HTC have announced that, in addition to its TPCAST wireless add-on, it’s also working with Intel on a WiGig powered wireless VR solution and it’s keen to find more partners to work with on further solutions too.

HTC seems to be ‘all in’ on ensuring its Vive VR headset is well supported for wireless upgrades in order to rid us of those pesky cables. Not content with helping to incubate the development of the soon-to-be-released TPCAST wireless VR solution, HTC announced at its CES press conference this week that semiconductor giant Intel is also working on its own wireless VR solution based on a different transmission protocol.

TPCAST Wireless VR Add-On Available Worldwide Q2 for $249

Update 30th May 2017: HTC have let us know that the new solution developed in conjunction with Intel is taking shape and will be demonstrated to press at this year’s E3 convention due to start June 13th. They state:

“To create this high-end VR experience, Intel and HTC recognized the need to better integrate the HMD with high-computing capabilities. The WiGig technology, based on 802.11ad standard, works solely in the interference- free 60GHz band, and enables high throughput and low latency in both directions, from the PC to HMD and from HMD to PC. This means pristine video quality with <7ms latency in any environment, supporting multiple users sharing the same space. All of this results in the seamless wireless VR with the Vive.”

Road to VR will be at E3 to get some hands on time with the new system.

Original story from Jan 9th 2017 continues below:

Both TPCAST and Intel’s solution both using the same 60Ghz band to broadcast compressed video and input / output data to and from a PC base station, albeit using different standards. The former however has opted to choose the ‘WirelessHD’ standard whilst the latter is going with WiGig.

What’s the Difference Between ‘WiGig’ and ‘WirelessHD’?

Everyone hates format wars, but it seems no shift of any significance happens in the consumer electronics industry without one. Anyone over 40 will recall Betamax versus VHS video tape and then HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray and most recently HDR10 versus Dolby Vision. In this case though, although WiGig and WirelessHD both share some technical similarities they differ in scope and implementation.

TP-Link 7200ad router, the world's first WiGig router, unveiled at CES last week
TP-Link 7200ad router, the world’s first WiGig router, unveiled at CES 2016

WiGig (Intel’s chosen solution) is, as the name suggests, a wireless multi-gigabit networking standard which dramatically increases over-the-air bandwidth over standard WiFi over short distances (the same room). In actual fact, the name ‘WiGig’ is a shortening of the organisation (Wireless Gigabit Alliance) which helped define the IEEE 802.11ad 60GHz standard. WiGig is aimed at very high bandwidth data uses, such as the broadcast of multi-gigabit uncompressed video and audio streams. Although its uses are more limited (short range, doesn’t work well through walls) it is ultimately a very high speed general purpose network standard in the same way as other WiFi standards. Bottom line, if you buy an 802.11ad compatible router, it’ll not only be backwards compatible with your older devices, you’ll be able to use that extra bandwidth for any sort of data transfer, not just video and audio. WiGig data rates max out at 7 gigabits per second per channel.

TPCAST 's 60Ghz Wireless Transmitter
TPCAST ‘s 60Ghz Wireless Transmitter

WirelessHD (TPCAST’s chosen solution) on the other hand is an older standard designed exclusively for the transmission of high definition video over short distances. WirelessHD once again adopts the 60Ghz band and, as of version 1.1 of the standard, can transmit at data rates up to 28 Gigabits per second (much higher than WiGig’s . WirelessHD solutions comprise two boxes, a receiver and a transmitter and each is dedicated to transmitting just video and audio between the source and the destination. Unlike WiGig, you won’t be copying files between devices or browsing the Internet via it. As such, devices that use WirelessHD will likely ship with dedicated receivers and transmitters for use only with that product. WirelessHD (aka UltraGig) is a proprietary standard, as opposed to WiGig’s, which is IEEE standards approved.

Both the above technologies suffer from one of the same issues, inherited from their shared 60Ghz band – namely that it doesn’t deal with line-of-sight blockages (walls, people etc.) well at all. However, both are able to beam-form – that is use walls and ceilings to reflect to avoid occlusion by ‘bouncing’ the signal. You can see why HTC may want to entertain the idea of a WiGig solutions as, despite the maximum bandwidth being lower than WirelessHD, it’s likely we’ll see WiGig routers in people’s homes over the next few years, so a wireless VR product that’s able to work with an existing device will also be cheaper, should the transmitter not be required.

As of now, neither HTC or Intel were ready to share any details about the wireless VR project or any timelines as to when we’d hear more. It’s clear however that HTC are not only keeping their options open as far as wireless VR is concerned they’re actively encouraging technical diversity. To further emphasise this, HTC has indicated it’s interested in hearing from other companies about alternative

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • DiGiCT Ltd

    Price is the issue in current VR world.
    It is still too expensive for most people to buy VR.
    TPcast is way overpriced for making it wireless.
    The cable is not the best way but its not worth 250 usd to remove it as most games i use in VR are fine with a wire, at least not that bad to play.
    Hopefully it will result in a cheaper solution for the VR users as i can even buy a 4k tv for $250 if you know what i mean to say here.
    Devs will eventually pull out of VR if this becomes such a high priced gadget to enjoy.

