Today at the ChinaJoy 2019 event, HTC announced that the Vive Focus Plus standalone VR headset will support integrated content streaming from Viveport via a nearby VR-ready PC over standard 5Ghz Wi-Fi networks.
The feature is described as a “one click” solution to offer “seamless content streaming” from Viveport accounts. This has been a hot topic for standalone VR headsets for some time and even the Oculus Quest has a host of solutions for PC content streaming, but none of them are official from Oculus.
What we’ve seen of Wi-Fi streaming VR so far is that it generally can’t match the quality or reliability of a wired connection. Of course, Wi-Fi streaming isn’t the only solution to getting wireless PC VR. There’s also streaming over 5G cellular networks. HTC has also been pitching that solution long term as well.
According to HTC:
“5G Cloud VR has been a hot topic in the press recently, and in one to two years, after the 5G network is more robust, it will provide a new way for users to experience high quality VR without the need for a high-end PC. Until then, the new VIVEPORT Streaming capability being announced today will enable VR users to enjoy countless premium PC VR experiences on their standalone VR devices without the need for a wire.” said Alvin Wang Graylin, China President, HTC in a prepared statement. “PC VR streaming as a concept is not new, but having the PC and the Vive Focus Plus complete the full complex network connection automatically and providing a seamless UI to starting any VR content on the linked PC from inside the VR device makes the experience a real breakthrough.”
From what we’ve seen with our own eyes of that solution the execution isn’t quite perfect yet either. Jamie tried a solution pitched as representative of a 5G stream by HTC and had the following to say:
“The idea of instantly jumping from one high-fidelity VR experience to another no matter where I am is exciting. We’re just not there quite yet.”
Wi-fi-based PC VR streaming from Viveport is coming first to the Vive Focus Plus in Q4 2019, but will also support “other full 6DOF standalone VR devices built on Vive Wave VR open platform” after that. There is no timeframe on other devices besides “soon.”
Correction: This post published Aug. 2 was updated on Aug. 3 to clarify the differences between efforts to enable wireless PC VR streaming.