The HTC Vive hit the streets at the beginning of April, a virtual reality headset backed by Valve Software and costing a hefty $800. It’s the Oculus Rift’s only true competitor on the general market, packing a 1,080 x 1,200 resolution for each eye, a 90Hz refresh rate to keep your lunch down, and a 110-degree field of view. It weighs just over a pound, which isn’t all that heavy, but could be lighter for an even more comfortable feel.
That weight loss may actually happen soon with a revised version of the HTC Vive landing by the end of the year. This possibility stems from a rumor popping up on Reddit that’s based on a meeting with analysts of Taiwan Paiho Ltd, the company that currently supplies the head band for HTC’s VR headset. Based on this meeting, HTC is reportedly working on a revised model.
Vive owners, don’t panic just yet. Your $800 headset won’t be rendered obsolete. The rumor indicates that the new model will only feature small changes, such as the overall weight and design. Presumably, the Vive will have a slimmer body so that the headset doesn’t feel quite so bulky during movement. As one Reddit user points out, this could mean better foams, better wrist straps, and so on.
The new headband supplied by Taiwan Paiho Ltd is expected to ship to HTC by September. That could mean a revised Vive model will hit the streets by the end of 2016, or perhaps in the beginning of 2017.
As for customers of the current version, the new strap is expected to be provided to these customers as well through HTC. The Vive is modular to a small extent, allowing owners to remove the current strap, the Velcro-based foam, and the slip-on nose gasket. That said, improved versions should become available to purchase for current Vive owners when the revised HTC headset hits the streets.
If you haven’t taken the HTC Vive plunge yet, the $800 bundle includes the headset, two wireless controllers, and two base stations for 360-degree room-scale motion tracking.
So should consumers wait to purchase the HTC Vive when the new model makes its debut? Given what we know now is mere rumor, that’s hard to answer. But if HTC if simply making cosmetic changes to make the headset easier to wear, and updated components will be made available to current users, then perhaps now is as good of a time as any to jump onto the Vive bandwagon.