The official HTC Vive twitter account just tweeted this image with the hashtag “newyearsresolution”. It’s a simple teaser image, and the picture is a simple black and white picture of the Vive headset. With the rumors earlier this year that a new model was in the works, this seems to confirm it: a new model of the Vive is coming, and we’re about to hear all about it!
The first and probably the most prominent speculation is that this new model is going to incorporate the recently revealed “Knuckles” controllers. The standard Vive controllers are essentially little saucers on a handle. The saucers allowed for the Vive’s lighthouses to track full motion and location of the player’s hand movements.
The new Knuckles controllers will feature all of the highly accurate motion tracking that the regular Vive controllers did, but it will also feature new individual finger tracking. There’s an adjustable strap attached which brings it all together – you simply slide your hand through, tighten the strap, and the controller itself conforms to your hand and rests around it, hence the “Knuckles” name. Here’s a small preview video from Steam Dev Days 2016.
Neat, huh? The inner grip is where the finger trackers are located. We’re not exactly sure how this will translate to games, but we can only imagine it’ll provide even more accurate tracking that should help with gameplay mechanics and immersion. We’ve seen what’s already capable with the standard Vive wands so we can’t wait to see what these Knuckles controllers will bring to the table.
So, there will be at least two pieces of new hardware: a new headset and new controllers. Many fans are thinking that standard lighthouses that come with the original Vive will still be compatible with the new setup, which we hope is the case. This might mean that the new Vive will be sold in different packages – one for existing owners of the original Vive and one for newcomers.
Either way this could mean a potential price drop for the original Vive model, and let’s be honest – the steep price is what has been keeping many gamers from trying the VR experience. Hopefully this ends up happening, as VR is quite the spectacle and everyone should experience it! Stay tuned for more info about the new Vive on January 8.