The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is almost here, but you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer before you can place an order. Instead of opening pre-orders today, like it originally planned, HTC announced that the accessory would be available on June 6.
During its presentation at CES in January, HTC revealed its plans for the year ahead, which included releasing a slew of accessories for the Vive VR platform. Among the announced accessories were a universal tracking device called the Vive Tracker, an array of peripheral accessories to complement it, and an updated head strap.
The updated head strap is somewhat of a hybrid between the strap you’ll find on the Oculus Rift and the head mounting system Sony used on the PlayStation VR. The upgraded strap includes a pair of built-in headphones like you find on the Rift HMD; it also includes a mechanical tightening mechanism like you find on the PSVR. The strap is also made of a rigid material, so it should hold its shape well. Vive said the new strap should make it easier to put on the Vive HMD.
HTC has a history of allowing you to pre-order its VR products. Before the April 2016 launch of the Vive VR system, for example, the company allowed prospective customers to put their name down for a kit in February. And this year, it did the same thing for the Vive Tracker. In February, HTC announced that the Vive Tracker developer kits would go on sale in late March. The company started shipping Vive Tracker devices to select developers before rolling them out to the wider development community so they could get a head start on building interesting interactions, such as Cloudgate Studios’ full-body tracking system or Triangular Pixels’ pet tracking experiment. The full-scale release of the Vive Trackers started in April, and now anyone who registers a developer account can order a Vive Tracker.
The consumer release of the Vive Tracker devices should happen later this year, but in the meantime, HTC is gearing up for the launch of the Deluxe Audio Head Strap. On the same day the company revealed the Vive Tracker pre-order date, it also tweeted that pre-orders of the Deluxe Audio Head Strap would start on May 2. Curiously, the plans changed, and for some reason, Vive isn’t doing a pre-order cycle for the Deluxe Audio Head Strap anymore. (Though, perhaps that's because Microsoft jumped the gun and started offering pre-orders last week). Instead of opening pre-orders today, Vive announced that “starting June 6,” you can purchase a Vive Deluxe Audio Strap.