After confirming the upcoming reveal of “game-changing VR headsets” at the VIVECON event next week, HTC continues to ramp up the teasing with new glimpses of an unannounced VR headset.

Spotted by Road to VR commenter Andrew Jakobs in promotional emails from HTC, three new glimpses of an upcoming Vive headset can be seen below:

The new glimpses don’t tell us much, but there’s a few things we can infer. For one, the headset seems to hardly resemble the Vive Proton headset which the company had revealed as a prototype in early 2020, so indeed this may be something entirely different.

The views make it pretty clear that the headset has at least four cameras for inside-out tracking, mounted in a similar corner arrangement as seen on Oculus Quest.

The third shot appears to be some sort of vent, which likely indicates an active cooling system to keep an internal processor from overheating. That means we’re probably looking at a standalone headset here, rather than something tethered.

These teases bring us no closer to learning if this headset will be a consumer-focused headset meant to compete with the likes of Quest, or a pricier product aimed at enterprise customers. Earlier teasing about the headset from HTC included phrases like “let’s get down to business,” which suggests an enterprise play.

HTC’s prior tease said that the company will reveal “game-changing VR headsets” (plural), so it’s possible that this is just one of two (or more) headsets the company plans to show next week.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • xyzs

    It looks like a stormtrooper inspired design.

    The true question is: will it be interesting compared to a
    -Quest 2 feature to price ratio
    -Index performance
    -Pimax FoV ?

    They need to have at least 1 of the spec of this headset to stand out to have any chance.
    Hope that will be the screens definition. Because I doubt it could be the best price or the best tracking one.

    • mappo

      The true cost of the Quest isn’t $300, it’s $300 plus a Facebook account. They sell the headset below cost because the actual value of the Quest to FB is getting everyone on FB. Competitors’ headsets will always cost more (in dollars) because they aren’t using VR as a loss-leader to grow a social media platform.

  • kontis

    I wish them all the best, but we all know the chances of price parity and tracking parity with Quest 2 are extremely low. Even if it has some specs better it won’t matter if these 2 crucial aspects aren’t at least very close.

    • Ad

      Someone need to literally clone beat saber exactly. Moon rider was halfway there.

      It seems like it will be double the price but 60% better like the index to the rift S.

      • Carl Wolsey

        People have and they threatened legal action.

        • Ad

          It could be open source, but beat saber isn’t even that unique

          • Martin355

            Beat Saber is literally a slicker-looking clone of the earlier game Beat Ninja.

        • mepy

          I think if they can sue over similarities on how a game looks and plays then we are on a very wrong track in software development. Just imagine if movie or TV company could sue every for every movie or TV show that was kind of alike. We’d end up in an impossible position where almost no new games, TV shows or movies could be made. As long as they aren’t copying their code, music or graphics directly it should be legal.

      • Zantetsu

        But 60% better is worth triple the price.

      • Blaexe

        So you think tracking will actually be on par with Quest? What exactly do you think will make it 60% better?

        • Ad

          I think it will. Comfort, higher clock speeds and battery life, better controllers maybe, etc.

          • Blaexe

            Not sure how that would work. Higher clock speed -> higher power draw and more heat -> worse battery life and bigger cooler

            If you want better battery life despite this, you’ll need a significantaly bigger battery with (together with a bigger cooler) leads to more weight -> less comfortable.

            You can’t solve everything with more expensive parts.

          • Ad

            There are vents on this, that’s justifying the extra cost, and maybe a battery in the strap.

    • Pablo C

      price no, tracking, yes if it uses lighthouse.

    • Jason

      I’ll take the contrary position: this could be $100-$200 more than Quest 2 and not have Beat Saber and still be a success. The big key is [i]no facebook requirement[/i]. There’s a huge market for something that is standalone and isn’t tethered to facebook. Both in consumer and in business.

      We’re building business stuff for the Quest 2, and the facebook requirement is a big annoyance for us. We’re really hoping by the time we have these products ready to come to market, they’ll be non-facebook wireless headsets we can easily port over to.

