Back in 2017, HTC and Valve decided to allow third-party developers to create various peripherals for their VR headset. Now, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, HTC is finally showing off some of the new ideas, controllers and overall tech which will come to the VR headset in the near future.
Although many people were expecting and wanted to see a second-generation VR headset, HTC unveiled the Vive Tracker. It consists of a small black disc, which is able to turn real-life objects into virtual weapons, by mounting the device on the object, after which it is detected by the headset’s lighthouse sensor. HTC showed off how you can use swords, bats, and a hose.
The Vive tracker acts like a universal controller by allowing users which play, for example, a game involving swordplay, to actually use an object similar to a sword in reality. This new feature offers users an entirely new layer to their already rich VR experience on the HTC Vive.
HTC’s presentation also included a number of other peripherals from third-party developers such as camera, multiple guns, various gloves, and a baseball bat. One such developer is VRsenal, which created the VR-15 a custom rifle controller which can be used in the HTC VR game ROM: Extraction. However, their current gun will not be available for purchase.
Users who managed to test out the upcoming HTC peripherals on the showroom floor did not report any noticeable latency from the controllers, which worked in specific games just as well as the Vive controllers. However, a great and unique controller won’t be able to provide a new way to enjoy a VR experience without specific software for them. Tailor-made games for a specific controller can take advantage of all of its features and provide a superior VR experience.
However, such a strategy has not performed very well in previous attempts as gamers tend to be fickle in this regard. As such, all games should still be playable with the standard controller while offering an improved experience with a specialized controller.
HTC revealed that the Vive tracker will be available in the second financial quarter of 2017. They did not reveal any specific information about the release of third-party controllers.
Image source: Wikimedia