HTC unveils Vive Focus, Vive Wave VR in Beijing

HTC Vive Focus standalone VR headset

At the Vive Developer Conference in Beijing, China, HTC has formally revealed its new wireless standalone VR headset: the Vive Focus.

With this announcement, HTC Vive has put all of its attention onto the Chinese market with the Focus and the Wave platform. "What's more, with the new Vive Focus, we are excited to bring high-quality 6DoF VR experiences, which were previously only available on tethered devices, in a more convenient and portable form factor", said Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC, in a press statement. More soon. Can't wait for you to try it.

The US-focused headset was a Google Daydream standalone that HTC teased way back at Google I/O in May. To showcase this headset, virtual reality (VR) videogame Spark of Light from Pillow's Willow VR Studios was displayed, and in a press release the developer confirmed that the HMD will launch in 2018, first in China followed by the rest of the world "later that year".

Meanwhile, Lenovo is still expected to release a standalone headset under the Google WorldSense banner - which Bavor insists is still coming - but we doubt we'll see that device until 2018.

Vive also partnered with Unity to enable on-click publishing of VR content onto Viveport – for both PC, standalone and mobile developers.

HTC also announced Vive Wave, a VR open platform that lets developers easily create content for mobile VR devices.

HTC Vive Wave is the VR platform that will run on the Vive Focus VR headset. A rather basic-looking touch and motion tracking controller also looks to be part of the Vive Touch package.

HTC also confirmed that content designed for the HTC Vive will be downgraded to work smoothly with 20ms low latency on the HTC Vive Focus, but noted that this would be an nearly automatic process using the OpenVR-compatible SDK to optimize the content for medium-level hardware.

At the same time, the OpenVR-compatible SDK optimizes the content for medium-level hardware -- be it Focus-like standalone devices or even phone-based solutions (like HTC's very own Link) - in order to keep the latency to below 20 ms.