Technology

Should I pre-order the HTC VIVE XR Elite headset?

After digesting the amount of news coming out at CES 2023, it’s time to decide which new devices at the show we’re going to spend money on. For fans of VR and AR, the first product they’ll see will probably be the HTC VIVE XR Elite headset.

HTC is aiming to force its VR offering on the general public by showing a €400 lower price than the Meta Quest Pro. HTC also clarified that, unlike its aforementioned competitor, its headset is for you and any user interested in premium augmented reality.

But for the vast majority of us, a €1,400 purchase is no small amount. That’s why we’re here to help you decide whether you should pre-order this new helmet, choose a competing model, or just wait and see what comes out later this year.

Should I pre-order the HTC VIVE XR Elite headset?

HTC VIVE XR Elite headset with battery connected

Photo: HTC.

Getting to the point, here’s the shortest answer: if you want the most versatile headset ever announced and can afford to shell out $1,400, then yes, you should pre-order. But if you’re hoping for a more detailed answer, read on…

Why should you spend $1,400 on the HTC VIVE XR Elite instead of buying a competing headset cheaper?

Meta Quest 2. Image: Meta.

It is always a good idea to compare different possible solutions before buying an expensive device or not. In this case, there are many alternatives, but only a few typefaces stand out enough to be featured here. We will briefly introduce each below.

VR valve index kit

The Valve Index is a fully tethered PCVR headset, which means you’ll need a powerful gaming PC to use it. Picture: Valve.

Valve index: 1080 euros for a complete set.

For this reason, with an official price of 1080 euros, the Valve Index could be the biggest loser on this list. While you can save over $300 by purchasing the Valve Index, you only get a fully wired headset that requires two base stations for tracking and a high-end gaming PC for tracking. The result is a much less comfortable setup and use: it was the complete lack of autonomy that made the Meta Quest line so successful.

Valve Index “Knuckle” sticks provide unique hold-down finger tracking, but the HTC Vive XR Elite has full hand tracking that works without sticks. The headset can also work wirelessly without a base station or PC. Ultimately, the VIVE is a more versatile and convenient device, but it costs more than $300 more.

psvr2.jpg

The PlayStation VR2 is also fully connected, but it needs to be paired with the PlayStation 5 and not the PC. Picture: Sony.

PlayStation VR2: €600 (requires PlayStation 5, €610)

The comparative cost of this option largely depends on whether or not you have a PlayStation VR2. If yes, then it is 2.3 times cheaper than VIVE. Otherwise, it’s 190 euros cheaper. Of course, for that $1,210 price, you also get a next-gen console for traditional gaming.

The PlayStation VR2 is a huge improvement over the first generation, but it’s still a wired headset, which means you still have to manage the wire. You also won’t be able to get content that Sony doesn’t publish on its own content platform, unlike all the other options we’re about to mention. This makes PS VR2 less flexible and less suitable for indie games, additional content, and user-created modules. Again, the HTC headset supports all of this and offers fully wireless standalone operation as well as PCVR (virtual reality PC gaming) games wirelessly via Wi-Fi 6/6E.

Oculus-quest-2-gg.jpg

Meta Quest 2 is the second generation, supporting both wired and wireless PCVR, as well as wireless and fully offline VR games and applications. Picture: Oculus.

Meta-quest 2: from €450

Launched at a starting price of €350, the entry-level model is now €450, meaning you can still buy three for the price of one HTC VIVE XR Elite. Regardless, it’s probably the closest thing to the VIVE in terms of features, as it supports both fully offline games and PCVR games running on a humble gaming PC accessed via Oculus Air Link over Wi-Fi.

The differences that make the VIVE XR Elite worth full price for some people are more subtle. These include color screens for live viewing and the augmented reality features they offer over the Quest 2’s basic black and white screens, diopter-adjustable lenses in the helmet that eliminate the need for additional prescription lenses, and modular design. . This allows the headset to be worn either as glasses (273g) for everyday use or as a more traditional headset for more serious gaming sessions.

Overall, the VIVE XR Elite is a much more versatile all-in-one headset, as HTC intended. It can do everything the Quest 2 can do while being lighter, more compact and with a wider field of view. However, it’s a lot more expensive, so Quest 2 might still be the best option for early adopters of VR and younger gamers.

Should we wait to see what Apple and Meta have in store?

This question is more difficult to answer, as neither Meta nor Apple have made public their VR/AR plans for 2023. However, we can offer an opinion based on rumors and leaks from each company.

meta-quest-3

Estimated design render of the Quest 2 successor. Image: SadlyItsBradley (YouTube).

Meta

While Meta Quest Pro is aimed at the professional world, Quest 2 owners have been anticipating Quest 3, which was not revealed at the Meta Connect 2022 event. Rumor has it that the next mainstream Quest will be released later this year. It’s safe to say that it will be somewhere between Quest 2 and Pro in terms of features and price. Leaks suggest it will switch to OLED pancake optical technology, making it thinner and lighter than the Quest 2. Pricing should be about the same as the current Quest 2 model.

Drawing of an Apple patent for using an iPhone to power a VR headset

An Apple patent filed in 2015 for a system that tried to use the iPhone as a virtual reality display. We’ve been waiting all this time for an AR/VR product from Cupertino. Image: USPTO.

Apple

Apple’s plans for augmented reality and virtual reality have been the biggest question in the industry for almost 10 years. While we know next to nothing concrete, there is every reason to believe that Apple’s goal is very different from that of all the other players in the sector mentioned here.

Rumor has it that the Apple device will be less about virtual reality and gaming and more about augmented reality and lifestyle. Although Apple can always surprise us, the company’s history suggests that any AR/VR headset will be similar to the iPhone in many ways: it will be good in all areas of its product class, and not optimized for any one specific task, such as, for example, games. .

How to pre-order?

Yes, the headset is fully usable in this configuration, which is about half the weight of the Meta Quest 2. Image: HTC.

If you can afford the $1,400 price tag and want the HTC VIVE XR Elite to be your next headset, you can order it online now. New pre-orders are expected to begin shipping to customers “in early March 2023,” but that date could be pushed back if orders come in.

Source: .com

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.