      • Jonathan Winters III

        It won’t be $100 or $200 more than Quest 2. Double the price at least.

        • Jason

          Even if it was double the price of the Quest 2, it’d have really big potential in the business market. The Oculus for Business stuff costs $500 extra, a monthly subscription, [i]still[/i] requires you to have a Workplace (aka facebook for business) login, and doesn’t allow you to purchase/manage the headset for the client. It’s terrible from a business standpoint.

    • Warp

      Beat saber was available on Steam before Quest existed.

      • Blaexe

        But it won’t be available on new platforms.

        • Warp

          Ah… ok, I get you. I was assuming this headset will be able to work wirelessly with PC VR, because otherwise, what would be the point. If it is standalone only then yeah, they have a hard fight ahead at this point.

          • Blaexe

            It might very well work with Steam, but standalone headsets are mainly targeted at people without gaming PCs, just like the vast majority of Quest 2 users use it standalone.

          • davedsone

            But for $75 (I bought a knockoff for $35 though) they don’t have to. I play all my steam games on my Quest 2, they look better, my controllers have MILES of battery life. It’s a great system now. I ignored it at launch and got the Rift instead but once they did the cable I sold my Rift and bought the Quest 2. Best of both worlds if you don’t need an IPD slider.

          • Blaexe

            For the people that own a gaming PC, yes. But the vast majority of Q2 owners don’t have a gaming PC in the first place.

          • davedsone

            Right, but my point is the Quest can do it all. OP doesn’t care about it, but it already has tremendous market share on steam (meaning wired use) that will cause game companies to consider VR as a more viable use of funds and resources. Vive is not that. It’s quest and index and HTC products but HTC is losing and not getting a forward looking system will kill them. If Megadodo actually puts out the Decagear or even if WMR gets a decent controller HTC will have nothing to talk about when it comes to their systems.

          • Blaexe

            That “tremendous market share” doesn’t matter when the Quest standalone market is probably already bigger than the whole PCVR market. And that gap will only get bigger in the next years.

            Devs will consider the standalone market as viable. PCVR may get ports, but not “high budget made for PCVR” games. Neither the Decagear nor WMR will change anything about that. If that’s what you’re thinking you’re kidding yourself. It’s not reality.

    • xyzs

      Beat saber’s on Steam

  • GunnyNinja

    HTC, while you were teasing, I bought something else. Next time, just tell me if it’s worth waiting for.

    • Warp

      Right? A stupid tactic if their competitor is the Quest 2. Show us what you’ve got to get us excited.

      • Patricia Dunbar

        Ashley this-past month I collected $19562 through working on pc at home in my spare-time..(w764) I figured out to do it by spending some hours in whole day consistently-computer.(w764) it’s very nice and any of you definetly can get this. >>>

      • Veronica Gerhardt

        Ashley this-past month I collected $19562 through working on pc at home in my spare-time..(w995) I figured out to do it by spending some hours in whole day consistently-computer.(w995) it’s very nice and any of you definetly can get this. >>>

    • 3872Orcs

      I’m not sure I get this reasoning. Why would you not wait until the reveal of the new headsets in just a few days?

      • GunnyNinja

        They didn’t just start “teasing” this. Companies need to get over the drama and put out information if they want people to wait. This has been going on for months.

        • whinge moan, why should they listen to you, its their product they can advertise it however they want, if you don’t like it just buy something else.

          You need to learn patience..

          • care package

            patience for what though, that’s kind of the whole point they’re making.

    • Sorry to inform you that this is not how marketing works. You decide a launch date and then you make a pre-campaign. So teasing or not, the launch would have always been the 11th. And since we are here talking about this headset, it means the buzz is rising and the pre-campaign is working. And most probably you wanted a consumer headset, so this new vive focus probably was not for you anyway

  • Prince Vegeta

    If you’re going to tack on a big price tag, make sure it’s not crap this time.Remember that cosmos?? 900 for a new hmd with old peripherals if you wanted something functional. I can’t comment how it works because I never used one but WOOOOOOOW. Mark Sanchez even says that’s a bad fumble……. Google Mark Sanchez Fumble if you do not know what I’m talking about.

