HTC’s Vive is still one of the best virtual reality setups out there today, yet one of the most inconvenient parts about it is that it’s not cheap. Not only do you need to invest in the Vive headwear, you’ll also need a high-end computer to run the thing.
That’s why Google’s Daydream and Cardboard platforms seem to be so popular, as they offer more casual users a solid VR experience without breaking the bank. But there’s also a middle ground between higher-end setups like the HTC Vive and entry-level headsets like Daydream View. Back at Google I/O, Google, HTC, and Lenovo all announced plans to release standalone Daydream headsets that could be used without a smartphone. Since then, however, these companies have been very quiet about their headsets… until today.
HTC has just announced its first standalone Vive headset, though it’s only available in China.
Now, before you punch your monitor, HTC has assured us that this will in no way affect the Daydream headset still to come. The only reason they needed to create this headset for China is due to the fact that Google Daydream content is not permitted in China, so those customers need a different platform to access VR content. As such, HTC partnered with Qualcomm to use its Snapdragon 835 processor and bring Qualcomm’s Viveport store and content to China.
The Snapdragon 835 has already proven its prowess in most of the major flagship phones that have launched this year, so we already know it’s got plenty of horsepower. That, coupled with HTC and Qualcomm’s VR software, means this is probably going to be a pretty powerful headset.
We don’t know much else about the specs, but based on the product dimensions, we can guess the headset will have roughly a 5-inch screen. We also don’t have details on the screen resolution or price point, but HTC did say it is aiming for this to be a more “affordable, yet high-quality VR experience”, so we can at least hope it will be a little easier on the wallet. No launch date was given either, but I would expect it to launch around the same time as HTC’s other Daydream headset in the rest of the world.
It’s nice to see HTC going the extra mile to take care of their Chinese customers.