    I hope they dont forget that VR was “consumer ready” and that means consumer prices and not enterprise.

    • OgreTactics

      Price is NOT the issue. People pay for 800-1000$ smartphones, clothes, appliances, travels…price has never been an issue when the product value is worth it (or perceived as such).

      Instead product conception is the problem and that’s why cables on Virtual Headset are a non-sense nobody wants to deal with. 90% of the VR budgets we unlocked from brands and agencies were targeted for the most limited platform: GearVR. Why? Because the incentive of not being tethered to anything far outweights the advanced capabilities of a bulky multi-cabled PC VR headset.

      And that’s not the only problem: if you go all the way through “what is and thus how should VR be” the conception way, the fact that it not untethered, has a bulky strapped design, but also no external tracking capabilities is a conceptual non-sense consumer-wise or even professional-wise: there is not ONE single true consumer Virtual Headset on the market yet just prototype gadgets that don’t differ in anyway from the first Oculus conceived by Palmer Luckey, and no buzzword “consumer year of/consumer version of” is magically changing that.

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        Its more as 1k, you still need to buy a VR pc.
        I cant talk in my perspective as i could buy it with ease, i am talking consumer wise.
        The hundreds we of people we demoed , the nr 1 not buying VR was price issue, which was related on 2 things, the device itself and the current content, both not worth the money.
        Besides that, there are situations tethered just works fine, although im talking about machines been build for VR cinema in arcades which i used before on exhibitions.
        Price is an issue for most people, maybe not for you or me but for most people it is.

        • OgreTactics

          I’m not saying it’s not an issue, as you phrased it “the device itself and the current content, both not worth the money”, for most people it’s not worth the money.

          And maybe it is maybe it isn’t, the only thing I’m sure is that even at 100€, people have no use, consumer or pro, for VR Headset in their current form, if not to waste money on a video game/experiential gadget they’ll set aside after a few months.

          • JKay6969

            I would counter that price IS the main reason holding back VR adoption.

            I purchased an Oculus DK2 within the first hour or Pre-Orders going live, read: The second I read the email from Oculus telling me that Pre-Orders were open. That cost me £267 GBP and I was extremely excited.

            Fast forward to the launch of Oculus CV1 and I got the email from Oculus regarding Pre-Orders being open, I instantly clicked through and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price! It was almost 3 times the price of DK2 delivered and for what? Better resolution and a fancy new look…not impressed and even happier I bought the DK2.

            Everyone I have demo’d the DK2 to loved it and wanted one, big time until they heard the price and they instantly changed their minds. Keep in mind my mates are PC enthusiasts who spend a fair amount of monies on their ‘Rigs’ we are talking Triple Screen, SLI, Core i7, DDR4 and even a couple of GTX 1080’s. We are not rich by any stretch of the word but we are not poor either.

            Only one of my friends have invested and he bought an HTC Vive and a GTX 1080 to drive it. He is extremely happy with it and takes full advantage of the room scale side of things and even he balked at the price. He feels that the price was about £300 too high for mass market adoption.

            This is set to change when the market gets flooded with all the upcoming Windows 10 VR headsets. These seem to be going after the £300 mark so we should see a huge uptick un VR adoption.

            Even if there were a hundred AAA+ games out, I still wouldn’t pay the £700+ entry fee for the latest VR.

            I am definitely not shy about spending money on tech and I can usually justify anything to myself like my Logitech Dinovo Edge Keyboard that I paid £119 for and to this day feel that was money well spent. I pay for quality, performance and features and will pay a premium for it.

            So by your thinking I would have a Vive or Oculus CV1 by now as price isn’t the issue it’s features. I feel the features of current gen VR headsets are more than enough to get you into astonishing VR experiences like Project Cars, Elite Dangerous or Senza Peso for example.

            So why don’t I have a current Gen VR headset? Because I can’t justify the price, it’s not a big enough upgrade from the DK2 to justify 3x the cost. If the Vive or CV1 was £400 I would have one by now I promise you.

            Now think of the majority of PC users, they don’t have gaming spec PC’s which means they don’t have VR spec machines. The masses would need to buy at least an AMD RX480 or an nVidia 1060 GTX which are £200+, then they need the VR headset which is £579 delivered for the Oculus headset alone. That’s £800 for ENTRY LEVEL? It’s no wonder then that Playstation VR is outselling Oculus and Vive COMBINED with a DK2 equivalent headset and less content.

            Price is a lot to do with why VR is not taking off on the PC. Gear VR is also much cheaper for most in the UK as they get the headset free when they renew their contract with their mobile provider and often get a Gear VR thrown in to sweeten the deal.

            Samsung knows that if they can get enough units out there then software developers will follow and start really pushing VR content.

