It wasn’t too long ago that we reported on the EV2 revision of Valve’s VR motion controllers, but it seems the company has not been resting on its laurels after the last round of improvements.
In a Steam Community blog post the team provided all the details we need to know about their work. The EV2 was of course just a prototype and Valve is taking an iterative approach to developing their final hardware. With each prototype they are getting feedback from the community and put it into the next version. Based on the list of of improvements on the EV3, it seems mass production may not be that far in the future.
Built for Comfort
When it comes to motion controllers, almost nothing is more important than ergonomics. This is pretty hard to get right though, since every person’s anatomy is a little different. Valve have been tweaking the Knuckles controllers little by little. The strap has been changed in some minor ways to make it more usable. The system button has been recessed because users hit it by accident.
They’ve also improved the trigger springs, beefed up build quality reliability and made the overall fit and finish more in line with what you’d expect from a final product.
The Big Migration
According to Valve they shipped out hundreds of EV2 units, which is where their most important feedback comes from no doubt.
It seems the company is much more confident in this new beta hardware and are going to make quite a lot more of them compared to the EV2. Since not everyone who asked for an EV2 got one, they seem to be first in line for an EV3. The blog posts implies that the order form for EV3s will open soon after.
A Developing Story
Of course, all these EV prototypes are not only meant to let Valve develop the final product. They are also meant to help developers become familiar with the hardware features. Which means that games and apps that make use of these new motion controllers can launch to the public around the same time as the hardware itself.
We have no idea whether this is the penultimate release before final hardware is sold to the general public, but what Valve already has in the Knuckles seems pretty good and I for one am keen to try them out as soon as possible.