Virtual reality (VR) fans were disappointed to learn that the upcoming HTC Vive head-mounted display (HMD) had been delayed earlier this month. Instead of the initially proposed limited launch before the end of the year followed by a wider release in Q1 2016 the kit will instead arrive next April. Fans have speculated as to the reason for this delay but it appears that HTC has now revealed the official reasoning: a ‘very, very big’ breakthrough on the technological front.
That is according to HTC CEO Cher Wang who said as much at this week’s HTC Vive Unbound event in Beijing, China. According to Engadget the delay came because of “a very, very big technological breakthrough”, apparently so significant that the company decided not to release the original design for the consumer version of the device. “We shouldn’t make our users swap their systems later just so we could meet the December shipping date,” Wang said, later teasing that said breakthrough should be revealed at CES 2016 on 6th – 9th January.
Just what this breakthrough could be is anyone’s guess, although supposed leaked images of the consumer version of the device have hit the internet this week, with the HMD now including a front-mounted camera and the SteamVR controllers undergoing a significant redesign. The HTC Vive is already attributed with one big breakthrough in the Room Scale user tracking that’s provided by SteamVR. Though also featured in its main rival, the Oculus Rift, HTC and partner Valve were the first to unveil this feature, allowing players to move around a space of up to 15 feet by 15 feet and have those movements replicated within the given experience.
For the latest updates on the HTC Vive, keep reading VRFocus.