Kat VR, the China-based company behind the original Kat Walk VR treadmill Kickstarter in 2015, has brought its new consumer-focused VR treadmill ‘Kat Walk C’ to the crowdfunding platform last week. Less than 24 hours after its launch, the project successfully broke through the $1 million mark, and it hasn’t shown sign of stopping.
Update (June 29th, 2020): Kat VR’s latest Kickstarter campaign has tacked on another $300,000 in the week following its $1 million breakout success, which took place in the first 24 hours of going live on June 21st.
Stretch goals already reached include a cable pulley system, storage hooks, a dedicated game to showcase the Kat Walk C, and gamepad/keyboard emulation for non-VR games. The next goal, set at $1.5 million, will bring haptic feedback module to the device’s base. At this rate, the last stretch goal will very likely be reached in the campaign’s remaining 31 days We’ll have our eyes peeled for the next set of goals when/if the campaign releases them.
Update (June 22nd, 2020): Kat VR’s Kat Walk C Kickstarter has done it. Blowing past its initial funding goal of 100,000 in only three minutes, the crowdfunding campaign went on to surge for the next 24 hours, garnering the company over $1 million at the time of this writing.
All early bird specials are gone, making the $999 tier the cheapest for buying a single unit. Multiple unit tiers are still available though.
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.