HTC Vive’s Google Daydream Headset Cancelled As 6DoF Vive Focus Announced

by Jamie Feltham • November 14th, 2017

Google and HTC Vive are no longer working on the standalone VR headset announced earlier this year.

In May, Google announced a new line of standalone devices running on its Daydream mobile VR ecosystem. These headsets were based on a reference design made in partnership with Qualcomm and featured WorldSense positional tracking, allowing users to lean into VR environments if not necessarily walk around them. At the time, HTC confirmed that it would be releasing a Vive-branded standalone device under this initiative.

At the Vive Developer Conference this week, however, HTC lifted the curtain on Vive Focus, its very own standalone headset that doesn’t integrate Daydream. The device was first teased back in July and said to be powered by Viveport, the company’s own VR content platform. It was assumed that this device was intended only for the Chinese market, where Daydream isn’t available, but since Vive Focus’ announcement, Google has confirmed — originally to TechCrunch — that the pair’s collaboration has come to an end. VP of VR Clay Bavor later reconfirmed the news.

Instead, it looks like HTC is going all-in on the Vive Focus, which features six degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracking along with a 3DOF controller similar to the ones seen on the Gear VR and other Daydream devices. It will run on a proprietary platform named Vive Wave with content from Viveport. This marks the first time HTC has created its own platform for VR experiences; the original Vive runs on Valve’s SteamVR. Like Valve’s platform and Daydream, other companies will be able to make use of Vive Wave.

Vive Focus features a Snapdragon 835 chipset, which the company claims will make it easy for developers to port existing Daydream and Gear VR projects to, and even bring some PC-based VR experiences to with lower settings. However, there’s no word on if Vive Focus will come to markets outside of China just yet, nor when it will be available and how much it will cost in that territory. We’ve reached out to HTC to ask after a western launch.

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.

What's your reaction?
  • ImperialDynamics

    HTC just made Oculus a huge gift.
    I was waiting for the Google/HTC announcement but now Oculus Go is the only way to go. Can’t wait for Oculus Go availability!

    • dk

      lol…. the 6dof lenovo daydream is still coming….. that was the next thing Clay tweeted

  • Stranger On The Road

    I would have been more than happy to get this if it was compatible with Daydream; but now it looks like just another VR HMD that developers will have to target on yet another webstore.

    No! Thank you very much, Oculus Go is now looking a lot better, although, I’m still waiting for an announcement of a Daydream standalone VR headset. Hopefully Lenovo’s standalone Daydream headset is still coming along.

    • dk

      the next thing Clay tweeted was that the 6dof Lenovo daydream is still coming

  • impurekind

    The 3Dof controllers are a bit disappointing. It is a step back from the current Vive in that way.

  • daveinpublic

    Seems like they’re using the groundwork laid by Google’s mobile VR headset and burning them by canceling daydream support. Plus they’re doing it with an unbranded Android operating system. Also, they’re taking the good will they got from working with Steam on HTC Vive’s, and cutting out Steam while using the same brand name. They’ve burned just about every software maker in this small industry to grab some more of the cash. Trust me, Vive Wave is going to have a hard time, it’s not as easy as some think running a software system like this. Other VR companies are closing down because it’s such a money pit. They’ve just eliminated all the support and comparability they would have got by partnering with one of these forward thinking, early adopting software companies. Instead their cutting Google out of the profits and using their operating system to do it.

  • Ted Joseph

    Not interested in a stand alone headset until it can be BETTER than the current tethered Vive and Rift. Hoping Santa Cruz doesn’t chimp out on the specs…