Headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR may have dominated the high-end virtual reality (VR) market over the past year, whilst Samsung Gear VR has been the front runner in the mobile sphere, but all that could change in the next 12 months. Consumers are about to see a much wider range of VR devices which began last month with Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality launch and set to continue with standalone headsets from Oculus and HTC. In regards to the latter, there has been some previous confusion over whether different markets would see alternative headsets. That has now been confirmed.
During the recent Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) in California VRFocus caught up with Rikard Steiber, President Viveport and SVP, to discuss all things HTC Vive and VR related. When asked about the upcoming standalone headset – possibly called Vive Focus – Steiber said: “We’re going to bring it to market around the world, both here but also a separate version for China and it’s going to be something that’s 3 dimensional freedom for the controller and 6 dimensions for the headset, but I think that’s something that’s going to grow really quickly in the coming years so we’re excited about it.”
Unfortunately, Steiber wouldn’t go into further details on what differences there may be between to two headsets. The 3DoF controller tracking and 6DoF inside-out headset tracking called WorldSense was already known about as Clay Bavor, vice president of VR at Google mentioned both during the original unveiling. Likely changes will probably be to the external aesthetics as global companies know different styles suit different markets.
There’s also the possibility that the software might be slightly tweaked for western and Chinese markets. Viveport is available in both but Google Daydream’s library of services and experiences will be used in North America and Europe.
HTC standalone headset has been earmarked for a 2017 release but as yet there’s been very little announced. This is slightly reminiscent of HTC Vive which was originally due for launch towards the end of 2015. As everyone knows that eventually happened in April 2016.
VRFocus will post the full interview with Steiber soon, so keep coming back for the latest HTC updates.