After setting a benchmark for tethered VR headsets, in November 2018, HTC came up with their first Standalone VR headset “HTC Vive Focus“. The headset runs on a brand new VR platform “Vive Wave” and has access to the Viveport library.
The headset was launched with one of its market rival Mirage Solo which was released on May 5th, 2018.
With advanced levels of tracking, vast VR library, fast image processing, and video rendering, Vive Focus comes with everything you can expect from a top-level VR developer.
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 | No need for PC to Enjoy your Vive
With the launch of Vive Focus, HTC has stepped into the standalone VR market. This seems to be a very powerful product from HTC as suggested by its price tag.
You might find Vive Focus much costlier than other standalone VR headsets in the market. The same was the case with HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro. But the experience delivered by HTC has always justified its pricing. We’ll discuss the pricing in detail further.
You might be surprised to read that, Initially, Vive Focus was planned to be a Daydream VR headset. However, their collaboration with Google was canceled for some reason. People at HTC are more aware of the reasons for cancellation.
We are thankful that this collaboration was called-off and HTC launched Vive Focus on its own platform. Daydream has a very bad record with its library expansion.
Lenovo Mirage Solo suffered due to the limitations of the Daydream VR library. Moreover, Daydream was called-off by Google on October 15th, 2019.
Sorry, let’s get back to our topic.
Vive is famous in the VR market for room-scale tracking. Keeping this promise, Vive Focus comes with 6 degrees-of-freedom tracking.
So, you do not need to connect your VR headset with PC to extract power and use external sensors. Each and everything is built-in the headset.
So, wasting any time further, let us discuss the hardware specifications of HTC Vive Focus.
HTC Vive Focus Hardware Specifications
- Display Used: 3K AMOLED Display (Resolution: 2880 x 1660)
- 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
- MicroSD™ slot,up to 2TB MicroSD™ external memory
- Graphics (GPU) Used: Adreno 540
- Weight: 695g +/- 1%
- Adjustable IPD: Supported
- System Connectivity:
- USB Type-C
- 2x 3.5 mm Audio Jack
- Controllers Used: Vive Focus Controllers
- 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
After reading these specifications, you can easily determine the level of immersion you are going to enjoy with this headset.
Most of these specifications seem similar to that of Oculus Quest and Lenovo Mirage Solo. However, HTC Vive Focus comes with the best-in-class display in the line.
Its 3K AMOLED display completely justifies its high pricing. Moreover, the fast charging facility and 3 hrs of active use time allow you to enjoy the immersion without any interruption.
With its world-scale tracking technique, the headset is able to track an area of about 4.6m x 4.6m.
To support your head, the headset comes with a headband that is similar to that of HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap. This headband comes with an adjustable dial with which you can easily adjust the headband.
HTC has a huge reputation in terms of position and head tracking in the market. They were the first in the market to introduce the room-scale tracking with the help of base stations and lighthouses.
Meanwhile, HTC has maintained its reputation and came with a world-scale tracking technique. This technique works on inside-out tracking technology.
The biggest advantage of HTC Vive Focus is that you do not require any base station or any lighthouse to track down your position and orientation.
All the tracking machinery is fitted in the headset itself. We will do not reveal the tracking machinery in this blog, however.
The tracking is accompanied by a 6DoFs tracking mechanism which helps head tracking. The hand tracking is achieved with a 3DoFs controller which is discussed below.
MUST-READ: How to set up your HTC Vive?
HTC Vive Focus Controllers
Unlike tethered HTC Vive headsets, Vive Focus comes with all new wireless controllers. These controllers work exclusively with HTC Vive Focus and come with 3 DoFs (Degrees of Freedom).
The controller looks like a small-sized remote which comes with following 8 buttons:
- App Button
- Home Button
- Status Light
- Volume Buttons
- Battery Compartment
- Wrist Strap hole
On the top side of the controller, you will find a touchpad that you can use to move the cursor. With the app button, you can navigate through different sorts of apps and games you have on your headset.
With the home button, you can easily scroll out through different configurations of the headset and the controller. Moreover, the status light is there to intimate you whether the controller is on (connected) or not.
On the side of the controller, you will find the volume rockers which you can use to adjust the volume during the immersive experience.
On the backside of the controller, you will find the battery compartment (to insert the batteries) and a wrist strap hole so that the controller doesn’t slip off your hands.
MUST-READ: What are the specifications of HTC Vive Pro?
VR content offered by HTC Vive Focus
When we talk about VR content, then only 4 names come in our mind. SteamVR, Oculus Store, Viveport (Infinity), and PSVR Library.
But, with HTC Vive Focus company has launched another VR library platform with the name of Vive Wave. Let us firstly discuss Vive Wave briefly.
Vive Wave is a VR platform that exclusively runs on HTC Vive Focus or rather I can say that it runs on standalone VR headsets by HTC.
Its an open VR platform just like Daydream but with a bigger VR library. There are more than 12 hardware partners that have signed up to port all the HTC Vive (tethered) experiences to Vive Focus. Some of these partners are:
It is up to the developers whether they want to make use of the new 3DoF controller or keep the old 6DoFs settings with further customizations.
You’ll be glad to know that Daydream and GearVR content can also be ported across Vive Wave. Furthermore, Unity developers can upload their content on Viveport.
MUST-READ: What are the System Requirments of HTC Vive?
Most of the people confuse Vive Wave and Viveport and they think that all experiences are to be downloaded from Vive Wave. If you also think like this, then my friend you are completely wrong.
Vive Wave is just a platform created to port the games of HTC Vive. All the games will be available at Viveport only. However, you will be able to download and play those games only that are ported to Vive Wave.
So, you cannot access all the games on Viveport until or unless they are ported to the platform.
Pricing of HTC Vive Focus
The important aspect of consideration for most of the users is the price tag of the VR headset. And just like all the other Vive headsets, Vive Focus is all ready to disappoint you.
HTC Vive Focus comes in two variants and the pricing of these headsets starts from $599. Many of you might be able to afford the headset but if you can buy the almost same headset at almost half the price, then why anyone would even consider buying Vive Focus.
If you are thinking of Oculus Quest, then you are right. You can buy Oculus Quest at almost half of the price of HTC Vive Focus. And there is a reason why you should not buy this headset. To know the reason, jump to the availability section.
Availability of HTC Vive Focus
HTC Vive is a very promising VR headset which comes with powerful and amazing specifications. However, with all these too, the release of this headset was limited to China and was never revealed to the outside world.
However, the upgraded version of this headset, HTC Vive Focus Plus was launched worldwide at a much higher price. Moreover, the headset is meant for enterprise work rather than personal use.
You would be surprised or even shocked to know that HTC has discontinued the production of HTC Vive Focus. Yes, in the second week of March 2020, HTC announced the stoppage of the production of HTC Vive Focus and Vive Pro.
The company had taken this decision to kill out its old VR lineup and bring a new headset lineup in the market.
Should you Buy HTC Vive Focus?
After reading its availability, you might be clear with the fact that you cannot buy a brand new Vive Focus headset from the market. If you own this headset already, then it is good. But if you are planning to own one, then it won’t be of much use.
You won’t be able to receive any further security updates and moreover, after a certain threshold, there might be no new games ported to Vive Focus.
Furthermore, the headset is suited for enterprise work. If still, you want to buy this headset then it’s all up to you. Moreover, it will be a difficult task to buy this headset outside China. You might need to pay an extra amount of money to own this headset or go for a second-hand headset.
In the end, I will suggest you look out for other options in the market including the upcoming lineup of HTC VR headsets.
If you have any doubts regarding HTC Vive Focus 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.