The new flagship VR headset makes its debut

HTC Vive logo duplicated

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

We recently had the opportunity to speak with HTC Vive’s Shen Ye at CES 2023 about the company’s latest developments in VR (virtual reality). We were mainly talking about the latest HTC Vive XR Elite headset, which is a premium product aimed primarily at consumers.

HTC Vive XR Elite 1

AND: The Vive XR Elite is an amalgamation of everything we’ve done in VR so far. It is a premium flagship for consumers.

Last year we had two mobile handsets. One of them was the Vive Focus 3, which was designed for businesses and had the best technology we’ve developed in terms of hardware, software and tracking. And then we also had Vive Flow, our immersive glasses with an ultra-portable design. This year, we’ve taken the best of both worlds and introduced the Vive XR Elite, which we believe is the perfect form factor for consumers.

The HTC Vive XR Elite is lighter than the latest generation iPad Pro.

It weighs only 625 grams, making it lighter than the latest generation iPad Pro. It’s also very powerful as we’ve managed to cram a lot into this compact frame. It has a 4K 90Hz display and four surveillance cameras that power our internal surveillance from the inside out. On the front, there is a depth sensor and a 16MP RGB camera.

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The battery lasts for two hours and the speakers on the sides are so well hidden that you won’t even see them. However, they still have good volume, bass and clarity.

Q: Many of your competitors are either consumer or enterprise focused. You mentioned that your product combines the best of both worlds, so does that mean you are targeting both markets?

HTC Vive logo duplicated

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

AND: Our goal is to use all the technology we have to create a really good headset for the consumer. We strive to provide a premium experience and we think this product has the perfect balance between technology and design for consumers.

However, we will also enable the product for enterprise use and will announce all the details at Mobile World Congress.

Q: Can I connect the HTC Vive XR Elite to my computer?

Image of HTC Vive XR Elite

AND: Yes, you can connect it to PC. We will also soon enable a virtual desk experience that will give you three virtual screens. You can also stream PCVR content if you’re a fan, or stream from an Android device via Miracast.

For example, you can be on a plane and have a Disney Plus or Netflix show downloaded on your phone and then watch it with the Vive XR Elite and feel like you’re watching a 300-inch private theater. If you combined all the screens available in first class, they wouldn’t even come close.

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Q: Many companies think that the enterprise sector is the one to adopt VR technology more than the consumer sector. What is HTC’s stance on this? Looking at your broader portfolio, would you say you focus more on enterprise, consumer or both?

HTC Vive Pro Eye

AND: We focus on both. We target a very different group of consumers than the cheapest headphone companies. Those are generally impulse buys, whereas our product is for people who want to do some research and need a really good headset. They want the best of the best.

But we also have a good focus on business. The Vive Focus 3 is the de-facto headset. If you ask anyone who runs VR training, they will tell you that the Vive Focus 3 is the headset to get.

We therefore focus on both the consumer and business markets. Our first headset was the HTC Vive, which had a large consumer audience, but allowed VR to grow for businesses as well.

HTC Vive XR Elite

AND: The controls are the same we use for the Vive Focus 3. This is because they are intuitive, comfortable and versatile. Businesses were also tested. Most importantly, they have excellent viewing capabilities and last around 16 hours.

Another benefit of using the same drivers is that it allows us to minimize our environmental impact as we use the same manufacturing process for both.

Q: Let’s talk about the price. How much does the HTC Vive XR Elite cost and when will it be available?

Phone and money

AND: It comes in at $1,099 and includes two controllers and a battery cradle. It is already possible to pre-order it, the expedition will start in February.

The Vive XR Elite is a premium product that includes a lot of innovation, so many components are not commonly available. For example, the lenses have diopters so you don’t have to wear glasses, while the panels are designed specifically for this headset. This product contains a lot of innovations, which is why premium headsets still command a high price.

This is just a quick overview of the conversation we had with HTC Shen Yu. To learn more, watch the video at the top of the page.


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