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VR headset prices may soar up as Apple makes users wait

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VR headset prices may soar up as Apple makes users wait-GadgetAny
VR headset

In virtual reality, I boxed, looked for adorable aliens, piloted a robot that shot lasers, and created my own masterpiece last week in Las Vegas.

Some of the headsets I used to test out these experiences were nearly twice as expensive as the smartphone we used to take the picture up top. They might be much less functional right now, at least. Are they thus worthwhile?

The new HTC Vive XR Elite will cost £1,299 or $1,099 when it launches next month. A few months ago, Meta’s Quest Pro went on sale for £1,499 or $1,499.

Advanced hardware

VR hardware has frequently been referred to as intimidating, and to be honest, it once was. Early headsets were infamous for being cumbersome and heavy, and many needed to be connected via wires to a powerful computer in order to process the pictures.

These new headphones are far more portable and lighter in comparison. A case the size of a container of peanuts can hold the Vive XR Elite headset when it is folded up.

The lenses on HTC’s more recent headsets can be adjusted to remedy common vision problems, which is great for short-sighted folks like me who don’t like to wear glasses and a headset at the same time.

Competing realities

Both headsets push considerably more toward mixed reality than the prior fully immersive experience; with the Meta Quest Pro, you can always see the outside world.

The majority of the demos I attempted with the HTC showed the real environment behind the graphics via a camera. As a result, my virtual boxing target didn’t land right in front of where my colleague Ammie was standing in real life, sparing him a hit to the nose.

I’m using the term “virtual reality” (VR) in this post as a catch-all, but I believe that mixed reality, often referred to as augmented reality (AR), is more likely to gain popularity. It is more about digitally enriching your current environment or easily transitioning between the two as opposed to entirely losing yourself in a virtual one, which is unsustainable over an extended period of time. Theoretically, this will enable you to use your headset for an extended period of time, up to the two-hour battery life.

For example, the HTC Holoride is intended for use by passengers in vehicles. It’s a collection of games that move at the same speed as the moving vehicle you’re in. Your flying robot stops at red lights much like the car does.

The only drawbacks are that there are only 10 games and it costs €900 (£800). I don’t know how long it would keep my kids’ attention, but I think they’d like it.

To be honest, the Quest Pro demo was a little strange. A strange, rabbit-like creature bounced over the wall into a fantasy area that I was not allowed to enter, so I had to use a kind of magical torch to search the floor for it.

Then I encountered an avatar who could imitate my facial expressions and had a youthful green face with pink flower petals for hair. It served as an illustration of how I might show up in its constructed metaverse, according to Meta.

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Awanish Kumar

By Awanish Kumar

I keep abreast of the latest technological developments to bring you unfiltered information about gadgets.

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