We’re not sure what lies beneath this sheet, hiding in plain sight on a desk in what appears to be the Vive office, but something tells us its a VR headset. That something being the caption that plainly states “VR Headset – Confirmed”. That’s one mystery solved, then.
But is that case closed on the whole affair? I think not.
We know that Vive intends to launch a new VR headset, and relatively soon by the looks of its recent social media teaser, but we’ve no official release date yet. Nor do we know whether this new headset will be of great interest to gamers or if it’s destined for more enterprising markets.
Vive currently offers the Cosmos and Cosmos elite headsets for gaming, both are tethered headsets out of the box and require a gaming PC to operate. A modular construction does enable some bonuses, if you’re willing to shell out the cash, such as wireless connectivity and inside-out tracking.
That’s the gaming side of things. On the commercial side of things Vive has a couple more options: The Vive Pro, a reworking of the original Vive headset, is available for commercial and professional uses, and now includes eye-tracking. Then there’s the Vive Focus, a standalone VR headset with everything you need to get up-and-running included in the headset itself.
So where might Vive position a new VR headset?
We’ve sadly not got much to go on in that regard. An image posted to Twitter alludes to some external camera functionality, and possibly inside-out tracking akin to the Oculus Quest 2, but it’s not unlike any of Vive’s current headsets to feature faceplate cameras.
The Oculus Quest 2 does seem the headset other major VR players will be gunning for, however. Facebook has said that sales of the Quest 2 have already surpassed expectations, and it’s swiftly risen to the top of the Steam Hardware Survey as the most popular VR headset going. The Quest 2 is a massive success, but it has its flaws. Namely, a compulsory Facebook login (and by extension a re-emerging of the Facebook ownership conundrum), which has raised some privacy and login concerns.
So there’s room for another in the standalone VR headset market, that’s for sure. It would be especially welcome to PC gamers if Vive could mimic the Oculus Link functionality, which allows the Quest headsets to run off a gaming PC for a tethered headset experience.
Now that the accessories are out of the way, let’s get down to business. pic.twitter.com/OxIVCVQYk5April 9, 2021
Popular speculation has Vive once again targeting the enterprise and professional market with its unannounced kit, however. The use of the phrase ‘let’s get down to business’ has convinced a good few that this headset is destined for corpo use instead of gaming in virtual reality, and I have to say that it certainly seems the likely use.
If that’s the case, there’s not much for us PC gamers to get excited about here. But it’s far from a firm theory yet.