The year was 2016 and it was the start of a glorious new age in videogame technology. No, not another console refresh cash-in but an actual shift in how we interact with virtual worlds. I’m speaking, of course, about the launch of consumer virtual reality (VR). We all know VR has existed for decades in one form or another but in the early 2010s there was a renewed vigor for the technology. And that birthed two PC VR headsets, the Oculus Rift – released in March 2016 – and the HTC Vive – released in April 2016. However, the HTC Vive had one ace up its sleeve, motion-tracked controllers. Geared towards those who wanted to play VR games, considering recent events has HTC Vive left consumer VR behind?
There’s been so much XR hardware news lately that it almost felt like HTC Vive was left out. Fear not, as the company has just announced the launch of its VIVE XR Elite Business Edition. Taking what made the original headset great and adding a few business-centric additions including a new software package.
Unlike other forms of entertainment, virtual reality has one big caveat. No, it isn’t strapping a headset to your face, it’s what happens after that. The dreaded motion sickness, that disconnection your mind and body have when moving through a VR experience. For some, it can be mild whilst others will notice more intense effects. However, there are options to alleviate this, you just have to find what works for you. So here are several ways of combating motion sickness in VR.
HTC Vive has long been in the business of making virtual reality as immersive as possible. Whether that’s through hardware like its headsets or software such as the Vive XR Suite. Another avenue much explored is external trackers, devices that can be attached to your body to track limbs or to objects, bringing them into VR. Today, HTC’s new Vive Tracker has been revealed, and it is very different from previous generations.
At the beginning of January, during CES 2023, HTC Vive announced its latest headset, the VIVE XR Elite. A £1300 GBP mixed reality (MR) headset, pre-orders went live during the event cutting off on 15th February. For an undisclosed reason, VIVE XR Elite pre-orders are continuing, giving early adopters until 30th April to claim five free videogames.
It’s quite common practice when selling gaming hardware that systems are bundled with a video game. Later in their life cycle, you might even get a couple of mid-tier titles. Meta recently bundled Beat Saber in with Quest 2, whilst PlayStation 5 has God of War Ragnarök or Horizon Forbidden West deals available. Therefore, HTC giving away five games with VIVE XR Elite pre-orders shouldn’t be that unusual, should it? Considering this is a £1,299 GBP mixed reality (MR) headset, it kind of is.
There are a multitude of different companies vying for dominance in the VR hardware space. But two have always gone head-to-head over the years; Meta and HTC Vive. Whilst Meta has firmly cornered the consumer market with Quest 2, HTC Vive tended to head down the enterprise route. The next battle is now going to take place in the higher end of the market, with HTC unveiling its VIVE XR Elite, the main competitor to Meta’s new Quest Pro.