Biggest Surprise: HTC Vive VR
On the first day of this year's MWC, we expected to see two important things: the latest phones from HTC and Samsung. However, in the run-up to Sunday's HTC event, hints had been dropped by HTC on social media that we should expect a surprise. However, when HTC's CEO Peter Chou announced the HTC Re Vive we were shocked!
Everyone expected that the rumored surprise would either be a bigger phablet-sized phone or some kind of wearable, not a virtual reality headset. What's more, the Vive has been developed in partnership with Valve. We all knew that headsets were coming for Valve's SteamVR platform, but we never guessed that its initial partner would be HTC. We also didn't expect to see a VR headset announced at MWC when the Game Developers Conference (GDC) was taking place the same week. (It turned out, though, that the Vive was demoed at both events).
Still, while the HTC Vive was the biggest surprise of the show, the question remained how good it would actually be. Could HTC, a company one usually doesn't associate with gaming products, create a VR headset that could compete with the efforts of Oculus and Sony, even with the backing of gaming giant Valve? Well, after trying it out at both MWC and GDC, we can report that HTC and Valve have knocked it out of the park. The Vive is currently the best VR experience you can get (that is, if you can get your hands on a developer kit). This year's MWC "best surprise" was also one of the best surprises of any tech show in recent memory.