          • OgreTactics

            “Because I can’t justify the price” so again…we essentially agree. It’s not mainly about price, but value or perceived value for the price.

            Do you have high-end smartphone? If yes then it probably cost anywhere between 600 and 1000$ yet it’s just a phone, but dozens of millions of people are ready to rack-in for it. Why? Because it’s not about the price but the perceived value of the object.

            My point is even if Vive or Oculus were cheaper, they wouldn’t sell that much more because people just don’t see a point in it and they’re badly conceived, and in the other hand if they were 10x better conceived and complete, an huge amount of people would be ready to rack-in the same high price.

          • JKay6969

            To justify that price it would have to make you think, feel, smell and truly believe you are there.

            I have a Motorola G4 smartphone and it cost me £160 and it’s a fantastic phone for the money, actually it’s better than my LG G4 that I replaced it with and I got that for about the same money.

            I have never bought a top end smartphone for full price and I never would because they are not worth it. All the top end smartphones I ever owned was through my contract with my carrier and I know that they factor in the price to the contract which is why I got out of the cycle by keeping my Samsung S3 when my contract had ran it’s course and I switched to sim only unlimited everything for £14.50 per month.

            If the Rift or Vive was £400 all my friends would have them right now including me. As they are £600-£800 only one of my friends has an HTC Vive and he feels it was too expensive.

            My point is that mass adoption would happen much faster if the price was £400 regardless of the lack of content or the current technology and features of the headsets as there is enough to keep people interested until the next games come out. I can’t get enough of Project Cars in VR with my steering wheel, 7.1 surround headset in the DK2 that alone made buying the DK2 well worth it.

            The problem is that if there isn’t a mass adoption point soon then it will likely scare off big publishers from creating true AAA+ content and games. Without the big titles or killer app then it could all just fizzle out and die.

            When the windows 10 VR headsets start appearing at $400+ then you will see the market shift in a very positive way. And note that they add nothing much to the technology of VR, they will be mostly copies of the Rift with inside out tracking I believe.

            My point is it’s ALL down to price. You can argue semantics about perceived value but the point is that at it’s current price point PC VR is not taking off, when the headset price reaches £400 this will change because no matter how many features, bells and whistles these headsets have their perceived value is about £400 to the average consumer interested in PC VR. I say this from personal experience of asking friends, reading online comments and from the Oculus community.

            Perhaps if the DK1 and DK2 had never been sold at $300+ then there wouldn’t be such a widely felt low perceived value however when you add the cost of upgrading your PC for VR then anything more than £400 would be cost prohibitive anyways, remember many people have to convince their parent, spouse or significant other that the purchase is worth it and many would allow under a grand with a bit of persuasion but that would have to include the PC upgrade.

            I needed a new Motherboard £180, a new CPU £280, new RAM £160 and a new graphics card £380. Had the DK2 been £500+ I wouldn’t have bothered, I’d have waited until the retail version and at £600+ I wouldn’t have bought one anyways.

          • OgreTactics

            I’m not going to argue semantics this time, I’ll be more precise on the reason why I completely disagree with the price argument, which is odd because you make the same argument but rationalised it another way.

            Let’s take the most contemporary (because current market rules apply even harder and faster) and best exemple: the iPhone.

            When Palm were released, they’ve always been a failure adopted by a range of corporate people because it was the only portable thing that took note and read emails. It never picked-up and ruined the Palm company until it completely disappear under the PDA form. Because it was crap, I hope I don’t have to describe that.

            Then in 2007, the first iPhone is realeased, costs 600$ yet sold 6 millions devices, and in barely 9 years it’s now found in the pocket of 3 billions users which is huge. Is it magic? Did they “wait” for it to “steadily grow” we don’t how or where, with a random and unlimited amount of time because people would just be “patient”? Nope, but why?

            Because what is smartphone today? It’s exactly, semantically, word by word: a mobile connected computing interface operated through a wide multi-touch screen in a pocket-sized slate. What was an iPhone 10 years ago? A mobile connected etc…pocket-size slate. The iPhone was conceived “perfectly” from the day of release and this is the ONLY reason why it’s successful. It could have taken 2/3 years if it wasn’t from the get go although it means it wouldn’t have reach it’s current stated and critical size market yet, but only if it became this “perfect” device that make sense before the momentum window closes and people are just dubbing the iPhone a useless gadget.

            Well, VR headset have been around for 4 years now, NO LESS, EVERYONE I know invested in VR was already aware or had one, the problem is that from the initial but incomplete great idea from Palmer Luckey which was to use one of those smartphone screen with DOF sensors and lenses, these headset haven’t evolve and currently they are “Palms”. So the point I’m making unless you’re a science denier is that unless it become a “perfect” device that makes sense for what it’s supposed to be (wireless, 3 second put-on/away design and most importantly integrates the single component that suddenly inside-out body/motion/head tracking, environment tracking, hand interaction, and most importantly see-through AR and it’s millions of capabilities potential) by late 2018, then VR is dead for this cycle and dubbed yet another fad because that’s how market and consumer laws work.

