While there’s still no word on a western release, HTC’s first standalone VR headset, the Vive Focus, finally has launch details for China.
The company confirmed today that pre-orders for the headset, which runs on its new Vive Wave platform, will start on December 12th, with first shipments expected in January 2018. You can pre-order from the official Vive website. You can check out a new trailer of it below.
As for pricing, there’s a standard ‘Almond White’ edition of the device that costs ¥3,999, which works out to $604.49. Yes, that’s slightly more expensive than the $599 price of PC-based Vive in the US, but it’s important to remember that that headset costs $820.57 in China, so it’s possible that it could be significantly cheaper if it ever did come to the west.
There’s also a Special ‘Electric Blue’ Edition of the device that costs ¥4,999 ($755.65). As a standalone device, these prices get you all you need to jump into VR; there’s no need for a separate PC to run it on or mobile device to plug into.
Vive Focus boasts its own inside-out tracking solution allowing your head to move through virtual space in any direction, but with a three degrees of freedom (3DOF) controller that’s used more as a pointer. It’s also got a 3K AMOLED display with a 75Hz refresh rate and a 110 degree field of view (FOV).
At the same time Vive Focus was announced, Google confirmed that its own standalone VR headset made in partnership with HTC had been cancelled. The device was similar to the Focus but would run on Google’s Daydream platform. A standalone headset from Google and Lenovo is still on the way.
We’ve asked HTC once more if the company has any plans for a release in the west. Oculus, meanwhile, will be launching its first standalone, all 3DOF Oculus Go, early next year for $199, while plans for the more ambitious, 6DOF-tracked Santa Cruz will hopefully be shared in 2018.