HTC Vive Focus premium standalone VR headset launched

Engadget

Taiwanese consumer electronics company HTC Corp. unveiled its Vive Focus, a standalone virtual reality headset, at the Vive Developer Conference in Beijing on Tuesday. At the moment, the device, which was initially teased at Google I/O 2017 in May, will be available exclusively in China.

Instead, the unit intends to tread the lines between power, portability, and affordability, which puts it in competition with some recently announced Oculus headsets, in particular the Project Santa Cruz and more affordable Oculus Go.

HTC just made a big splash in China, announcing its much-anticipated standalone Vive VR headset for the market. It's a standalone headset that runs on HTC's own VR platform, the also brand new Vive Wave and has access to the Viveport content store for downloading apps and games.

The headset is powered by the Snapdragon 835 VR platform.

At the event, HTC showcased 14 live demos that gave a glimpse of the VR content developed for Vive Wave.

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In contrast to the U.S. and other Western markets, HTC Vive has a more stable foothold in China, which explains why HTC is dumping its resources there.

This cancellation was later confirmed by Clay Bavor, Google's Vice President of Virtual and Augmented Reality, though he also implied that the other standalone Daydream headset from Lenovo is still in the pipeline.

The HTC Vive Focus is lighter than the HTC Vive and the cushion makes it more comfortable to wear as well.

"As the VR industry leader in China, it is our duty to help reduce market fragmentation and provide content developers with more ways to make money", said Graylin. In place of external motion sensors like the ones the Vive and Oculus Rift use to track movement, the Vive Focus features inside-out 6-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) "world-scale" tracking.

While the Vive Focus is a standalone device that is not connected to a computer or a smartphone, it has numerous same features as a high-end device, HTC said. This means that it does not require connections to accessories such as base stations like the HTC Vive VR headset. More importantly, this is the first hardware implementation of the new Vive Wave platform.

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