Away from the trade fair, HTC showed its new VR glasses in a special showroom. Here we had the opportunity to play various games on the HTC Vive XR Elite. The glasses made a consistently good impression, but we had one problem.
Gamers who want to really immerse themselves in the game use VR glasses. So far, most models have been quite clumsy and heavy. The new Vive XR Elite, which HTC presented at CES 2023, is different. We have already been able to try the headset.
HTC Vive XR Elite is one of the lightest VR glasses
HTC already has some VR glasses on offer. However, the HTC Vive XR Elite is the manufacturer’s lightest and most compact model to date. The glasses weigh a total of 625 grams including the battery and should therefore sit comfortably on the head even during longer gaming sessions. For comparison: The Meta Quest Pro weighs almost 100 grams more.
We also had no problems with the seat of the HTC Vive XR Elite during the test. Admittedly, wearing them is a bit unusual at first, as a good balance needs to be struck both in front of the eyes and on the back of the head for the VR goggles to be comfortable. HTC does without a strap over the head that holds the headset. Therefore, the goggles must be securely strapped to the back of the dial to ensure they are securely in place. After wearing them for a few minutes, you get used to the extra weight on your head.
The battery promises maximum freedom when playing – without any cables
We really liked the fact that you can also gamble wirelessly with the HTC Vive XR Elite. This is made possible by a battery that is located at the back of the head while playing. According to the manufacturer, it allows wireless operation for about two hours and can be changed at any time. HTC offers additional batteries as an option.
If you want to gamble longer or save additional weight on your head, you can also remove the battery and switch to cable operation. The HTC Vive XR Elite then draws power via the USB-C port on the side. Since the small turning wheel for lashing is missing without the battery, the manufacturer integrates additional brackets for cable operation, similar to those of glasses.
Also Read: What is the difference between VR, AR and MR?
4K, correction of poor eyesight and many cameras
Despite its compact design, HTC has hidden some new technology in the Vive XR Elite. There is a display in front of each eye that has a resolution of 2K. Collectively, gamers see images in 4K quality. The field of view is 110 degrees and the refresh rate is 90 Hz.
However, glasses cannot be worn underneath the HTC Vive. So that glasses wearers can still play with the VR glasses, the ametropia can be compensated for by up to 6 dioptres on each side.
While wearing the VR headset, players see what’s happening around them through the inner displays. The images are supplied by a total of four wide-angle cameras with depth sensors. Looking at the world through the cameras, interaction is a bit unusual at first and depth perception is slightly distorted. We therefore had to make some adjustments when gripping the controllers during the test. Overall, however, you quickly get used to the different perception and can better estimate distances with some time. Incidentally, the controllers are well-known models, two of which are included in the scope of delivery.
You keep getting dizzy
With VR headsets, players can immerse themselves in completely different worlds. During our test, we dived under water, tried boxing or painted on a large canvas like Picasso. Unlike previous VR glasses, the new models like the HTC Vive XR Elite don’t get dizzy as quickly. After an intensive tour of HTC’s test rooms, we still needed a break. We couldn’t quite get used to the fact that although our bodies are firmly planted on the ground, our heads say we’re swimming in the sea.
Also read: Which VR glasses are the right ones?
Stream films like in the cinema
However, the HTC Vive XR Elite is not just VR glasses for gamers. Thanks to wireless transmission via WiFi 6E, it should be possible to stream from an Android smartphone to the VR glasses with almost no delay. Wearers can experience films and series almost like in the cinema, all on a 300-inch screen, according to HTC. Unfortunately, we couldn’t try this function at CES.
Pricing, launch and games for the HTC Vive XR Elite
According to HTC, the Vive XR Elite starts with the largest selection of games to date. The manufacturer has announced a total of 100 new MR and VR content, ranging from new games to classics. These include Demeo, Hubris, Yuki, Maestro, Les Mills Body Combat, FigminXR, Unplugged, and Finger Gun. There will be more post-launch content, such as Everslaught: Invasion, and full MR games later in the year, such as Eggscape.
The HTC Vive XR Elite can now be pre-ordered on the manufacturer’s website. Shipping is scheduled to start at the end of February. However, the new headset is not cheap. The package of VR glasses, battery holder, two controllers and battery costs 1399 euros.