HTC’s next headset will be a mobile VR device

HTC’s next virtual reality gadget will be specifically geared towards people on the move.

Designed to be used in conjunction with its brand new flagship smartphone HTC U Ultra, the VR headset will have mobile at its heart and be a challenger for those products at the cheaper end of the market.

“We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR,” said HTC Chief Financial Officer Chia-lin Chang in an interview first spotted here. “Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you’ll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it’s not a phone slapped onto a headset.”

Related: MWC 2017

There is very little detail other than that, with Chang only adding that it will be out before the end of the year and that HTC is a “VR company”.

htc viveThe Vive

The HTC Vive, which beat allcomers to win the VR Headset of the Year at the TrustedReviews Awards, is a seriously impressive piece of kit, but one of the major bugbears, beyond the restrictive £759 price tag, is that it has to be hooked up to a PC to be used. If the words of Chang are to be treated as gospel, HTC’s next headset won’t have that same issue.

While the Vive is in a league of its own at one end of the market, Samsung managed to corner the low-end and shipped some 4.51 million of its Gear VR headsets in 2016. That’s a significant figure when you realise that the market as a whole was made up of just 6.3 million shipments and Samsung out-shipped all its competitors combined.

The £749 Vive shipped around 420,000 units in 2016 and comes in a lot more expensive than Samsung’s £99 piece of kit.

HTC has a busy few months ahead, with the U Ultra and U Play both set to hit the UK market by the end of March, and if it can take a chunk of Samsung’s lead in the VR space, its phones could well get a bump too.

Watch: The 10 best games on HTC Vive


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