          • JKay6969

            Augure- My point is even if Vive or Oculus were cheaper, they wouldn’t sell that much more because people just don’t see a point in it and they’re badly conceived, and in the other hand if they were 10x better conceived and complete, an huge amount of people would be ready to rack-in the same high price.

            When I read this I get a VERY strong suspicion that you have never tried a Consumer Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive.

            When anyone tries the DK2, CV1 or HTC Vive they understand what it’s all about, words simply cannot convey what good VR is like, It’s like you are there simply doesn’t do it justice, it’s a mind blowing experience the first time you try VR it really is and even then people are put off by the price, not the cables, not the bulk, it’s down to the price. This is why the Playstation VR is reportedly outselling the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive COMBINED!!!!

            There is a huge demand for VR, just not at £600+, we’re in a recession don’t you know ;-)

          • OgreTactics

            “My point is even if Vive or Oculus were cheaper, they wouldn’t sell that much more because people just don’t see a point in it and they’re badly conceived, and in the other hand if they were 10x better conceived and complete, an huge amount of people would be ready to rack-in the same high price.”

            Yup, I agree.

            “words simply cannot convey” I have had a DK2, CV1, Vive, OSVR, PSVR, GearVR, Wereality and even some brands or experimental custom ones. Words is EXACTLY what’s lacking in the VR domain for it to be on the good track: most people don’t even know what they’re doing and why they’re doing and so how to do it.

            The PSVR is outselling the other two for a simple reasons: a 60 millions users base with one single optimised living-room 300$ hardware vs a 20 millions users base with an infinity of unstable unoptimised desktop 1000$ hardware.

            Your initial argument is the key and that’s what I’m trying to make people understand: VR in it’s current state will NOT pick-up and if it doesn’t by 2 years from now, it simply will fail for this cycle like in the 90s. However if there’s some much needed rationalisation as to what VR should ABSOLUTELY be in the minimum for it to make sense like an iPhone made sense, then there’s no waiting or hoping it’ll simply pick-up on the mass market.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            High cost products , consumers expect long term usage for sure in most cases.

            If the price is lower, people can accept more of it not being a perfect product yet.

    • J.C.

      This is a stopgap device. When Rift/Vive 2.0 models launch, they’ll be wireless.

      Also, your comparison to a 4K tv is a bit blind: try comparing that to first-year 4K tv prices. Remember those? $5000. Yes you can get one NOW for very cheap, but it didn’t happen overnight. Complaining that VR is too expensive and then comparing it to a tech that was EVEN MORE expensive when it came out proves the opposite of your point.
      Current pricing is for early adopters, who are generally willing to deal with oddities that a non-standardized technology has, just to get a taste of the future.
      Even if the Vive/rift 2.0 are $800 again, the originals will drop in price, and early adopters will upgrade and sell their old kits for $300-$400. That’s how an ecosystem like this even works, and you’re inexplicably angry that time isn’t moving faster.

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        What do you think has more valuable components and cost more on a BOM to manufacture the tv or the wireless device ?
        It’s overpriced pure because its new, its not worth $250 at all.
        Reasonable would be a selling price $100-$150.
        Current price is just based on opportunity and greed, not realistic at all.
        The reason might simple be becuase the next gen will be wireless anyhow and that would mean bye bye business for those guys.

        • John

          I suppose you are taking into account the development costs in this and not just BOM right? 100-150$? when the stated cost to make (not counting recouping dev cost) is 200$? I take it you failed basic economics ?

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Dev cost, is something you can fill in anything and make it whatever you like as its nothing more as mostly human labor cost.
            You could eventually just overpay everyone, take an office in the city centre on an A class location etc etrc.
            Dev cost are mostly even not realistic as the keypoint here is sales amount VS profit, and the profit pays back the dev cost.
            In this world the target is mass sales and not small sales as this way of economics already starts at suppliers for factories, bigger orders, cheaper resources.
            It is all about quantity if you want to make profits.

            Im pretty sure i did not fail ecomics lol, but dont just read what you learn in books or school, real life economics , not fairy tales books from school.

        • Nein

          Why’d you pull greed out of your ass? There is no indication of that anywhere. It’s $250 because the thousands of man-hours they are expending on this experimental technology needs to return a profit. Especially with the few people who will buy this (even fewer than the current small population of VR-owners).

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            I dont pull things out of my ass, dont think people do things you like to do yourself too.
            If you realy think it cost that amount of R&D your way off as there are more people working on this similar tech.
            Simple math 500.000 wired versions been sold if you only would make a $1 out of each you would already have a good sales, make it $10 it would be fine, now asking like $100 profit just let you probably sell to only 10% and besides that it will not motivate more people to step into VR as long as they are tethered and knowing it will cost another $250 to make VR better.
            SO , yes GREED for sure.
            I know what things cost to make and you would be shocked how cheap stuff really is.
            Are you still a believer too that oculus rift been sold at the cost price too ?

