With one key gaming upgrade
HTC team member Shen Ye confirmed on Twitter that his company had, without an announcement, updated their store page to sell the 2018 model of the Vive Tracker. The 2017 model is no longer available for sale.
In a nutshell, Vive Trackers clip onto real-world objects, allowing HTC’s Lighthouse sensors to follow their movements as closely as they watch your body movements. You can then use the object in-game like you would a motion controller.
We tried out the first generation of Trackers at CES 2017. HTC put their trackers on Bluetooth-enabled gun controllers, baseball bats and even a water hose. Our team members felt they worked extraordinarily well at bringing some cool variety and realism to VR experiences.
We tried out the Vive Trackers in action
So what’s changed from last year’s Trackers? Apart from one key upgrade, not much!
Like the 2017 model, the new Tracker sells for $99 (£99, AU$169) each. You can find it on their store page here.
Unlike last year’s version, which only supports SteamVR BS1.0, the 2018 version will also support Steam VR BS2.0, Valve’s newest game tracking software that supposedly will improve both tracking accuracy and range.
Otherwise, the Trackers don’t appear to have any new features. But HTC Vive or Vive Tracker 1.0 owners will be happy to know that both the Vive Pro and 2018 tracker support backwards compatibility. Ye confirmed that all Trackers and motion controllers will be compatible with both headsets, and that 2017 and 2018 trackers will work together inside one VR game.
The only physical difference between the two sensors is that the 2018 version swaps out a white logo for a blue logo. So if you plan to buy a Tracker on a third-party site, make sure it has the correct color before purchasing to ensure you get the latest version.