HTC launches Vive Focus for China, drops plans for Daydream headset

HTC Vive Focus is a standalone VR headset with ‘world-scale’ tracking

Design-wise, the Vive Focus looks a little like the original HTC Vive has been mixed with the PlayStation VR headset. The Taiwanese manufacturer has stated that it is looking to attract a mainstream audience, and considering Oculus' $199 standalone VR headset is set to arrive sometime next year, it'll be interesting to see where the Vive Focus slots in.

What most want, however, isn't just wireless untethered VR, but standalone VR, allowing you to enter a virtual world from anywhere without being stuck down by cables. As previously announced, the Vive Focus runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip and uses inside-out positional tracking.

Full specs haven't yet been confirmed, but HTC has said that the standalone headset will utilise the firm's newly-announced Vive Wave VR open platform and Viveport store to access apps and content.

HTC has revealed a new virtual reality headset which no longer relies on wires and base stations to create VR environments you can physically walk through.

"We still have a great relationship with Google, but will not be bringing a standalone device to the western markets on Daydream", the spokesperson told TechCrunch, which Google's Clay Bavor also confirmed in a tweet, saying they remain "great partners". The best part of its device is that unlike the HTC Vive, the Vivo Focus doesn't need a smartphone or a PC to function and offer you an immersive experience.

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The Vive Focus features inside-out 6-degrees-of-freedom "world-scale" tracking.

HTC has not given any pricing or release dates for the Focus but did say it would initially be available in only China.

At the Vive Developer Conference this week, however, HTC lifted the curtain on Vive Focus, its very own standalone headset that doesn't integrate Daydream.

But HTC's headset wasn't the only device in development: Lenovo is also building a standalone Daydream headset, and Bavor said he's "been using and loving" his Lenovo Daydream HMD.

HTC also confirmed that content designed for the HTC Vive will be downgraded to work smoothly with 20ms low latency on the HTC Vive Focus, but noted that this would be an nearly automatic process using the OpenVR-compatible SDK to optimize the content for medium-level hardware. There is also a 3DoF controller that comes along with the headset.

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