HTC announces surprise VR headset to take on the Meta Quest Pro

Meta and Sony might have been dominating the conversation about consumer VR headsets for the past year or so, but long-time rival HTC isn’t ready to throw in the towel.

Following a teaser back in October, HTC reportedly has plans to announce a new standalone headset at CES 2023 – on January 5 – a device that promises to be lightweight yet “powerful,” capable of producing virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Not too many details have been announced yet, but the descriptions so far paint it as a solid rival to both the premium Meta Quest Pro and more consumer-friendly devices like the Pico 4 and Oculus Quest 2.

Speaking with The Verge (opens in new tab), HTC global head of product Shen Ye said that the company will unveil a device that is not only a tool for gaming, entertainment, and exercise but for enterprise and productivity uses too. This fully self-contained VR headset won’t need a smartphone or PC to help it run, and it’ll support controllers and hand tracking for six degrees of freedom (6DoF) experiences – also known as full-VR experiences that are much more immersive than typical 3DoF VR activities like VR films.

A teaser image of some VR device that HTC shared on Twitter

HTC shared this teaser image (opens in new tab) of the device back in October (Image credit: HTC)

Color passthrough seems to be the major focus for this product – which is unsurprising considering Meta and others have made it their top priority too. Color passthrough means you can see the real world in full color while wearing the headset thanks to outward-facing cameras. 

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