Although Oculus has now almost become the biggest name in consumer VR products, it isn’t the only one occupying to top tiers of that still niche market. There was a time when HTC’s Vive went toe to toe with Oculus, but it seems to have faded into the background in the past year or so. Just like with its smartphones, HTC isn’t calling it quits and might finally be ready to take the combined might of Oculus and Facebook this week with a new standalone VR headset as well as a new “metaverse” platform.
While Oculus has decided to pour all its resources on standalone VR headsets after two Quest attempts, HTC has yet to reach a similar business move in favor of untethered experiences. It does have its Vive Focus line of standalone headsets, but there’s always room for more, especially if things aren’t looking well for those products.
Unfortunately, the HTC Vive Flow that Protocol is reporting on won’t exactly be an Oculus Quest 2 killer. According to the publication’s sources, it will be less powerful than the Quest 2 but will make up for it with six degrees of freedom tracking. Rather than a complete VR package, the Vive Flow will apparently aim for content consumption and won’t even ship with controllers.
The second part of HTC’s renewed VR push will revolve around the latest buzzword in the industry. Viewport Verse will be the company’s version of a metaverse, bridging experiences across VR, mobile, and even desktop computers. Unsurprisingly, it will have some sort of NFT tie-in just to make sure all the boxes are checked.
While HTC can be applauded for its continuing efforts to challenge the VR industry giant, it clearly faces an uphill battle to narrow the gap with Oculus. The Vive Flow almost sounds dead on arrival with its limited uses, and Viveport Verse might not stick around long enough to actually be a profitable platform. Still, Oculus runs the risk of furthering Facebook’s grip on the tech world, and any challenger to its position definitely deserves some attention.