HTC has officially revealed the Vive Focus, its all-in-one VR headset. The company hopes that Vive Wave will "bring together the highly fragmented mobile VR market" by make device optimisation and content creation easier for third-party developers.
HTC has only announced plans for the Vive Focus in China just yet, and even then there aren't any details on pricing or a release date.
Twelve Chinese hardware partners have already signed on to provide support for Vive Wave, featuring names such as 360QIKU, Coocaa, Thundercomm, Idealens, Nubia, Pimax and Pico, many of which have produced their own VR hardware, such as Pico and Pimax.
"In the past, standalones have always kind of represented a mediocre balance, where you don't have much content and you can only do rotational, and it's not that much different than Cardboard except now you have one individual machine", HTC Vive's China President Alvin Wang Graylin told Engadget. Scattering VR content across a great number of digital storefronts and apps increases friction and means consumers are split amongst multiple hardware vendors, making content harder to access for many.
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The Vive Focus itself is created to be a lightweight, easily portable VR option. The Vive Focus is a head-mounted display equipped with 6 degrees-of-freedom, and world-scale tracking.
HTC says it will be focusing its resources on a Qualcomm-powered standalone for the China market, which it is calling the Vive Focus.
During the summer, HTC revealed some details about its cable-free VR headset. On the other side of the field, hardware manufacturers will finally be able to standardize their devices in order to boost VR experience across the industry. The company said that it handed out 500 priority vouchers to developers who were present at VDC 2017. 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. The focus appears to be exclusively on China with this release as well. We'll have an update as soon as we hear back from HTC, and stay tuned for our upcoming hands-on later.