Tech Industry

​HTC Vive VR headset now available on Amazon

An important new sales channel will expose the $800 virtual reality gear to millions of buyers.

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The HTC Vive, which gives you virtual worlds to explore, is now available on Amazon.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon's millions of online shoppers now can buy the HTC Vive virtual reality headset along with their Kindle e-books and instant-gratification Ziploc bags.

The Taiwanese manufacturer announced the sales expansion to Amazon in the US on Thursday. That opens up a new and important option for buying its $800 headset, along with smaller retailers like Microsoft stores and GameStop in the real world and Micro Center and Newegg online.

With virtual reality, you wear a headset that shows you a computer-generated 3D universe -- great for roller coasters, first-person shooter games and virtual art creation. It's not so great for some people who experience nausea, but VR is a big deal in a computing industry looking for the next big thing. PC and tablet sales are slumping, while phones remain important but not so revolutionary from year to year anymore.

HTC's Vive competes against high-end models including Facebook's Oculus Rift and budget options like Google Cardboard, which relies on your smartphone to show the 3D world.