  • SomeGuyorAnother

    If it’s standalone, hoping that it’s a solid headset that can eventually bring in the developer support for a decent library. But it’s going to take time to build up their mobile storefront to a point that can compete with Oculus. With luck, their second iteration will be a proper competitor market-wise with whatever the current Quest is (quality-wise will definitely be doable if they get the software right this time). We’ll see if it doubles well as a PC headset, as well.

    HTC, this may be your last chance in the Western market this generation.

    • Jason

      If it’s another arm64/snapdragon android headset without radically different controllers from the Quest, the library will come pretty quickly through ports. Unity/Unreal make it pretty easy to build for different platforms. The main hassle is if the control scheme is incredibly different.

      • HTC have built out their ViveWave storefront and OS for several years now, of course aimed at Asian market.

        A few years back, I got to try the first Vive Focus in the UK which was running ViveWave with a number of Chinese football world cup applications.

        • Jason

          Unfortunately, the Focus has some real flaws. Let’s hope they don’t drop the ball with this one.

          • Focus was flawed but early to the standalone party (my demo was July 2nd 2018)

            Being able to freely walk forward towards and then around a rendered statue in VR was very cool, the headset tracking was usable.

  • I think a lot more people would have been on-board with waiting for this if they showed off the controllers for it early. They’re just showing too little too late at this point

    • Pulstar44

      Knowing HTC it probably uses the vive wands

      • Gosh in 2021 I hope not, except for Beat Saber those wands have little to no place in the VR controller space, not with finger-sensing and smooth locomotion as developed as they are

  • Tore

    Ooo, looks like this will be very compact. See how the nose gap comes outside the screen. Almost like sunglasses. I’m excited for this one:)

  • Peter Bergonzi

    While they said, “Let’s get down to business.”, they also said, “Game-changing”, so it might not be only enterprise.
    I’m anxious to see what they got.

    • TechPassion

      Do enterprises like to buy VR headsets worse than Samsung Odyssey+ from 2018? All those “enterprise” headsets were basically a total crap so far :)

      • ZNixian

        First a note that I haven’t actually worked with enterprise VR systems, though I’ve come somewhat close.

        Keep in mind that a headset can be mediocre for consumers and excellent for business and vice-versa. Depending on the application (how long it’ll be worn) comfort can be largely irrelevant.

        Also depending on the application performance might not matter – depending on whether it’s merely enough to decrease any and all the graphics options in sight or not.

        In most applications framerate doesn’t really matter and will be willingly sacrificed to reduce development time, and nor does fancy controllers.

        Again depending on application, resolution isn’t necessarily very important either, though in some (and I suspect most) applications this matters a lot due to text legibility.

        Finally the management software does matter and having to fiddle with loads of accounts is a gigantic pain.

        On the note of software, a games library is obviously unimportant for enterprise equipment but is IMO the single biggest factor in whether a quest competitor can survive or not – if it can magically copy the Quest library there’s viable spaces for specialised headsets (such as the fitness-orientated one HTC teased/released/whatever, though IIRC that wasn’t standalone) but if it has a tiny library of smaller games it’s dead in the water.

  • martin

    stop the damn foreplay and show us the goods

  • Dodo

    Is this enough to justify reporting it as an article ?
    With HTC‘s history (apart from the gift in the shape of the og Vive they got from Valve) I have not been impressed too much by them; this marketing strategy tells me it is an unexciting product they hope they‘ll get more attention for this way rather than having told us right away what it got in store…

  • Adrian Meredith

    It looks very shallow; it’s small, not proton small but certainly a step in that direction

  • Jonathan Winters III

    It’s not a Quest competitor, the HTC head stated that recently. That tells me it will most likely be at least double the price.

