HTC has been teasing its next VR headset over the last few weeks, showing off bits of the device at a time which the company promises will be “something big… we mean small.” Now it appears the design and some of the specs have been leaked, with the details gathered courtesy of VR analyst and YouTuber Brad Lynch.

Info surrounding the headset—still nameless at the time of this writing—was gathered by Lynch from sources “mostly in the supply chain,” he says. Lynch dubs the device the ‘Flowcus’ for its apparent coupling of the light and slim form-factor of Vive Flow and the standalone capabilities of Vive Focus.

Images of the headset featured in Lynch’s 10-minute video (embedded below) are said to be renderings based on images seen by Lynch, something he says was done to retain the anonymity of the leak’s source, as leaked images apparently contained identifying markers.

The headset is said to contain four B&W tracking cameras and one RGB camera for passthrough. Controllers are supposedly the same as the those supplied with Vive Focus 3.

Image courtesy Brad Lynch

The headset is also said to include a removable facial interface, which presumably would allow for easily cleaning. That profile view also illustrates the device’s slim and light design.

Image courtesy Brad Lynch

And that’s apparently achieved by pancake lenses, which are slowly becoming the industry standard for VR headsets, with Meta Quest Pro and Pico 4 also integrating them.

Lynch says the headset includes dual 1,920×1,920 LCDs, closed at up to 120hz. Mechanical IPD adjustments are also present, Lynch says.

Image courtesy Brad Lynch

Under that facial interface is also reportedly a USB-C port, which could be used for tacking on an eye-tracking module.

Image courtesy Brad Lynch

One of the unique bits about HTC’s alleged upcoming headset is its modularity; that port connection on the arm of the headstrap is supposed to allow the headset to go into a ‘glasses mode’ by allowing you to disconnect the headstrap/battery and use it more like a Vive Flow for casual viewing. Lynch alleges there’s also the possibility the USB-C port may be capable of connecting to a PC.

When in ‘glasses mode’, the arms are also said to fold up for easier storage, making Lynch’s ‘Flowcus’ moniker even more apt.

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As a true standalone device, the headset is said to include a chipset “faster than the [Snapdragon XR2] in Quest 2,” Lynch says, also speculating it may be the upcoming Snapdragon XR2 Gen. 2, making it potentially the first such device to do so.

Provided this is the consumer-focused device it’s chalked up to be—and coming from the beleaguered HTC—we wouldn’t expect a low price putting it in competition with Quest 2 or Pico 4. You can check out Lynch’s 10-minute video at the below, which includes additional shots of the headset and more speculation of its supposed features.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • My Thoughts

    If HTC would have just lead with this instead of their useless images they would actually have some buzz instead of people just laughing at them.

  • Lucidfeuer

    So, the amazing design they leaked a year ago, but the cheap badly designed version that belongs in a 90s computing trashbin? I know Oculus fucked the ergonomics of their Pro, but you sure as hell never could count on Vive/HTC to do any fucking correct design and ergonomic work, which is one of the reason why they lag behind

  • ApocalypseShadow

    I would ask the same question with Quest Pro having an extra sharp looking Red Matter 2. Is that worth $1500? Lol.

    The more headsets that come out to compete, which Facebook sabotaged by their **predator pricing** of Quest 2, hurt the market for anyone else to compete at that low-ball price.

    Now, the market is starting to look more normal. Facebook had to raise their price to almost where it should have been in the first place. While other companies are coming out with theirs for about the same price without being subsidized by advertising dollars.

    The more competition and ideas we see, good or bad, can only help the market improve itself. Instead of only what Facebook wants the market to have by controlling it. It also means any games not exclusive to Facebook with XR2. 2 will come to other headsets too. It works both ways. Those other headsets just need to start making exclusive games. ByteDance has the headset, but without internal game development and market reach, it’s going to be hard for them to stay in the race. But they have shown that they can have something competitive in design for a reasonable price.

    HTC is showing here that they can compete as well in design. They just need more software reinforcement. But I like that they are trying if this is a legit headset coming out. If the idea and narrative out there is the Facebook or nothing, the market won’t look so great or be healthy. And, I’d rather have nothing in the stand alone space if Facebook is the monopoly in it.

    • shadow9d9

      Meanwhile the quest 2 is back on sale for a headset with re4 and beat saber. It is no different than other console makers who subsidize their hardware.

      • ApocalypseShadow

        They didn’t subsidize. They used predator pricing. It’s one way of controlling a market If no one else can compete with it. Look it up. Predator pricing is just sometimes hard to prove in court. Now, we see other companies making stand alone headsets that are around the price Quest should have been in the first place. Notice how from history that consoles were around the same pricing every generation. Any low-balling would have been caught and that company fined for doing so.

        I’m aware Quest is back on sale. At $50 more than the price it was selling originally. Raised the price but lower it to make it seem like a deal. But it’s still $50 more. Just like gas for cars. It gets lowered. But it’s still higher than where it should be to buy fuel.

        It’s nice that they are offering 2 free games. And I mentioned that on upload VR days ago. But if you look, that’s all Facebook has. As no developers under them has any games ready to be bundled with the headset. Just the same old beat saber and a paid for exclusive. Where’s the other first party titles? Nowhere to be found.

        • shadow9d9

          Same subsidizing that all the other consoles do. Nothing special here. And plenty of companies including apple, sony, nintendo, or microsoft can easily compete.