            Seriously wake up lol :)

        • eikonoklastes

          This is a wireless solution that reportedly delivers the same picture quality without adding any discernible latency. This should be snake oil, but it’s not. Nobody was expecting this tech for another 3-5 years, but it’s here now, and available for $250.

          Not cheap, but still amazing. They’re probably making a decent profit on the price, and good on them – they deserve to.

  • OgreTactics

    The 802.11ad certification is supposed to be released officially (commercially) this year. Good. It’s been in the work for what, 5 years? Also there is the first high-quality compression coded AV1 that is supposed to be out this year. What is Vive doing about it? Nothing.

    While I’m still waiting for the different VR announcement of Samsung, Oculus, HTC to be able to forecast VR adoption of this year, I’m starting to think that late 2018 might be the limit of the momentum window before which people give-up.

    • David Herrington

      Then it is good that late 2018 will be when Vive 2.0 will come out. XD

      • Get Schwifty!

        Personally I am expecting a two year or so cadence to the releases… I’m expecting something like end of quarter one 2018 myself for both Rift and Vive…

        • David Herrington

          I was thinking this myself until HTC endorsed TPCAST emphatically, which doesn’t even have a release until Q2 of 2017, which means that most people won’t even get it until Q3-4 2017 due to lack of supplies.

          This endorsement and the fact that HTC is also working with Intel on WiGig (which isn’t even out yet) leads me to believe that HTC will push back release of Vive 2.0 until they are sure of the best wireless option to bake into 2.0. This makes sense as it will also give HTC time to mature any tech that they have been working on recently (think sensors, displays, eye tracking, etc.) so they can shave off as much weight from the next HMD as they are one the heaviest so far out of similar high end HMD’s.

          Since it appears (via recent Epic Games CEO) that Vive is outselling any other high end HMD, HTC will take their time while they are ahead of the pack to do the next step right.

        • OgreTactics

          Too little, too late, as I replied above…

          • eikonoklastes

            Too little, too late for what?

        • MosBen

          Agreed. I don’t expect a huge jump in the graphics hardware requirements for the next gen releases (wireless HMDs, paired with a lowering of prices, pared with a desire to make the new HMDs as compatible with existing systems as possible), which will mean that the new HMDs will have two years of software to draw on combined with a bunch of refinements in comfort, etc. It seems like the most natural time.

      • Mei Ling

        Mid 2018 seems like a good bet and it’s almost mandatory that the second iteration of devices have wireless capability with an optional tethered solution.

      • OgreTactics

        Too little, too late. I can make a bet that if the Vive 2.0 only comes in late 2018 with the only added capabilities of being wireless, the VR market is dead for this cycle and you’ll have to wait another 10-15 years for it to come-back. And it’ll be for the exact same reasons as in the 90s, of course with better tech and more initial interests, which doesn’t change thing.

        And not because you want to and that magic baseless PR said so, and that your kool-aid positive hysteria changes things magically, but because harsh laws of economics, markets and consumer behaviours.

        Also did you know that juts the Virtual Boy device shipped 1.2 millions and sold 800k devices in just 8 months after initial release, which even then was considered a failure but somehow 170k Vive in 2016 is not…? Yup…

        • David Herrington

          1. First, what makes you think that the only change in Vive 2.0 will be wireless?? Not only Vive but lots of others have been systematically investing in all kinds of tech to supplement 2nd gen hardware. Wireless, sensors, displays, eye tracking, and not to mention general weight lost due to optimization. And don’t forget about gen 2 Vive controllers! ;)

          2. Vive is not an island… its ridiculous to judge all VR on just sales of the Vive. You haven’t quoted sales of Oculus, Samsung, or Sony. Not to mention all the new Microsoft capable VR HMD’s coming out soon. That’s like saying, “since Ferrari hasn’t sold 1 million cars this year, that the automobile will fail in 2017.”

          3. Virtual Boy sucked… lol. Don’t ever compare what we have now to a red tinted Gameboy you strapped to face. Whatever that machine was, it was not VR.

          • OgreTactics

            1. But exactly what tech should be implemented is already the problem with the current headset. I’m not talking about evolution or innovation. I stand from the fact that to me, NONE of the available headset are actual devices that make sense in their current state.

            2. Vive is no island, but VR is. There are not hundreds of OEMs driving consumer VR right now. So no, that’s not like saying “since Ferrari etc…” that’s like saying “since Palm never sold beyond a ridiculously small amount of device, maybe the problem is how these devices are made”…

            3. And that’s why even though the Virtual Boy sucked, which is why it failed, it fucking sold more than 4x the amount that Oculus and Vive sold on a shorter period 25 years ago…that should tell you about the situation of high-end VR…

          • David Herrington

            1. If you compare iPhone 1 to the iPhone 7 there are so many changes you would think that the original was a piece of trash. The Vive 1.0 isn’t the best it could be but its gen 1 hardware, and it will get better.

            2. HTC has already made a big profit on their sales even if they never sold another Vive. The many VR enthusiasts they have now will stay and Vive 2.0 will just bring more and more as it gets better.

