Updated, 04/11/2018, 10:45 am PT:
Kat VR announced that pre-orders for the Kat Walk Mini would be open this week. We’re not sure what happened to the plans for the Kickstarter campaign, but you can order directly from Kat VR starting April 13.
Kat VR revealed that the Kat Walk Mini would retail for $2,999 and ship in July. However, the company is running a short-term promotion that could save you a lot of money. Early bird orders placed between April 13 and April 20 will receive a 50% price reduction to $1,499. For the following two weeks, the price will go up by $200 per week. On May 8, Kat VR plans to raise the price to $2,499, and any order placed on or after May 19 would be subject to the full retail price. To qualify for the discounts, the payment must be processed within the discount window.
Kat VR isn’t yet accepting orders through its website, but you can contact the company’s sales department to put your order in.
Original story, 03/22/2018, 5:35pm PT:
Kat VR today revealed the Kat Walk Mini, a scaled-down, consumer-friendly version of its Kat Walk commercial VR Treadmill.
Kat VR originally launched the Kat Walk VR Treadmill on Kickstarter in 2015, but it didn’t get a lot of traction. The campaign was successful, and the company secured $49,278 over its $100,000 ask. However, the company convinced only 231 people to back it.
The lack of interest was somewhat surprising, especially after Virtuix sold so many units during its crowdfunding pursuit. However, the original Kat Walk treadmill is a large, heavy-duty setup with an overhead beam and a harness to secure you. The Virtuix Omni is cumbersome. The Kat Walk is downright ungainly.
The new Kat Walk Mini brings the idea of a VR treadmill down to a much more manageable package. Kat VR didn’t reveal much about the Kat Walk Mini, but from the promo video that it released today, we can tell that it’s a much more compact product. What’s more, Kat VR said the treadmill in the video is a prototype and that the final product would be smaller than the one in the video.
The Kat Walk Mini featured a harness system that holds you in and allows you to walk, run, jump, and crouch in place. Unlike the Virtual Omni, which has a fixed frame and a rotatable harness system, Kat VR’s solution features a rotating frame. The setup also appears to have a back rest, so that you can lean against walls in tactical shooters.
Kat VR didn’t reveal many details about the Kat Walk Mini, but the promo video features a Pimax 8K headset and Doom VFR and Fallout 4 VR. It should, therefore, be compatible with and Steam VR headsets, such as the HTC Vive, Vive Pro, or Oculus Rift. Kat VR also demonstrated compatibility with the PlayStation VR playing Skyrim VR. If we had to guess, we’d say the company cut a deal with Bethesda to put Kat Walk support into its VR games. The promo video also depicts Starbreeze's Payday 2 VR.
Kat VR didn’t say when the Kat Walk Mini would be available, but we should know more soon. The company is preparing a Kickstarter campaign to drum up support and interest for the product.