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vive

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HTC plans smartphone sales 'reboot' in 2019

HTC was the first Android device maker, and it remained one of the market leaders for years. Its recent performance hasn't been stellar, though. After a long line of lackluster quarters, HTC president Darren Chen promises improvements in 2019. Apparently, HTC is aiming for a sales "reboot" by focusing on high-end and mid-range phones.

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The HTC Vive Focus is launching internationally later this year

HTC Vive's venture into standalone VR headsets, the Vive Focus, was unveiled late last year, but the launch was unfortunately confined to the Chinese market. Unlike existing VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift or the standard HTC Vive, the Focus doesn't require being tethered to a powerful computer to work, making it a truly standalone experience. On the other hand, existing standalone virtual reality goggles like the Gear VR, Daydream View, or upcoming Oculus Go don't have spatial tracking, meaning that users aren't able to move around in 3D space.

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In VR news: HTC announces VIVE PRO and wireless adapter, Oculus and Xiaomi introduce Oculus Go and Mi VR Standalone

Many companies are still trying to make VR happen, though it feels like those couple of years when 3D TVs were being pushed and then completely disappeared. If you ask me, there's merit to the immersive experience of VR in certain situations, but the wider and easier adoption will be for AR when it's commoditized. But I digress. We've been keeping an eye on HTC's VIVE and Oculus for a while, even though they're not technically related to Android, but for the sake of information here are the two companies' CES 2018 news.

HTC is introducing a few new things at CES.

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HTC unveils VIVE Focus VR headset for China alongside new dev platform, cancels Daydream plans

Google tried to create some buzz for its Daydream VR platform at its I/O developer conference back in May, even though public appetite for the tech seems to be waning. Standalone headsets were announced as the next evolution of the Daydream experience, but since then it's all gone rather quiet. We now know that HTC has canceled its plans to release a standalone Daydream headset, and is instead concentrating its efforts on China with a different standalone headset and development platform.

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HTC has announced a standalone VIVE VR headset, exclusive to China

At Google I/O back in May, we saw the announcement of standalone Daydream virtual reality headsets from companies such as HTC and Lenovo. While they have yet to materialize, HTC has just announced that it's releasing the VIVE Standalone headset, and it will be exclusive to China.

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Google announces Daydream standalone VR headsets with beacon-free position tracking, HTC Vive and Lenovo onboard

VR has slowed in both improvements and public excitement recently. But that hasn't stopped Google from bettering its Daydream platform, its take on so-called "smartphone VR." Like Samsung's version, Daydream requires a phone to operate. As cool as this was, it led to some issues, notably battery life and heat. During this year's I/O keynote, Google announced the Standalone VR headsets that were rumored yesterday. As the name suggests, these devices won't require a phone to operate.

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The Consumer Version Of HTC's Vive VR Headset Will Arrive In April For $799 With Two Free Games, Pre-Orders Begin February 29th

The HTC Vive has been making waves in the PC and gaming worlds, quickly emerging as a serious competitor to the more well-known Oculus Rift VR headset. The Vive has been in development for over a year with input from developers and other users, not to mention HTC's corporate partner Valve. The headset is nearing completion, and the company has announced that the final consumer model will ship in early April for the disappointing price of $799. For that price you get two motion-sensing controllers, two room scale sensors, and VR games Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives and Fantastic Contraption. Pre-orders begin next week on February 29th.

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