    • TechPassion

      It should not be Quest competitor. It should be two times better than Quest.

    • Ad

      Like the index, double the price but 60% better in various ways. Same way there are TVs that are twice as good but four times as expensive.

    • Cless

      Thank god, I couldn’t care less if its another Quest competitor or “clone”. I just want the vive pro, but better in everyway. Shouldn’t be too hard, its been years since it released and the market has grown since.

      • mappo

        Tethered PCVR is dead. Everything from now on will be a standalone headset that can also be tethered if you choose.

        • FoamReality

          Not if they keep putting the processor components on the face. The quest is uncomfortable and heavy. Why not have the X2 ‘computer’ in your pocket with a connectable wire , that can be purchased seperately. And those who want PCVR can just connect it without all the mobile arm crap. Everybody wins, reduces cost for those who don’t want both and makes it more comfortable/lighter.

        • mepy

          Vive has a WiGig adapter which can transmit a much higher resolution than WiFi or 5G.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            yeah, but that adapter is more expensive than the whole Quest 2.. I thought about going for the wireless adapter, but I’m better off just buying the Quest 2, with the deluxe headstrap.

          • mepy

            We already know they aren’t going to be able to compete on price for the headset. The rumour is the price will be somewhere between the HP Reverb G2 and the Index, although more comparable to the Index.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            If it’s going to be the HP Reverb G2, it might be acceptable, if it’s going the Index route, it sure must have a hefty hardware upgrade compared to the Quest 2, because $900+ for the same specs isn’t acceptable for just not having to need a Facebook account.

          • mepy

            Yeah, I can imagine people and businesses buying a wireless version of the G2, even at more than twice the hardware cost of the Quest 2. I think probably that’s what this headset is also.

        • Cless

          Just like the PC market was dead on the 2000s, right? Consoles exclusively were the future. What you are saying its just not going to happen.

          • mappo

            Oculus has already made this transition. Next week you’ll see that HTC has as well. They’ll be announcing at least 2 new headsets, and you can be sure that none of them will be tethered-only.

          • Cless

            I guess the Index is dead then. We should tell Steam, shouldn’t we?

            Also, what do you even mean by tethered-only? From the relevant headsets only some of the ultra high tier and the index really fit that description. Even the old Vive could be wireless.
            So what you are suggesting is, that we never will see another tethered-only PCVR released?

    • Noone can compete with the Quest 2 pricing. Facebook sells it at a loss. Can’t remember if it was on Verge or UploadVR but someone calculated around $600 as a realistic price point.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Funny, if you actually look at the costs of the hardware itself, you’ll see a price that matched their asking price, so yeah, the real loss might be in the R&D, but that might not even be the case.

        • It seems you haven’t read the PCGamer article then.
          Since I can’t link you to it, the headline goes:

          “Oculus will sell you a Quest 2 headset that doesn’t need Facebook for an extra $500”

          By Alan Dexter

          Is that the price of privacy?

          Maybe you start there…?

          I live my Quest.
          And even more my Quest 2!
          I use it daily for fitness and fun.

          But we shouldn’t be thinking that Zuck loves us all just for beeing in VR…

          • Andrew Jakobs

            “Oculus will sell you a Quest 2 headset that doesn’t need Facebook for an extra $500”
            Well, that article is wrong as Oculus doesn’t sell you a Quest 2 that doesn’t need facebook for an extra $500..
            It’s the business version which has a business license. And those are always a lot more expensive.
            The original writer hasn’t done his homework in regard to business licenses.

            As I said the actual hardware components (in bulk as Facebook is buying them) together are less or the same as the price Facebook is asking for their headset. That’s why you don’t get the deluxe strap (which IMHO should actually be the standard strap), and that strap is certainly sold with a profit margin.

      • mepy

        Of course you have to pay at least 20% extra for each software you buy.

  • Ad

    Do people not remember when the VR outlets released “leak” articles but also already had the Quest 2 and were writing reviews? The only way out of an NDA/embargo is when the info is publicly available.Looking forward to the review, if this thing is bad we’re all screwed.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      These images are just from HTC’s own emails in regard to vivecon, so no ‘leaks’ or anything.

