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HP's Envy Phoenix gaming desktop will support HTC's new VR headset

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If the events of the past year have proven anything, it's that VR is going to be a big, big deal. HP certainly gets it, and that's why it inked a curious partnership with HTC — they of the new, improved Vive headset — to build a high-end machine called the Envy Phoenix meant specifically for virtual reality gaming. And hey, it's a little cheaper than one might expect too: we're told prices will start at $1,700 when the Phoenix officially launches on January 16th.

You'll be able to tweak the configuration before whipping out your credit card, but it seems like the Phoenix will ship with a 2TB hard drive and an Intel Core i7 K-series processor. There's a solid GPU option available no matter what company you pledge allegiance to, too — AMD Radeon R9 390x or NVIDIA's GTX 980 Ti are confirmed graphics card choices. Of course, it's not just the components that make a PC a serious VR machine. HP says it's ironing out graphics cards issues that could cause hiccups for the Vive's face-mounted screens and making sure those semi-real worlds show up in the correct resolution. Throw in a liquid cooling system and some sweet LEDs to monitor the tower's temperature and you've got the Envy Phoenix in a nutshell.

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If that seems like a pretty well-thought-out approach, well, we'd agree with you. Really, the only thing you don't get with the Envy Phoenix is the Vive itself — we still don't know how much it'll cost or when it'll launch, but you've got to pick one up separately. For what it's worth, HTC has the easy part of this arrangement — HP builds a computer tailor-made to play nice with Vive, and the beleaguered Taiwanese company gets another shot a life beyond the smartphone.

Dana Wollman contributed to this report.

Chris spent his formative years taking apart Sega consoles and writing awful fan fiction. To his utter shock, that passion for electronics and words would eventually lead him to covering startups of all stripes at TechCrunch. The first phone he ever swooned over was the Nokia 7610, and to this day he cringes whenever anyone says the words “Bengal Boy."He also really hates writing about himself in the third person.
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