Update, April 27, 2017, 10:35am PT: We reached out to HTC to confirm the June 5 shipping date. HTC said it is not the correct date. The company plans to announce the true shipping date when pre-orders officially open on Tuesday May 2.
Microsoft is accepting pre-orders of the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Head Strap days in advance of the announced pre-order date. If Microsoft is to be believed, the head strap comes out on June 5.
In January at CES 2017, HTC made several announcements about its Vive VR platform. The company launched a financing program to make the Vive hardware accessible to a wider audience; revealed the Vive Tracker universal tracking devices that allow you to track any object (or creature) in VR; and the Deluxe Audio Head Strap, which adds built-in headphones and a mechanical head mounting mechanism.
HTC’s financing system is already in place, allowing you to purchase a Vive on a monthly financing plan, and the Vive Trackers are available to developers so they can create interesting projects around the hardware in advance of the consumer release later this year. When HTC revealed the Deluxe Audio Strap, it said the hardware would be available in Q2. Later, the company announced that pre-orders would start on May 2, the price would be $100, and the hardware would ship in June.
We still expect HTC to open pre-orders for the Deluxe Audio Head Strap on May 2, but it appears Microsoft got tired of waiting; the company is already accepting pre-orders for it.
Microsoft may have let the cat out of the bag about the Vive Deluxe Audio Head Strap shipping date, too. In fact, the tweet from HTC that revealed the May 2 pre-order date said “expected delivery in June,” which suggests the company didn’t have complete confidence in that release window.
We’ve reached out to HTC for confirmation of the June 5 shipping date, but Microsoft is one of a small handful of official HTC Vive reseller partners, so it’s hard to imagine the company would reveal the wrong date.