HTC quashes rumors it might unveil the next-generation Vive headset and reaffirms that the Taiwanese company wants to focus on existing VR products.
To the disappointment of VR fans everywhere, HTC has said that it will not be announcing the successor to the Vive headset at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show next week. Rumors that HTC would announce a new VR headset have been buzzing around for a while now, but the Taiwanese manufacturer quashed it in a statement made earlier today.
"There is no truth to the rumor of launching Vive 2 at CES 2017," HTC said, before continuing that the company is currently more interested in creating "a strong and growing ecosystem for current and future Vive owners." Though this may be disappointing to those waiting on VR improvements, most people with a Vive likely breathed a sigh of relief knowing that their $800 VR headset purchase will remain relevant a while longer. After all, once a second generation gadget comes out, many companies start ignoring earlier offspring. That would be particularly unfortunate to new HTC Vive owners who only just bought the headset over the holidays.
How the rumor started is, as always, a bit of a mystery. The story was first carried in the Western press by Digitimes, which in turn got it from Xinhua, the official press agency of the People's Republic of China. Where Xinhua got its info is anyone's guess, but the agency claimed that the impending announcement of Vive 2 was lowering the price of the existing one. A quick look at the specs of this mythical headset shows why they thought so: it would boast two 4K displays with a 120Hz refresh rate and wireless connections, putting it ahead of its main competitor, the Oculus Rift.
This killer combination of features would most likely make it one of the more sought-after VR headsets, helping the Vive claw back some of the market share it lost to PlayStation VR, but it's not to be. Then again, maybe it's not the best time to release any new headsets, as a recent market analysis has shown that none of the major competitors are doing as well as anyone predicted, with all three VR headsets underperforming.
This may be due to any of several factors, but in a recent interview, the Oculus' chief technology officer John Carmack may have hit the nail on the head when he said that the VR industry was more interested in "coasting on novelty" than making substantial games that would stand in their own right. Though there are plenty of good VR games available, most others focus on wow-factor than actual gameplay, leaving players disappointed once the initial rush wears off.
The fact that there is no Vive 2 coming out anytime soon means that manufacturers and developers will have plenty of time to perfect the current-gen offering and making the most of the technology. But don't be surprised if talk of next-gen VR headsets continue, as most agree that the technology has tremendous room for growth.