuration will ship with the Linux-based SteamOS.
Valve promises that additional official Steam Machine models from other manufacturers will be announced soon.