A new post tweet from the official HTC VIVE Twitter page appears to hint that the company has big plans for this year’s CES event in Las Vegas. That’s because although the post only contains the hashtags “#newyearsresolution” and “#HTCVIVE,” it is also accompanied by a cleverly devised press image which seems to indicate that an improved VIVE VR headset will be shown or launched at the expo. The image itself portrays an artistic representation of VR goggles. Above the headset are the word’s “NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION” and a date that happens to fall during CES 2018. What’s interesting about the image is that the first two words have been deliberately blurred, while “RESOLUTION” is crystal clear. Taken in combination with the date – January 8, 2018 – its hard to imagine the image portraying anything other than a planned CES announcement for an updated HTC VIVE VR headset with improved screen resolution.
While the message portrayed by the image seems clear enough, it’s important to point out that the image likely doesn’t tell the whole story. The company had previously planned to keep its original VIVE on the market with very few changes or updates, for as long as possible. The idea behind that was that it would help to generate a longer device lifecycle and was at least one reason a second generation system was not shown during last year’s CES event. By lengthening the device’s lifecycle, the company could effectively prevent customers from feeling as though they would need to repeatedly and continuously spend money on expensive hardware to be able to keep taking advantage of the latest VR software and games.
Having said that, the announcement could indicate a break from that previous business model and a completely new VR system from the company. It could also point to a minor update or even to something that can be done to bring an improvement in resolution to currently available VIVE systems. Beyond that, the updated system could be improved in a wide variety of ways in addition to a more general bump to screen resolution figures. For example, it may or may not include improved refresh rates, better controllers or room scale cameras, or any number of other enhancements. There really won’t be any way to know for sure until HTC reveals its meaning on January 8.