HTC has announced that it has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to launch 'virtual reality content, experiences, and activations [a marketing buzzword for themed temporary demonstrations]' tied in to the upcoming theatrical adaptation of Ernest Cline's homage to 80s tech Ready Player One, while simultaneously making its Vive Tracker add-ons available for purchase.
Set in a future where citizens escape the impact of an energy crisis and climate change using a highly advanced virtual reality system dubbed OASIS, Cline's Ready Player One reads as a homage to Gibson cyberpunk wrapped in layers of 80s nostalgia with a little The Last Starfighter thrown in for good measure. Its popularity has proven high enough for Warner Bros. to be working on a theatrical adaptation due for launch in March 2018, and now HTC - making what is arguably one of the closest modern-day implementations to the hardware required for OASIS, and apparently quietly ignoring its use as a soporific to prevent citizens from noticing the decline of their world - has announced it will be launching tie-in content for its Vive platform.
'Ready Player One is one of the most anticipated movies in the world, and has tremendous potential to engage and entertain the worldwide market, showcasing the transformative nature of VR, and what it can and will be,
' gushed Rikard Steiber, president of HTC's Viveport arm. 'Vive is delivering on the promise of VR and continues to be the most advanced and immersive VR experience available to consumers, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Warner Bros. to bring these experiences to consumers, on all platforms, around the globe.
At the same time, HTC has announced that it is now possible to buy the Vive Tracker add-on and create your own Vive-compatible accessories. Priced at $99 (around £79 excluding taxes), the Vive Tracker links to the Lighthouse tracking stations and allows the Vive platform to monitor the position and movement of anything to which it is attached. Example projects demonstrated using the Vive Tracker include boxing gloves, rifles and other firearms, cameras which work in VR, full body tracking systems, and VR-enabled hoses for firefighter training.
HTC hasn't yet released details of the content it's planning for the Ready Player One tie-in, though a full-scale implementation of OASIS can probably be ruled out, while more information on the Vive Tracker can be found on the official product page