HTC's just announced the launch dates and pricing for the new Vive Tracker and Vive Deluxe Audio Strap accessories, and it's all sounding pretty exciting.
HTC Vive Tracker
Speaking at Mobile World Congress, HTC said its Vive Tracker was "built to empower developers and accessory makers to make VR even more immersive." The Tracker lets you bring any object from the real world into VR, moving us all a step closer to living in Star Trek.
Valve's Joe Ludwig explains, "Building an object that can be tracked alongside the Vive can be complex. But the Vive tracker makes tracking objects in VR so simple that anyone can do it."
The Vive Tracker looks a bit like that new building in Greenwich
HTC says they've already had over 2,300 applications for the first 1,000 units. One of the first to get one is game developer CloudGate Studio, for its action-shooting title Island 359. President Steve Bowler says it's allowed them to bring players' bodies into VR:
"We’ve been experimenting with full body motion control since we first got our hands on the Vive, but it was never quite right. Using the Vive Trackers we’ve been able to push the limits of VR and create our Virtual Self system, which lets players see and use their full body in VR. You can now comfortably kick objects, see yourself crouching, and even lie prone with one-to-one accuracy in Island 359."
So when can you get one? Developers will be able to buy the Vive Tracker from the 27th of March for £99.99 on the Vive website. Then, later in the year, gamers will be able to get one too - but HTC wants to make sure user-facing content is ready first.
HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap
Originally announced at the same time as the Vive Tracker, the Deluxe Audio Strap is not quite as exciting, but still a useful thing for people who use Vive a lot.
It has a built-in size dial that helps you fit it to different people's heads without too much faffing about, and it's designed to be more comfortable for long sessions.
Does this thing give anyone else Xenomorph vibes?
Anyone buying the Vive BE from now will get the Deluxe Audio Strap free when it comes out in June. It's also available separately, with preorders starting on the 2nd of May. Like the Tracker, it'll cost £99.99 - which is a lot, but when you've already shelled out for a VR machine, a gaming PC and a handyman to mount all your Vive sensors on the walls, it doesn't seem quite so bad.
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