It looks like popular virtual reality developer “HTC” is planning an HTC Vivecon for May 11 and 12, and many are thinking that the company will be announcing a brand new virtual reality headset at this event. A tweet from the official HTC Vive account displays an image with “Vivecon 2021 May 11 & 12” with a caption that states “Mark your calendars,” but that’s all the information we have of the showcase as of now. If this is true and HTC is planning on revealing a brand new virtual reality headset at the upcoming Vivecon, what would we want to see with a new HTC virtual reality headset? Bear in mind, nothing has been confirmed yet, and there may not even be a new HTC virtual reality headset, but with the upcoming Vivecon, I’d say it’s more or less safe to assume that they will be announcing something. I’ll also be using the latest HTC Vive Cosmos Elite as a comparison to other headsets such as the Oculus Quest 2.
First up, we’ve gotta talk about the resolution of the headset. The latest HTC Vive Cosmos Elite has a per-eye resolution of 1440 x 1700, for a combined total of 2880 x 1700). For comparison, the Oculus Quest 2 has a per-eye resolution of 1832 x 1920, so the next HTC virtual reality headset needs to be one hell of an improvement over the Cosmos Elite, in order to justify purchasing the latest Vive over the Oculus Quest 2.
The refresh rate on the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is 90 Hz; compared to the Oculus Quest 2, which now has an experimental feature that allows it to output 120 Hz, the next iteration of HTC virtual reality needs to bring a base refresh rate of 120 Hz. This may seem like a pretty daunting task, but with the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite setting players back a solid $899, I’d say they can probably find a way to make it work, especially when the Oculus Quest 2 will only cost you $299.
Field of View
The HTC Vive Cosmos Elite has a maximum field of view of 110 degrees, and while this isn’t actually all that bad considering the Oculus Quest 2 has about a 90 degree field of view, there are headsets out there with a field of view of 200, such as the Pimax Vision 5K Super. It would be nice to see the next HTC Vive virtual reality headset come with a field of view of 150-200 degrees. Considering we’ve seen it be done on other headsets, we know it’s not impossible.
HTC Vive has been known for being a pretty heavy investment, with the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite coming in at $899, as mentioned above, it’s pretty hard to justify spending that kind of money when you could get something like the Oculus Quest 2 for as little as $299. I think that HTC really needs to drop the price of the next Vive headset pretty significantly if they want more people to purchase their products and dive into the Vive experience. Of course, this depends entirely on what kind of technology HTC uses and what features and specs the next Vive will have, so it could very well justify a heavier price tag, but it would be great to see them move towards a more consumer-friendly price point.
With the Oculus Quest 2 and the Rift S negating the requirement for external tracking such as base stations, it would be great to see HTC do the same with the next Vive. Having to set up base stations in the proper places and then moving things like your PC all across your room to actually get the base stations to reach where they need to reach is such a pain, and it’s something that I think should be left in the past. I would love to see internal tracking on the next Vive headset, and I’m sure that many other players would love to see it as well.
I don’t really know if it’s just me, but I can’t stand the HTC Vive controllers. After getting used to the Oculus Touch controllers that feel so intuitive, going to a stick-based controller just feels bad. I’m really hoping that HTC takes a step away from their traditional Vive controllers and moves toward something a little easier to grip.
One thing I think is super cool about the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is the flip-up design that allows you to switch back and forth between virtual reality and…well, reality, without having to take off the entire headset. This is one thing that I’ll never get used to with the Oculus Quest 2, and I hope that Oculus could take a page out of HTC’s book with this. I can’t imagine that the next HTC virtual reality headset won’t include this feature, because it’s just a great utility to have.
That’s about all that I hope to see with a potential new HTC Vive virtual reality headset, though I’m not exactly sure what we should even expect to see from Vivecon this year – maybe the reveal will just be a tease, or maybe there won’t even be a reveal of a new headset at all! That certainly would be a huge letdown, so I’m sure that HTC has something huge in store for their fans.