Roughly one year and a half after the general release of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and a full half-decade behind the latter’s Kickstarter campaign outset, so-called “all-in-one” VR headsets are finally (almost) ready for primetime.
These are immersive devices not dependent on either a smartphone or PC, and although Samsung is yet to move past the prototype phase, the surprisingly affordable Oculus Go is officially slated for an early 2018 commercial debut.
Meanwhile, the oft-teased HTC Vive Focus has a (predictable) name now, a number of (general) features revealed, but alas, no launch timeline whatsoever. We do know China is the primary focus (no pun intended) of the “first commercial standalone device to deliver inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom tracking.”
HTC subsidiary Vive also calls the 6DoF technology “world-scale”, basically canceling the need for external sensors or separate accessories apart from the headset itself and a bundled controller bizarrely limited to 3-degree-of-freedom capabilities.
Hopefully, that will help keep the price point low, alongside an arguably modest design aimed mainly at “enhanced comfort for extended use” rather than fashion. Other confirmed and reconfirmed specs include a Snapdragon 835 processor, “high-resolution” AMOLED screen delivering “the best possible VR experience with low latency and unmatched clarity”, and the use of the Vive Wave VR open platform on the software side of things.
It’s obviously no surprise that the HTC Vive Focus eschews Google’s Daydream platform in China, but the two’s long-in-the-works partnership has apparently fallen through for Western markets as well.
It’s unclear if the project as a whole has been abandoned, as that’s what head VR Googler Clay Bavor seems to suggest on Twitter while the Daydream website still lists a “Vive standalone headset with Daydream” as “coming soon.” For what it’s worth, Bavor says the other standalone Daydream-based product, developed in collaboration with Lenovo, is coming along nicely.