HTC’s Vive Focus Confirmed for Western Release [UPDATE]

HTC Vive President China, Alvin Graylin Wang, revealed the forthcoming Vive Focus late last night, a new standalone head-mounted display (HMD), the HTC Developer Conference in Beijing. To showcase this headset, virtual reality (VR) videogame Spark of Light from Pillow’s Willow VR Studios was displayed, and in a press release the developer confirmed that the HMD will launch in 2018, first in China followed by the rest of the world ‘later that year’.

HTC Vive Focus headset

“We chose to use Spark of Light on stage as this game shows the distinguishing features of our new headset in an optimal way,” Alvin Graylin Wang explains. “For example this wireless headset with integrated processor, allows the user to move more freely in the virtual world. For example, Spark of Light has a high level of details and with our headset you can really lean forward and have a look at all the beautifully created visuals in the game.”

Commenting on HTC’s new developments, Pillow’s Willow VR Studios CEO Andy Lürling stated: “Besides the introduction of the Vive Focus, also Vive Wave was introduced. This is HTC’s open platform for VR, meaning that our games, without extra work, now are playable on many VR headsets of different manufacturers.

“This really can be seen as a new step to maturity of the VR market.”

Pillow’s Willow VR Studios’ Chief Creative Officer, Peter Kortenhoeven adds: “With our proprietary DreamLight system we have anticipated on this next generation headset with integrated processor. With its higher frame rate than the mobile phones versions, the visuals we created just give a so much better experience for the players of our games.”

Spark of Light screenshot

According to Pillow’s Willow VR Studios, the HTC Vive Focus will be available in 2018, first in China followed by the rest of the world later that year. Spark of Light is set to be available on the Vive Wave platform, and is already available to download on the Samsung Gear VR and on Google Daydream.

VRFocus has contacted HTC Vive for further information regarding the western launch of the Vive Focus, and will keep you updated with any further developments.

UPDATE: Since the publication of this article a representative of HTC Vive has been in touch and offered the following quote:

“Our effort has been on bringing some other devices, including the one we announced last night to markets like China. We still have a great relationship with Google, but will not be bringing a standalone device to western markets on Daydream. We’re looking closely at our hardware roadmap, and will share when there is more to come for Western users next year.”