HTC and Google cancel U.S. launch of Vive-brand Daydream VR headset

Isaac Cain
November 15, 2017

Throughout the Vive Focus event today, HTC never once referred to the headset as a Daydream VR device, which was a little odd given how it was first teased as one of the two standalone Daydream devices back at Google I/O.

With this announcement, HTC Vive has put all of its attention onto the Chinese market with the Focus and the Wave platform. Alvin further noted, "Now you can essentially do most of the things that you could do on a high-end machine on a standalone".

The Vive Focus will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and will feature a high-resolution AMOLED screen.

While this headset looks almost identical to the early renders we saw at I/O, this one isn't running on Daydream, but rather HTC's new "Vive Wave" VR platform. Facebook's device will be priced $200 when it gets released next year; HTC was expected to sell its device for at least twice as much.

Last night, Clay Bavor, Google's VP of Virtual and Augmented Reality, confirmed via Twitter that HTC's Daydream headset would not see the light of day.

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Meanwhile, HTC has issued an invitation to VR/AR developers worldwide to participate in its Viveport Developer Awards, which will recognize creativity and innovation in that field, as the company continues its efforts to build its own VR ecosystem. The initial focus will be on the Chinese market.

Anything else you should know?

The Vive Focus is the first virtual reality headset to offer six degrees of movement - left/right, up/down and forwards/backwards - while also doing away with the need to be tethered to a computer.

Currently, the HTC Vive Focus does not have a release date. The new headset also features a single hand-held motion controller rather than the regular Vive's pair of "ladles". This also means that Vive Focus works independently and eliminates the need of additional base station or sensors to use it. But on the other hand, building an ecosystem is far more complicated than building hardware, which is why HTC has taken the safer approach to focus on building up Vive Wave, and exclusively for China. HTC is hoping that with Vive Wave standardizing hardware and development for Vive products, it will allow for easier porting of VR content and apps between different devices and thus less tension for developers.

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