While the virtual reality headset, the “Rift,” by Oculus VR, has garnered praise for being the latest, greatest in cutting edge technology, it is no longer without a competitor. The “Vive,” created by company HTC, in partnership with Valve, offers viable competition by offering not only moderately affordable, but efficient technology.

Similar to Oculus’s model, HTC offers dual screens within the headset at 1080×1200 resolution with a refresh rate of 90Hz. Unlike the “Rift,” which uses an infrared camera to track the headset’s motion, the “Vive” utilizes two laser-emitting base stations mounted throughout the room the device is being used in. Reportedly, this offers more freedom of movement, faster, accurate reactions during usage. The “Rift” is expected to come with an XBox controller, while the “Vive” offers two wireless controller sticks reminiscent of Nintendo’s Wii gaming console.

Neither headset is directly available to the public. However, prototype development kits for both models are offered to video game producers, as well as potentially individuals who test them and display their findings on Youtube. Public Youtubers, including Markiplier and Jacksepticeye have already shared their experiences through their respective channels.

The “Vive” is scheduled for consumer purchase by the end of the year, while the “Rift” is slated for a Q1 2016 release date. Their projected price range is approximately $200 – $400, with HTC’s model expected to be on the higher end of cost. Up-to-date information on the “Vive” can be found at the SteamVR website.

Valve is a successful, independent software developer, most notable for its “Half-Life” video game series, as well as its digital streaming service, “Steam.”

What are your thoughts on this technological dark horse? As always, let us know in the comments below.