After only having been on sale for a few months, HTC may be gearing up to show off an updated model of their Vive virtual reality headset.
In a discussion regardingÂ the companyâs future virtual reality plans, Rikard Steiber, SVP of Virtual Reality at HTC, told TechCrunchÂ thatÂ updatedÂ Vive virtual reality headsets areÂ on the way and hinted that we could expect to see some VR-related news emerging from the company at CES.
Steiber revealed that many of the experiences it is planning in regards to its VR arcade strategyÂ in China and Taiwan will require enhanced arcade-style peripherals (e.g. steering wheels, weapons) but he also detailed that HTCÂ would be rolling out new higher-end Vive headsets with enhanced âdesign factorâ andÂ âperformanceâ at the locations.
The executiveÂ was coy on details but seemed to infer that the headset update would be an iterative one, simply saying, âItâs going to evolve.â
Whether the new higher-end headsets being rolled out at the arcade locations will be second-generation consumer Vive headsets or more of a custom solution wasÂ unclear. After dancing around the subject, I asked point-blank, âWhen is the next consumer Vive on the way?â To which Steiber replied, âI would come to CES, I think CES is going to be very exciting.â
These descriptions and timelines align with previous reportsÂ citing parts suppliers which suggested that HTC was working on a âsleekerâ updated Vive headset to be released in late 2016 or early 2017.
The HTC Vive was released in April of this year for $799 after months of pre-orders and has received generallyÂ positive reception from the early adopter and developers withinÂ the VR community. HTC has been tight-lipped on units sold but an HTC executive commentedÂ last month that the unit salesÂ âfar exceedsâ 140 thousand headsets. The PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift have both been released this year as well, but there has been little discussion regarding when the next wave of these higher-end VR headsets will hit the market.
âThis is year one as far as this set of virtual reality experiences go,â SteiberÂ told me.Â âI think with the amount of innovation going on in the space and the amount of players coming into the space, I do think that innovation cycles will be sort of annual.â