Kat VR, the China-based company behind the original Kat Walk VR treadmill Kickstarter in 2015, has concluded its latest crowdfunding campaign, this time bringing a consumer-focused VR treadmill ‘Kat Walk C’ to market.
Update (August 3rd, 2020): The Kickstarter for KAT Walk C has successfully concluded with a whopping $1.66 million in funding. Less than 24 hours after its launch back in late June, the project successfully broke through the $1 million mark, pushing it well over its initial $100,000 goal.
This astounding result puts Kat Walk C as the platform’s most-funded non-headset peripheral designed explicitly for VR.
In an update, the company says the device is well on its way to be produced, as manufacturing lines are now established. There are still plenty of stretch goals to fulfill, including an overhead cabling pulley system, a dedicated game, haptic feedback modules for the device’s base, and more, which should keep Kat VR busy in the months to come.
The first units are said to arrive in October 2020; considering the company has been producing its VR treadmills for over 5 years now, it’s not an impossible task to reach, although we’ll be following updates closely to see whether Kat VR will be able to make this ambitious shipping schedule.
Original Article (June 19th, 2020): The campaign is slated to begin at 10 AM ET (local time here) on Sunday, and will end on July 30th. Kat VR hopes to reach at least $100,000 with its campaign.
Kat Walk C will be offered via multiple quantity-limited tiers, with the earliest supporters getting a chance to reserve their own at what the company calls “a significant discount.”
It’s not clear what the final MSRP will be after the Kickstarter is said and done, however Kat VR has consistently made their crowdfunded hardware cheaper to backers.
Check out the tiers below:
- Super KATer Extra Early Bird: $699 + Delivery (Limited Quantity)
- Extra Early-Bird: $799 + Delivery (Limited Quantity)
- Early-Bird: $899 + Delivery (Limited Quantity)
- Special Kickstarter Offer: $999 + Delivery (Unlimited Quantity)
Additionally, the company says it’s going to offer discounts for backers looking to buy multiple units, which will include discounts on delivery costs.
The first units of Kat Walk C are expected to ship to backers in early October, Kat VR says.
Kat VR says the device acts as an “independent controller”, allowing it to work with any SteamVR game with free locomotion on major VR headsets such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Pimax, and Windows VR. The device is also said to be compatible with Oculus Quest via Link, and with PSVR via an additional adapter.
Like all of the company’s VR treadmills, Kat Walk C incorporates a low-friction parabola and slippy user-worn footwear, giving you a slick surface that simulates walking to some degree.
We’ve had a chance to go hands-on with its bigger brother back at Gamescom 2017. Although VR treadmills have gotten better throughout the years, they still don’t offer a natural walking experience, as the user needs to adapt to the low-friction surface and the demands of pulling themselves opposite to the rear-mounted stabilizer bar.
That said, there’s really no other device class in town that approximates walking in VR—let alone one for consumers—so we’re interested to see how Kat Walk C fares before offering any further opinion.