HTC launched its virtual reality Vive headset back in April of this year, and since then the company has been trying to build an ecosystem around its device. However, one executive has now said that the company is already working on hardware upgrades and new versions of the Vive.
Talking to TechCrunch, Rikard Steiber, SVP of Virtual Reality at HTC, let slip some very interesting details of what the company is doing and where the technology might be going. The executive hinted that new, upgraded Vive headsets are being currently developed, alongside new peripherals.
Steiber was mainly talking about HTC’s strategy in China and Taiwan, where the company is focusing on arcades that can offer virtual reality experiences to players. HTC has big plans by the end of the 2017 with regards to expanding its reach through these arcades. The company also sent a public statement afterwards saying that Steiber’s remarks with regards to any hardware upgrades of the Vive were related to the current business edition Vive hardware.
However, Steiber’s remarks clearly address more than just the current business cycle. He said he believes that with the pace of innovation currently happening in VR and the increasing number of competitors on the market, device lifecycles and refresh rates will likely be yearly.
That being the case, his mentions of upgraded Vive hardware with enhanced “design factor” and “performance”, clearly encompass a new version of the Vive. Taken together, these statements let us safely assume that HTC is going to unveil a more powerful and refined version of the headset, likely in the first half of next year. If that’s the case, it’s also very safe to assume that any such product is currently undergoing development.