HTC Vive XR Elite not a replacement for Focus 3 and Pro 2
The Vive XR Elite complements HTC’s current hardware portfolio, not replaces it, according to HTC manager Dan O’Brien.
At CES 2023, HTC unveiled its “new all-in-one flagship.” The standalone device similar to Meta Quest 2 (review) features more modern lenses and a more compact form factor, color video passthrough, and a modular design with a removable battery.
The device is aimed at end users, according to HTC. With a $1,099 price tag, HTC might have a hard time challenging the heavily subsidized competition from Meta and Pico.
Professional headsets remain in the range
Vive XR Elite is a mix of the HTC Vive Focus 3 (review) and the HTC Vive Flow, the last two HTC headsets, both launched in 2021. From the B2B device HTC Vive Focus 3 comes the performance, the standalone character, and the 6-DoF controller tracking. From the HTC Vive Flow comes compact lenses, a smaller form factor, the diopter adjustment, and – at least on paper – the consumer focus.
The Vive XR Elite is also a PC VR headset that can stream VR games via cable or wirelessly. This feature could replace the more expensive HTC Vive Pro 2 for some users, which was also launched in 2021.
Will the older headsets now become obsolete? Speaking to The Verge, Vive CEO Dan O’Brien says the Vive XR Elite won’t replace any of the professional headsets, though a B2B version of the new device will be announced at Mobile World Congress in February. Both the Vive Focus 3 and Vive Pro 2 will continue to be sold, O’Brien said.
HTC teases more surprises
And what about Vive Flow? The device will likely be pulled from the market by the end of the year, O’Brien says.
HTC’s VR lineup nevertheless remains broad and somewhat confusing, with the continuing product lines of the Vive Cosmos, Vive Pro (review), Vive Focus, and now Vive XR Elite presenting a multitude of devices that often overlap in their technical capacities.
And it doesn’t stop there. O’Brien teases another headset for 2023. The Verge reports that PC VR fans can expect “interesting announcements” in the first quarter of 2023.