HTC and Google cancel wireless VR headset release in the US

Clay Bavor

To broaden its VR reach, HTC has launched a brand new standalone headset called the Vive Focus. At the moment, the device, which was initially teased at Google I/O 2017 in May, will be available exclusively in China. There's no word just yet on pricing or availability, but this headset won't be making its way to Western regions.

According to the press release, much like its predecessor, the HTC Vive Focus is a new VR device which enables people the freedom to enjoy virtual reality content anywhere. More soon. Can't wait for you to try it.

HTC Vive Focus is a new stand-alone VR headset, this means there are no wires what so ever.

It features an AMOLED display, and is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chip, the same processor that's in many of this year's flagship phones. That name was expected to be used for the standalone Daydream headset promised at Google I/O a few months back.

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. Most notably, Google and therefore Daydream have no access to the Chinese market, so HTC would have to go solo to lead the effort in that part of the world, anyway - as it did with the original Vive since Steam isn't always accessible there (hence the birth of Viveport). Only time can tell if the Taiwanese company will bring the Vive Focus to our shore, but there is still hope as the HTC Vive is here so there is a chance the Vive Focus will make an appearance too.

Currently, HTC has only revealed plans to release the Vive Focus in China and has kept quiet on release dates and prices, meaning there's a chance that the headset may never make it West. The HTC Vive Focus also has a much cleaner look because of the reduced number of sensors that it needs in order to function, as compared to the HTC Vive.

This cancellation was later confirmed by Clay Bavor, Google's Vice President of Virtual and Augmented Reality, though he also implied that the other standalone Daydream headset from Lenovo is still in the pipeline. The new Vive Focus adds counter balance to eliminate strain. It also comes with a 3DoF controller - with which HTC claims to deliver "a very good experience".


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