HTC used its Mobile World Congress keynote to announce a partnership with Valve, and launch a VR headset called HTC Vive.

Before we talk about Vive, let's take a quick step back. HTC is known as a smartphone company and known best for its Android devices, so what's it doing mixing it up with a gaming VR headset?

Last October, HTC launched the Re camera. This portable camera was the first step in HTC looking beyond its smartphone portfolio, and looking to diversify its offering. HTC is moving into sports wearables with Under Armour, and gaming hardware with Valve.

The idea is that HTC can apply its great industrial design, and experience with sophisticated connected devices, to other areas.

Gamers who have been watching Valve will have heard that a Steam VR headset was teased for Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, which is running parallel with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

HTC Vive is said to be the most immersive and most premium VR experience available. To avoid any confusion, this isn't related to smartphones at all - this isn't the equivalent of Samsung Gear VR - this is launching as the HTC Vive Developer Edition, the equivalent of Oculus Rift.

So this is a fully connected virtual reality device, but it's aiming to step beyond what's already on the market by introducing Full Room Scale.

What this means is that HTC Vive wants to offer more than the current VR experience which is often static (you sit/stand and move your head) and allow you to move around the room. The idea is that you can get up, walk, and move around virtual objects, with complete tracking of head mounted displays and controllers, so it's a step closer to the utopia of Star Trek's Holodeck.

HTCHTC Vive_Black

HTC is also launching HTC VR Controllers, which operate as a pair and claim to offer a wide range of versatility, avoiding the confusion of conventional controllers.

There's still a lot that we don't currently don't know about HTC Vive, but Valve has confirmed that the Steam VR platform will running on the new headset and that there will be developer tools and support, so it's exciting times.

In addition to Steam VR, HTC told us that it would have a content platform too. For developers that doesn't make to much sense, but the good news is that a consumer edition of HTC Vive is in the works, aiming to launch for Christmas 2015.

The Vive Developer Edition will be launching in spring. You can expect to hear a lot more on Vive from both Valve and HTC, including details from the developers they are working with, including Vertigo Games, Bossa, Dovetail Games, Wemo Labs, Google, Steel Wool Games and Owlchemy.

Interestingly, when introducing the HTC Vive to us in Barcelona, Chet Faliszek, from Valve said "HTC will be the one releasing this year", suggesting that we'll see other manufacturers offering Steam VR hardware in the future.

For those who don't know, Chet Faliszek is credited with writing or co-writing the Half-Life 2, Portal and the Left 4 Dead stories. Think about that. Think about immersive Full Room Scale virtual reality, think about about how great those games are, and think about how awesome this could all be. Just don't think about the price it might cost.

We'll bring you more as soon as we have it.