HTC is set to release a new virtual reality headset aimed primarily at media consumption
HTC is teasing a new virtual reality device, which will be unveiled on October 14 at 8 a.m. PDT during a virtual event. The device is expected to be called Vive Flow, and also a tagline "Go with the Flow."
A report published by Protocol said that a source familiar with HTC's plans mentioned that the new headset will be primarily marketed as a media consumption device with access to some casual gaming, and it will ship without handheld controllers. It'll also be powered by a chipset that's not as powerful as the Oculus Quest 2.
The Flow will have 6-degree freedom tracking, making it more immersive than the Oculus Go.
There's even more proof now: The Bluetooth SIG consortium announced plans to launch a new "VR AIO [all-in-one] product" late last month, referring to a standalone headset that doesn't require a connection to a PC to run VR experiences.
The device is code-named Hue, implying that it will have a sunglasses-like design, similar to the Project Proton prototype shown off in early 2020.
According to the source, HTC is working on its own virtual world called Viveport Verse. You'd be able to control your 3D avatar and visit some of HTC's metaverse events.
There will also be an NFT showroom, but the interesting part is that the Viveport Verse will not be limited to VR headset owners. It will be available on desktop computers as well as mobile devices.
Using Mastodon, an open-source social network, HTC has also been experimenting with adding a persistent social layer to Hubs. The exact way the two products will be linked is unknown. There's also no word on when Verse will be available to consumers, but the project is clearly in its early stages, and the company is unlikely to mention it at this week's hardware unveiling. There's always the possibility that HTC will drop out of the project.
HTC's future in consumer VR, with or without Verse, hinges on its ability to persuade people to believe in the vision behind its new Flow headset. It's designed as a media consumption device, so it could fill an interesting gap in the market for people who want to use their headset to watch Netflix and try out a few lightweight VR apps.