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CES 2017: HTC Round Out Vive Lineup With New Accessories

Off the back of the HTC Vive’s Australian launch just prior to Christmas, HTC look to be using CES to illustrate a future for their VR platform driven by new accessories.

Among them, HTC are emphasizing the new Vive Deluxe Audio Strap – which aims to add additional comfort and built in headphones to the equation.

While the HTC Vive has largely been hailed as the pre-eminnent VR experience, the headsets design is regarded by some as lagging behind Sony PSVR and the Oculus Rift when it comes to comfort.  As a result, the Deluxe Audio Strap looks to be a big step for the company when it comes to competing with its competitors on those fronts.

The other big accessory for the Vive on show at CES is the Vive Tracker.

Vive_Tracker_IMG_6

A miniaturized version of the Vive Touch controllers, HTC says they’ve created the new accessories to allow developers to easy construct their own control accessories. The tracker will last six hours on a full charge.

HTC also look to have their eye on taking the HTC Vive wireless, though not directly.

“Our approach to wireless and VR is the same approach that we’ve taken with the Vive — wireless will be open-standard and we look forward to supporting any company that can demonstrate a low-latency solution to wireless VR,” said Daniel O’Brien, GM, US and EMEA, Vive.

The company say they’ll be supporting the launch of the TPCast wireless adapter, a graduate of HTC’s recent incubator program for the Vive.

Priced at $249 USD, it’ll deliver 2K video resolution at 90Hz with less than two milliseconds of latency.

The TPCast will come with about 1.5-hours of battery life on a full charge but a five-hour XL battery is expected later down the line.

HTC has indicated to expect these new accessories sometime around the second quarter of 2017.

They’re also buffering their software portal for the Vive, the Viveport, with a new subscription service offering that the company compared to Netflix.

Users will be able to access the 1000 VR experiences available on the platform. HTC expects that number to rise to 3000 by the end of 2017.

Australian availability and pricing has yet to be announced for the TPCast, HTC Vive Tracker, Deluxe Audio Strap and Viveport subscription service.

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