In Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality News
January 5, 2023 – HTC VIVE has today unveiled its new consumer flagship all-in-one device with the launch of the VIVE XR Elite. The headset combines mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) capabilities into one compact, lightweight, powerful and highly versatile device – perfect for gaming, fitness, productivity and more, according to the company.
“The VIVE XR Elite all-in-one represents the next milestone in the progression towards the fully immersive internet, going beyond today’s VR with accurate pass-through video to open up a new realm of realism in learning and playing,” said Cher Wang, Co-Founder and Chairwoman of HTC Corp. “This advanced yet compact device offers the best of all worlds for consumers, providing the ideal physical gateway to the universe of experiences offered by VIVERSE, our version of the metaverse, with the widest variety of content inputs even up to the very latest standards such as WiFi 6E.”
VIVE XR Elite includes a full color RGB passthrough camera, and features hand-tracking to enable a range of MR scenarios, such as gaming, real-time overlays and allowing multiple virtual screens while still being able to interact with real-world objects.
VIVE XR Elite will see HTC VIVE’s biggest range of launch titles ever, with 100 new pieces of MR and VR content arriving in the launch window – from new games to classics – with more to follow. Titles include Demeo, Hubris, Yuki, Maestro, Les Mills Body Combat, FigminXR, Unplugged, Finger Gun, and more. HTC VIVE added that post-launch, even more content will arrive, such as Everslaught: Invasion, and later in the year full MR games like Eggscape.
VIVE XR Elite can be connected to a PC via USB-C to access PCVR content from VIVEPORT and Steam and supports wireless PC streaming over WiFi or the latest generation – WiFi 6E with low latency and great graphics.
Content can also be streamed wirelessly from a compatible Android phone to VIVE XR Elite, allowing users to view media and games on a personal cinema screen of 300 inches. This includes content from services like Netflix and Disney+ or games like Fortnite. Users can even connect a Bluetooth controller to their phone for a full gaming experience.
Design, Configuration and Features
VIVE XR Elite has a sleek modular design that can easily be transformed into a glasses form factor by removing the battery and fitting the VIVE XR Elite temple pads. Users can change the physical configuration so that it works best for whichever situation they are in, whether that’s at home, in the office, or traveling on a plane.
The redesigned hinge means the extended arms of VIVE XR Elite cup the wearer’s head just like the front and back of a traditional all-in-one. The headset features a USB-C connecting cable on the right-hand side, which lets users plug the device into a power source like a battery bank or airline seat.
The headset features a wide 110 FoV, 4K resolution, and a 90Hz refresh rate. VIVE XR Elite also has adjustable lenses, allowing users to take off their glasses and still be able to enjoy a clear picture with greater comfort. Plus, a built-in fine-adjustable IPD slider placed on the outside of the headset.
HTC VIVE stated that the full headset weighs 625g including the battery, which is placed at the back for balance and is curved for increased comfort, and delivers up to two hours of full XR use. The battery is removable and hot swappable, meaning users can keep going whether it’s changing to another power source or changing to another battery. The device has 30-watt fast charging and is charged via USB-C power delivery.
The VIVE XR Elite also has a removable fabric face gasket, connected by magnets to make it easy to clean or switch out for a fresh one. Finally, for audio, the device includes larger speakers that allow layers of immersion with enhanced bass, balance and directional audio that adds up to better clarity in any XR experience, without having to rely on external solutions.
Controls and Tracking
With four wide FOV cameras, 6DoF spatial accuracy, a depth sensor, hand-tracking and capacitive sensing for finger movements on the controllers, developers have lots of options to incorporate in VR and MR content for accurate movement to enhance experiences.
VIVE XR Elite has both physical controllers and hand-tracking. The VIVE Wrist Tracker is also compatible with the headset to deliver enhanced hand tracking, or it can be attached to objects that users want to track in XR.
VIVERSE and Partnerships
HTC stated that it is working with a variety of technology and content partners to bring its vision of an open, interoperable, and imaginative VIVERSE to life.
For growth and optimization, HTC VIVE is supporting open standards and VIVERSE is accessible from a wide range of connected devices that support a web browser.
HTC has partnered with the leading Japanese creator platform pixiv to Integrate VRoid’s Anime-Style Avatars into VIVERSE, which makes it easy to bring avatars into VIVERSE leveraging the open VRM standard.
Other partnerships include with fashion magazine ELLE Taiwan, which has announced it will launch its own “ELLEverse” showroom in VIVERSE, along with a series of unique avatar outfits and special events to be held in VIVERSE throughout 2023. HTC VIVE has also partnered with Warner Music Taiwan on a new music experience world, where users can enjoy the latest music videos in a fantasy virtual environment. Plus, a collaboration with Lamina1 will help to accelerate the realization of an open metaverse ecosystem for society. HTC’s VIVERSE platform will be utilizing Lamina1’s layer one tools to enable more efficient cross-world cross-platform asset distribution and management, so users can seamlessly keep their digital assets (avatars, clothes, artwork, etc.) with them as they traverse the metaverse.
Lamina1 was co-founded by Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson, who coined the term metaverse back in the early 90s, and Crypto Pioneer Peter Vessenes.
Pricing and availability
VIVE XR Elite is available to pre-order globally from 5 January via vive.com and participating authorized retailers. Pre-order shipments are estimated to begin from late February. VIVE XR Elite comes with the headset itself, two controllers, and the headset battery cradle, and will cost:
US – $1,099 exc. VAT
UK – £1,299 inc. VAT
DE/FR – €1,399 inc. VAT
NO – 15,499 NOK
SWE – 16,299 SEK
DK – 11,099 DKK
AUS – A$ 2,099 inc. GST
NZ – NZ$ 2,299 inc. GST
The VIVE XR Elite also launches with a promotional offer of an XR games/content bundle, in certain regions. Additionally, VIVE XR Elite will be available for enterprise users, with more information coming later this year. HTC VIVE also noted that it will be launching a Face and Eye Tracker unit in 2023.
For more information on HTC VIVE and its virtual and mixed reality hardware, please visit the company’s website.
Image / video credit: HTC VIVE / YouTube
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.