HTC scraps one VR headset and announces another

Daydream device abandoned in favour of a new standalone Viveport model

The Google Daydream headset teased by HTC earlier this year is no more.

In a statement to TechCrunch, HTC said that: “We still have a great relationship with Google, but will not be bringing a standalone device to the western markets on Daydream.” The headset was to offer a wireless VR solution with no need for a smartphone or external hardware such as a PC or console.

However, the company has announced a brand new Vive-branded headset for the Chinese market. Called the Vive Focus, the self-contained unit houses an AMOLED screen and a Snapdragon 835 CPU. It looks similar in many ways to Oculus’ standalone Santa Cruz headset.

Crucially the Focus will offer inside-out tracking, meaning a user’s position can be accurately plotted without the need to install external cameras or sensors. The head mount is also very different from the existing Vive and is designed to address the issues of the weight being centred at the front of a user’s head.

Like the scrapped Daydream headset, it will not need to plug into a PC or attach to a smartphone. Software will be available only via HTC’s own Viveport portal. This does, however, mean its technical grunt will be limited.

Crucially it has also been made clear that a Western release is not currently on the cards.

From Google’s perspective, the HTC cancellation was almost immediately followed by the announcement of a new Daydream headset from Lenovo. It will be the third VR headset from the company this year following its Windows Mixed Reality device and its Star Wars AR headset launched in collaboration with Disney.