With the arrival of the latest edition of the HTC Vive in the second development kit known as the Vive Pre, the virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) has been refined and improved. The unit itself is more comfortable and lighter, with a tweaked display and a front-facing camera that improves the kit’s chaperone system among other things. The position-tracked controllers have also been revamped with a new design, replacing the plate at the top of each of the two devices with a sort of hoop. As it turns out, that’s not all that’s changed for the Vive Pre.
In order to pull off its much-touted Room Scale user-tracking, the HTC Vive uses a laser-based tracking solution from co-creator Valve and its SteamVR system known as Lighthouse. The initial design for these that’s been seen time and again over the past year was designed by Valve itself. However, a source close to the development of the HTC Vive has informed VRFocus that the new stations for the Vive Pre have in fact been handled by HTC. Not only that, but they feature a self-stabilising motor that significantly reduces the vibration in the kit.
The Vive Pre is thought of as a precursor to the final, consumer-ready version of the HTC Vive, which should be revealed later this month before pre-orders for the kit begin on 29th February 2016. Fans should also learn the price of the kit around this time and, hopefully, some solid information on the launch line-up of content to support it. Shipping itself will begin in April, not long after the kit’s main rival, the Oculus Rift, starts to ship on 28th March 2016.
Stay tuned to VRFocus for the latest on the HTC Vive.