            3. The Virtual Boy only sold 770,000 units. I’m not sure where you got your figures for sales but multiple sites have this number. Here is one of them.

            The cost of the Virtual Boy was $180 USD and was not just a headset but was also a console. Even if you convert that to today’s money that’s $284.

            Vive cost: $800
            PC able to run Vive: >$1000
            Total Cost to have Vive system =$1800 or greater

            Yeah, I could buy about 6 Virtual Boys to equal the cost of my Vive and the PC that it takes to run it. The cost of the entry to high-end VR is too high for most people to buy in at this point. Virtual Boy was never going to take off because it was a cheap piece of junk that didn’t really do anything. The only reason it sold so many units was because it was dirt cheap.

            But lets do some simple math.

            Total spent on Virtual Boy systems:
            Units sold x Cost per unit = 770,000 x $284 = $218 million

            Total spent on Vive VR systems:
            Units sold x Cost per unit = 170,000 x $1800 = $306 million (or more since a lot of people spend more than $1000 on their PC’s)

          • OgreTactics

            3. It shipped 1.2 millions, 770.000k is an estimation so 800k is as accurate an estimation, also simpler.

            There’s a big variable missing in your simple math: cost of operations, production and fiscal context. Gross turnover doesn’t mean anything, but that wasn’t the point anyway.

            A converted 300$ Virtual Boy is about half the price a Vive or Oculus (I don’t care about the total cost of the system, I remember reading and can clearly state from my surrounding that most people already own a compatible PC). Yet this crap that was the Virtual Boy sold 4x more, not half. And again it was in 1995, 20 years ago…

            2. This is disregarding all economical and consumer sociological sciences and laws. Unless you believe in “magic”, you simply can’t launch, let alone sustain a costly technology asset for a few “amateurs”, this simply never worked like this for any tech device.

            1. But the most important point and best exemple is: The iPhone 1 is exactly the same as any today’s smartphone in it’s concept and sense. Here is the exact, semantic definition of a today’s smartphone: “It’s a mobile connected system that does everything prior mobile devices did (phone, music player, calculator, pocket console, compact camera, email, radio, alarm, compass etc…) operated through a wide multi-touch screen in flat pocket-size slab”. What was the iPhone 1? It was a “mobile connected etc…slab”. This hasn’t change in it’s concept and meaning, the fact that it’s camera, or resolution or connectivity has evolved is irrelevant.

            The first iPhone costed 600$ and sold 6 millions devices the first year. 10 years after, there are 3 billions smartphones out there and 300 millions sold per year. That’s the difference between the Palm that never picked-up because it was badly conceived in a way that doesn’t make sense, and the first iPhone that was “perfect” ie. as it should be.

            Well that’s my point about VR HMDs: there’s not one actual Virtual Headset existing on the market, and until that happens there’s NO magically reason why people will adopt it. And if the market doesn’t in the momentum window of VR for this cycle, because there’s no “magic” either, people will not “wait” for it to “steadily” grow so slow before the majority concludes that it was another gadget fad, and mass disinvestment follows consequently, and thus development of tech/tools/contents…which would be regrettable, and trust me I would be the first to be pissed of about this.

            But my sensitivity and fairy wishes don’t have impact on reality and it’s laws.

          • David Herrington

            “most people already own a compatible PC”

            I’m not sure what paradise you live in where everyone has a PC with a GTX 1080, but 98% of the people I know have 3-5 year old computers and would need an entirely new PC to run ANYTHING on the Vive. So yes, you do have to factor in the cost of the PC to run it.

            Also, Palm PDA’s came out in 1996, whereas iPhone 1 came out in 2007, which is 11 years later! Palm’s did really well when they came out but 11 years later a much better phone emerged. Vive came out in 2016, so in 2027 we can expect a much better VR system to come out ;)

            So don’t be so judgemental right now of VR, the Vive is the Palm of its era. It’s good enough but won’t hold a candle to what will come out in 10 years.

          • OgreTactics

            “would need”. That’s the thing, unless you’re wealthy (or a company/agency) enough to buy both a system and high-end HMDs at the same time, most people buying Oculus/Vive already had a compatible PC.

            Palm never sold shit and never pick-up until it died 10 years after. The iPhone sold 6 millions the first year, smartphone are now a norm of 3 billions users…in 9 years. If you don’t see the point made here, you need to check your hypocrisy filter.

            Now I understand the common conception is that in 2016s, new paradigm shifting technology somehow have 10 years for the billions of dollars invested to be fructified, and so that it’ll just have to do nothing but evolve a bit somehow for it to sell more and more until it’s good enough in 2027. This is not how worked, this is not how today work, and this is not how it worked for VR even 25-20 years ago.

            My point, again stated, is that by 2018 if there’s no practical, ideal Virtual Headset conceived the way it should be to make sense like a smartphone makes sense, it’ll fall into oblivion for another cycle.

