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HTC Vive Focus stand-alone VR headset announced alongside Vive Wave development platform

14 November 2017

HTC has launched its long-rumored standalone VR headset, the Vive Focus at its Vive Developers Conference in Beijing, China.

HTC and Google both confirmed to TechCrunch that a Daydream-branded HTC standalone headset will no longer be coming to the US market. Choice is great, of course, but when each device has its own content platform, it's hard for developers to support all systems, paving the way for one platform to dominate.

It's unclear, but unlikely that this will play fully blown Vive VR games such as L.A. Noire and the like, but it'll be interesting to see where this kind of tech goes in the near future.

The Vive Focus uses a somewhat simple-looking three-degrees-of-freedom controller with a similar trackpad to the larger Vive devices. With the Vive Wave SDK, vendors can integrate accessories - be it a Leap Motion, gloves or even outside-in solutions for 6DoF input (and potentially eye-tracking solutions as icing on the cake). The company also revealed that 35 developers have committed to creating software for the Vive Wave platform. In addition to this, content from HTC's Viveport will also be available for Vive Focus.

Earlier this year, HTC was forced to drop the price of their Vive VR system from $799 to $599 after Oculus dramatically sliced the price of its similarly capable VR system from $798 to $399.

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The VR headset is also optimized by Vive Wave VR open platform where developers can add VR-ready content.

During the summer, HTC revealed some details about its cable-free VR headset.

HTC suggests that multiple computing platforms are supported by Wave, but clearly states that this VR platform is optimised for the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform. 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 U.S. despite being first-to-market.

The new wireless VR headset features an AMOLED display and is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor. The company said that it handed out 500 priority vouchers to developers who were present at VDC 2017.

The HTC Vive Focus's release date hasn't been stated, but developers can apply for a dev kit.

HTC Vive Focus stand-alone VR headset announced alongside Vive Wave development platform