HTC released the Vive Wireless Adapter in September 2018 to do away with the cables that kept VR users firmly tethered to this reality--and their systems--while they were trying to escape to another one. Nearly eight months later, the company has partnered up with Intel and AMD to figure out why the Vive Wireless Adapter has caused blue screen of death (BSOD) and other issues when it's used with certain AMD processors.
These problems aren't just coming to light: we noted that the Vive Wireless Adapter had compatibility issues with some Ryzen processors in our November 2018 review. HTC acknowledged the problem that same month, saying that it "[had] seen and [was] actively looking into multiple reports of Ryzen incompatibility with Vive Wireless Adapter." The company said the investigation could take time--it seems to have been right.
Because the adapter is based partly on Intel's WiGig technology, which allows the connected Vive headset to communicate with the PC that's powering it, conspiracy theorists were easily able to swap out their VR headsets for tinfoil hats and say AMD was being sabotaged. But now all three companies are working to figure out why the Vive Wireless Adapter has problems with systems featuring the 50-year-old red team's CPUs.
The first step towards solving the problem was made on April 25 when HTC released a hotfix for the issue to version 1.20190410.0 of the Vive Wireless Adapter Connection Utility. (Which can be installed by hitting the "Update now" button within the Connection Utility itself.) We suspect a more permanent solution will arrive eventually, but at least now AMD users who bore with the adapter's issues should have a better experience.
It's just a shame this has taken so long. Untethered headsets aren't nearly as novel as they were back when the Vive Wireless Adapter was announced in 2017, and HTC itself released the wireless Vive Focus Plus to developers on April 15. Hopefully any solution that improves the Vive Wireless Adapter at this point can also make sure people who buy the company's untethered headset won't have to deal with similar issues.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.