HTC Vive Focus standalone VR headset launched

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Vive just announced its first stand-alone, completely untethered headset – the Vive Focus. Alongside that reveal was the news that it would be supported by a new open platform called Vive Wave.

HTC has additionally partnered with VR development platform Unity Technologies to enable one-click publishing of VR content on to Viveport library, through which the developments will directly debut on the Vive Wave platform. The VR headset is aimed at Chinese markets and its Western counterpart, which is supposed to be made in collaboration with Google, has been canceled. Scattering VR content across a great number of digital storefronts and apps increases friction and means consumers are split amongst multiple hardware vendors, making content harder to access for many.

The HTC Vive Focus's release date hasn't been stated, but developers can apply for a dev kit. The features world-scale inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) tracking, with HTC confirming the device sports a high-resolution AMOLED screen and is powered by the Snapdragon 835 chip, commonly believed to be about as powerful as a Core i3 processor, and a special rotational head strap.

Created to be an all-in-one device, the Focus won't need to be hooked up to a powerful desktop PC in order to run and won't have the same interactivity constraints that mobile VR now has. So what about the US market?

The Vive Wave VR open platform is like Google's DayDream for China (the headset does not support Google's DayDream itself), and already has 12 partners including Quanta, Pimax, Nubia, iQIYI and more who can make 3rd party hardware for the platform, including the aforementioned 6DoF controllers now missing. HTC and Google have now confirmed that the Daydream-branded HTC standalone headset will no longer be coming to the USA market.

Unlike the HTC Vive, the Vive Focus doesn't require any PC or mobile device to deliver you an immersive experience. "We're looking closely at our hardware roadmap, and will share when there is more to come for Western users next year".

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