The recently-announced HTC Vive virtual-reality headset from HTC and Valve will launch this spring, but in order to get one of the earliest versions, you'll have to first apply.

Unfortunately, only developers will be able to get their hands on the headset. It is supposed to release for consumers sometime later this year, but for now, it'll initially be made available to developers at no cost, according to Ars Technica. If you're interested in getting the developer edition of HTC Vive, you can apply online, but it's not yet clear how many units HTC and Valve plan to give away.

HTC used Mobile World Congress in early March to not only announce a partnership with Valve, but also launch the HTC Vive. It is said to be the most immersive and most premium VR experience available. To avoid any confusion, this isn't the equivalent of Samsung Gear VR; HTC and Valve are launching the HTC Vive Developer Edition, and it is the equivalent of Oculus Rift.

The Valve SteamVR website currently indicates that the HTC Vive Developer Edition, which is a kit that includes a headset, two single-handed controllers, and a system that tracks them all in the same space, will officially roll out to developers this spring. A Valve spokesperson also told Ars Technica that the company hopes to launch a sign-up site for developers by next week.

Valve's sign-up site will include not only sign up forms, but also more information about HTC Vive, which interested developers - both big and small - should find useful. There's no word yet on the consumer version of HTC Vive, such as how much it'll cost, but the good news is that a consumer edition of HTC Vive is in the works, aiming to launch for Christmas 2015.

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