HTC is launching a standalone VR headset in China today. The company’s new Vive Focus headset is a virtual reality headset powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.
The headset includes six-degrees-of-freedom tracking which would be a first on a standalone VR headset. HTC isn’t revealing many details about the Vive Focus as of yet — in fact, there’s no word on the pricing and availability of the headset yet. HTC says the Vive Focus will include a rich content library, and let users experience content from its Viveport VR platform.
HTC is also cancelling its standalone Vive VR headset powered by Daydream today. HTC is one of the two companies that teamed up with Google to build standalone Daydream VR headsets, but Lenovo is now the only company building a standalone VR headset for Daydream. “We still have a great relationship with Google, but will not be bringing a standalone device to the western markets on Daydream,” an HTC spokesperson told TechCrunch. Google’s VP of virtual and augmented reality later confirmed the news on Twitter:
Confirmed, no Daydream standalone from HTC, but we remain great partners. https://t.co/t3RvgJIMUp
— Clay Bavor (@claybavor) November 14, 2017
Bavor says Google and HTC remain “great” partners, but he later went on to talk about the standalone Daydream VR headset from Lenovo, which is set to come soon. Lenovo is still working on its Daydream VR headset that interestingly looks a lot like the company’s $399 Windows Mixed Reality headset. Google’s Daydream platform is yet to take off, mostly due to the lack of powerful hardware that’s capable of actually running rich virtual reality experiences and full-blown VR games.
While Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform is showing a bit of promise, the headsets still require you to connect to a computer, and that’s something Microsoft and other companies will likely be able to break through in a couple of years without compromising the VR gaming experience. Facebook is, however, working on its own standalone $199 Oculus headset which is supposed to offer a similar experience to the company’s full-blown Rift headset and will go head to head with the new Vive Focus, so that’s also looking quite promising at such a low price range.