Today at the Vive Ecosystem Conference 2018 in China, HTC announced that the Vive Focus standalone headset will be able to wirelessly stream PC VR content from both Steam and Viveport over a 5GHz WiFi connection.
HTC says the Focus’ new streaming functionality comes thanks to an “optimized version” of the Riftcat VRidge software, an Android application which provides similar PC VR streaming functionality to smartphone shell headsets. HTC says the version of the app that’s been optimized for the Vive Focus specifically takes advantage of the headset’s higher resolution and refresh rate. The company advises that a 5GHz home wifi connection is required, which is fairly common among new wireless routers.
At the moment it isn’t entirely clear what kind of latency users can expect, or exactly how the controls are likely to work—HTC is saying that input from the Focus’ 3DOF controller will be supported, and so will Xbox controllers and “third party controllers paired to the host PC,” though it isn’t clear if that includes 6DOF controllers like the Vive Wands, nor is it clear how well PC VR games will play with the Focus’ 3DOF controller. At the conference HTC teased the ability of the 3DOF controller to work in a 6DOF mode thanks to the headset’s front facing cameras, but it isn’t known if this would be compatible with the PC VR streaming functionality. We’ve reached out to HTC for clarification.
Surely if it all works smoothly, this would greatly expand the functionality of the headset by allowing it to access a trove of quality PC VR content, but we’ll have to wait and see as wireless streaming of PC VR content is no simple task.
Those with the Vive Focus (only available to consumers in China, and developers elsewhere, at present) can download the optimized Riftcat VRidge software via the Viveport M store starting today.