Update: HTC has confirmed to UploadVR that $99.99 is the final price for the consumer version of the Tracker as well as the developer units. The device will roll out to consumers later this year.
Original story: Last month HTC announced two big products for the HTC Vive in an add-on Tracker and optional integrated audio headstrap. Today, both got vital release information.
The Vive Tracker will be “available to order” to developers on March 27th for $99.99, the company confirmed just before the doors to the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona opened up, where it’s exhibiting the device. The kit is essentially another peripheral that’s tracked by SteamVR but can be attached to real world objects allowing you to bring virtual representations of them into your VR experiences for the first time. We’ve tried it with apps like a baseball simulator, local co-op first-person shooter, and even a fire fighting simulator, while other developers hope to use it to enable full body tracking in VR and more.
The device has a lot of potential, though you need tings to actually attach it to in order to use it, which is why a developer release first makes a lot of sense.
Though this initial release seems to be aimed at developers, it’s not yet clear if consumers will be able to get their hands on it, much in the same way they could easily buy a development kit for the Oculus Rift by labeling themselves as a developer. HTC did say that “general consumer availability” would be available later in the year. Earlier this month the company started to roll out 1,000 free developer kits to select teams that applied for one.
We’ve asked HTC if the price will be the same for the consumer edition.
The audio strap, meanwhile, is launching pre-orders on May 2nd for $99.99, with deliveries set to arrive in June. As the name suggests, it includes a pair of integrated headphones similar to the Oculus Rift. Previously users would have to plug in their own pair of headphones, and many fans had requested an integrated option. The strap is also being integrated into the Business Edition of the HTC Vive for no extra cost.
Neither is quite hitting the initial Q2 release window we were expecting, then, but they’re still on track for 2017.