Vive Focus, HTC’s standalone VR headset which first launched in China back in January, is gearing up for its Western release it seems. HTC today announced that it’s making Vive Focus developer units available to devs outside of China.

Announced by HTC Vive China President Alvin Wang Graylin via Twitter, HTC is now shipping Vive Focus to developers outside of China, including immediate shipment upon approval. Prospective developers can sign up here.

HTC started dev pre-orders back in March, which also included the statement that consumer launch would come “later this year.” With developer kits heading out the door, and HTC’s Vive Ecosystem conference coming up on May 25th in Shenzhen, it certainly feels like launch could be around the corner.

Image courtesy HTC

Like the recently launched $400 Lenovo Mirage Solo, the HTC Vive Focus is a 6DOF standalone VR headset; it has everything on board for VR—including inside-out positional tracking—which means it doesn’t rely on a smartphone or host computer. Check out our hands-on with Vive Focus to see why we deemed it a premium headset with best in-class display and optics.

SEE ALSO
Oculus Go, Mirage Solo, and Vive Focus Standalone Headsets Compared

Specs-wise, Vive Focus contains a 1,600 × 1,440 OLED display for each lens, a clear resolution advantage over the Mirage Solo’s LCD display (1,280 × 1,440 per lens). Offering two displays instead of a single split down the middle, it also offers an IPD adjustment, which means the lens-display pair can be dialed into the sweet spot more precisely for a wider range of users.

Photo by Road to VR

Similar to the Mirage Solo, Vive Focus packs a Qualcomm 835 mobile chipset, dual front-facing camera sensors for an unlimited tracking volume, and a single 3DOF controller. Unlike Mirage Solo, which uses Google’s Daydream platform, Vive Focus sources content from the company’s Viveport mobile app store.

Both the precise consumer release date and price in the West is still unknown at this point, however the company currently sells two versions in China, the Electric Blue variant for ¥4,300 (~$675) and the Almond White variant for ¥4,000 (~$630). These Chinese prices include a value-added tax (VAT) though, which when removed for the international launch could bring the headset down by about $100, putting in the $500-$550 range. Again, there is no official price yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

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  • MarquisDeSang

    Vive should have put the emphasis on this instead of the Vive Pro. VR will never progress on PC, PC is not the future of VR. Stand alone mobile VR was the beginning of modern VR and it is the future. HTC bet on the wrong horse (PC), now the fantastic Oculus Go with more amazing game than PC and PSVR combined will murder all other VR. I predict 4 millions Oculus Go sold in 4 months. When Gear VR platform is abandoned in favor of Oculus Go the games will be much more immersive and graphically beautiful.

    • nejihiashi88

      you’re wrong vr will progress when they invent a good walk/run locomotion method, what is the purpose of wireless vr when you are stuck in the same 1 to 2 meter place.

      • MarquisDeSang

        The only way to walk and run proper is on a soccer field or empty parking lot wih mobile vr with full tracking like MR or lenovo mirage, vive focus or santacruz.

        • tommet

          Mirage only currently tracks in a 1 meter box. Come back to this argument when Santa Cruz comes out. ATM, Mobile headsets don’t have that kind of tracking or the horsepower to push an experience like Lone Echo.

          Hopefully we’ll get there tho.

    • care package

      I would agree if mobile VR wasn’t so subpar compared to PC VR. It almost sounds like you really want to say PC has no future. Marketing for tablets/laptops tried to kill PC there for a while, but gamers (specifically Steam) not only brought it back from the brink of death, it has become quite the established gaming platform again.

      • MarquisDeSang

        Yeah but PC gamers are against any changes and innovations. PC Gamers are living in the past. They will never switch to VR. Mobile VR has 40 millions users while PSVR and PCVR have less than 5 millions combined.

        • care package

          Oh really lol. Ok man. I would guess most PC VR users were already gamers dude. Of course there are going to be a lot more mobile VR users for three reasons. 1. There are a lot more non PC gamers than PC gamers in the world. 2. Mobile VR is considerably cheaper. 3. They practically gave away Gear VR. Quit talking out your ass so much

          • MarquisDeSang

            Try the Oculus Go, then come back to discuss with me. Oculus go is very comparable to PC in term of games, graphics and immersion. Oculus Go wins on price, comfort (easy to use) and it has the best picture quality and lens. PS I have PSVR, Oculus, Asus MR.

