After the launch of Vive Focus in November 2018, HTC released its upgraded version Vive Focus Plus on 15th April 2019 ahead of its peak competitor Oculus Quest.
Vive Focus Plus has been released in the market to overcome the shortcomings of Vive Focus. The biggest shortcoming of this headset was its controller’s tracking capability. This has been effectively overcome by this upgraded version.
Moreover, just like every Vive headset, the pricing of this headset is also going to surprise you.
The Plus version has been released worldwide unlike Vive Focus, whose sales were just limited to China.
Hence, in further readings, you are going to read about the hardware specifications, software support, pricing, usage and, availability of this headset.
HTC Vive Focus Plus | First Hybrid VR Headset in the VR Industry
As the above heading suggests, it is the first hybrid or rather I would say that it is the first all-in-one VR headset in the market. So, it enables a user to experience a high level of immersion which was only possible on tethered PC VR headsets.
To increase the usability and level of gaming on this headset, HTC launched a new 6DoF wireless controller. This new 6DoF controller has enabled developers to port high-end games in this upgraded headset.
As the company suggests, the headset is best suited for enterprise applications. So, if you are an enterprise and looking for a flagship-level VR headset in the market then you must consider this headset. In further readings, you will read regarding the enterprise scheme of this headset.
The headset also comes with the latest Kiosk mode. This mode helps you to block certain apps and functionalities of the headset. Hence, you can customize the headset according to your requirements. But, this Kiosk Mode is only available with the commercial pack.
As you know, the sale of Vive Focus was limited to China and the headset even suffered certain limitations that were entertained by Vive seriously.
Furthermore, some customers even faced comfort issues with the Vive Focus headset. However, with the advanced and user-friendly display, the Plus version solved it all.
The headset comes with a removable face cushion for easy cleaning purposes when necessary.
HTC Vive Focus Plus Hardware Specifications
- Display Used: Dual AMOLED 3.5” diagonal Display
- 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye
- (2880 x 1600 pixels combined)
- Pixels Per Inch: 615 PPI
- Refresh Rate: 75 Hz
- System Encryption: Android-based Encryption
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- On-Board CPU:
- 4 Kryo 280 Gold (ARM Cortex-A73 based): Clock Speed: 2.45 GHz
- 4 Kryo 280 Silver (ARM Cortex-A73 based): Clock Speed: 1.9 GHz
- RAM Provided: 4GB
- ROM: 32GB
- MicroSD™ slot
- up to 2TB MicroSD™ external memory
- Graphics (GPU) Used: Adreno 540
- Weight: 695g +/- 1%
- Adjustable IPD: Supported
- System Connectivity:
- USB Type-C 3.1
- 2x 3.5 mm Audio Jack
- Wi-Fi (802.11a/n/ac (5 GHz))
- Controllers Used: Vive Focus Controllers 6DoFs
- Audio Input/Output:
- Built-in microphones
- built-in speakers
- 3.5mm stereo audio jack
- Mode of Body-Motion Input:
- world-scale tracking (inside-out 6 DoFs)
- 9-axis sensors
- proximity sensor
- Degrees of Freedom Provided: 6 DoF with Head and Hand tracking
- On-Board Battery:
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- QC3.0 fast charging
- up to 3 hours* of active use time
- over one week* standby time
- Advance cooling system: Yes
If you have gone through the hardware specifications of Vive Focus, then you might think that the specifications of Vive Focus and the Plus version are almost similar.
However, it is not the actual case. The headset comes with improved dual AMOLED display and with more powerful lenses in order to make your experience more immersive.
With high-quality lenses, the headset is capable of delivering sharp detailed images. Moreover, your experience will not be spoiled due to optical aberrations.
The graphics of Vive Focus were too best-in-class but the Plus version has taken the level of immersive graphics to a next level.
The headset comes with world-scale tracking technique and with this, the headset is able to track an area of about 4.6m x 4.6m without any use of external sensors.
If you had earlier used any Vive headset, then you are already familiar with the fact that HTC never compromises on the tracking technology. And keeping up with this promise, without the use of a single external sensor, HTC has again managed to provide you with the best tracking technology.
The headset works on the same inside-out tracking technology. This technology is accompanied by a 6DoFs tracking mechanism that completely tracks the position of your head as well as its orientation.
All the sensors are fitted inside the headset and you do not need to install any external base station or lighthouse to accompany your tracking mechanism.
Also, the headset supports room-scale tracking and 360-degree tracking. However, the headset still lacks eye tracking. The eye-tracking mechanism is still a challenge for the standalone VR industry but it is possible theoretically and we might be able to achieve its engineering equivalent in the coming years.
And seeing its previous tracking records, there is no doubt that Vive might be the first company to commercialize their coming standalone VR headsets with eye-tracking.
The head tracking mechanism is fitted in the headset and the hand tracking is achieved with the latest 6DoF controller which we will discuss next.
MUST-READ: How to set up your HTC Vive?
HTC Vive Focus Plus Controller
The Vive Focus came with a basic 3DoFs controller which looked very similar to the Daydream controller. This controller had very basic tracking functionality which created a lot of trouble for developers to port the HTC Vive experiences to Vive Wave.
