Wireless VR is a serious theme of CES 2018. In addition to Vive’s official Wireless Adapter, which was introduced yesterday afternoon (hands-on impressions of that system right here) together with the Vive Pro, we’re seeing options from a variety of corporations to chop the wire and untether headsets.

Today, we obtained the prospect to check out the TPCast Plus adapter operating on an HTC Vive (thought there’s a mannequin for the Rift too we’ve been informed) on the TPCast sales space on the CES present ground. The demo I performed was Eternity Warriors VR, a fantasy-themed wave shooter, and I picked the ranged bow and arrow class so I might actually take a look at the motion and monitoring accuracy of the system.

Thankfully I can report that the TPCast Plus works flawlessly by way of its monitoring. I by no means observed any hiccups in that regard, it had no bother maintaining with me, and at all times delivered buttery easy efficiency. In that sense it’s exhausting to choose a winner between the TPCast Plus and the Vive Wireless Adapter for Vive house owners as a result of they each labored simply in addition to I’d hoped.

However, from a consolation and match perspective it’s a really completely different story. The Vive Wireless Adapter (and the unique TPCast adapter) have an exterior battery pack that attaches to your waist or sits in your pocket. It’s a minor inconvenience since a wire goes right down to the pack to provide energy, nevertheless it helps preserve the attachment sitting on high of your head good and light-weight.

In the case of the TPCast Plus although, they’ve moved the battery to the again of a brand new headset strap proper subsequent to the remainder of the adapter, which sits on high. Conceptually they’re making an attempt to stability the burden and I commend that, however in follow it feels utterly unstable.

If I moved my head too rapidly I might really feel the battery and adapter type of wobble a bit back and forth. Not solely does that merely really feel uncomfortable as a result of it tugs on the straps a bit, nevertheless it additionally breaks the immersion once I can really feel hunks of plastic rubbing round on my head.

By the time I obtained to the sales space for my demo they informed me the system had already been left on for a few hours so it was extraordinarily sizzling to the contact. There’s sufficient padding between the battery and your cranium in order that it doesn’t burn or something, however I might actually really feel the heat.

Since the monitoring high quality, video high quality, and performance of the TPCast Plus itself is just about similar to the usual TPCast, it’s exhausting for me to advocate the Plus. Granted, that is all based mostly off of a quick 15 minute demo. Perhaps it wasn’t connected securely, however even then the added weight continues to be a problem. Craning my neck again to admire the dimensions of environments in VR is one among my favourite issues, nevertheless it simply precipitated neck ache when carrying the TPCast Plus.

Perhaps in future iterations the battery may be smaller or much less noticeable, however for now the unique TPCast looks like a greater wager based mostly on my preliminary impressions. And we nonetheless don’t know the value level of the Plus, the Vive Wireless Adapter, or the way it will have an effect on the value of the unique mannequin. The one main plus (pun supposed) that this new mannequin does provide is that you could hot-swap the battery packs mid-play session with out shedding connectivity so it’s a lot faster to modify in battery packs whereas spares are charging.

When pressed in regards to the announcement of the brand new Vive Wireless Adapter yesterday, Udi Yuhjtman, General Manager of North America and Global Vice President of TPCast, was unphased. “HTC introduced their relationship with Intel final 12 months so it’s nothing new,” Yuhjtman stated. “We’re nonetheless there, we nonetheless assist it, our relationship with HTC continues to be robust, and we’re offering a wi-fi adapter to any HMD, not simply HTC.”

At CES, TPCast additionally introduced that they are going to be offering their adapter as a wi-fi resolution for all Windows VR headsets as properly, such because the HP, Acer, Lenovo, Odyssey, and others. The Windows VR model of the TPCast was not obtainable for media demos.

Let us know what you consider the TPCast Plus and different wi-fi VR options from what you’ve seen to date down within the feedback beneath!

Tagged with: CES, TPCAST

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