HTC hints at offering less expensive VR headsets

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For many people, the hesitation to embrace VR gaming comes down to cost. Not only do you need a relatively powerful PC, but the top two headsets—Oculus Rift and HTC Vive—are both expensive. Assuming VR is here to stay, the cost barrier will eventually be broken, and perhaps even by HTC when it comes out with a second generation Vive headset.

When asked by TechRadar (opens in new tab) if HTC was currently developing new VR products at different price points, including a new VR headset, Marc Metis, global head of Vive X at HTC Vive, responded affirmatively.

"We're always developing new products," Metis said. He added that HTC is working on "new lines of products" as well, and that "in some cases, we're working with new partners to address new segments."

The main point that Metis wanted to convey is that HTC is not singularly focused on a high-end VR headset. Even though he views the Vive as offering "the most immersive experience" of all VR products currently available, Metis said that more innovations are on the way.

"The roadmap is not static. You'll see it broaden out and more use cases," Metis said.

TechRadar also asked Metis whether he thought the $799 price tag for a Vive headset along with the need for a high-end PC could prevent widespread adoption.

"We'll enter different segments at different price points," Metis said. "We'll satisfy the high-end and different price points. Expect more information to come."

One way to read that is HTC might possibly offer a Vive 2 headset that costs less than the current version. However, it seems more likely to us that Vive 2 emerges as another high-end headset with upgraded hardware and features, with HTC also offering lower end solutions to compete with the batch of mixed reality headsets that Microsoft's hardware partners (Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo) are working on for Windows 10.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).