HTC announced that it is creating a new Vive Standalone VR headset for the Chinese market. The new virtual reality product will have no wires and will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.
As a “standalone” product, HTC said the new device will not have to be connected to a PC, as is also true of its current HTC Vive headset. HTC made the announcement at the ChinaJoy 2017 event, which is China’s biggest gaming event, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees in Shanghai.
The move shows that HTC is willing to double down on virtual reality, even though it is off to a slower start than expected. The new device would compete with the rumored standalone VR headset that is expected to debut from Facebook’s Oculus in 2018, but, interestingly, HTC isn’t yet planning to take the standalone headset to a global market.
The device will use Viveport, HTC’s store for apps, as its content source. HTC said the device would deliver “outstanding standalone VR experience.” Developers can register on the Viveport site in China.
“China is the leading mobile market in the world today, and has the momentum to lead the global VR
market as well,” said Alvin Graylin, China regional president of Vive at HTC, in a statement. “Partnering with Qualcomm to deliver an easy to use and more affordable Vive VR system will enable us to make premium standalone VR widely accessible to the masses in China.”
The device is distinct from the standalone headset that HTC will make for Google Daydream. Qualcomm is supplying the 835 chip to that device as well.
HTC said the “Vive Standalone will offer broader audiences a more affordable, yet high-quality VR experience, and will expand the Vive family beyond its industry leading PC-based VR experiences.”
“Snapdragon 835 is designed to deliver superior VR experiences without the need for wires or a separate PC,” said Hugo Swart, senior director of product management at Qualcomm, in a statement. “We are thrilled to work with HTC’s Vive team as they utilize our rich feature set to create exciting, new VR experiences in the first truly mobile VR headset of the Vive ecosystem.”