HTC is now accepting preorders for a wireless kit that is compatible with its Vive and Vive Pro VR headsets, though it’s not exactly a cheap accessory. Cutting the cord will set you back $299.99 (£299), plus another $60 (£65) if you own a Vive Pro.
The up-charge for the Vive Pro is for an attachment kit that is necessary to mount it to the headset. Or put another way, it’s an adapter for the adapter.
While expensive, the wireless adapter eliminates one of the annoyances with the Vive—having to dangle a series of cords from the headset to a link box, which in turn connects to a PC. It also paves the way for easier movements, like spinning around.
So why did it take so long for HTC to deliver a wireless adapter? It really boils down to latency, the bane of gaming.
“Since the first demos of Vive, we’ve known that to deliver on the best of premium VR, we wanted it to be wireless,” said Daniel O’Brien, GM Americas, HTC Vive. “But we learned that delivering a great wireless experience takes time and really smart partners. We’ve brought the engineering expertise together to deliver a truly first of its kind wireless VR experience. Thanks to Intel and DisplayLink for helping to make this vision a reality.”
HTC’s wireless solution is based on Intel’s 802.11ad WiGig specification and operates over 60Hz where wireless interference is not a factor. It also leverages DisplayPort’s XR codec. As a result, HTC claims a “near-zero latency VR experience,” a claim we’ve not yet had a chance to test.
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