HTC Vive rumoured to announce new headset

Cryptic slogans and images point to a new standalone headset

Virtual reality headset manufacturer HTC has issued a series of cryptic tweets, teasing an upcoming announcement.

The tweets, which use the hashtag #gowiththeflow, link to the main Vive.com homepage, which reveals an event planned for 4pm BST on October 14.

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HTC Vive released two new products to its line of gaming headsets in June 2021. The Vive Pro 2 and the Vive Focus 3 both cater to the higher end of the VR market, offering a wide field of view and high resolution which aligns with their high end price point. However, an announcement to merely unveil accessories for these models seems unlikely, with RoadToVR speculating that entirely new standalone VR headsets are planned.

There are currently two possibilities which seem more realistic. The first is something related to the Vive Proton; a prototype the company unveiled back in February 2020. This proof of concept included two models: a standalone compact headset, and a wired glasses-like model which could be used with smartphones.

Looking at the first tweet, in the foreground we can see a compact case which appears too small for most common VR headsets. With the Vive Proton’s focus on its slim, portable design, this seems a likely contender for the new announcement. The black of the container and pink of the hinge also match the colour scheme of this concept and the smartphone pictured could also lead us to this answer.

The other possibility is related to images leaked back in April, shortly after the release of the other two headsets. This concept, titled the Vive Air, focused on fitness, including photos of a woman working out. The components were also touted as being soft, lightweight and washable.

While the colour scheme does not match the new images, the mysterious slogan “Go with the Flow”, does align with this design. The yoga pose in HTC Vive’s second tweet also points to the fitness based concept. While HTC stated it was not working on the model directly, the initial leak also suggested a 2021 release for the new hardware.

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With yesterday’s Facebook outage exposing vulnerabilities in Oculus headsets, HTC’s main rival in the VR field, consumers will be eagerly eyeing up this new announcement.

In other news, internet and gaming sleuths got it right once again as Ubisoft confirmed a major fan theory concerning the identity of the main villain from Far Cry 2.

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