HTC isn’t doing so well with smartphone lately, but it’s still one of the leading companies in consumer VR. Whether that can sustain HTC remains to be seen, but its latest product isn’t aimed at consumers. The HTC Vive Focus Plus is a business-focused device, and now we know when it launches and at what price. It’s coming on April 15 for $799.
Unlike most high-end VR headsets, the Vive Focus Plus is completely standalone. It does not connect to a PC, and the controllers use ultrasonic-based controller tracking for six degrees for freedom (6DoF) without additional hardware. It comes with two controllers, powered by AAA batteries for about four hours of continuous use. The last Focus headset only had a single remote-style controller included. The Vive Focus Plus has dual cameras on the front like other Vive headsets. It has “inside-out” tracking, eliminating the need for external cameras or trackers.
Without a PC to do all the heavy lifting, the Vive Focus Plus needs its own processing hardware. The Snapdragon 835 handles crunching bits and rendering images on the headset’s 3K OLED. That chip is a couple of years old at this point — both the Snapdragon 845 and 855 have launched more recently. However, the 835 should be plenty capable for this application.
Like the original Vive Focus, this headset has a single OLED display with a resolution of 1660×1600 per eye. It has a 75Hz refresh to reduce motion blur when panning across a virtual scene. HTC says it developed new Fresnel lenses that make the screen look sharper while reducing the “screen-door” effect. That’s still an issue on every VR headset, with the exception of the $6,000 Varjo VR-1.
The Vive Focus Plus can operate for three hours per charge with the built-in lithium-ion cell. On the plus side, it has a USB Type-C port with Quick Charge 3.0 so you can get up and running faster. Keep in mind, this is intended for enterprise customers. Regular users will probably be happier with gaming-oriented headsets like the standard Vive and Vive Pro. HTC will sell the Vive Focus Plus in 25 markets when it launches next month.
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