HTC opened up preorders for a neat upgrade kit to make the HTC Vive wireless, but the add-on sold out in mere minutes.
HTC Vive fans clearly wanted the option of untethering their VR headset for a wireless experience, ditching the cumbersome cable that keeps one tethered to a PC.
Vive X startup TPCAST and HTC decided to launch the "world's first tether-less VR upgrade kit for HTC Vive" and started taking preorders for the device on Friday, only to see the add-on vanish in no time.
HTC's China Regional President of Vive, Alvin W. Graylin, tells UnloadVR that the kit completely sold out in just 18 minutes. Those who managed to snag a kit out of this initial stock should get their device in the first quarter of next year.
How Does It Work?
TPCAST's tether-less upgrade kit for the HTC Vive simply clips on to the VR headset wirelessly connected to a PC, enabling users to play Vive games without having to keep the headset tethered to the PC via a cable.
Graylin touted that using the HTC Vive with the kit yielded "no noticeable difference" compared to the regular, tethered Vive experience. However, UploadVR found a note on TPCAST's website that mentioned a "lowest latency" of 15ms for the kit.
Even so, being able to use the powerful HTC Vive without having to stay wired to a PC is definitely an exciting prospect and it's not surprising the kit sold out so fast.
No Worldwide Availability Yet
The upgrade kit went up for preorder through HTC Vive's Chinese website and, although Graylin had previously told UploadVR that it was available for users worldwide as well, it wasn't the case. The order form only allows users to enter addresses in China, so the units can't be shipped elsewhere on the globe.
However, Graylin says that a new batch of tether-less upgrade kits for the HTC Vive may go up for preorder next month and those units might be more accessible for international customers.
Another SKU for the upgrade kit, offering a larger battery, should become available in the first quarter of 2017 too. This model has not gone up for preorder just yet, which means that the standard models that just sold out will likely ship out first. HTC also decided to prioritize customers who already have the HTC Vive, which is why it asked for the gadget's serial number in the purchase process for the kit.
Graylin did not offer a specific date for when the upgrade kit would go back up for preorder, but we'll keep you up to date as soon as we learn more.