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HTC Vive Focus US & EU Launch Hinges on Success in China

Having initially introduced that their Vive Focus standalone VR headset would function as a part of Google’s Daydream VR platform in 2017, HTC later scrapped those plans forward of the headset’s recent launch in China under HTC’s own ‘Wave Vive’ platform. Recent feedback from HTC’s Vive China President recommend that a Western launch for the headset will probably hinge on its reception in China.

Speaking lately in an interview with VR enthusiast Antony “Skarred Ghost” Vitillo, HTC’s Vive China President, Alvin Wang Graylin, didn’t rule out a Western launch of the Vive Focus headset, however stated that its reception in China can be an essential issue in the choice to launch it in different markets.

“It’s something that we’re looking at very seriously, and once we have more clear market data in terms of how things are doing with the Chinese release, I don’t see any reason why we would not release it in the rest of the world,” Graylin stated, prompted by a query relating to the headset’s probability of launching outdoors of China. “[…] it’s definitely our intent that if we have a good product then it should be available to as many users as possible.”

Having publicly canceled their plans to convey the headset to the Western market on Google’s Daydream platform, presumably, if the corporate launched the Vive Focus outdoors of China, it might be on their very own Vive Wave platform. If that’s the case, it might be a big shift in strategic posture, as it will put HTC in direct competitors with each Oculus and Google on the cellular VR entrance, fairly than allying with Google towards Oculus.

A launch in the West would additionally see the Vive Focus particularly squaring up towards each the Lenovo Mirage Solo—which is in some ways the identical headset because the Focus, however based mostly on the Daydream platform—and Oculus’ Santa Cruz, a forthcoming high-end standalone from Oculus that has so far only been shown as a prototype.

Even the Mirage Solo’s “under $400” worth appears excessive for what’s on supply; with the Vive Focus priced at roughly $625 (transformed from its Chinese worth level), Vitillo naturally requested how HTC seen the headset’s aggressive standing.

“I don’t see these products as competing with each other. We’re in such an early stage in the industry right now that rather than seeing each other as competitors, I really see us as all […] pushing to help meet the needs of users who want to use VR, and make it as popular as possible,” Graylin dodged.

Casting an eye fixed towards Oculus’ $200 Go headset and different low-cost cellular VR headsets, Graylin additional stated HTC needs the Vive model to characterize a sure degree of expertise.

“We’re not trying to be the price leader, we’re not trying to go and do the $200 range of product that has minimal features. We want to make sure that anybody that puts on a Vive, they know that they can expect the best experience that’s available at that category.”

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Graylin additionally spoke with Vitillo concerning the Vive Pro, together with some thoughts on its (yet revealed) price point and positioning within the headset market; the entire interview could be seen over at the Ghost Howls website.

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