Though high-end, stand-alone virtual reality platforms are still out on the horizon, HTC will be taking a step in that direction early next year with an upgrade kit/peripheral that will bring wireless to the Vive, which works in tandem with high-power PCs.
Per Upload VR, the accessory made by TPCast, which will remove potentially hazardous cabling from the HTC Vive experience, is available for pre-order via the Vive Chinese website “in limited quantity” for ¥1,499 (US$220), with shipments to start in Q1 2017. Orders for the kit will be prioritized for customers who show a “valid Vive serial number.”
Ars Technica said HTC has already sold out of the new wireless accessory.
Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive at HTC, told the publication that the wireless accessory supports no “noticeable difference” for things like latency when compared to the Vive’s PC-tethered experience.
“It will allow Vive customers worldwide to gain untethered mobility in VR from their existing devices, while satisfying the biggest feature request of potential PC VR customers,” he said in a statement, according to TechCrunch.
Oculus hasn’t announced plans to offer a similar wireless upgrade kit for the Rift, but the Facebook-owned company is working on a stand-alone VR platform. Oculus hasn’t announced a target launch date.
Speaking at VR2020 last month, Eric Romo, CEO of AltSpaceVR, predicted that in 2020 stand-alone platforms “optimized for VR” will become dominant and outsell today’s approaches with tethered and mobile VR products.