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HTC’s standalone VR is available in the US, starts at $599


It's only for enterprise customers for now, however. Almost a year after it was released in China, the HTC Vive Focus is finally available in the US and Europe, making it a total of 37 markets (including Japan recently). There is a catch, however, in that these headsets are geared more towards enterprise customers on this side of the world. The kit will sell for $599, and by paying an extra $150, it'll come with the Vive Enterprise Advantage service package, which includes commercial licensing, dedicated support, tailored hardware warranties, batch configuration feature and more. As a reminder, the Vive Focus is a standalone headset, without the need for a phone or an external PC. It has a resolution of 1,440 x 1,600 per eye, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and developers will be able to experiment with its 6DoF controller add-on shortly. HTC made this announcement at an enterprise-centric event where it's making the case for VR for businesses. In an interview with Engadget, General Manager of the Americans Dan O'Brien said he saw great traction in various business VR applications in the US and Europe. Some of the industries where VR has a potential use case include automotive design, architecture design, situational training, medical training and location-based enterprises. Announced alongside is a collaboration tool called Vive Sync, which essentially enables conference calls in VR. Think VRChat but for work, if you will. Users will be able to brand the environment and import objects to share with others in this enterprise application, while also making use of the Office 365 integration -- especially for setting up meetings. Pilot trials will begin in December ahead of a Q1 2019 launch. The Vive Focus uses HTC Vive's own Android-based Vive Wave platform instead of Google's Daydream. Several other third-party manufacturers also use Vive Wave as its platform, primarily in China. At the event, the company announced that Shadow Creator would be the next hardware partner to utilize Vive Wave. Richard Lai contributed to this report.

Shadow VR is the latest rival to the Oculus Quest


This VR headset does 6DoF tracking on both the head and controllers. While we're all anticipating the launch of the Oculus Quest standalone VR headset in spring 2019, HTC's been busy pushing its very own Vive Focus into more markets -- including the US and Europe as of today -- while letting developers toy with its 6DoF controller add-on. Luckily for HTC, it's not alone in this upcoming battle. Also announced today is Shadow Creator's Shadow VR, a new Vive Wave-based 6DoF headset which comes with the company's self-developed 6DoF controllers. Much like the Vive Focus, the Shadow VR is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 and features a 110-degree field of view via Fresnel optics, but it comes with a slightly lower 2,560 x 1,440 display resolution (the Vive Pro, Focus and Quest all have 2,880 x 1,600). Since this is based on the same reference design, it's the same inside-out world-scale tracking tech using the stereoscopic front cameras. Here's hoping that Shadow VR will also get the Focus' see-through mode, just for that extra bit of convenience. Little else is known about the Shadow VR (we don't even have images of the controllers), but it'll be available to consumers globally on November 11th for $399 -- matching the Quest's aggressive price. We expect to get more info right before launch. The Shadow VR is joined by Pico's Neo and G2 from earlier, both of which are also Vive Wave-powered headsets but aimed at business users. Now that there are 15 hardware partners in total supporting HTC's Android-based VR platform, we may well see more headset announcements from them in the very near future.