HTC unveils its new virtual reality headsets

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There have been many rumors about HTC’s new headsets, but Vivecon has finally arrived. The first headset announced is the Vive Pro 2, designed for the general public. Those who were hoping for a low-cost standalone headset as a direct competitor to the Oculus Quest 2 may be disappointed. The Vive Pro 2 is a PCVR headset, which therefore requires a computerwindows computer with a powerful graphics card and works in wired mode.

A 120-degree field of view

However, HTC has chosen to bet on visual quality and compete with the main references of the PCVR such as the Valve Index or the HP Reverb G2. The Vive Pro 2 integrates two LCDLCD displays with a total definition of 5K (4,896 x 2,448 pixels), or 2.5K (2,448 x 2,448 pixels) in each eye, with “real RVBRVB sub-pixels”. This should greatly reduce the “grid” effect (caused by a visible space between the pixels). These new screens work with a refresh rate of 120 Hertz to ensure smooth movements and reduce motion blur.

In addition to this new display, the strong point of this headset is undoubtedly the new double superimposed lenses, developed by HTC, which offer a 120-degree field of view. There is also the fine adjustment of the interpupillary distance, characteristic of HTC headsets, from 57 to 72 millimeters. The weight of the Vive Pro 2 has been balanced in order to avoid having all the load on the front, which can make some headsets uncomfortable.

Works with current base stations

The Vive Pro 2 works with all Vive SteamVR accessories, so there is no need to buy back the base stations, for example. It is also compatible with the Vive wireless adapter, for those who would like to do without the cable, as well as the Vive Facial Tracker which tracks facial movements, and the Vive Tracker which allows you to add tracking of other parts of the body.

The Vive Pro 2 is available for pre-order, for a launch on June 11th. It will be offered at 799 euros for the helmet alone, with a promotion during the pre-order period at 739 euros. The complete kit, which also includes the 2.0 base stations and the controllers, will be sold at 1,399 euros from August 4th.

Vive Focus 3: a standalone headset

HTC also unveiled the Vive Focus 3, a standalone headset designed for business. It uses the same panels and the same lenses as the Vive Pro 2, namely a total 5K display and a field of view of 120 degrees. However, the refresh rate is 90 Hertz, probably for reasons of autonomy and graphic power of the integrated system. The Focus 3 works with the SnapdragonSnapdragon XR2, Qualcomm’s chip specially designed for virtual reality casksvirtual reality headsets.

The battery is curved and fits directly into the strap and can be removed, which allows companies to have spare batteries, and should have an autonomy of two hours. The helmet has four cameras for tracking without base stations, and all data is encrypted and stored only on the device. It is accompanied by new lighter controllers, hand tracking will be proposed later. Small appreciable detail, HTC has chosen not to hinder the diversion of its headset by the players. It will be possible to add games simply by placing the APK file on a memory cardmemory card.

The Vive Focus 3 will be offered at a price of 1,180 euros from June 24, 2021 and will not require a subscription. HTC will also offer additional batteries at 91 euros and protections at 45 euros.

HTC’s future virtual reality headset is unveiled

Article by Edward BackEdward Back published on 05/03/2021

HTC will unveil its new virtual reality headset on May 11 and 12 during its Vivecon event. The firm has already started the teasing with some visuals, as well as a small detail that suggests that there could be several headsets.

Virtual reality has been experiencing a real craze for the past year, and especially since the launch of the Oculus Quest 2 last October. Facebook’s headset currently dominates the market, thanks to a very low price, wireless connectivity and autonomous mode. HTC, whose Vive Cosmos Elite we recently tested, is preparing its counter-offensive.

On May 11 and 12, Vivecon will take place, HTC’s event for the launch of its new virtual reality headsets. We are already discovering an important clue since his site clearly specifies “VR headsets” in the plural. So there will be at least two of them. HTC has started teasing at least one of the headsets, first of all with the graphic of its WebWeb page dedicated to the Vivecon event. By increasing the brightness of the image, the contours of a helmet appear. The manufacturer has also published an animated gifanimated GIF of its upcoming headset on its TwitterTwitter account.

A standalone headset?

Two other animated GIFs have been spotted by the Road to VR website and reveal other details. The visuals suggest the presence of four cameras placed as on the Oculus Quest 2, which suggests a tracking system integrated into the helmet. It would therefore take over the system of the HTC Vive Cosmos. The second point is the presence of a ventilation grille which seems more imposing than on the previous helmets of the brand. This could indicate a more powerful headset, and therefore perhaps capable of operating autonomously, without PCPC.

Two new visuals of HTC’s next virtual reality headset. © HTC, Road to VR

However, if it is indeed a standalone headset, the catalog of games may be very small at the time of launch. In addition, if HTC is talking about headsets in the plural, it could be a single model with two versions, modular like the Vive Cosmos Elite to work with internal tracking or base stations.

We will know more on May 11 and 12, but HTC will have to hit very hard to stay in the race against the competition.

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