HTC Vive 2: In April 2016, the HTC Vive was released to global acclaim. This VR headset was reviewed by us when it launched. Since then, however, the VR market has become crowded, with virtual headsets dominating sales charts. A name that HTC has to reckon with is the Oculus Rift, a rival company which has gained substantial market space. Confirming rumours, HTC is reportedly working on an upgraded version of the original Vive, with confirmation that the HTC Vive 2 is on the way. This new headset is to focus on a new design and improved performance that current VR headsets lack.
Rikard Steiber, the Senior Vice President of the Virtual Reality division at HTC told TechCrunch that the new Vive virtual reality headsets are on the way, likely to be called the HTC Vive 2. These upgraded headsets would likely include form and factor updates, including the reduction of overall weight. HTC is a Taiwanese consumer electronics company, headquartered in the Xindian District of New Taipei City, Taiwan. Steiber also said that many of the experiences that are expected to surround the launch of the HTC Vive 2 are related to the ‘VR arcade’ strategy currently in China and Taiwan. Arcades like these require enhanced arcade-style gadgets and props essential for gaming, including steering wheels, weapons and other details. Steiber stated that HTC would eventually be rolling out Vive 2 headsets with enhanced “design factor” and “performance”, probably at the upcoming CES 2017, the Consumers Electronics Show in January 2017.
HTC Vive 2: What We Know So Far
Rumours are rife that the new device will be named as the ‘Vive 2’, as a successor to the original Vive, but this is yet to be confirmed. According to Steiber, the exact specs, improvements and even the name of the upcoming VR headset are still unknown to him too. Reports do suggest that HTC wants to directly compete with the Oculus Rift and intend to match up or beat the Oculus Rift‘s specifications. HTC still has not confirmed the release date for the VR headset, although Steiber hinted at the upcoming CES 2017. HTC console models see new hardware upgrades every six years and the HTC phone models upgrade the hardware every year.
A strong possibility is that the HTC Vive 2 will go wireless. HTC and Quark VR are collaborating to produce a prototype wireless headset that would come with an upgraded resolution as well. There is no official confirmation from HTC, however. HTC will also look to beat the Windows VR headset. Steiber was quoted as saying that,”This is year one as far as this set of virtual reality experiences go. I think with the amount of innovation going on in the space and the amount of players coming into the space, I do think that innovation cycles will be sort of annual.”
On a different note, the HTC Vive was released in April of this year for $799 after months of hype and order placements. The product was critically and commercially successful. HTC suggests a figure of around 140 thousand headsets sold since April. The PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift have both been released this year as well, but keeping the price in mind, it remains to be seen when the next wave of VR headsets, including the HTC Vive 2 will release to a wider audience, apart from the early-adopter crowd.