HTC has teamed up with Qualcomm on a standalone VR headset for the Chinese market. The headset appears to be cosmetically identical to the one which HTC is bringing to the U.S. with Google, and they are both powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. That said, they will differ in the underlying software and positional tracking technology.
While the U.S. offering will be built on Google Daydream, run VR apps and games from the Google Play Store, and utilize Google’s WorldSense positional tracking technology, Vive’s China-focused headset is based on Qualcomm’s all-in-one reference design, which includes inside-out positional tracking, and will run apps from HTC’s Viveport platform.
Viveport launched in China – one of the few countries where Steam isn’t hugely popular – back in the Spring of 2016. The initial focus was on non-gaming content but HTC quickly thereafter embraced gaming titles along with a monthly subscription service.
On the hardware front, HTC has yet to reveal the device’s exact technical specs, but Qualcomm’s reference design calls for two 2560 x 1440 resolution displays, 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, at least 64GB of internal storage, a built-in trackpad for manual input, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity. HTC will share more information in the coming months, after today’s reveal at the ChinaJoy expo.
“China is the leading mobile market in the world today, and has the momentum to lead the global VR market as well,” said HTC Vive exec Alvin W. Graylin in a statement. “Partnering with Qualcomm to deliver an easy to use and more affordable Vive VR system will enable us to make premium stand-alone VR widely accessible to the masses in China.”
Aside from HTC, Lenovo is also working on a standalone VR headset based on the Daydream platform, while Samsung is working on its own headset under its Odyssey brand and Oculus is expected to debut a standalone version of the Rift in 2018.