HTC has revealed the official UK release date and pricing for its HTC Vive virtual reality system and we have to admit that it provoked a sharp intake of breath.

During Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, the company announced that the entire HTC Vive consumer set, which includes the headset, two motion controllers, two sensors and a microphone, would retail for $799 in the US.

HTC also told us that UK pricing would be directly comparable. That's why we're a little shocked at the final set fee of £689.

Taxes and import fees are no doubt significant reasons for that pricing, but it does make us wonder who will be willing to shell out such a lofty sum for a virtual reality headset - even if it does come with more bells and whistles than competing devices?

READ: HTC Vive preview: An experience that’s out of this world

HTC also revealed that, with pre-orders for the package starting today, 29 February, units are expected to ship for a 5 April release date.

Another announcement that might sweeten the deal is that three fully-fledged VR experiences will be bundled with the HTC Vive for a limited time.

Tilt Brush is a 3D painting utility that we've tried ourselves several times. Designed by Google, it enables you to smear paint all around you, which hangs in mid-air. It's great fun and impressive.

Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives is a fun and silly game in which you must take part in different jobs to hilarious effect.

Lastly, Fantastic Contraption gives you a playing field in which to build machines and vehicles in a 3D space.

Sections HTC Games VR