Someone had to be the first, and that someone happens to be HTC. The Taiwanese giant is cutting cords to its Vive and Vive pro expressions, making them the first ever mass produced wireless VR headsets. The HTC wireless VR adapter is available as of today, at the price of $299 plus a $60 compatibility pack for Vive Pro.
Cords have been the single most annoying nemesis to the full VR immersion. The headset-link box-PC cord dangle knots are really an annoyance today when wireless seems to be the norm. There is hardly anything more irritable than being invested in, say, new CREED: Rise to Glory, only to cut the immersion by a having to adjust cords. It is better to cut the cords then, HTC is thinking. It was only a matter of time when Virtual Reality equipment would go cord-free. And along with TPCast, HTC is the one delivering the wireless VR adapters in good time.
But there is also a matter of form. HTC opted for the attachable adapters that go to back of users’ head. What the new HTC wireless VR allows for is the free movement with the company’s headsets on. It means no space restriction, and no immersion-breaking cord unweaving. The only limit is set by the battery life, which on a full charge, according to HTC, will last more than two hours. And also 6 meter wireless range, which sounds quite enough for most home setups.
HTC partnered with Intel (WiGig technology) and DisplayLink (XR Codecs) to flesh out its wireless VR adapter. The installation is easy enough and takes only a few minutes. It is only a matter of installing PCI-e card and attaching the sensor to the PC. There is also no performance or latency issues with the untethered version of HTC VR. Only the pure cord-free Virtual Reality experience.
While we imagine HTC Wireless VR adapter improves the Vive and Vive Pro experience across the field, it is the gaming industry that seems most excited. The appeal to gamers is testified by the recent Gamescom awards ceremony, where the HTC VR adapter won the ‘Best Hardware’ award.
HTC Vive VR wireless adapter eases the pockets for $299, while the users of Vive Pro will have to pay $60 extra for their cordless HTC VR experience. If the price difference strikes you as odd, it is there because the latter model requires a mechanical add-on that would help the adapter mount on the headset. Sure, the $60 price tag seem a little overcooked for an attachment. But never mind, complaints might be out of place. HTC wireless VR adapter is after all the first device of its kind. HTC is also adding a bonus to every Vive VR Wireless buyer. They all get the two-month, 500-title Viveport subscription.
Wireless is the future, and HTC Wireless VR adapter a big step to attaining it. We can agree that the current price is perhaps a little high as an add-on fee. But as the price of future, it is reasonable enough.