If you’re thinking of splashing some serious cash on an HTC Vive, it may be in your best interests to hold off a little while. A number of reports have been circling that an HTC Vive 2 is in the works, with Valve and HTC already homing in on new, cheaper Lighthouse chips to improve performance, lower costs and reduce power consumption.
Those getting on the VR bandwagon on the ground floor will be all too aware they are, in essence, the beta testers. The first generation of VR is prohibitively expensive, unwieldy to set up, and not very well supported in terms of software. The next big test for both Oculus and HTC is driving the costs down and ramping up mass production. This is likely to be the main focus of the HTC Vive 2, rather than a headset which is necessarily going to outright better the $799 original.
One area that does stand to be improved is the head tracking, and Valve has already identified the new TS3633 unit that it wants to use for this. Rather than the original sensor’s 41 components, the TS3633 is made of just nine.
"The more components in a system the more likely there will be a manufacturing yield problem or field reliability problem,” said Triad Semiconductors’ Reid Wender.
"The TS3633 excels on several technical characteristics such as detected pulse width versus distance, more sensitivity for longer range detection, better off angle detection, improved optical sync detection, improved start of sync detection, and improved centroid location. All of these technical improvements equate to a more robust SteamVR Tracking experience with observably improved user experience".
There’s still no word on when we can expect the second generation Vive virtual reality headset to arrive, or any pricing details, but don’t expect to see until at least the back half of 2017. With any luck HTC can drive the price down to the under $500 by then, at which point I think it looks like a much more tempting proposition.
Source: Road to VR