At CES last month in Vegas, we saw a few third party companies with products that integrated with the HTC Vive Tracker. One that stood out to us the most was the PP Gun Rifle and Pistol. These weapons look to bring the first person shooter game type a step closer to the immersed user in VR, because we’ll soon be able to accurately hold a weapon with both hands.
The PP Gun is one of the first VR ready accessories to pair with the Vive Tracker and there’s a way for you to get one as early as March.
The first time we saw the PP Gun was at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. It was featured at the Vive suite and helped to show off the new Vive Trackers HTC announced and won awards for. The gun’s haptic feedback will also play a big part in the submersion.
PP Gun at CES
During CES we saw 2 flavors fo the PP Gun:
- PP Gun Rifle
- PP Gun Pistol
Each gun has the controls to replace a Vive controller or maybe both considering you’ll need two hands to operate the PP Guns. This begs the question:
“What do you do when you need the functions of the second controller?”
The PP Gun is most likely made for specific games where the player can survive with only one controller. My contact with the company says it will be up to game developers to better design controls with accessories like the PP Gun in mind. During CES, we saw a similar gun demo’d with the shooting game ROM Extraction. A game we think would work with a single PP Gun is the sniping game called The Nest. The makers of the PP Gun even recreated the classic game Contra to work with their product. Get your free demo of Contra for VR here: Dropbox link
As mentioned earlier, the PP Gun comes in tow models. The rifle is designed similar to real rifles in appearance with size and weight in close contrast. The magazine is a removable battery that has two USB ports and can charge the tracker while you play. The 7800 mAh battery can run with haptic feedback for more than 7 hours.
The pistol has a nice small form factor and weighs less than 1 pound. The barrel rotates and can be used as a sword for games that allow it.
The Vive Tracker mounts on a top rail near the front of each weapon. Both models have controls above the grip and on the side of the barrel which mock the buttons of a traditional Vive controller. From what we can tell, the button configuration is specifically for right handed operators. We’ve seen other products that integrated features to work with left and right handed shooters.
How to get you own PP Gun and Tracker?
Originally, we heard the Vive Tracker would be available in the second quarter of this year, but as of recent news, the timeline for consumers to get a Tracker has been pushed back to later in the year. And we also learned this week that the Vive Tracker will cost approximately $99 by itself. At least that’s what HTC is charging developers at the moment.
There is a crowdfunded campaign on IndieGoGo for a PP Gun controller and Vive Tracker which boasts March shipment. We confirmed that realistically March isn’t going to be the case for deliveries since since HTC is unable to produce consumer models that early. The best response we received was they could order Trackers late March which leads us to believe shipments could be as early as April.
The IndieGoGo campaign provides options to buy the pistol or rifle in 1 to 5 increments, but since the early bird packages haven’t sold out yet it is cheaper to buy multiples outright.
The price for a PP Gun pistol with Tracker is only $138 before shipping fees and the rifle will run you $288. If you’re already planning to get a Vive Tracker then an extra $39 seems like an easy decision and you get an additional accessory.
While the PP Gun looks like a cool accessory, the best part of this IndieGoGo campaign is that you get a Vive Tracker combined with an accessory at a fair price. The rifle is a little too expensive for our pockets, but we think it has a place in the arcade communities that are growing in popularity.
There are only 9 days left for this campaign and the chances of getting a Tracker and accessory at this low of a price is probably not going to happen too many more times.
Source: PP Gun Campaign
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