HTC has released its new developer kit for the Vive, the Vive Pre. The kit has a few new features for developers to play with including a front-facing camera.

The HTC headset was meant to be out by 2015 but the release date was pushed to April, presumably to add the camera.

To give consumers an immersive experience HTC will allow developers to use the camera to bring elements of the real world into the game a user is playing by mapping the 3D space a user is in.

The underlying benefit of having a camera on your VR headset is that you won’t have to remove it when you want to take a drink of water or want to take a seat.

While the headset is smaller than previous, the displays in the Vive Pre Headset have been improved and offer increased brightness and better picture quality. This coupled with the camera should give users a very immersive experience, according to HTC.

The controllers have also been given a refresh with enhanced ergonomics, textured buttons and grip pads. The controllers are fitted with lithium polymer batteries and HTC claims that they will run for four hours before needing a top up.

Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer at HTC, Cher Wang said in a statement, “For too long, the promise of virtual reality has been little more than a promise. Today we stand on the precipice of a new era. Vive is creating a world where the only limit is human imagination”.

For now there is no pricing on the HTC Vive but if the recent reveal of pricing for an Oculus Rift is anything to go by, the Vive is going to be quite pricey.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.