HTC VIVE Flow Will Bring VR to the “Masses” for $499
VR hasn’t gone mainstream (install base-wise), and one of the biggest reasons as to why is rather simple: it’s expensive as heck. HTC, however, wants to change that for the better and has announced its latest attempt at “bringing VR to the masses,” called VIVE Flow.
Then again, at $499, the HTC VIVE Flow price is more expensive than the Oculus Quest 2 — and doesn’t have nearly as many features. It’ll all boil down to what you’re after in a VR headset. One could argue that this isn’t the budget-friendly VR option most of us were hoping for, but a unique take on the VR formula, geared towards stationary use and people who want something thin-and-light that won’t take up too much space and will provide the most important features.
The VIVE Flow has been designed with portability in mind — that is its main allure. Its power supply (i.e., battery) has also been separated from the headset, resulting in a truly lightweight frame that can be worn for hours on end. Depending on how hard you’re pushing it, it’ll last for four to five hours on a charge, which is more than sufficient.
Interestingly enough, the VIVE Flow comes with a battery pack (additional ones will be sold for $79), but you can also use any 10,000mAh battery pack and connect it using a standard USB-C cable. The Flow currently only supports Android, but iOS still hasn’t been ruled out.
A Solid, ‘No-Frills’ Entry Into VR
Now, as you can probably guess based on its appearance, the HTC VIVE Flow isn’t meant for hardcore gamers or VR aficionados. Instead, it’s geared towards “lightweight” VR experiences, wellness apps, light gaming, and consuming content (in a wholly immersive way). It weighs just 189 grams, packs a fairly respectable 100-degree FoV, 3.2K combined resolution, along with a 75Hz refresh rate. Last but certainly not least, users will be able to fine-tune the whole experience using built-in dials, along with onboard noise- and echo-canceling microphones. Finally, an active cooling system will push the warm air from the user’s face to ensure the most comfortable experience possible.
You can pre-order the HTC VIVE Flow for $499, with the first units expected to ship this November. If you do happen to put in a pre-order, you’ll get a special VIVE Flow carrying case along with a gift bundle containing a bunch of content designed to showcase the best of HTC’s VIVE Flow truly.