The wait for HTC’s wireless solution has been long, but its almost over. The company is finally gearing up to ship the Vive Wireless Adapter at the end of next month. HTC announced today that it will begin taking pre-orders on September 5 and that the units will sell for $300.
HTC first revealed that it was building a wireless virtual reality (VR) system at Computex 2017. The company announced that it partnered with Intel and DisplayLink to create a wireless solution for the HTC Vive. In January this year, the company announced that the device would be on the market in Q3 2018. DisplayLink provided the lossless compression technology that helps reduce the amount of data that must be transmitted to the headset. Intel helped with the wireless transmission with its WiGig technology.
“Since the first demos of Vive, we’ve known that to deliver on the best of premium VR, we wanted it to be wireless,” Daniel O’Brien, GM Americas, HTC Vive, said in a statement. “But we learned that delivering a great wireless experience takes time and really smart partners. We’ve brought the engineering expertise together to deliver a truly first of its kind wireless VR experience. Thanks to Intel and DisplayLink for helping to make this vision a reality.”
HTC teased the Wireless Vive Adapter at several industry events throughout the year, including GDC, Computex and E3, though it remained somewhat vague about the release date. In March, we learned more details about the system from DisplayLink, such as the limitation of three wireless units in one space and confirmation that the wireless system supports all of the Vive’s features, including the microphone and chaperone cameras. That’s important because HTC’s primary market competitor, TPCast, doesn't support the microphone over wireless.
HTC’s Vive Wireless Adapter is a mutli-part solution with a wireless receiver that attaches to the Vive headset. The receiver includes shortened data cables to replace the long tether cable. It is powered by an HTC QC 3.0 PowerBank, which you can also use to charge a phone. The package includes one battery pack, but you can purchase more at Vive.com.
The Vive Wireless Adapter also comes with a 60GHz Intel WiGig PCIe card and an antenna, which transmits the signal from your computer to the headset. The antenna can broadcast the VR signal up to six meters, and it has a 150-degree field of view.
HTC’s Vive Wireless Adapter will be available for pre-order on September 5, and the device should be on store shelves by September 24. HTC set the price at $300, which includes the receiver, the battery and the WiGig card with the antenna. Each purchase also includes a two-month Viveport subscription.
It actually does, just not out of the box. If you flash the onboard SD card with OpenTPCast (a pretty easy process) you get a lot of the features that TPCast by itself doesn't support, including the microphone.