HTC today teased what’s confirmed to be the company’s next VR headset, something the Vive-creator says will be “something big… we mean small.”

There’s not much to go on for now, only a tweet which shows a piece of the headset in question with the subtitle “Go small or go home.” No name, no price, no release window. Bupkis.

Is it an image of a pancake lens, which many VR headset creators like Meta and Lenovo are now using in place of traditional Fresnel lenses to lower overall bulk? HTC’s casual VR content device Vive Flow already uses one.

Is it an exterior shot of a facial plate, possibly in a bid to appear like a pair of sunglasses like… well… Vive Flow? Your guess is as good as ours at this point.

Turning up the contrast on the image reveals one thing, that’s for sure: a cheeky message congratulating us on our failure to sus out more salient info.

Image courtesy HTC

And although we’re still hoping to see something from HTC that brings real consumer competition to Meta, the emphasis on the headset’s size as the main selling point could suggest the release of another casual VR viewing device like Flow.

In any case, the company says it’s learned from mistakes in the past, and is “putting those learnings into this headset.” It’s also some pretty convenient timing too, as Meta is only days away from holding its yearly Connect developer conference, which this year will likely see the reveal of the heavily-leaked Quest Pro (née Project Cambria).

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Vive Flow was largely criticized for not providing much more of a practical experience beyond first-generation mobile VR devices like Gear VR, Oculus Go, or Google Daydream. It also needs an external power source to function, which is better than having a front-heavy headset, but still a concern among some owners. Maybe the Taiwan-based manufacturer is going for a real standalone format this time?

HTC has been known to do successive reveals of its headsets in the past, so we’ll be following along with the company’s Twitter account in the meantime to find out just what the company has in store.

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  • Andrew Jakobs

    That might explain why they had so many discounts lately on their headsets, clearing the warehouses. Looking forward to this new headset, finally some more new headsets.

    • johnyjazz

      2022/23 is looking to be a great year for new headsets!

  • I hope it’s not another XR2, pancake lenses, 2K per eye headset

    • Cless

      Yeah, its beyond me why people keep using that old underpowered chip, well, its because nobody made a better one, which is just sad

      • NL_VR

        XR2 Gen 2 probably will be announced in November.
        Only headset we know will use that chip is Quest 3 according to leaks and rumours.

        • Cless

          That sounds pretty neat then! About damn time!

        • MeowMix

          But it’s possible HTC also will use it, depends on when this headset and the chip is available

          the XR2Gen2 is part of the new partnership between Meta and Qualcomm – new design and repackaging to allow better cooling and performance.

          While Qualcomm has said the new chips won’t be exclusive to Meta, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some type of agreement that gives Meta priority on the supply, or a timed exclusivity.

          • NL_VR

            What you refering to “new design and repackaging to allow better cooling and performance”, is almost exactly description of the chip in Quest Pro.
            no chance Qualcomm let XR2 Gen 2 be a Meta exclusive chip, specially when we have a competitor in the consumer market.

  • ApocalypseShadow

    I hope they surprise everyone with a well designed headset. Would be nice if they make one that’s more VR games oriented.

    Even if they don’t lead in the market, their ideas on smaller headsets or glasses level VR are still helping the industry. That gets us closer to those future wearables we’re looking for.

  • Cless

    Most likely indeed. Hopefully we are wrong though, the more and better headsets we get, the better!

  • Anfronie

    If it’s only 3DOF it will fail

  • xyzs

    Too late. Bytedance is in the arena with 100x more budget. And they obviously have more enlightened staff.

    • Anonymous

      Yep until the day the US sanctions them and haha dead Chinese communist spyware headset. Justice will be served.

      • NL_VR

        According to what you hear from some people over there communists already took over :P

      • xyzs

        You think the world is only the US ?
        They sell in every country except the US so how could the US sanction them?

      • guest

        What is most likely to be used against you, that, or an American capitalist spyware headset???

  • Alexander Sears

    It’s always nice to see another player enter the arena.
    Given HTC’s history though, it may be best to be cautiously optimistic.

  • Kevin Brook

    Competition is usually a great thing, but with HTC’s recent efforts I’d say it would be better for consumers if they just stopped. Since the original Vive everything has got successively worse and somebody buying a HTC product has been sold something substandard compared to the competition, and at inflated prices. I bought the Vive Pro 2 as an upgrade for my Quest 2, and it legitimately felt like I had been the victim of a scam. Thankfully I was able to return but I would never touch an HTC device again.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      The original Pro was much better than the first Vive. You’re no victim of a scam other then your own lack of doing research. But certainly the current state of Quest 2 it is just one of the best VR headsets price/quality wise (and the Pico Neo3 link comes pretty close but still needs some work on the firmware side).

      • mirak

        I have Vive with DAS and Vive Pro (Eye), and the onIy improvement is the resolution, which is fine for me since it’s best on the market with OLED.

        I want better resolution but only if it remains OLED.
        If not I am happy with what I have for my usage.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          DAS?

  • gothicvillas

    How many headsets they have released? I’m lost counting. Main reason why I stay away from HTC. I had OG vive back in the days but hearing bad things what came after that. HTC, just stop please.

    • mirak

      six

  • Biggest issue with the Vive Flow was it’s lack of hand tracking of any kind. The headset itself did do spacial tracking, 6 DoF, so it was nothing like the Oculus GO or GearVR.