HTC plans to put its Vive VR headsets on sale before year end

But HTC only plans to sell limited quantities of the device this year, with more to come early next

HTC's upcoming virtual reality headset, Vive, will go on sale by the end of this year, but in only limited quantities.

The Taiwanese smartphone maker previously indicated that the HTC Vive would launch some time this year.

On Friday a company spokeswoman elaborated and said the roll-out will start on a small scale. More units will arrive in the first quarter next year, she added.

The company plans to sell the product around the world, but hasn't announced pricing. It didn't say whether the slow start was due to manufacturing problems or low demand projections.

The virtual reality headset is being built in partnership with Valve, a popular game developer and distributor. HTC has been touting it as a better product than the Oculus Rift, and the device has been receiving some critical acclaim from the tech press.

It's an important product for HTC, when the company's main business in smartphones has been struggling with intense competition from other Android handset vendors. Earlier this month, HTC announced it would reduce its work force by 15 percent, as a way to cut costs.

HTC has reorganized its business to focus on three areas: premium smartphones, virtual reality, and connected smart devices. It is hoping to generate meaningful revenue from its VR project, but analysts have said it's a risky bet that might not pay off until several years from now.

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