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Is Your Living Room Big Enough for SteamVR Tracking 2.0?

Posted on the 03 November 2017 by Techloot @tech_loot

There is no doubt in the mind of any gamer that VR is the future of the gaming industry. As such, VR games are becoming not only more accessible to players, but they are getting bigger and better, literally. At the moment, you can actually play a room-scale VR game via Steam’s current version of tracking, which supports a 13 -by-13 foot area. And if that sounds like fun, then get ready for the VR gaming boom of 2018 because your living room will just not cut it anymore.

According to Valve, SteamVR Tracking 2.0 will be able to support a whopping 33-by-33 foot area and it is set to come out in early 2018. If until now, the VR tracking system only required two trackers, Steam’s 2.0 version will need four trackers. But the experience of VR gaming should be enhanced significantly by this surface upgrade.

SteamVR Tracking 2.0 to Fuel Up New Generation of Gaming Arcades

HTC Vive SteamVR Tracking
Image credit: Reddit

By increasing the VR tracking surface to 33 feet by 33 feet, a new generation of gaming arcades is expected to set off. These will require the four tracker system to be compatible with the 2.0 version of the SteamVR Tracking, but the experience they will offer is bound to be quite intense since players will have all that more freedom of movement.

And to make things even more interesting, the upcoming plans for SteamVR Tracking are focused on increasing the number of trackers even more. This will give way to spaces even larger than 2018’s 33 feet by 33 feet. As the tracking surface gets bigger, game arcade models can become more and more creative. While at the moment there is no information on when a new upgrade will be implemented, the prospect of it is creating some serious buzz for the gaming arcades of tomorrow.

SteamVR Tracking scheme
Image credit: Reddit

One of the downsides of the SteamVR Tracking 2.0 is that it will not be compatible with existing HTC Vive headsets because these employ a different sync timing method. It seems that Valve has removed the sync blinker, as this was identified as being a source of interference between base stations. Aside from this, it was also an important driver in the cost of base stations.

Valve has announced that new headsets are also in the works for 2018, as well as other tracked devices. These are aimed to be more reliable and smaller than those for the 1.0 version. Moreover, these are planned to be less expensive, which will be a significant advantage.

Another minor setback for the 2.0 version is that the early-bird orders from the beginning of 2018 will not feature a mounting solution. This is set to be included in the options later on in 2018, for which a “custom wall/ceiling mounting solution” is in works. Even without this, the orders for the SteamVR Tracking 2.0 are expected to be in impressive numbers.

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