HTC has opened pre-orders for a new augmented and virtual reality headset – Vive XR Elite. The novelty does not require connection to a smartphone, computer or console and costs $ 1099. It’s meant to compete with devices like the Meta series headsets.* Quest and the Apple device that has only been rumored so far. Shipping starts in February, the model supports games and applications that HTC offers for previous VR headsets. In addition, buyers also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of “mixed reality”.
After The edgethe Vive XR Elite model is intended for those who like to play, just view content and work with electronics – all this offers a fairly compact device with a relatively small weight of 625 g. It’s slightly heavier than the meta* Quest 2, but significantly lighter than the 722g Meta headset* QuestPro. Color cameras and an additional “depth sensor” give users access to “mixed reality”.
Most of the other features of the XR Elite are decent, but not groundbreaking for a 2023 headset. It supports 2K resolution for each eye, 110-degree diagonal field of view, and 90Hz screen refresh rate. There’s 12GB of RAM, 128GB of storage. The entire system runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform – the same one used in the meta* Quest 2 version 2021. There are four wide-angle cameras tracking movements of hands or special controllers.
However, HTC has prepared some special, rather important features for users. For people who wear glasses, it is possible to adjust the optics and “adjust” them depending on the distance between the eyes. Two batteries are mounted in the rear module of the headset, which should last 2 hours, and their “hot swap” is supported – a small built-in battery allows the model to work for 10 minutes, which is quite enough for changing batteries. The device is charged via the USB Type-C port, the controllers are also charged – they can work offline for about 10 hours without charging.
It is known that the novelty also supports “glasses mode” – the belt with the rear battery pack can be removed, replacing it with ordinary plastic hangers. In this mode, the novelty weighs only 240 g and is connected to a socket or laptop via a cable. For example, films can be watched on a large virtual display. In this form, the headset can be folded up like glasses and carried in a case.
Additional accessories will be available as an option – to track eye movements and control the user’s facial expressions. The $1,099 bundle includes two batteries and two motion controllers in addition to the headset, as well as a suite of games and apps (select markets only). An enterprise version of the device will also be presented in the spring during the Mobile World Congress exhibition.
It is emphasized that the novelty will not replace the already commercially available HTC professional headsets – Vive Focus 3 and Vive Pro 2 (for PC). However, the company intends to phase out the regular custom Vive Flow towards the end of the year.
Remarkably, the XR Elite costs more than twice as much as the Meta* Quest 2 for $399, so the new product’s value-for-money benefits may not seem particularly obvious to buyers. AR features are still in the experimental stage, and HTC has promised more privacy than the data-hungry meta*this is a very abstract benefit and it is unknown if customers are willing to pay extra for it.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25. 2002 “On Countering Extremist Activities”.