The HTC Vive has received praise for being a solid virtual reality headset, but the barrier to entry can be high for a lot of people because the Vive requires a PC. Today HTC announced a new Vive device that drops that requirement.
The HTC Vive Focus is now official. This standalone VR headset includes a high-res AMOLED display and is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor, letting you enter the world of VR without connecting to a computer or dropping your phone into the unit.
HTC says that the Vive Focus offers 6-degree-of-freedom tracking to let you wander around with the headset on. The device also has a water-repellant coating and instant-on, the latter of which should help you jump into your VR world quickly. There appears to be a touch controller included with the Vive Focus, too.
On the software side, the Vive Focus utilizes the Vive Wave VR platform, which was also announced by HTC today. Vive Wave includes a toolset that HTC promises "will open up the path to easy mobile VR content development and high-performance device optimization for third-party partners". There are 12 hardware partners signed on to Vive Wave at launch, including Nubia and Quanta.
The HTC Vive Focus has only been announced for China so far, and there doesn't appear to be any pricing or launch info available quite yet.
There's not a ton of information available about the HTC Vive Focus and its features quite yet, so it's tough to know how it'll perform. The device is unlikely to be as powerful as the regular HTC Vive since it doesn't have a gaming PC powering it, but HTC does have VR experience with the Vive, so the Vive Focus has that going for it.
In other HTC VR news, Google has confirmed that HTC will not release a standalone Daydream VR headset. HTC was one of the partners named by Google when the company announced standalone Daydream headsets earlier this year, but now it looks like that device won't be happening.