Meta and Sony may have dominated the consumer conversation about VR headsets for about a year now, but longtime rival HTC isn't ready to throw in the towel.

Following a teaser in October, HTC is reportedly planning to announce a new standalone headset at CES 2023 on January 5, a device that promises to be lightweight yet "powerful," capable of producing VR and AR experiences. Few details have yet been announced, but descriptions so far describe it as a strong rival to both the premium Meta Quest Pro and more user-friendly devices like the Pico 4 and Oculus Quest 2.

Speaking to The Verge(opens in a new tab), HTC's global product manager Shen Ye said the company will introduce a device that is not just a tool for gaming, entertainment and fitness, but also for business and productivity. This completely self-contained VR headset won't need a smartphone or computer to help it operate, and will 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 movies.

A teaser image of a VR headset that HTC shared on Twitter

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

Color transmission seems to be the main focus of this product, which is not surprising given that Meta and others have made it their top priority as well. Color pass-through means you can see the real world in color while wearing the headset thanks to the outward-facing cameras.

However, this device won't just mimic what has come before. Ye revealed that the headphones will have a depth sensor, something the Quets Pro lacks, which should allow for more efficient tracking of the user's limbs and objects in the room, and will also display an image with better dynamic range than others. options in the market. While we were impressed with the color reproduction of headphones like the Pico 4, the Quest Pro's color gamut wasn't the best. If HTC's device can deliver, that could give it an edge over its most notable competitor.

However, there's one problem with the Meta Quest Pro that HTC's headset won't be able to dodge: short battery life. Ye admitted that the device can only run for a maximum of two hours on a single charge, like the Quest Pro when it adapts its mixed reality capabilities. The Quest Pro can go up to around three hours if used for VR experiences alone, but we'll have to wait and see if the HTC headset can also go far when used for less intensive tasks.

For now, there are plenty of details we don't yet know about the device, especially how much it will cost, but we don't have long to wait until we hear more on January 5th. Be sure to check back for our CES 2023 coverage if you want all the latest details.

Do you want to know more about the state of virtual reality? Check out our picks for the best VR headsets, plus the titles we think are the best VR games.

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