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With a headset, SW Tech demonstrates the future of next-generation VR.

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One of the most exciting years in virtual reality history could be 2023. The Meta Quest 3 and the Playstation VR 2 will both be available this year. Similar to their predecessors, both devices are likely to have a long-lasting impact on the industry. 2023 could be a truly historic year if Apple finally enters the spotlight alongside the rest of the industry. That, however, remains to be seen.

Let’s start with the VR headsets that have been confirmed, moving on to the ones that are only rumored to be in the works and could be available in 2023.

Bigscreen: Bigscreen Beyond

The studio behind the film application of a similar name, Bigscreen, uncovered a super-light, wired PC VR headset in February. Tipping the scales at a little more than a fourth of a pound, the gadget is the littlest and lightest VR headset fabricated and promoted to date, as per the maker.

High-resolution OLED microdisplays combined with this form factor and weight make it possible pancake lenses and a resolution of 2,560 by 2,560 pixels per eye. Additionally, the headset does not have speakers, an integrated battery, or inside-out tracking.

SteamVR cannot function without tracking. The $999 price does not include the controllers or the base stations. As a result, Bigscreen Beyond primarily targets customers who are already part of Valve’s ecosystem and want to switch from the 2019 Valve Index to something more up-to-date.

The Bigscreen Beyond face mask is also promoted as being custom-made for each wearer by the company. A face scan, which currently necessitates an iPhone of a more recent model, is used to accomplish this. The end product might be a VR headset with unheard-of comfort while wearing it.

A side-view illustration of the Bigscreen Beyond in front of a white background. It depicts a very light and thin headset.

Bigscreen Beyond outshines all other VR headsets in terms of form factor and weight, while compromising in other areas. | Image: Bigscreen
Bigscreen Beyond outshines all other VR headsets in terms of form factor and weight, while compromising in other areas. | Image: Bigscreen

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    HTC: Vive XR Elite

The HTC Vive Flow and HTC Vive Focus 3 (review) strengths are combined in the company’s new flagship all-in-one headset. It also adds a depth sensor and color passthrough to expand its technical capabilities for Mixed Reality.

The new headset uses the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 – the same chip that powers the Meta Quest 2 (review) and Pico 4 – and comes with full VR controllers, just like the HTC Vive Focus 3. The gadget gets hotcake focal points from the Vive Stream as well as the diopter change, killing the requirement for remedy focal points under the headset.

The modular design of the Vive XR Elite is a unique feature. The XR headset can be transformed into a pair of half-pound XR glasses by removing the battery on the back. Using a USB-C connection cable, the device connects to an external power source. This could be a PC, a power bank, or a seat in an airplane. Using a hot-swap mechanism, the battery can even be changed while the device is running.

With approximately 100 VR apps at launch, the native software offering still has room for improvement. PC VR streaming is also supported by the headset.

The Vive XR Elite will be sold to consumers at a price of $1,099. End of February 2023 marks the beginning of delivery. In our Vive XR Elite test drive, you can get a first look at the device.

The small, light, modular Vive XR Elite. | Image: HTC
The small, light, modular Vive XR Elite. | Image: HTC
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