      • Ad

        Right, but I mean I bet Ben has one if it’s releasing anytime soon after the conference.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          haha, yeah, you’re right. IF it’s to be released right after the Vivecon, you would expect reviewers to already have one.

  • Cless

    Am I the only one here that doesn’t give a rats ass about the Quest 2 or if it will compete against it, but instead interested to know if this is a real follow up to the Vive pro?

    • TechPassion

      Vive pro was a crap. Samsung Odyssey+ had better technology, beside tracking, which was fixed 2 years ago and is very good.
      Vive Pro had OLED panel from Odyssey+, but without anti-SDE technology ,so…a crappy solution. Forget about Vive nonsense, forever. It was an expensive, heavy crap. nothing else.

      • Cless

        I mean… yeah, but you are forgetting a key issue here. The Samsung Odyssey is not HTCs… its Samsung’s so… If we are wishing to shooting stars, then I want a headset with the Odysseys+ screen but higher resolution and RGB instead of pentile, with 50% more FOV, and index controllers and the comfort of the Index, let’s see… what else… professionally calibrated headphones from Sony… and a real life maid that puts it on my head everytime I want it on.

        But since this is HTC… lets ask for something that’s possible in the real world lol
        I think its possible to ask them for an improved version of the Vive pro… and maaaaaaaybe get it.
        Most probably what we are getting here instead is a competitor of the Quest 2 that’s worse than it in one or two key points, be it price, quality of the screens, tracking… choose your poison. Am I right? xD

      • 3872Orcs

        At least from my perspective of owning both a standard Samsung Odyssey and Vive Pro I disagree with you. And If I remember correctly the Odyssey+ did not so much fix the issues with the headset as make them worse in some aspects from what I remember reading at the time. IMO Vive Pro was the better headset. And with wireless on the Vive Pro it is by far my most used headset to date of all the ones I’ve owned. Vive Pro was a good headset for it’s time, albeit expensive.

        • Charles

          I’ve owned both the Vive Pro and the Odyssey+. The Odyssey+ is better – higher vertical FOV, anti-SDE filter, better contrast and black levels (which, yes, can sometimes cause black smear, but that can be eliminated with a checkbox in OpenVR Advanced Settings).

          The one advantage of Vive Pro is the wireless adapter. And it was released half a year earlier.

      • Vive Pro did very good business in location based entertainment and enterprise sectors, it worked well robustwith a high enough resolution to be a good upgrade over the original Vive.

        It wasn’t great value for the consumer, reasonable price for prosumers, business certainly bought Vive Pro/Eye in quantity; I’ve attended events here in London where 50 Vive Pro were depl oyed.

      • ale bro

        Everyone who has tried to play eleven table tennis in a WMR headset knows how bad the tracking is.

      • GunnyNinja

        “Vive Pro had OLED panel from Odyssey+, but without anti-SDE technology” In others words it was from the Odyssey, not the plus.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Except where is Samsung now? the Odyssey+ was already hard to get by, especially if you were not living in the states. And sorry, but the tracking of the O+ came nowhere near the tracking of lighthouse. That’s still the biggest problem with all (headset)camera tracked controllers.

        I do hope samsung will release a new headset soon, but they said last year around the end of april they would have news about new VR hardware, and well, it’s been over a year now, and they are as quiet as a mouse.. Again, I really do hope samsung brings out some awesome new standalone headset.

        • Bob

          Samsung is a tricky one because it’s been years since they released a product into the market. Unfortunately no one knows if they have quietly withdrawn from the market, or are genuinely waiting until the time is right to launch something new.

          I’d wager if we don’t receive a single piece of news, or even new patents filed by the end of this year, then it’s safe to say Samsung have postponed their VR ventures indefinitely.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Yeah, I agree. They had the patent filing back then in regard to the curved display for headsets and a patent filing (leaked) at the start of the year in regard to those fly-eyes design headset.

