At the beginning of March HTC Vive went through a teasing phase over on Twitter as it prepared to announced the latest Vive Tracker and Face Tracker. Well, the company is back at it again today with another tweet which could well be its biggest tease yet, a brand new headset.
HTC Vive has made no secret of the fact that a new all-in-one (AIO) headset would be released this year and now this could be the first glimpse. Why? Considering the tweet says: “Now that the accessories are out of the way, let’s get down to business,” is a fairly strong indicator plus the fact that the image clears showcases what looks to be a corner lens, kind of important for standalone headset tracking.
There’s still doubt, however, if the new headset will be for consumers or enterprise focused. Reading into the “let’s get down to business” part of the phase, that could very well be a sly indicator that just like the Vive Focus Plus, HTC isn’t considering the mainstream market. When previously discussing the device, HTC China President Alvin Wang Graylin did say: “I don’t think I’d position it as a Quest competitor, I think it’s our next-generation standalone.” So don’t get your hopes up too much.
What’s exciting though is the timing. The original HTC Vive launched in April 2016 and considering the timeline between the March tracker teases and the final reveals there might not be too long to wait. VRFocus would bet that the official announcement takes place before the end of the month, even if a launch is months away.
Whatever the final headset design looks like, it doesn’t seem to resemble Project Proton, the last VR hardware design HTC Vive has shown. These appeared early 2020, originally meant as part of Mobile World Congress before it got cancelled. These were XR glasses with augmented reality (AR) passthrough features, one fully AIO the other connecting to an external device.