Lots of big things are coming for the consumer version of the HTC Vive which has been pinned for release in April 2016. In the meantime, images of the second generation HTC Vive developer kit have surfaced and it looks ready for prime time!
If you have been keeping up with Vive since it was announced earlier this year, then you’ll remember that HTC said this product would be ready for consumers before the holidays. Then there was mention that only a limited amount of headsets would be ready to sell in 2015, and then the big announcement about the April 2016 consumer launch.
If HTC had a limited supply ready to ship this month what are they going to do with those models and what does it look like. With the announcement of the delay, HTC also said they would have 7000 more developer units, dubbed the second generation DK for developers at CES in January. The DK2 is probably what HTC was going to release to consumers had they submitted to the pressure of keeping to the forecasted timeline.
HTC Vive developer kit images
These latest images show a much more mature version of the HTC Vive which builds trust with people like me ready to buy it when it launches, because I know that if Vive looks this good now the finished product coming in April will look like a second or third generation consumer product. Needless-to-say we will be getting our money’s worth.
The updated headset has a nice face plate on the exterior which covers all those little, tiny sensors that communicate with the lighthouses for location awareness. The original pictures of Vive had a camera near the middle of the headset, but the latest image shows that it has been relocated to the bottom middle. Also the strap on top looks to be as comfy as the demo version I tried earlier this summer and with any luck HTC has been able to retain that comfort for extended use. There has also been mention of a built-in audio source, but the new image doesn’t reveal anything solid.
Those controllers look futuristic! The Vive controllers I used in my demo were clunky with a big hexagonal base at the top with sensors on it. The new version has a rounded handled with a trigger on the bottom, a comfy thumb pad, and a donut-shaped base at the top with sensors around it. The new HTC Vive developer kit looks perfect, but even so, HTC felt it was necessary to delay so they could give us the best, all-around experience available.
This is a really exciting time for HTC and the Vive virtual reality experience. After talking with their partners at Valve the team has decided to delay the launch so that the Vive hardware and SteamVR platform can be better developed along with finding more content partners to strengthen the ecosystem.
HTC’s Cher Wang has also gone on record to say that the team has had a major breakthrough with something they want included with the first consumer version of Vive. This breakthrough is now taking the blame for what put HTC and Valve in the whole release or don’t release pickle, but HTC was probably hesitant to mention it earlier this month to keep their competitors at bay.
So instead of viewing the new second quarter ship date as a set back, we can take a breather and trust that HTC is confident their product will be the best VR experience when it comes to the market. HTC is promising to deliver the best product they can make and they don’t want early adopters to feel disappointed knowing something else could already be in the works.
2016 is going to be the year of VR and HTC will be leading the way. So far there have been new partnerships in the medical and educational fields and now there’s even talk of augmented reality. Could the new breakthrough involve augmented reality? Could the HTC Vive take on both spaces, augmented and virtual?
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- Sign-ups for Vive Tracker now open - January 25, 2017
- Vive hardware announced during CES 2017 - January 20, 2017
- VR For Impact offers $10million to develop for humanity - January 19, 2017
- Digital Trends calls Vive Best Product of 2016 - January 1, 2017
- Vive After Christmas Sale - December 27, 2016