The beginning of the year and CES 2018 may be a distant memory for some but that was when and where HTC showed off a wireless adapter for its Vive and Vive Pro VR headsets. It was designed to operate in the 60GHz band and leverage Intel's WiGig standard in order to avoid potential signal interference while helping to enable lower latencies. However, since its initial unveiling, little more has been seen or heard about the upgrade.
Now, at Gamescom, the adapter has been officially announced although it won't be cheap to purchase. With a retail price of $299, it's a significant cost on top of the existing price of a Vive or Vive Pro headset, currently priced at $499 and $799 respectively on the Vive website. Plus, those who've already bought the Pro version will also have to shell out an additional $60 for the "Vive Pro compatibility pack" which includes "a connection cable for the Vive Pro, as well as foam padding and an attachment device unique to Vive Pro".
Rounding things off, users will also have to install a PCI-e card inside their PC and connect an external sensor in order to interface with the Vive wireless adapter within its six meter, 150-degree broadcast range. With respect to the announcement, Daniel O'Brien, General Manager Americas at HTC Vive said:
"Since the first demos of Vive, we've known that to deliver on the best of premium VR, we wanted it to be wireless. 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."
While it certainly would be safer and more convenient to do away with headset wires when engaging in a VR session, it does come with a notable cost of entry that may cause some to question the overall value proposition. However, for those that are still keen to pay, online pre-orders will commence on September 5th via Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, Vive.com, and the Microsoft Store.