The fledgling virtual reality hardware industry can best be characterized as ever-shifting, even though first-gen HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Sony PlayStation VR devices are technically yet to receive proper, direct sequels.
When that eventually happens, the original Vive headset is expected to stick around and get another price cut helping it better compete against the already affordable Rift, as well as the impending ultra-low-cost Oculus Go.
To avoid sales cannibalization and achieve clear distinction between the existing PC-dependent model and its probable 2018 follow-up effort, HTC will reportedly upgrade screen resolution from Full to Ultra HD, looking to circle the 800 ppi mark.
Specifically, “market watchers” predict the HTC Vive 2, Vive Eclipse or however the second-gen variant ends up being named will sport a 5.5-inch display delivering 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. The resulting pixel density would be a huge step forward from the 386, 448 and 456 ppi counts of the PlayStation VR, “regular” Vive and OG Oculus Rift respectively.
The sharp new screens could come from Samsung, which is rumored to be prepping an even higher-res standalone Gear VR edition, or unnamed Chinese suppliers “estimated to begin a similar production shortly.”
Meanwhile, we still have no idea what kind of “high-quality” AMOLED panel the all-in-one Vive Focus contains, though we probably need to keep our expectations low. Either way, the OG Vive, the China-first Focus and this mysterious Ultra HD HMD should help strengthen HTC’s position as an early market leader and pioneer.