But with this new 6DoFs controller, the developers can now easily port HTC Vive games to the Vive Wave platform. Moreover, the controller gives a feel of using old Vivebands. Also, the controller is capable to track orientation as well as position.
This new wireless controller looks similar to Vivebands and comes with the following 9 buttons:
- Tracking Sensor
- Menu Button
- Status light
- Vive Button
- Grip Button
- Battery Compartment
- Wrist Strap hole
On the top side of the controller, you will find a trackpad that you can use to move the cursor or move the avatar from one place to another. With the menu button, you can easily navigate through the apps and settings section of the headset.
With the menu button, you will find Status light that intimates you whether the controller is on (connected) or not.
Instead of the app button (that you can find on the Vive Focus controller), HTC has added a Vive Button that helps you to access Viveport Library.
On the wheel-like structure, you will find the tracking sensors embedded. So, that round rim needs to be handled carefully.
On the backside of the controller, you will find the Volume trigger that you can use to adjust the volume. Moreover, the grip button and wrist strap hole will help you to carefully handle the controller.
MUST-READ: What are the specifications of HTC Vive Pro?
VR Content Offered by Focus Plus
With the launch of Vive Focus, HTC launched its latest VR platform Vive Wave. Through this platform, the developers can easily port the HTC Vive games to Vive Focus and upload it Viveport.
However, in Vive Focus not all games were ported in Vive Wave due to the absence of an advanced 6DoFs controller. But in Focus Plus, you will find all the classic Vive experiences which are currently ported by the developers.
If you are not clear with Vive Wave then here is a quick review.
VIVE Wave is an open VR platform that provides a toolset for easy mobile VR content development and high-performance device optimization for third-party developers
The SDK offers an open interface enabling interoperability between numerous mobile VR headsets and accessories, supporting mainstream game engines.
Game engines like Unity3D and Unreal Engine 4 are also supported by the SDK of Vive Wave. So, developers can create experiences and are allowed to directly upload to the Viveport library.
To port the games and experiences as soon as possible, HTC has partnered with more than 12 companies. Some of these companies are listed below:
Unlike Vive Focus, you can enjoy most of the Viveport apps and games directly on your Focus Plus headset. Moreover, you can even enjoy your native PC-VR games on your headset through WiFi streaming.
Furthermore, if you have Viveport then there is no need for SteamVR subscription and vice-versa. Steam and Vive are partners and the content you will get on Viveport for Focus Plus would be the same as that on Steam.
Either you can stream your content over SteamVR or you can prefer Viveport.
Click Here to know more details regarding Viveport Subscription.
HTC Vive Focus Plus Enterprise Advantage Pack
As I mentioned above, If you own a business and looking forward to expanding your business through VR, then the Enterprise Pack is worth consideration.
This pack ensures you the complete protection of the equipment through Business-Only Commercial Guarantee.
Moreover, through a license agreement for commercial usage, the headset comes with the following services:
- Extra Software Support (Kiosk Mode, Group Configuration, and Content Deployment)
- Two-Year Limited Warranty for commercial usage
- Fast Customer Service with immediate e-mail replies
- Prepaid delivery services and instant returns
- Fast repair services
- For commercial use only
Pricing of HTC Vive Focus Plus
The important aspect of consideration for most of the VR customers is the price tag of the Vive gadgets. And just like all the other Vive headsets, the pricing of Vive Focus Plus can disappoint you if you want to buy it for personal use.
The pricing of HTC Vive Focus Plus starts from $799 and can go up to $1200 if you are going to buy the commercial pack. Moreover, unlike Vive Focus this headset also comes in only one variant “Almond White“.
The pricing of this headset also depends on the platform you are buying. You might receive different offers on Amazon and eBay respectively. So, buy accordingly.
Availability of Vive Focus Plus
The HTC Vive Focus was released in November of 2018 and its sales were restricted to China. The reason for restricted sales is still unclear. But, the company has not restricted sales for its Plus Version.
The company has launched this headset worldwide to compete with its peak competitor Oculus Quest which comes at half the price of Vive Focus Plus.
You can this headset on the official site of HTC Vive. Moreover, you can even check out online vendors including Amazon and Aliexpress.
Should you Buy HTC Vive Focus Plus?
Buying such an expensive VR headset is always a matter of concern when you have an alternate choice in the market. With Oculus Quest in the market, a person can easily get confused about whether to buy the Focus Plus headset or not.
So, in this case, I would suggest that If you want to buy this headset for personal use but pricing is a big issue for you then you should go with Oculus Quest or other options in the market according to your budget. However, if you can afford this headset and are willing to spend money on this amazing headset then go for it.
Furthermore, if you want to run your business through VR and have enough investment, then this headset should be your first choice. There are many business edition VR headsets in the market including Vive Pro Starter Kit. but this one would be an ideal choice as you no longer need to deal with wires and cables.
Hence, be wise with your purchase.
If you have any doubts regarding HTC Vive Focus Plus or you have any queries regarding anything in the VR industry, you are always welcomed to our VR/AR Discussions forum. Moreover, you can reach us through our social media handles.