Well that was quick. Valve is already showing off new HTC Vive hardware, including refreshed controllers and new position-tracking modules.
Valve revealed the new peripherals at its Steam Dev Days conference. Press aren’t allowed into the event, but some attendees have been tweeting photos and videos of the new controllers in action.
A tweet from @robmerki initially revealed that new controllers are in the works, while others went on to show footage of them in action. The new controllers allow you to hold them while opening your hand, allowing for more natural movements, like Oculus Touch.
However unlike Touch, you can completely let go of Vive’s new controllers without them falling away, due to a strap that attaches to the back of your hand. This means you can drop items in VR, and, as is seen in this video, even juggle.
So far the feedback from people trying the new controllers has been very positive, with comments on how much more natural it makes interactions in VR feel. We also like how you can even close your hands halfway. One attendee claims that there is a total of 21 sensors on the current prototype.
21 sensors. #SteamDevDayspic.twitter.com/39QLmZHwNF
— Eva @ SteamDevDays (@downtohoerth) October 12, 2016
Another slide in the presentation, shown below, reveals a new base station will also be coming next year. We suppose it makes sense to upgrade the base station tech to match the controller’s improved tracking, although all of this is going to annoy some early adopters – the Vive is far from cheap.
History / timeline of Valve’s lighthouse tracking developments. #SteamDevDays#vive#VRpic.twitter.com/g9rluFpk8v
— Shawn Whiting (@shawncwhiting) October 12, 2016
Valve told Kotaku there will be a discount for people who have the original controllers, and promised more details “soon”.