          • care package

            LOL you cant be that daft. Tell me youre joking pls. The go is a self contained Gear VR, with better lens and res. “Comparable….”, wow. Now if you wanted to try and make that argument for the cruz, it wouldnt be as funny.

          • MarquisDeSang

            My main point is that Oculus Go is somewhere in between PSVR and PC in term of visual and immersion.

          • care package

            Not even close. That would be the cruz. My Go should arrive on tuesday and all its going to be good for is video on a virtual big screen from anywhere.

          • MarquisDeSang

            Try Deadalus, BlazeRush and Face your fears on the Oculus Go, then come back to tell us that it is indeed PC quality VR gaming. So all this time your were whining like a little bitch about the VR game qauality on the Oculus Go without even trying it. You are some kind of special know it all.

          • care package

            PC quality VR gaming in a $200 mobile HMD with no positional tracking. Ya, sounds realistic. You can play games on GearVR too. I want whatever your taking.

          • MarquisDeSang

            Simple, my new drug is Oculus Go, try it then see if you see the same thing as me.

          • care package

            Tried it. I will say its worth $200, but not for me. Going to return it. Was going to use it mainly for media (like in bed). Hulu doesnt like the prone. Headset battery life blows, and worst of all, it gets hot like the rift

          • MarquisDeSang

            So you bought a VR helmet for 2D media consumption? Are you serious? It does not heat, even when playing plugged for 3 hours straight. The games and experiences on the Oculus Go are fantastic, but you probably did not even try one.

          • care package

            Why would i play limited 3dof games when i have the Rift? Which begs the question, why would anyone buy the GO if they have the Rift?
            To consume media from anywhere at a higher res of course. It serves that purpose well. Doesnt do prone, and gets hot, as many other reviews claim. Not for me.

          • care package

            Immersion takes a huge hit with no positional tracking

          • tommet

            Nope.

            6DOF vs 3DOF.

            Go is a neat toy for when I can’t use real VR. Also great for consuming media. PC VR is awesome. (Have both, am Gamer.)

          • Justos

            The 3 vs 6dof debate while technically correct, is SUPER overblown.

            I would rather take 3dof in my bed than 6dof stuck in my office chair to watch bigscreen for example.

            They have different use cases, and the 199$ oculus go is fantastic value. I miss the motion controllers more than 6dof head tracking. Its not as necessary as hardcore VR enthusiasts will have you believe.

            I have both btw, and the Go is superior for some things

            Mobility (in bed, on the couch etc)
            Comfort
            Clarity/less SDE
            Resolution
            Ease of use (time to get in VR is half a second vs 15x the time to get into my PCVR setup)

          • care package

            Sounds like youll be using it more for media, from anywhere, at a higher res, ya what everyone else is getting one for who already has PCVR. And yes, you dont need 6dof to do that. I couldnt get prone (in bed) to work worth a shit

    • disqus_eEt4mwEjx8

      I own all three versions of the Oculus Rift (DK1, DK2 and consumer version), the Vive and the Oculus Go. I love my Oculus Go, but comparing it to a PC VR headset is like comparing a Nintendo DS to a PC. One is a mobile device, the other one a PC gaming machine. Both are cool.

  • Luke
  • Lucidfeuer

    Let’s see how it’ll do on the Chinese market, it’s not interesting for anyone on the western markets.

    Also what do they expect to achieve with a third separate VR platform?

    • airball

      Agreed, but this is like the 6th platform. It’s insane. Oculus, Vive, Daydream, PSVR, Windows Mixed Reality, … now this. Why would I buy into any of these ecosystems at this early stage?

      • Laurence Nairne

        *You* wouldn’t. But these articles are rife with enthusiasts who are proud to claim they’ve purchased all of them and like to tell you what their favourite one is.

  • ShiftyInc

    The lack of content and interest for this thing will kill it in the first year.

  • Kev

    Same lenses as the vive, same fov, small res increase – basically the same stuff we’ve had for 2 years in a standalone package. It’s going to take more than small iterations to get people to jump in.