It’s an exciting time for virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts as the first proper PC-based, consumer head-mounted displays (HMDs) are now due to begin shipping within weeks. HTC ended February with a bang by opening pre-orders up for its HTC Vive headset, the company stated it sold 15,000 units within the first 10 minutes. Prior to the pre-orders going online, Chet Faliszek a videogame developer at Vive collaborator Valve took to Twitter to answer potential customer queries.
Asked what his thoughts were on hand controllers for VR, Faliszek responded: “two things not going backwards in VR. Controls aren’t going to get more abstracted. Tracking volumes aren’t going to get smaller.”
Faliszek is referring to the Lighthouse Room Scale tracking feature on the HTC Vive, it uses two laser-based base stations to monitor where the headset and motion controllers are. The maximum area is 15 feet by 15 feet, but the minimum area required is 5 x 6.5 feet, free from any clutter and furniture.
This is one of the HMDs main features as its rival Oculus Rift won’t include this straight out of the box. The Rift is designed as a seated experience with a single camera tracking the headset, and an Xbox One controller coming bundled with the kit. Its Oculus Touch motion-tracked controllers won’t be available until later in the year.
Those who pre-ordered the HTC Vive on 29th February will see their headsets shipping on 5th April, but if you order now that date has now slipped to May.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of the HTC Vive, reporting back with any new announcements.