HTC reportedly takes over production of Steam VR base stations

HTC reportedly takes over production of Steam VR base stations

Rumor has it that HTC will produce SteamVR base stations 2.0 in the future. Is Valve making room for Lighthouse 3.0?

According to XR hardware analyst Brad Lynch, HTC will take over the production of Valve's SteamVR Base Station 2.0. The production of tracking stations for PC VR headsets like Valve Index (review) and HTC Vive Pro 2 (review) would thus finally pass to HTC. According to Lynch, this frees up capacity at Valve for the next project.

Valve and HTC have been cooperating since the early days of recent VR history. In 2016, the first HTC Vive came out of the partnership. HTC developed the VR headset and Valve supplied the tracking system "Lighthouse". Three years later, the company behind the PC gaming platform Steam launched its headset, the Valve Index, and renamed the tracking system SteamVR Tracking.

HTC benefits from production experience

SteamVR Tracking is considered one of the most accurate VR tracking systems. The external tracking system works with sub-millimeter precision. The necessary SteamVR base stations are placed in the room and emit laser beams that hit photo resistors on VR headsets and controllers.

The SteamVR base station 1.0 developed by Valve has been in production at HTC for quite some time. The company also temporarily manufactured the current generation of devices, version 2.0, during the release of the HTC Vive Pro. Now, the production of the 2.0 devices is supposed to move completely to Taiwan.


According to Lynch, this is a potential growth driver for HTC, as the demand for SteamVR base stations is still very high. The system is supported by many PC VR headsets, including Valve Index as well as devices from HTC and Pimax.

Is Lighthouse 3.0 coming?

Final assembly would continue to take place in the USA, according to Lynch. A company called Applied Technical Services, recently acquired by Valve, would take this over. The change in production location could pave the way for Valve's next project. However, his research has not yet yielded any clear results, Lynch said.

"My research has shown they can go either way. They've worked on a sort of 'Lighthouse 3.0' but also camera tracking as well," Lynch wrote on Twitter. For years, there has been speculation about which way Valve will go with tracking in the future.

According to a Valve patent, a possible Lighthouse 3.0 could make base stations superfluous in the future. The light beams could come directly from the headset and controllers and a front camera would determine the spatial position. There have been no statements about Valve's concrete plans so far.

Sources: Brad Lynch (Twitter)