            But we also haven’t really heard from other companies, yeah some like Lynx touted a new headset to be released by may, but it’s also still very quiet there..

            HTC and Pico are the only ones who will show a new headset in the first half of 2021.

      • Charles

        Vive Pro was not “a crap”. It was the best headset when it was released. But yes, the Odyssey+ took its place as the best about a year later when its firmware was updated to eliminate its barrel distortion issue.

    • mepy

      This is exactly what I’m waiting for also. I already own a Vive Pro and I upgraded my Quest 1 to a Quest 2, now it’s time to upgrade to a Vive Pro 2.

      • mirak

        I will take’the quest 1 and it’s old panels

      • Charles

        If the new headset is a disappointment, you could still upgrade your Vive Pro to an Odyssey+. Similar headset, but better vertical FOV, even better contrast, and an SDE-removal filter.

    • This is a standalone, no vive pro

      • Cless

        How do you know that?

        • mepy

          It was said in an interview two months ago. Search Youtube for: The Future of HTC Vive with Alvin Graylin: President of HTC China.

        • mepy

          That they will be releasing a standalone doesn’t rule out a Vive Pro 2 for business, pro consumers and arcades, even if they don’t do it at the 11th of May. But they are announcing headset*s* supposedly.

          • Cless

            Interesting! We will see how it goes! Hopefully, it makes the VR world better!

      • mepy

        Although HTC Vive has said they will be releasing a standalone – that isn’t a direct Quest competitor, they also said they would continue to support arcades. I do think there is a real market for a high resolution and good quality PCVR headset, especially with the WiGig wireless technology can that actually transmit that high a resolution, something Wifi or 5G can’t.

    • davedsone

      HTC will lose their second market they lead in at the beginning. Because they don’t move their designs forward very much. They get out-iterated.

      • Cless

        I mean… its not like it was theirs to begin with. Didn’t Valve pretty much do the whole work for them?

        • davedsone

          Not at all. Valve was working on tracking, heard HTC had done work, and collaborated. They contributed april tagging IIRC. HTC did everything else. Part of the reason Valve did the Index is because HTC went stale and forced them to. That’s why the Index is excellent and expensive, and the Vive is just as clunky as when it began. That is why the Index now has the second largest installed base on Steam. The reason people care about the Quest 2 is because Oculus (even under Facebook) is iterating better. And understood people did not want to just play lower quality untethered games. So now I have a Quest 2 and a link cable, I play all my steam games and they look better than ever. And I’m not using what look like bad tennis rackets for controllers. I will be switching to the Decagear if/when it’s produced. Got the first batch reserve.

  • TechPassion

    So, face tracking there.

  • Ragbone

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • David

      …wrong about what? You didn’t say anything except for “please correct me if I am wrong” LOL

  • 3872Orcs

    If this is a standalone device I hope it runs on the XR2 chip used to it’s full power considering the cooling elements seen on the animation. From what I’ve heard the XR2 chip on the Quest 2 is underclocked.

    • David

      its* full power (sorry)

      • 3872Orcs

        Yes I know.

  • nejihiashi88

    4k with foveated rendering and valve index like controllers or pass

    • Cless

      I guess you will be passing then lol

  • Corellianrogue

    What if HTC have partnered with Valve again for at least 1 of the new HMDs? Think about it. Maybe it’s not just a coincidence that those Valve patents came out around the same time that HTC started teasing a new HMD?

  • Wild Dog

    I wonder if VR in the car makes you carsick.

  • brandon9271

    dual 4k OLEDs with non fresnel optics.. oh wait, I’m dreaming again. lol

  • Let’s hope it will be a good one!

  • Dennis Tman

    Stresslevelzero did save better VR in 21

  • Dennis Tman

    Stresslevelzero did say better VR in 21

  • Lucas Martins Lousada

    All I want is lense adjustment for myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism … but i GUESS i will have to buy the lenses adapter