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HTC Vive Focus VR headset hits FCC, US release close?

The headset was launched in China last year, but don't expect Daydream support here.

Published onApril 19, 2018

The HTCVive Focus
  • The Vive Focus has appeared on the FCC website, suggesting a U.S. release around the corner.
  • HTC’s device is a standalone headset, powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor and offering apps via the Viveport service.
  • The headset is shaping up to be more expensive than the likes of the Oculus Go and Lenovo Mirage Solo.

HTC’s Vive Focus standalone VR headset saw a Chinese launch in December 2017, and the company has confirmed that a Western release is on the cards later this year. Now, the headset and its controller have quietly slipped through the FCC, suggesting that the U.S. release can’t be far off.

Despite that it’s already available — and thus there’s no reason to keep it a secret — we don’t see any real photos of the device or the packaged controller in the listing. But we know it’s the Vive Focus due to the FCC label, seen below.

The headset eschews smartphones and PCs for power; instead, it contains all the necessary bits of hardware inside the device. Expect a Snapdragon 835 chipset, a 2880×1600 AMOLED screen, microSD storage, integrated microphones and speakers, and a built-in battery that lasts up to three hours. HTC’s headset also delivers a 110-degree field of view and 75Hz refresh rate.

Hoping for the Google Play Store and Daydream VR platform to power the experience? HTChas built its own Viveport platform instead, offering just over 1100 games and apps. The firm also offers the Viveport subscription plan, allowing users to play five games each month for $8.99 a month.

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It’s unclear what kind of price you’ll pay once the Vive Focus launches in the USA, but the device has a starting price of 3,999 yuan ($638) in China.

The real question is whether the device and its gaming library are worth $600 compared to rival headsets. The standalone VR space has several diverse options, including the $200 Oculus Go and the $400 Lenovo Mirage Solo. The former is compatible with Samsung’s Gear VR library, while the latter makes use of Google’s Daydream platform.

In other words, you’ll want to take a look at each platform’s software library before committing to a purchase. After all, what’s the point of a bleeding-edge 8K-toting headset if it has no apps?

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