Why is HTC releasing a new Vive VR headset?

Why is HTC releasing a new Vive VR headset?

CES is one of the leading high-tech trade fairs where small and large companies come together to present products of all kinds. HTC took advantage of the opportunity to announce its recent virtual reality endeavor, a new HTC Vive.

You're probably thinking it was a strange decision. After all, many people have never even touched a VR device before, and many people don't see the point. This isn't slowing down HTC, one of the leaders in the field of virtual reality, as it has just unveiled the HTC Vive Pro. This new headset is targeted toward VR afficionados, private individuals as well as companies, and introduces a better display (2,880 x 1,600 definition) than what can be found on the classic Vive. Sound quality was also improved.

The idea of releasing a new Vive may seem less than obvious to some, but HTC explains that there really is a need for a premium virtual reality experience where display definition and sound quality play a key role. Simply put, VR is a technology that, by its nature and price, addresses a niche audience. And with the HTC Vive Pro, HTC is giving this group what they want: better quality. As a company, it is only natural that it should take care of its highest spending users, so this is logical.

vive pro side
VR is amusing, the price is not. / © Vive

What HTC and all the other virtual reality players want is for VR to become mainstream. The more people use VR, the more money these companies make, and maybe even the high prices could go down for users someday (in theory). In practice, though, the opposite seems to be happening: VR is divided into several different niches, and the average user doesn't know which is the best fit.

HTC has discussed about other elements that can, theoretically, improve user experience. As an example, the wireless adapter that allows the HTC Vive (new as well as old) to be used wirelessly. So, no more tripping on the wires and falling flat on your face.

HTC is moving forward with no signs of slowing down, offering the Vive and Vive Pro for those who are looking either for more affordability or for better technical specs. It leaves us to wonder what could possibly be next. Only the future can tell whether or not HTC's strategy will be successful.

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  • STZ Jan 11, 2018 Link to comment

    As a Vive owner I am excited. I own both a Vive and a Windows mixed reality Headset (Samsung Odyssey). The Odyssey has a higher resolution screen than the Vive. Other than the screen the Samsung is inferior in every way, the headset feels cheap, is uncomfortable, the earphones down go down far enough to cover my ears, the tracking while decent when your hands are in front, is really janky the rest of the time... Windows mixed reality software is beta..so very, very buggy, no thumbstick suport in steam, the touchpads are too small, and the thumbsticks are too close. The setup on the WMR headset is easier... except it will lose its room configuration for no reason... so I guess its a wash there.

    The Vive is opposite of all these things, just with a lower res screen. This is why HTC is building a new Vive, to compete with the lower price and attractive( at first price glance) WMR headsets. ...Current owners can buy just the headset(maybe just the screen, if they have the headphones already?), and not have to buy a complete new package.
    Play Valves " the lab" tech demo, after spending countless hours shooting ...gingerbread vikings? you will be hooked.

    TLDR: HTC needed to compete with newer VR headsets with higher resolution screens.