If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the growth of VR, it’s that there is always a new technological development around the corner and, more often than not, it changes the game.
As we set our sights on the horizon, we’re anticipating more developments: from minor adjustments to exciting overhauls, the VR community has a lot to look forward to.
So, let’s cover it here. Here is everything we know about upcoming VR headsets in 2019!
HTC Vive Cosmos (release date 3rd October 2019)
With the release date coming in a few short weeks, the HTC Vive Cosmos is the latest piece of VR kit to hit the market. It’s also a fine example of an electronics company actively listening to its customers and coming back with a product that takes into consideration each and every criticism. It’s clear that this one is for the fans.
It’s designed to give customers more comfort and a lot more convenience – you now won’t have to set up the clunky Lighthouse base stations everywhere! The headset itself also has comfort in mind, with a clever venting system that prevents your face from getting too hot
(the face plate even has a small fan that cools the built-in cameras!).
It’s these cameras that take care of tracking (which is why the Lighthouse base stations are a thing of the past). What’s perhaps most impressive is the high resolution. The HTC Vive Cosmos has a resolution of 1,440X1,700 pixels per eye which may sound like technological mumbo-jumbo but is actually quite impressive and, according to HTC, is 40% clearer than the original Vive. Suffice to say, we’re excited! Roll on 3rd October.
HTC Vive PRO Eye (release date second quarter of 2019)
Following the Cosmos release is HTC’s Vive PRO Eye, HTC’s first headset to use eye-tracking technology. Eye-tracking works by allowing users to actually control things (objects, events) in VR simply by looking at them. Imagine the possibilities!
We’re most impressed by what is called ‘foveated rendering’, something that only eye-tracking technology is capable of. Foveated rendering is where higher fidelity VR images are generated according to where your eyes are looking – the Vive PRO Eye will render the parts you’re looking at in high resolution. So, the parts you’re not looking at (essentially your peripheral vision) will be rendered in standard resolution. This saves power which can be used to fuel other VR functions (the processing power of VR systems has always been high, so eye-tracking enables headsets to work more economically without sacrificing screen quality).
Elsewhere in the Vive PRO Eye, you’ll have dual integrated headphones, a 110 degree field of view, G-sensor technology, and is ergonomically designed to relieve eye strain during longer use. We’re still not over the foveated rendering, to be honest…
Apple’s 8K VR/HR headset
2020 is the year that Apple throws their hat into the VR ring and releases a brand new product that incorporates virtual reality as well as augmented reality. Up until recently, Apple had done well to keep this news under the radar, but now thanks to Bloomberg and their discovery of secret meetings held between Apple and AR manufacturers, the cat is well and truly out of the bag. Apple have seen the buzz that the likes of Oculus VR and HTC have created, and they want in.
A bit about their new product: at the moment, it’s codenamed T288 – clearly it’s still very hush-hush. What is clear is the 8K resolution (in both eyes!) so we’re pretty impressed by that. It’s going to be an advanced headset and will be untethered from a computer or smartphone, and with 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye it looks to challenge the domination of HTC and Oculus VR.
There is no definite release data as the T288 is still in its infancy, all we know is that it’s coming in 2020. So keep your (8K) eyes peeled!
Nintendo Switch VR
Earlier this year, Nintendo released the Nintendo Labo VR and it was largely ignored by both the industry and VR fans. It felt more like a novelty arcade game rather than anything technologically notable or significant. It had its appeal, mostly for parents wanting to buy their children relatively inexpensive VR products. For the most part, it was a bit of a flop.
However, we can reveal that Nintendo are experimenting with new designs and have even filed a patent for a new VR product. As you can imagine, it’s very early days and we’re not sure that it’s even entered production yet. From looking at the patent, the new product will be constructed out of sturdier material than the Labo VR which relied on cardboard VR. Does this mean that Nintendo are aiming the product at a more sophisticated, older market? If it’s better looking, and better made, then they should be able to expand their market into new territories. It’s still early days, but we remain optimistic and open-minded about Nintendo’s VR products.
Finally, a new version of the Samsung Gear VR?
We all thought that Samsung’s Gear VR line had been discontinued, but it seems that Samsung will be unveiling more than one VR/AR product somewhere between the end of 2019 and 2020. According to an article published by Variety, Farshid Fallah (Samsung’s director of developer relations for XR and gaming) recently spoke on Samsung’s VR efforts saying that “we have other plans for Gear” – referring here to Gear VR.
At the moment, this is something that has barely taken on official status, so there’s no timeline to speak of. At the moment, we have nothing more to report. But, we’re excited for new Samsung VR products in the future!
Get your cases at the ready
With so many VR systems coming our way, we’re going to need some kind of protective casing to keep them in good knick – fortunately, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive range of VR storage.
While you’re looking at those, be sure to visit our VR blog for the latest updates and developments in the VR world.