          They own 9 developers now and have funded tons of games, including RE 4.

          • Cless

            Like he just explained, its not exactly the same, no.

          • ApocalypseShadow

            Yeah. It went right over his head. Or he chose to dip his head in the sand or stick his fingers in his ears.

          • ApocalypseShadow

            You’re not getting the difference between subsidizing and predator pricing. Obviously, you didn’t look up the definition or are familiar with it.

            Playing them off as the same when they are not the same doesn’t excuse what they did for 2 years. Might want to inform yourself. A quick Google search would have done it. Takes 10 seconds.

            Having developers is not the same as releasing games right now and often. That’s the same thing Microsoft does with all their developers but couldn’t be bothered to consistently release games for Kinect, their Windows headsets or their console like Sony’s or Nintendo do. Doesn’t matter how many you have. It’s what you do with them.

  • silvaring

    Two major selling points here – 1) Unclippable battery for comfortable use when lying down, and 2) Pancake lenses. Minor Sellings points, 1) Possible wired compatibility to PC, and 2) Low enough price point that enough users see it as a good replacement for their now aging CV1 / Vive / WMR headsets.

    Potential negatives: $650 minimum price excluding controllers, lack of availability in a lot of regions, and lack of good software support in standalone mode.

    Ah fuck it… we all know this is going to be just another high priced VR headset with uneven PC compatibility : ( It’s been a long wait… the VR market is starving for something next gen and affordable (and not behind a huge walled garden).

    • Charles

      And it surely has poor contrast / black levels, being LCD VR, and who knows if it will have acceptable binocular overlap. And slightly lower resolution than its competitors.

      • silvaring

        Is binocular overlap a software correction for when your eyes move out of the sweet spot? Or has it got to do with ghosting?

        • Charles

          It’s part of the hardware design. It’s a measure of the number of degrees where both eyes see both images, vs seeing only the left or right image.

          If it’s too low (in my experience, below ~90°), it causes the edge of one of the displays to be visible as a “ghost image” in the middle of the view, and it greatly reduces how much depth the world appears to have (how 3D it looks).

          There was a good RoadToVR article on this years ago:
          roadtovr / understanding-binocular-overlap-and-why-its-important-for-vr-headsets

          There’s an online spreadsheet comparing FOV specs of the various headsets, including binocular overlap. Do a websearch for “VR HMD Rendered FoV”, or for the Google Docs identifier “1q7Va5Q6iU40CGgewoEqRAeypUa1c0zZ86mqR8uIyDeE”.

          The spreadsheet doesn’t include the Varjo headsets. From what I’ve read, they have the worst-of-the-worst binocular overlap. There’s a Reddit post where they discuss this – do a websearch for “my_review_of_the_varjo_aero_coming_from_the_pimax”.

    • shadow9d9

      No real gamer cares about a “walled garden.” Only a handful of pcvr gamers that wait to buy games at 80% off sales, hence the terrible pcvr sales numbers. No, you need someone to fund games, and that means a walled garden. They aren’t a charity. Pcvr starved itself.

      • silvaring

        I don’t mind walled gardens, as long as theres an open alternative too. Funding can happen to benefit both eco systems.

      • ViRGiN

        OK Virgin third account

        • Cless

          Third? Which one is the 2nd one? O:

  • Hardware looks nice, but have they fixed the numerous bugs in their software?

    A quick search for the Focus 3 yields REALLY BAD results. Considering HTC’s pedigree with Value, it’s hard to believe the first thing I find on Amazon reviews of the 3 is how badly it works with Steam. The second is the outrageous price! Makes the Quest Pro seem downright reasonable.

    • XRC

      Number of business edition Focus 3 sitting used at my local computer exchange £800, been there several months

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Hmmm 1920*1920 LCD… If it were OLED I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but LCD and much lower as Pico 4 with probably a price of at least 600+ euro’s, I don’t think it will be a big succes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pico is gonna release a Pico 4+ with only an upgraded SOC (and some small problems fixed) very soon.

    • Bob

      With all the TikTok money, anything’s possible with Pico at the moment.

    • Cless

      Its just ridiculous they would put some 2K LCDs on it. Its a no-go from the start. Doesn’t have high resolution that LCDs claim to be superior in, or most likely the higher refresh rate either. Only place left to feel it is, with a low price… and being HTC I highly doubt they won’t mess up that either.

  • Sky Castle

    Headset looks like like giant eyes of a fly.

    • silvaring

      Better than a box?

  • I have enough experience in the field to be doubtful about this design… on paper seems interesting, but I should evaluate it during normal-day use

  • ViRGiN

    Grease man strikes again

    • ViRGiN

      I am the retarded of R2VR, I never strike.

  • ViRGiN

    PCVR people buy their PCs for Rec Room and Beat Saber, so yeah, they will sell a handful of units to redditors.
    Or not if that does not have Display Port lol

  • Cragheart

    I hope it gets a newer, better version of a Snapdragon SoC than Quest 2.

  • patfish

    Stop making evening Standalone/mobile and make a real good PCVR headset again – but for €300 less. I don’t need/want such slow and in 1,5 years totally outdated mobile chips in my HMD!!!. I want a great fit, brilliant OLED Panels with Pancake lenses, DisplayPort and Lighthouse support.

  • Cless

    2K per eye LCDs? Pretty gross. It hopefully shows in the price big time how much they saved by putting shitty panels in it.

  • Jeff is beck

    Lmao another focking headset