Valve and HTC’s anticipated virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD), the HTC Vive, may have been missing-in-action at E3 last month, but the pair are more than making up for it at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in California this week. HTC has brought the HTC Vive truck to the event as the first of several stops on an upcoming summer tour. VR fans and just about everyone else will be able to get their hands on the kit for the first time. But it appears that the version of the HTC Vive on display here has a major new feature; wireless controllers.
A tweet from Gizmodo confirms that the pair of controllers that players will hold in their hands when using the kit are now ‘truly wireless’. At past showings, the devices were tethered to the user as they played. It’s a big step forward for the HMD as a whole, as its input rival, Oculus Touch for the Oculus Rift HMD, was revealed to already be wireless at its announcement at Oculus VR’s pre-E3 event last month. Details such as battery life for the controllers and other features are yet to be revealed.
The HTC Vive is the first HMD to work with Valve’s SteamVR system, which provides Room Scale user-tracking in an area of up to 15 feet by 15 feet with the help of a Lighthouse base station. Free developer editions of the kit are currently being sent out to those that applied for them and will continue to be shipped throughout the summer. The consumer version of the device is expected to launch in time for holiday 2015, although a specific price and date are yet to be announced. The window pits the HTC Vive ahead of both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus’ 2016 releases.
VRFocus will continue to follow the HTC Vive closely, reporting back with the latest updates on the kit.