Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, February 21, 2016 – HTC, a pioneer in innovative, smart technologies, in partnership with Valve®, today unveiled the consumer edition of its ViveTM virtual reality system. Continuing to build upon the Vive’s exhaustive list of features, this complete Vive system, powered by Steam®VR, introduces yet another new technological innovation – Vive Phone Services – once again setting a new standard in virtual reality.

Enabling you to stay connected to the real world, without exiting the virtual world, Vive Phone Services demonstrates the ability to combine both realities without losing touch of either. By allowing you to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset, it creates a hybrid reality opening up a whole new world of possibilities for both consumers and businesses.

Initially slated for launch in Dec 2015 HTC delayed the release of their VIVE virtual reality headset due to a supposed breakthrough in it's development. This breakthrough has been revealed as a front facing camera and an upgrade to their chaperon system that helps VIVE users stay within the bounds of their play space and prevents bumping into obstacles or hitting surrounding walls.

This upgrade allows users to double tap a button on the VIVE controller to seamlessly switch between the virtual world and a stylized view of their actual surroundings as seen by the new front facing camera. When switching views the outside world is shown with a matrix like overlay, this overlay allows users to easily identify their surrounding while reducing the jarring affects of rapidly switching between VR and real-life. As well as the ability to switch views the chaperone system which previously showed a grid like barrier when approaching nearby walls will now show the users actual surroundings with the same matrix-esque overlay.

Currently under development by indie devs Vertigo Games & Jaywalkers Interactive and scheduled for release sometime in 2015; Arizona Sunshine is a first person Zombie shooter that's being built from the ground up for the soon to be released HTC Vive.

Both Vertigo Games & Jaywalkers Interactive are no strangers to VR with Vertigo Games being responsible for the Oculus Rift enabled World of Diving and Jaywalkers for the Oculus DK1 classic Blue Marble.

It's a sad day for VR fans with confirmation that the consumer release date of HTC's virtual reality HMD the Vive has been pushed back to April 2016.

Originally planned for a limited release in December 2015 with a full release in early 2016, many had hopes of getting a Vive under the christmas tree this year. Today HTC put an end to those hopes and the rampant online speculation via their blog.

Announced earlier this year at GDC 2015 HTC & Valve are partnering with Cloudhead Games to bring the VR masterpiece The Gallery 6 Elements to the Vive.

Cloudhead have been developing the Gallery 6 Elements for a number of years now and I had the opportunity to play an early demo version on the Oculus Rift DK1 back in 2013. Even then it was one of the better VR experiences available at the time and it's come a long way with its development since those early days.