HTC has announced the availability of preorders for a new virtual and augmented reality headset called the Vive XR Elite. The headset is priced at $1,099 and is intended to be a competitor to the Meta Quest headsets and the rumored Apple AR/VR device. It will be shipped worldwide in late February and will support a range of consumer games and software, as well as mixed reality experiences using full-color passthrough video.
The Vive XR Elite is targeting consumers who want a lightweight headset for games, media, and productivity tools. HTC has promised a small and light design for the headset, which weighs 625 grams, making it heavier than the Meta Quest 2 but lighter than the Quest Pro, which weighs 722 grams. The XR Elite offers mixed reality capabilities through the use of color cameras and a depth sensor, which provide additional situational awareness, a feature that was originally planned for the Meta Quest Pro but was later removed.
Vive XR Elite specs
Although the Vive XR Elite has acceptable specifications, it is roughly comparable to the Oculus Quest 2 in terms of performance, but it is priced twice as high:
- Resolution: 1920×1920 pixels per eye (3840×1920 pixels combined)
- Headset Tracking: 6 Degrees of Freedom inside-out tracking
- Refresh Rate: 90 Hz
- Field of View: Up to 110 Degrees
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
- Storage: 128 GB
- RAM: 12 GB
- 2 USB 3.2 Gen-1 Type C ports
- Bluetooth 5.2 + BLE
- Wi-Fi 6 + 6E
- 4 Tracking cameras
- 16 MP RGB passthrough camera
- Depth sensor
- Proximity sensor
Vive XR Elite pricing
There is only one model of the $1,099 Vive XR Elite available. Despite being rather expensive, this performs admirably compared to the rest of the Vive lineup. For instance, the Focus 3 costs $1,300 for the headset and controllers, while the Vive Pro 2 costs $1,399 for the headset, two Base Station 2.0 units, and a set of Controller 2.0s.
So even though the XR Elite appears to be pricey, it compares favorably to other premium headsets. Although it costs only little more than the Valve Index VR Kit, being wireless makes for a far more pleasant experience.
Vive XR Elite release date
The Vive XR Elite is expected to be released in early March 2023, and pre-orders are currently being accepted. It is not clear whether the orders will be shipped in waves or all at once, but pre-orders are guaranteed to be shipped in early March. To ensure that you receive the headset as soon as possible, it is recommended to place a pre-order before they close on February 15, 2023.
Unfortunately, the Vive XR Elite does not offer anything particularly innovative or groundbreaking, and it does not outperform some of HTC’s other models. For example, the Vive Focus 3 has similar specifications and is in the same price range as the XR Elite. The main advantage of the XR Elite is its smaller form factor, which is made possible by the use of pancake lenses. However, if size is not a primary concern for you, it may be more beneficial to choose the Oculus Quest 2 over the XR Elite. Unfortunately, the Vive XR Elite weighs 625g overall, which is more than the 503g Meta Quest 2.