HTC says that it sold 15,000 Vive VR headsets in the 10 minutes after they went on sale, VentureBeat reports.
The HTC Vive VR is a competitor to Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset — with one main difference. The Vive has a camera on the front so that it can see the environment you’re in and introduce augmented reality experiences.
HTC announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year that it is working with gaming company Valve on the headset, which requires a relatively powerful computer to run.
Chipmaker ARM’s Mark Dickinson, vice president and general manager of the media processing group, told Business Insider last week why it’s so tricky for computers to run virtual reality:
If you look at virtual reality, you’ve got a huge, wide range of view. Something that used to be a retina display no longer is because you’ve got a very wide field of view and, typically, if you look at the mobile solutions, you’re splitting the screen into two because you’re using half of it for one eye and half for the other. You’ve got that driving an increase in resolution.
You’ve then got the frame rate. You can pan with your head very quickly. And so a frame rate that’s adequate for a handheld movie or game at 60 FPS is no longer adequate for VR. You’ve got to double the frame rate to 120 FPS. Effectively you’ve got a factor of two because you’ve got two eyes, you’ve got this wide field of view, and you’ve got the double frame rate. It puts huge demands on the GPU [the chip that powers a device’s graphics] because you’re increasing the number of pixels you’ve got to render by quite a significant amount.