If you were one of the first who bought the HTC Vive VR headset when it first went on sale just over a year ago, your version is slightly different than the one that you can buy today. The company has confirmed it has made some changes to the headset that makes it 15 percent lighter than the ones that shipped in April 2016.
According to what HTC told RoadtoVR, the decrease in weight for the new Vive units are “due to component swaps and improvements in manufacturing”. Cutting down the weight of the headset will likely make it easier to wear for its owners, and HTC could also benefit from lower production costs.
In addition, the new versions of the Vive are also being put inside some redesigned packaging, which is more compact than the boxes that were shipped a year ago. The packaging even comes with a new built-in handle, which should make it much easier to transport the Vive and all of its accessories and cables.
Speaking of accessories, the Base Station for the Vive has also changed from the original version. RoadtoVR points out that while the Base Station that shipped a year ago has a 15-LED array in the back of the unit, the ones that are shipping with the Vive today have a 9-LED array, in a 3×3 grid.
HTC did not offer any specific reasons for this change when asked by the site. When the new Base Station was tested alongside the original, it did not seem to offer any real difference in its range. The site speculates that one reason for the new 9-LED array is due to its manufacturing costs. It’s possible that assembling the Base Station with a smaller amount of LEDs saves HTC some money, without sacrificing any of its features or performance.