HTC Vive Focus standalone VR headset eliminates wires

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The headset is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform and supports inside-out tracking to enable 6 DOF (degrees of freedom) tracking in real time and without additional trackers.

Along with the Vive Wave announcement, HTC discussed a few more details about its upcoming standalone VR headset for the China market.

HTC Vive report it is concerned by the continuing fragmentation of the VR market, particularly in China. "Now you can essentially do most of the things that you could do on a high-end machine on a standalone". Perhaps the only surprising bit of info is that the Focus comes with a 3DoF controller, though I was assured that it will still give "a very good experience" when paired with the 6DoF headset. At its Vive dev conference in Shanghai today, HTC announced the Vive Wave platform which pairs content development with syncing hardware partners behind their Viveport content store, which HTC is hoping to unify developers behind. Therefore it seems likely that those companies intent to integrate Vive Wave into their hardware.

"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", HTC Vive head Alvin Wang Graylin said in a statement regarding the news.

The HTC Focus aims to offer something like the best of both current VR worlds - you get a premium experience as with higher end virtual reality headsets, but with the same portability as things like Gear VR that use a phone to eliminate wires. Developers who are already using Unity will enjoy the added benefit of the new one-click process to publish to Viveport, along with in-app payment support starting with China.

Unfortunately, HTC is still keeping details under wraps for now, and so specifics aren't yet clear.

Focus is a welcomed addition to the growing VR segment, though it is unclear whether it will have large consumer appeal. While Oculus executives have outright noted that they are not particularly interested in making money off of hardware sales, there aren't many other options for HTC which has done a poor job of becoming a platform company in the USA despite being first-to-market. No launch price or date has been announced, though developers can sign up for a development kit on HTC's Vive Focus page. The focus appears to be exclusively on China with this release as well.