HTC Reveals Vive Standalone VR Headset for China

Adi Robertson, The Verge:

HTC is partnering with Qualcomm for a self-contained Vive virtual reality headset exclusive to the Chinese market. The headset, called the Vive Standalone, is billed as a “premium” device and will run apps from HTC’s Viveport platform. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 835 chip and is based on Qualcomm’s all-in-one reference design, which includes inside-out positional tracking that would put it in the company of high-end tethered headsets.

Great news for the VR industry, and not terribly surprising. My big question is if and when we’ll see a Vive Standalone for the US market.

HTC is already on record as an OEM partner for Google’s Daydream standalone headsets, which will support Google’s platform, not Viveport. Google services aren’t always reliable in China, however, which is likely at least part of why HTC is announcing Vive Standalone, and not a Daydream rig, for that market.

It would make all sorts of strategic and (presumably) financial sense for HTC to also launch Vive Standalone in the states to compete with the standalone headsets rumored to be coming from Facebook and Samsung in the next 6-12 months. But who knows what may be happening behind the scenes with Google and HTC to shape both companies’ launch strategies.