VR rivals Oculus and HTC go head-to-head in the PC VR space with the Rift and Vive respectively. Each also have brand new standalone headsets on the horizon. Oculus is soon to release the Quest and HTC will upgrade its Vive Focus with the Focus Plus.
These devices have similar specifications. Both support six degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracking and have the controllers to match. Quest is a consumer device first and foremost. But Focus Plus is an enterprise-level device. Given their similarity, why isn’t HTC pitching Focus Plus to compete directly with Quest and target consumers?
We recently put that question to Vive GM, Dan O’Brien. He told UploadVR that it was down to the difference in infrastructures the consumer and business markets require.
“So when we see the consumer market and what we have to do there, there’s lower price points being asked for it, the level of content and the type of content that you need for it and the ecosystem that you need to deliver to a consumer market is pretty challenging for the level of content you can deliver with that type of headset,” O’Brien explained.
He continued, reasoning that the retention rate for this level of standalone headset hasn’t been that high thus far. “What we’ve seen on that lower end is a lot of people using the headset and then the return use is not really high,” he said.
“I think there’s a lot of other things you need to make real consumer adoption on the VR side happen,” O’Brien later continued. “But I think it’s going to be really interesting what some of those other competitive headsets go out there and try and move the market forward with. We’re excited about it, I’m excited someone else is taking on that charge”.
Focus Plus is due to launch in the second quarter of 2019 for an undisclosed price. We tried the headset at MWC last week and thought it still needed a little work.