If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

The HTC Vive Is Getting An Official Wireless Add-on

1.5 hour battery life, $220

Huh. The smart money was on the Vive (and indeed Oculus Rift) not embracing the wireless future is so desperately needs until a full second generation of the hardware, but seems like we might get to cut the cord a whole lot sooner than that. An HTC partner company is about to start selling a little bolt-on box that makes the existent Valve-friendly headset entirely wireless. Finally, we can frolic freely, like Lawnmower Lambs.

In principle, it's great news. There's a holy trinity of drawbacks to current VR: comfort, image quality and cables. The latter is a particularly acute problem for the Vive, as it's got that fancy-nancy room-scale stuff, but leaping and rolling and sprinting into the wall is rather tempered by having a heavy dangling cable attached to the back of your head.

TPCast, a company HTC chucked some cash into as part of a Vive development investment program, have come up with a tetherless add-on unit that's being listed alongside official Vive accessories on HTC's Chinese site and heartily endorsed by HTC at UploadVR, who broke this story.

Another company, QuarkVR, is working on a wireless wotsit for Vive also, in case you're having a 'wait a minute...' moment, but this one has resolutely beaten it to the punch.

Most technical details are scarce - we don't yet know whether it can truly manage the 2160x1200 resolution and 90 frames per second maximum of the Vive, given that other current wireless HDMI thingers aren't exactly a perfect tech yet. It may be that some bandwidth-based compromise is involved, further hampering image quality.

However, it does make the headset entirely wireless - even power is supplied by a strap-on battery pack. Apparently that can power the thing for an hour and a half, which may not sound like much, but realistically VR gaming involves short sessions anyway.

The good news is that pre-orders open today, with launch set for early next year. The bad news, this is currently only for Chinese Vive owners. No doubt a Western release will follow, but HTC are coy on the matter for now. Pricing for the Chinese model is 1,499 RMB, which is about $220 or £800000.

Hopefully we'll know more soon. I'd love to have this, but at the same time I'd rather save my money for a generally better second generation entirely.

About the Author

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer

Contributor

Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

Comments

We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More News

Latest Articles