Shacknews Best Gaming Accessory of 2017: HTC Vive Tracker

HTC made everything a VR controller this year with the Vive Tracker, our Shacknews Best Gaming Accessory of 2017.

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Some folks have said that virtual reality is dead on arrival, but Shacknews definitely views VR with a longer time horizon. Much like PC gaming in the early to mid 1990's, VR has not caught on at the scale of smartphones or even gaming consoles. There are some reasons to believe that VR is here to stay this time and HTC Vive Tracker is certainly a breakthrough in VR human interface devices. The Vive Tracker allows developers to turn any object into a VR input device. The product undeniably enhances the feelings of immersion and presence while in VR. The HTC Vive Tracker is cutting edge technology executed in an elegant and useful manner. We are happy to name the HTC Vive Tracker our Best Gaming Accessory of 2017.

Multiple accessories have already been created that use the Vive Tracker in very fun ways. The Hyper Blaster Set is a spirtual successor to the NES light gun and the Rack Sports Set is perfect for VR sports enthusiasts. 

Probably the most entertaining VR experience I had all year was at VR Zone in Shinjuku, Japan. It was a Dragon Ball Z made for VR game. I was asked to take my shoes off and put on a set of Crocs with Vive Trackers on them. I was also given a belt that had two VR trackers on it. Then instead of Vive Controllers, I was given two wrist straps with Vive Trackers placed on the inside of the wrists. It is hard to put into words how fun the experience was, so I will let Palmer Luckey take it from here. 

The Vive Tracker enables some incredibly immersive VR experiences. It is a well designed, beautifully executed, and innovative addition to the HTC Vive VR HMD ecosystem. This is clearly the early days for VR development, but breakthrough products like the Vive Tracker should not go unnoticed. It is our pleasure  to name the HTC Vive Tracker our Best Gaming Accessory of 2017.


Be sure to keep up with the rest of The Shacknews Awards as we celebrate the Year of the Games: 2017.

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty

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    December 30, 2017 10:00 AM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Shacknews Best Gaming Accessory of 2017: HTC Vive Tracker

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      December 30, 2017 10:54 AM

      Does anyone actually use these in the consumer space yet, or just devs?

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      December 30, 2017 12:28 PM

      My concern with VR is that the graphical fidelity isn't quite there yet so we're winding up with a bunch of on rails or cartoony looking experiences instead of Matrix style Ready Player One stuff that the VR dream is supposed to deliver us. Plus, the locomotion problem still hasn't been addressed and (imo) warping around with little circles on the ground is a band aid, not a solution.

      It's like we're basically still playing Dactyl Nightmare except the headsets don't cost $15,000 anymore and the graphics & tracking have gotten better.

      I hope in the next 5 years we're all plugged in and VR'ng it up with AAA titles, social spaces, and all that other stuff.

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        December 30, 2017 4:21 PM

        VR sickness is a far bigger problem than graphical fidelity. Graphical fidelity will get there in time, and you can have worthwhile experiences without amazing graphics.

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      December 30, 2017 3:00 PM

      VRFashionjack:
      even though I don't have one, my favorite external appearence of this first generation of vr belongs to the VIVE:
      I love the sensor dimples everywhere on the headset and external tracker thing. I hope the successor to the Vive has them too, but I'm not expecting it. Next generation will probably be insideout tracking with fewer cameras, and people talk like the Rift won the fashion wars this time.

      Purely on aesthetics, which HMD do you think won this generation?

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        December 30, 2017 4:15 PM

        I think the industrial design of Oculus Rift is impressive.

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        December 30, 2017 4:23 PM

        Rift looks slicker to me. The matte, almost fabric like material around the sides of the headset make it feel like a high-quality product.

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        December 30, 2017 4:34 PM

        Rift is the nicest looking one while PSVR is hands down the best engineered and most ergonomic.

        The way it distributes weight around your head, the way the screen is suspended rather than pressing down on your nose, the way the headband tightens with a winch instead of velcro straps, its so much nicer than everything else. It makes sense given that Sony has been making consumer electronics for so long.

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      December 30, 2017 5:40 PM

      Asif did you ever try the TPCast? I just got mine this week and it's amazing how well it works!