CES 2023 – HTC is betting a lot on virtual reality with its new Vive XR Elite headset

CES 2023 kicks off! HTC returns to the forefront of the virtual reality scene with a new headset that is as ambitious in terms of technology as it is in terms of price.

The leaks had unfortunately ruined the surprise a few weeks before the opening of CES 2023. HTC, through its subsidiary Vive, will launch a particularly attractive new virtual reality headset this year. Provided, of course, that we manage to come up with the €1,399 requested by the Taiwanese company! Owner’s turn.

Everything you need to know about the HTC Vive XR Elite

You might as well write it right away: HTC will attack Meta and its Quest Pro head-on with this new product. Very high-end, the HTC Vive XR Elite aims to be the most compact virtual reality headset on the market. Even more than the Pico 4, already a reference on the subject! We also note that the device lacks a strap on top; the weight is simply distributed between the optics at the front and the battery at the rear.

The headset weighs 634 grams and borrows some of its design from the Vive Flow virtual reality glasses. It contains two Pancake-type lenses that implement 4K definition at a maximum frequency of 90Hz. More importantly: the field of view extends up to 110° (compared to 106° on the Meta Quest Pro).

The HTC Vive Elite XR looks more like a pair of glasses than a headset.©HTC

This helmet obviously guarantees six degrees of freedom (6DoF) and has four external cameras for the monitoring and the passerby (coloured). The HTC Vive XR Elite does not require the use of a controller (same as the Vive Focus 3), as the manual tracking it is fully supported.

The most versatile helmet on the market »

HTC announces it: it has designed its viewer to be the most versatile on the virtual reality market. Usable not only for gaming, but also for fitness or metaverse exploration, the Vive XR Elite is powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 chip, the same as the Meta Quest Pro. In addition to the configuration, 12 GB of RAM and a battery of unknown capacity, which according to the manufacturer would offer 2 hours of autonomy (recharge at 30W).

The other advantage of the HTC solution is also its modularity. In particular, the helmet can discharge its battery to adopt “simple” eyeglass frames. This can be useful in office use. For example while sitting at his desk or attending a meeting in the metaverse.

HTC Vive Elite XR
For convenience in PCVR mode, the battery can be removed.©HTC

Later this year, HTC also plans to release a eye tracking. The brand wanted this optional feature to reduce initial costs but also to give users the opportunity to adopt this intrinsically rather invasive technology.

Furthermore, HTC partially motivates the high price of its Vive XR Elite with its virtuous privacy policy. The manufacturer claims that it does not exchange data retrieved via its headphones. A tackle poorly disguised by the competition which, according to him, can afford to market devices below the €500 threshold thanks to the permanent tracking to which users are then subjected.

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