After launching the Vive Focus standalone headset in China in late January, the company announced in March that the headset would be launching in the US, EU, and other Western markets later this year, beginning with the launch of a dev kit. With the device appearing in the FCC this, the device is one step closer to its US release.

The Vive Focus is HTC’s first standalone VR headset. Rather than being tethered to a host PC, or relying on a docked smartphone, standalone headsets like the Focus have everything built right in. In the case of the Focus, two cameras on the front of the headset are used for positional (6DOF) tracking, while a single controller offers rotational-only input (parented to the headset’s position for a sort of ‘pseudo-6DOF’). We went hands-on with the headset earlier this year and found that the Focus offers the same high-res 1,440 × 1,600 displays as the Vive Pro. That said, the headset is expected to be priced around $525—which feels a bit expensive with both Lenovo and Oculus soon to bring lower priced standalone headsets to the market—but we’ll have to wait for the official price to be set by HTC.

While the Vive Focus launched right out of the gate as a consumer device in China, HTC is planning a slower rollout for the headset in Western markets. Rather than selling straight to consumers, the company plans to initially make the headset available as a development kit. Developer registration for the Vive Focus opened last month.

Photo by Road to VR

As the Focus runs its own software stack, Vive Wave, powered by its own app store, a mobile version of Viveport, it makes sense that the company wants to seed headsets to developers first so that they can get the ball rolling on content before selling to consumers.

HTC is Giving Devs a Big Revenue Share Boost on Its VR Platform

This week the Focus and its controller has appeared in FCC filings. Before any company can sell a consumer product in the U.S. which utilizes any part of the electromagnetic spectrum (wifi, radio, BT, etc), it has to be certified by the country’s Federal Communications Commission. Certification marks one step closer to the launch of a product. In this case, we expect that the certification filings indicate that development kits are soon to ship in the US, but it’s likely that it’s the same headset that will eventually be marketed directly to consumers, so this certification likely covers both instances.

Meanwhile, Lenovo’s own standalone VR headset, the Mirage Solo, is set to launch on May 5th, and Oculus seems just on the cusp of launching their ‘Go’ standalone, with a launch announcement expected in early May.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • ShiftyInc

    Keep those insane prices coming HTC. That is if your goal is to kill of your company.

    • Jonathan Pratte

      The Vive Pro sold out in a few days…

      • Nobody

        “put only a few headset for sales”

        “sold out”

        every time

        • Jonathan Pratte

          Okay you have a point lol.

        • You don’t know the true the irony of this. As developer who actually helped one of their staff use the upcoming Unreal Mixed Reality Video plug-in that is still in beta, so they could use it to show of the HTC Vive Pro at CES; the only request I had in return was to be notified on being able to purchase one. After several reminders, I never received a notice on when they would be available, let alone when I could purchase one. I also requested recently to obtain one for the “Immersive Experience Conference” here Portland, OR, which had a great local turn out, but again never heard back from them (and no one else had one either).

  • oompah

    my pockets r empty

  • Having tried it, I love the easy-on feature of the Focus. Of course at that price, it is a premium device

  • So if I remember correctly this is still based on the Snapdragon 835, and frankly it looks hideous and does not seem very comfortable. Also, this is NOT a Daydream compatible headset like the upcoming Lenovo Mirage. Also, I have a STRONG hunch that we will see the Oculus Santa Cruz by the end of the year or at least announced which I am hoping they are working with NVIDIA to bring the TX2, which in my testing with some very crude prototypes using the TX1 (Shield with custom ROM) runs circles around the Snapdragon, plus was made for SLAM.