HTC may have a solution, in the form of a PC-to-headset streaming feature that will give the cordless VR headset access to over 2,000 VR titles over 5GHz Wi-Fi – instead of just the 200 or so in the Focus Plus’ onboard store.
You will need a Viveport Infinity subscription to access this wireless streaming feature, however. Viveport Infinity costs $12.99 / £12.99 per month (around AU$19), or $99 / £99 (around $150) for the year – which on top of the Focus Plus’ $799 / £639 (around AU$1,100) price tag will cost you a pretty penny.
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Coming into focus
The Vive Focus Plus launched earlier this year as an update to the similarly standalone Vive Focus headset – though this time with two 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) controllers instead of the original’s single 3DoF input.
We noted at launch that HTC’s headset was quite a bit pricier than its competitor, the $399 / £399 (around AU$730) Oculus Quest, though it made up for this with a sharper 2880 x 1600 screen and faster Snapdragon 825 processor.
The ability to wirelessly stream titles will be something of a boon given the limited 32GB onboard storage, though we’re yet to see how well this will work in practice.
VR titles will require a lot of data to be transferred over the air, and there’s a reason commercial headsets tend to either feature onboard / downloaded titles, or be hooked up to a high-performing PC instead.
While high-end VR headsets, like the next-gen HTC Vive Cosmos, will certainly still require a wired connection to show off VR titles at their best, the strategy of the Focus Plus may start to pave the way for mainstream VR streaming – though it likely won’t be able to compete performance-wise until 5G gets into the picture.
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