HTC has announced that they will start shipping their standalone headset, the Vive Focus for international markets sometime later in 2018. The device, which first debuted solely for the Chinese market, seemingly satisfied the company enough in terms of sales to warrant a broader release. So to get things started before Western consumers get their hands on the device, HTC has developer kits available now for all registered developers in “most countries”, via HTC’s dedicated portal.
The Vive Focus is a standalone headset, meaning that it doesn’t need a computer to work, like the original Vive or upcoming Vive Pro, nor does it need a mobile phone inserted to function. The latest version of HTC’s device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor, which is built into the headset. The previous versions released in China had the Snapdragon 835 processor built into the device, but HTC has switched to the newer version for the developer kits, and presumably for the international release. The Vive Focus also features a 2880×1600 resolution screen with a 110-degree field of view, and built-in six degrees of freedom (DoF).
“Built upon Vive Wave, our open VR platform and toolset that is unifying the development experience for standalone and mobile VR devices, along with Viveport as its content platform, Vive Focus is designed to appeal to a wider range of mass market audiences as well as commercial/enterprise users who want broad deployment and stunning VR experiences in a convenient and portable form factor,” HTC said in a blog post.
So while its PC counterparts may offer a more powerful experience, the Vive Focus is set to appeal to more mainstream consumers who are looking for a more comfortable pick up and go experience, or for those who don’t want to spend the extra money for the PC needed to run them. No price tag has been announced yet for when the Vive Focus starts shipping worldwide later this year. However, the headset is currently going for between $680 and $600 in China. So we can probably expect a similar price announcement for other countries later in 2018.