Earlier this year Valve revealed the second iteration of its long-anticipated Knuckles motion controllers for SteamVR. The controllers, which were sent out to VR developers for testing, represented a more complete version of the successor to the position-tracked wands that come with the HTC Vive but they were far from complete.
Today, Valve revealed the next step for Knuckles.
In a blog over on Steam the company unveiled Knuckles EV3, complete with a pretty expansive list of improvements. While the controllers still look pretty close to Oculus’ Touch controllers, there are several tweaks to the design. The straps, for example, now have adjustment markings on the top plate, and the rivet is thinner to avoid interfering with the wing. The drawstring is also shorter.
Elsewhere, the back triggers have been made stronger and more reliable, while the system button has been recessed so as to avoid being accidentally pressed.
Perhaps the biggest change, at least to our eyes, is the battery life, which has been increased by up to two hours. Valve says the controllers now offer between seven to eight hours of playtime to charge.
Finally, there’s better LED light mixing, a more accessible USB port and an improved fit and finish. No major new additions, then, but the more improvements Valve makes the better the result for the end product. Knuckles also implements finger-tracking capabilities and the more recent editions have even ditched Valve’s traditional trackpad in favor of an analog stick.
Valve is promising to ship out Knuckles EV3 in “much greater quantities” that its rollout of EV2, confirming that it will open a request form “soon” and deliver to existing EV2 owners. As for the final consumer product? We still have no idea when they may arrive, though it looks doubtful that it’ll be here in 2018.