Consumer electronics company HTC officially started shipping pre-ordered Vive Focus VR headsets at an event earlier this week, in what was heralded as the “world’s first on-stage in-VR customer product delivery.” The company also announced that forty pieces of VR content, including several games, are already available for the Focus.
The news comes via HTC’s China Regional President of VR, Alvin Wang Graylin.
The Focus is HTC’s first stand-alone headset, and is based on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor which will power Lenovo’s Mirage Solo headset announced at CES 2018. Akin to the pending Lenovo offering, HTC’s Vive Focus also offers a 6DoF technology that allows users to move around in the real world while wearing the headset.
While the headset also seemingly has specifications and a configuration that could place it as a direct competitor to Oculus’ pending Santa Cruz headset, its China-only release seemingly signalled that HTC was avoiding a head-to-head matchup in worldwide markets.
However, recent information suggests HTC may be considering a wider launch.
While a report elsewhere indicates a possible leak by one of the platform’s developers suggesting a worldwide release of the Focus later this year, a new comment from Graylin himself implies at least a US release may be under strong consideration.
Replying to a Twitter user bemoaning the lack of a US launch for the Focus, Graylin reassured the gamer, stating: “That’s just the status right now…which can change.”
That’s just the status right now…which can change.
— Alvin Wang Graylin (@AGraylin) January 25, 2018
What appears to be a several month headstart over similar platforms from Leonvo and Oculus, not to mention the reported ease in which Vive, Daydream and Samsung Gear VR content can be ported to the Focus platform, may suggest HTC is now seeing a larger opportunity to bring the Focus to foreign shores.
Moreover, fiscal pressures may also play a role in encouraging HTC to at least consider a wider release of the platform, considering that the company delivered its weakest revenue in over a decade during 2017.