Saturday, February 4, 2023

As Apple Bides Its Time, VR Headset Prices Remain High 

by IS_Indust

HTC’s new Vive XR Elite, which will be available next month, will cost £1,299 (approximately $1,099). Meta’s Quest Pro was released a few months ago and costs £1,499 (approximately $1,499). 

VR hardware has frequently been described as repulsive, and to be fair, it once was. Early headsets were notorious for being clumsy and heavy, and many required tethering via cables to a high-end PC capable of processing graphics. 

These new headsets are significantly lighter and more portable. The Vive XR Elite packs down to the size of a tub of peanuts. 

HTC’s newer headsets feature an ingenious internal design feature that allows you to adjust the lenses to correct common vision impairments, which is great news for short-sighted people like me who dislike wearing glasses and a headset at the same time. 

Both headsets lean far more toward mixed reality than the previous total immersive experience – you can always see your physical surroundings through the Meta Quest Pro’s sides. 

The real world was displayed behind the graphics in the majority of the demos that have been tried with the HTC.  

For example, the HTC Holoride is intended for car passengers. It’s a collection of games that move in time with the speed of your vehicle. If the car comes to a halt at a red light, so will your flying robot. It’s cool, but it costs €900 (£800) and only has 10 games.  

VR has some useful applications. It’s frequently marketed as a useful training tool, allowing surgeons to safely learn how to perform delicate operations and engineers to practice fiddly aircraft repairs. It enables millions of people to attend large live events at the same time – in 2019, nearly 11 million people attended the first concert held inside the game Fortnite, featuring DJ Marshmello. Many gamers enjoy it. 

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