Thursday, May 19, 2022

HTC Vive Focus: Release date, specs, and everything you need to know

HTC has officially unveiled a brand new VR headset called the HTC Vive Focus. 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. 

Allow us to explain everything there is to know about HTC’s new headset, including where it’s available, when you can buy it and what it can do.

What is the HTC Vive Focus?

  • 6-Degrees-of-Freedom tracking
  • No need for external sensors or gaming PC
  • Designed for comfort, additional 3-Degrees-of-Freedom hand controller

The HTC Vive Focus is a brand new VR headset announced by HTC at its annual Vive Developer’s Conference. It was originally thought to be a Daydream headset, made in collaboration with Google, but those plans have since been cancelled. 

The HTC Vive Focus will instead run on a new VR platform developed by HTC called Vive Wave. It’s a standalone headset and has inside-out 6-degrees-of-freedom tracking, which means it doesn’t need to be connected to a gaming PC or use external sensors to work. Instead, all the technology is built into the headset itself, so you can immerse yourself in VR gaming wherever you want. 

The Vive Focus runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 VR platform with instant-on support while inside the headset there is a “high-resolution” AMOLED screen. The headband is similar to the Deluxe Audio Strap for the HTC Vive in that has an adjustment dial to help you find a snug fit, but it doesn’t have built-in headphones.

Finally, the Vive Focus headset also comes with a 3-degrees-of-freedom hand controller, while the headset itself adopts a slightly unusual design, including a bright blue colour finish. 

What is HTC Vive Wave?

  • Open VR platform
  • 12 hardware partners signed up

HTC Vive Wave is the VR platform that will run on the Vive Focus VR headset. It’s essentially Daydream but for China instead, meaning the Vive Focus is the VR headset we expected to come to the UK and US, but running Daydream instead. 12 hardware partners have already signed up to the platform, including 360QIKU, Baofengmojing, Coocaa, EmdoorVR, Idealens, iQIYI, Juhaokan, Nubia, Pico, Pimax, Quanta and Thundercomm.

Vive Wave is an open VR platform, so when developers port content originally made for the HTC Vive across to the Vive Focus, they can either make use of the new 3DoF hand controller, or keep the 6DoF controls and use additional accessories. 

Daydream and Samsung Gear VR content can be ported across to Vive Wave, too and any developers using Unity can upload content to Viveport at the click of a single button. 

When can I buy HTC Vive Focus?

The HTC Vive Focus technically had a limited launch last year in China, but soon, it’ll be available going worldwide. The company announced the news during the 2018 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. There’s no word yet on how much it will cost. 

HTC is probably eager to rollout the Vive Focus since the Oculus Go, a $199 phone-free device from the makers of the Oculus Rift, is expected to arrive in May. Plus, Lenovo’s Mirage Solo Daydream headset is coming soon, too. It runs on Google’s Daydream VR ecosystem, which is what the HTC Vive Focus was originally supposed to run on as well. But, clearly, those plans have since been cancelled.


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