If you’re not familiar with the Vive Focus, it’s not a huge surprise. While most tech enthusiasts are familiar with the original Vive and 3K Vive Pro, the Vive Focus got a far smaller launch, only ever appearing in China. The good news is its follow up, the Vive Focus Plus, is coming to 25 markets worldwide, so there’s far more chance of getting your hands on one.
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That’s not the only upgrade the Vive Focus is getting. It’ll come bundled with two six-degrees-of-freedom controllers, allowing for the same kind of movement you get with the PC-tethered Vive headsets. The previous version of the Focus shipped with just a single three-degrees-of-freedom joystick.
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It’ll also come with a more comfortable headrest, slightly better video quality (no more “god rays”) and pressure-sensitive analogue triggers.
What it won’t come with is an upgraded chip or a higher-resolution screen. HTC is sticking with the trusty Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 2880×1600 AMOLED combo.
It’ll be arriving in Q2 this year, to 25 markets including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Japan and China, but there’s no word on pricing as yet.
The original Vive Focus sold for $599 (or around £460), so it’ll be interesting to see if HTC raises the price or keeps things the same to take the fight to the Facebook-backed, better-resourced Oculus Quest. That will sell for just $399, so HTC has its work cut out in competing, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.
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Of course, with a more business-focused market in mind, and the ongoing unease about Facebook’s carefree regard to privacy, HTC may decide that it doesn’t need to adjust its pricing too much to remain a viable alternative in the wire-free VR space.
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