HTC Vive XR Elite debuts as a new "all-in-one" headset for entertainment and AR work as well as gaming
HTC has eschewed the option of mobile device launches at CES 2023 to go more of the way in on its extended reality pivot with its brand-new headset, powered by Qualcomm's second-newest purpose-made Snapdragon XR2 chipset and designed to combine the possible benefits of often gaming-related headgear and more portable, potentially professional Glass-style eyewear.
With its 12GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, appreciable 90Hz refresh rate, Wi-Fi 6/6E, Bluetooth 5.2 and USB type-C ports for charging and peripherals, it is far easier to think of the Vive XR Elite as a smartphone you put on your head, as OEMs in this space probably hope.
The XR Elite gets even more potentially convincing in this vein with its combined 3840x1920 resolution that covers up to 110° of the user's field of view, physical control buttons, embedded speakers with dual-mic echo reduction and support for wireless steaming in apps such as Netflix from the user's actual mobile device.
The headset can also be wireless in itself in its 'glasses' mode when used with HTC's new Vive temple pads - however, it also has a hot-swappable battery pack that can replace the pads to switch the device to full, skull-spanning headset mode.
This is where the XR Elite's potential for gaming kicks in, as the 26Wh pack might provide better balance while bringing the nee kind of 2-in-1's weight up to just 625 grams (g), and also allows for PC tethering for VIVEPORT or Steam. On that note, HTC asserts that the 6DoF Vive XR Eltie supports "skeletal" hand-tracking for increased accuracy, even though the headset also integrates wireless controllers.
The OEM's new headset also has a "comfortable" face gasket, a 54-73mm "stepless" interpupillary distance range and diopters for each lens for focus and ocular comfort.
The Vive XR Elite is also equipped with a 16MP RGB camera for AR/MR purposes, 4 tracking cameras and the depth, gyro, gravity and proximity sensors it needs to create the necessary enviromnental immersion.
The HTC Vivo XR Elite's base headset/controller bundle is available to pre-order from now for US$1,099, with 5 "popular" games from its first-party store thrown in until February 15, 2023.