Mixed Reality HTC Vive XR Elite headset announced at CES 2023

HTC Vive XR Elite CES 2023

Last week at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, HTC announced the brand new HTC Vive XR Elite mixed reality and VR headset.

The headline focus of The HTC Vive XR Elite headset is adaptability. It can be used plugged in or with a built-in battery, you can set it up for virtual reality or mixed reality (MR), and the company emphasises the portability of the device.

What does the HTC Vive XR Elite do?

It includes a full-colour RGB passthrough camera and hand tracking, which the company says will open you up to a whole new dimension of MR scenarios. These include seeing game characters running around your living room, or getting HUDs (heads-up displays) on real musical instruments as you do virtual lessons. Random mean people on the internet also say it will make you look deeply weird, but that is a given for any VR product.

That kind of MR immersion hasn’t really been possible with previous, bulky or disappointing headsets, which is presumably why HTC focused on making this one light – weighing in at 625g including battery weight. The batteries are also swappable and removable, which is good, since the specifications do not list the battery life (generally a bad sign).

How does it differ to a VR-only headset?

Compared to the Vive Pro 2, a VR-only headset that is currently selling for the same price, a lot of the specs are a step down. 1920 x 1920 pixels per eye instead of 2448 x 2448, 90Hz refresh rate instead of 90/120Hz, no Hi-Res audio, etc.

The XR Elite is designed for a different purpose and different user, so it is slightly unfair to compare them directly, but it’s important to note for people shopping around for a VR headset. People looking for VR-only will be better suited to the Vive Pro 2, and those looking for mixed reality and portability, as well as VR, will be better matched to the Vive XR Elite.

Those keen on the HTC Vive XR Elite headset won’t have to wait long, with pre-orders starting now and first shipments expected in February. If you pre-order before February 15 will receive five “popular” titles including Green Hell VR, Les Mills Body Combat, Unplugged: Air Guitar, Figmin XR, and Glimpse. The $2,099 price includes the headset, battery cradle, and controllers.

Visit our event hub page for the full rundown of everything CES 2023.

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