Bottom line: Cutting the cord eliminates a major barrier to VR adoption for many potential buyers but the cost of doing so - both financially and in terms of trade-offs (added weight, limited battery life) will undoubtedly prompt some to hold out for future revisions.
The base adapter works with both the HTC Vive and the Vive Pro although the latter will additionally require a $60 compatibility pack that includes a special connection cable, foam padding a unique attachment device.
Installation of the wireless upgrade takes just minutes, HTC says. You’ll need to install a PCIe card in your computer and attach a sensor that broadcasts to and from the newly wireless headset. The adapter, which operates over the 60GHz band using Intel’s WiGig specification, features a broadcast range of six meters and offers a 150-degree field-of-view.
The adapter is powered by HTC’s QC 3.0 Powerbank, a portable USB Type-C battery pack that can also be used to recharge mobile devices. One Powerbank is included with the HTC wireless adapter, as is a free two-month Viveport trial subscription.
Combined with DisplayLink’s XR codec, the system is said to offer low latency and high performance with up to 2.5 hours of battery life. The adapter will add 4.55 ounces of weigh to the visor.
Pre-orders for the HTC Vive wireless adapter open September 5 through Amazon, Microsoft, Best Buy, Newegg and on the official Vive website ahead of a scheduled launch on September 24. Expect to pay $299 to cut the cord.
Image courtesy Lauren Barack, GearBrain