          • David Herrington

            Ok. Well remind me in late 2018 about this conversation so that I can say, “I told you that VR would make it.”

          • OgreTactics

            I sure hope VR will make it, it’s simply realistically not on the track to for this cycle.

          • Simon Manning

            I use VR in the AEC industry and we’ve saved $240,000 in 2016 alone by implementing the early technology.

            I look at it like the personal computer market. People thought computers were huge and clunky, but used them at work to great effect until the market brought the costs and weight down enough for consumers. VR is the same way, only faster. By bringing VR to my company, it’s already driven the purchase of dozens of home units once people saw the value it brought.

            Yes it’s not a perfect product, but neither was the Apple 2 and they did fine. Innovation is driven by money and you can’t argue that Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, Nvidia, and many more have already invested billions into the industry. Even the Khronos Group has outlined their OpenXR standards. I’d be curious to know of a fad that had as much broad adoption and investment capital as VR/AR that didn’t make it to market.

    • kontis

      AV1 is yet another MPEG-like heavy encoding using temporal compression that works best with mulit-frame data. Even using it for traditional gaming is controversial. It’s fundamentally inadequate approach for anything that is interactive. It’s quite insane to use these kind of methods directly for user’s vision.

      • OgreTactics

        Why not? Unless you want to wait 5 more year for uncompressed data streaming. Also you are talking about AV1 as an over-the-network streaming codec not a direct device-to-device coded. And supposedly it will have nothing to do with VP8/9 which was indeed unstable because of temporal compression and heavy encoding, but I’ll take that over a wire especially in a VR headset (which is not as crisp as a regular screen yet) any day.

    • Get Schwifty!

      Even better that the oft-hated Facebook is realistic about adoption taking years and even a decade or more for widespread adoption. They realize its an inevitable up and down, but VR isn’t going away. Not sure why you are so preternaturally pessimistic about VR adoption… it’s rolling forward with plenty of interest and it’s only the first real year of consumer grade products on the market. Vive/Rift are easily at 500K units currently and selling, not to mention Gear and PSVR sales. We have awareness now in the general market, it’s now getting them to experience quality content next to generate interest. Where I think Oculus (before FB) got it right was in seeing that the market for a time is going to be led by gaming, followed by engineering, medical, etc. and ironically the last market is likely to be the general non-PC focused group limited to mobile device users.

      • OgreTactics

        Because things, economics and consumer behaviours are not “magic” that happens become bullshit PR, kool-aid hysteric attitude say so.

        “Adoption taking years and even a decade or more for widespread adoption”: this DOESN’T exist. That’s why, from the first VR headset in the 90s, Virtual Reality didn’t magically but slowly continue to grow, be invested, developed for an iterated on for it to be somehow adopted 10 or even 20 years after.

        If the iPhone wasn’t invented exactly how it was supposed to, nobody would be using Palm by some magic of time and PR words. This is same thing for VR: I’d hate, to wait for another cycle of 10-15 years before VR comes back again in a conception that make sense for it to be adopted. Right now, we’re in between two scenarios that only have so much time to be unfolded before everybody dubs VR a fad, investors abandon it again, so will developers…either VR Headset are done the way they’re supposed to and there’s no “time” for the market that need to pass for it to adopt it, or…they continue to release half-assed prototype that barely depart from Palmer Luckey’s initial idea thus selling non-sensical, fun but impractical gadgets that are current VR headset and sooner than you think the momentum will pass.

        • Caven

          It does exist. Cellphones and computers didn’t go from being obscenely expensive luxury items to ubiquitous products overnight. The reason VR hasn’t benefited from the same principle is because VR of decades past simply did not meet a minimum threshold. The Oculus DK1 made me so sick that I initially feared VR wasn’t for me, yet even that “not ready for prime time” product was leaps and bounds better than “VR” of the ’90s. If ’90s-era VR couldn’t get anywhere remotely near DK1 or even mobile VR, how was it really going to build the critical mass to start going anywhere big in a hurry?

          The limitations weren’t just with the headsets, either. Computing power just wasn’t there to make VR viable. In an era where every triangle rendered to the screen was a major endeavor, there just wasn’t enough processing power to make VR truly viable for the masses.

          If ’90s-era VR and earlier is ENIAC, the Vive and Oculus CV1 are basically the IBM PC and Apple II. VR for the masses begins here–not back in the 20th century where even NASA couldn’t make a high-framerate VR headset.

          • MosBen

            And don’t forget that cost is a huge factor. VR in the 90s was either a) far too expensive and bulky for a normal consumer to buy, or b) the Nintendo Virtual Boy, which wasn’t technologically exciting enough and was almost immediately abandoned by both Nintendo and developers.

            This generation of VR is a bit expensive on the high end (Vive/Rift), but within the realm of regular consumer electronics. It took a long time for cell phones to come down to a price that most consumers could afford, and even the iPhone was a novelty for tech enthusiasts for its first generation or two, until older models came down to the “free phone with contract” level. The mobile VR solutions that we have now are limited, but selling reasonably well. VR software doesn’t have a ton of AAA titles yet, but devs continue to build simpler and shorter experiences and games.

