The TPCast wireless adapter that HTC Vive owners have been patiently waiting for, is finally up for pre-order in the USA. You can go to Microsoft's online store to pre-order the wireless adapter now. The official release date is September 25th, and the price is $299.99. While the price may be a wee bit higher than we were hoping for, the good news is, at least you get free shipping. The adapter will deliver up to 2K video resolution (2160 x 1200), with a transmission range of up to five meters. Just imagine playing a game that takes complete advantage of roomscale like Unseen Diplomacy! The game is absolutely fantastic for showing off the unique roomscale capabilities of HTC's Virtual Reality system. However, the pull of the Vive's umbilical cord is ever present and bothersome. As you start to get to the far side of the room, the cord starts to tug and pull on the back of your head. Adding the TPCast into the mix, will make an already impressive experience, that much more powerful.
Another game that will benefit tremendously from a wireless solution is Racket Nx by One Hamsa. When playing Racket Nx, it's extremely easy to keep turning around in circles, over and over again. Of course, it doesn't take too long for your Vive cord to get in a tangled mess near your ankles, which of course can be somewhat hazardous. You could potentially trip over the cord if you're not hyper-aware of it at all times. The thing is, being hyper-aware of a cord you constantly have to step over, is definitely an impediment to full immersion. That's why the TPCast is such an attractive proposition.
Unfortunately, the price did come in a bit on the higher side of the scale, so it will be interesting to see how many HTC Vive owners grab for their credit cards.
Many of the HTC Vive owners that we've talked to, were hoping for $249 or even a $199 pricepoint. Others are waiting to either see what happens with Intel's wireless adapter coming early next year, or possibly even a brand new Steam VR headset that could have wireless built in from the very beginning. There have been rumors that LG's upcoming Steam VR headset could feature a built-in wireless option. The headset could potentially include everything you need for wireless play, except the battery pack, which could be ordered as an accessory to greatly enhance the experience. All of this is just rumors and speculation at this point, but we can dream can't we? Still, I can say that all of us here at VR Game Rankings are very excited to see the responses of the Vive community at large, once they get the TPCast in their own homes, and run it through it's paces under real life situations. Starting later this month, we should have a much better idea of all the pro's and con's for the first legit wireless solution for VR consumers.