In May 2017, Google was set to team up with HTC to launch a standalone virtual reality headset for the Daydream platform. Since then, a lot has changed, with Google buying up a chunk of HTC’s smartphone team. As a result, HTC has been doubling down on virtual reality, and spun its standalone headset off into the ‘Vive Focus’. The headset launched exclusively in China late last year, but now, it is also heading to the west, just in time to compete with the Oculus Go.
The HTC Vive Focus currently sells in China, but the standalone headset will be launching globally ‘later this year’. Under the hood, the headset features a Snapdragon 835 and runs the HTC Viveport platform for buying and running apps. The headset comes with its own display and offers six degrees of freedom tracking, alongside a small motion controller.
With the Oculus Go coming out with a $199 price point, HTC’s pricing will be important. The company has a strong foothold in the enthusiast market with the HTC VIVE and soon, the VIVE Pro, but in the mobile market, Samsung reigns supreme. Soon, Oculus will be joining in, with all the Facebook marketing dollars a company could ever want, so mobile VR headsets are going to be a very competitive business.
KitGuru Says: The Vive Focus seems like a capable headset, but its success will hinge on price. It will need to be competitive with the $199 Oculus Go in particular, which is currently expected to release in May.