            The VR skeptics are always too quick to play the 90s VR card, as if there’s nothing different about either the culture or the tech from 20+ years ago.

    • Mei Ling

      “I’m starting to think that late 2018 might be the limit of the momentum window before which people give-up.”

      Well that’s the problem with releasing a new bit of technology in that everyone wants to make money out of it sooner rather than later and to be honest if worst comes to the worst the only company with the patience (and money) to take VR forward and ride the whole nine yards is Oculus/Facebook.

      • OgreTactics

        I’m not sure it’s Oculus. Truth is, from the initial DK1 prototype in 2012 (!), the Oculus CV1 or Vive haven’t iterated or innovated shit on VR Headset. The fact that it’s far from a product that make any conceptual sense for wide adoption and regular consumer/professional use, and that they simply stayed content with the initial idea of a ~100° FOV lens-through on a FHD screen with head-tracking, and fucktons of cable with a external but limited trackers…is ridiculous.

  • PacoBell

    Why would anyone ever want a “WiGig router” for VR when one could just form a point-to-point connection over 60GHz with WirelessHD? Do you seriously want to introduce even more latency?

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Because in the near future a regular router will have that but not WirelessHD? Why buy an extra device/router if you already have one which works.

  • OgreTactics

    STFU, your post was uninteresting.

    • eikonoklastes

      Augure, I would never be able to match that claim about your posts, because your posts are supremely interesting. Whenever someone brings the level of conviction that you do to the level of ignorance you proudly spew, it is always fascinating and amusing to me. Thoroughly enjoyable.

      What was it you said in that other article, in reply to someone who said it takes hours for Disney to render 1 frame? Something to the effect that that hasn’t been true for about 10 years? Hahahahaha! Pure gold.

      You be you, man. You be you.

      • OgreTactics

        One of my college friend who went the CG/Effects way works at Dreamworks. I know exactly how much time it takes for them to render a frame with their current tools. But I also work with engines. Again, you’re worthless.

        • eikonoklastes

          Yes, please do tell exactly how much time a multi-million (possibly billion) poly stereoscopic IMAX frame takes to output with motion blur, ambient occlusion, GI, area shadows and depth of field, naturally with enough samples to mitigate grain, never mind the time added for grading and compositing. 5 mins? 10 mins? 30 mins?

          Please find out from your “friend who works at Dreamworks” and enlighten us.

          While we’re comparing e-penises, I must say your “friend” doesn’t quite match up to my 15 years of work in CG, and if he really does exist, he must work in garbage disposal considering the trash he has fed you. You should get better friends.

          I’ll just block you now, because I feel my brain cells fading away the more I interact with you.

          You have fun now.

          • OgreTactics

            Yes please block me, like you probably blocked your coward e-penis lier.

  • NooYawker

    My dad brought home a betamax when I was a kid. That’s all I’ll say about that.

  • Sydney Losstarot

    There is an improvement to wireless 802.11ad named 802.11ay which I think will be the actual name of the wireless technology used for next gen VR.

  • DaKangaroo

    “WirelessHD once again adopts the 60Ghz band and, as of version 1.1 of the standard, can transmit at data rates up to 28 Gigabits per second (much higher than WiGig’s .”

    OK, back of the envelope numbers time! Following along if you wish to pick apart my numbers or skip to the end.

    Lets say 28gbps is optimistic, and let’s reduce that down to say, 75% of that. I think that’s fair. When was the last time a “900mbps” router actually gave you 900mbps? They do say “up to 28gigabits”.

    So lets say 21gbps. Still pretty good!

    So if this is going to transmit images for VR, we need two images. Divide the 21gbps in half, and that’s more or less the bandwidth you have for each image. That’s 2.6GB/sec for each image.

    Lets assume 90Hz for the display since that’s a good minimum for VR. That’s 29MB per frame.

    We will assume for now 8bit RGB for the images. That’s 3 bytes per pixel. Let’s assume compression ratio of 1:20, since those kind of compression ratios have been thrown around a lot when it comes to transmission of image data, and it’s a fairly reasonable compression ratio.

    So we have 31,317,000 bytes to work with per image. Divide that by 3 (bytes), and that’s your total number of pixels. Multiply by 20 to allow for compression. That’s 208 million pixels. Square root of that is roughly 14,000.

    == Result ==
    28gbps, using 75% of that bandwidth, 8bit images, 1:20 compression, 90hz and 2 images for each eye:
    You could have a VR display resolution roughly equal to 14,000×14,000 per eye.

    Seems plenty to me! That’s way more than what any home PC or mobile hardware is going to be able to render in the near future!

  • mcnbns

    Please let us know whether this wireless solution also transmits microphone data from the Vive, and whether audio and image quality are affected.

    Early reports on TPcast are that the mic is disabled and audio quality isn’t quite as good as through the cable.